Interviews are a fantastic way to quickly produce quality book content. They invite thought, pose options, and allow responses that are focused and valuable. The best content, however, comes from questions that have a purpose, support a concept, and allow for a quality exchange of information that will provide the reader with the solutions they are seeking.
To provide the types of questions that produce the strongest responses, the following guidelines can be helpful.
1. Ask open-ended questions.
Do not ask questions that can easily be answered with a yes or no, or either/or response. You want the interviewee to elaborate when answering their questions. A good way to encourage that type of response is to ask the person to explain his or her answer.
For example, instead of asking, “Which is more effective—Internet marketing or print advertisements?, ask “How does print and Internet marketing differ, and if you prefer one over another, why?”
These types of questions will help the responder provide fully-developed answers to your question and supporting reasons for their opinions.
2. Seek answers to frequently asked questions.
You could among a wide range of questions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the majority of your readers are interested in the answers. Ask questions that you are relatively sure they want to want to learn about. (A good way to find those FAQs is to research forums for common questions or to find the most popular keywords or phrases being entered into search engines.)
3. Avoid biased questions—those that assume that the interviewer already knows the answer. Example: Why do you think sugar contributes to obesity? Instead, ask: “Can you provide any information that suggests sugar is or is not related to obesity?” The first question suggests the interviewer already knows the answer, which limits the discussion. The second question, however, gives the interviewee an opportunity to express their viewpoint and provide information that supports it.
4. Don’t stick to your script.
In a structured interview, you’d ask one question and move on to the next. It’s a great way to stay focused and keep on message, but it’s limiting, as well. In answering a question, an interviewee might bring up a point that is pertinent or wasn’t previously considered. It’s also possible that an answer can trigger a viewpoint or even a concept that has been overlooked. Be open-minded and prepared to be flexible in the event the interviewee provides insight or new information that you believe is valuable. Then feel free to ask them to elaborate.
Here are a few examples of interview questions that can help you create quality book content.
Topic: How Shy Men Can Attract Women
Chapter: Good Places to Meet Women
1. How does the place where a man meets a woman impact his comfort level and ability to communicate?
2. Where is a shy man most likely to find women who have a similar personality?
3. Which is better—a quiet setting where a man and woman can talk one-on-one, or a group setting, where a shy man might not feel as pressured—and why?
4. Please provide five common places where shy men are most likely to meet women?
5. From your experience, what are the worst places for shy men to go to meet women, and why don’t you recommend them?
Topic: Funding a Child’s College Education
Chapter: Sources of Funding
1. When should a parent begin saving for their child’s college education?
2. What types of tax or savings incentives do college-savings programs provide?
3. Please provide a brief overview of the types of federal financial aid and what they cover.
4. What sources of non-government funding are available for students?
5. Does the college or university affect the amount of funding a student will receive? If so, how?
Book Topic: Organic Gardening
Chapter: The Health Benefits of Growing and Eating Organic Foods
1. Nutritionally, how do organic foods compare to conventionally grown foods?
2. Organic foods are free of pesticides and hormones. How do these additives affect the body?
3. How can switching to organic foods prevent disease or illness?
4. What are the physical benefits of growing and eating organic food?
5. What are the mental benefits of growing and eating organic food?
6. Are organic foods safe for the entire family, even unborn children?
Each of these questions invites a discussion, explanation, or viewpoint. They are all capable of providing an author with quality responses, which is great. However, the highest quality content includes examples and/or case studies that the reader can relate to. For that reason, don’t forget to add one of the most important interview questions whenever you can: “What examples can you recall where you (found this to be true, were able to accomplish, knew someone who…, etc.)”
There will be a Bestseller Profit Mastermind call on WEDNESDAY, December 5, 2012.
Bestseller Profit Mastermind “Ask Alicia”Call
Title: How To Have Success With Direct Mail Programs Using Direct Response Marketing Methods
Time: Wednesday, December 5th at 11:00am Pacific
Speaker: Diane Conklin
Listening method: Phone + Web Simulcast
PLEASE SIGN UP HERE IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND:
Diane Conklin is an internationally known marketing and business strategist who specializes in showing small business owners how to integrate their online and offline direct response marketing strategies using a variety of media, including direct mail, social media, and other on and offline media. She is the co-founder of Complete Marketing Systems and for the last 12 years, she has been showing small business owners how to use online and offline marketing strategies to outperform their competition by measuring their marketing and strategically using multi-media campaigns to stand alone in their marketplace as the go-to provider for their products and services.
Diane is also an author, coach, consultant, event planner and copywriter. Diane consistently develops marketing campaigns that produce in excess of $1,000,000.00 in revenue. Through her company, Complete Marketing Systems, Diane offers a wide range of programs and services — from strategic marketing planning, list management, copywriting, direct mail, product development, staff training, systems development, implementation techniques, to seminar, workshop and event marketing, planning, and management.
As a speaker, Diane has shared the stage with the likes of Joan Rivers, Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Lee Milteer, Harry Dent, Lee Phillips, Fabienne Fredrickson, and many others. Last year, Diane was voted runner-up for Marketer of the Year for her innovative marketing strategies and campaigns. She currently lives in Florida, where she enjoys kayaking, reading, walks on the beach, and spending time playing with her 4 dogs. For more information: www.completemarketingsystems.com We really hope you can join the call.
One of the favorite things I love about my business is helping leaders spread their message in a big way – through the publication of a book. I have helped several authors who dedicate their life to helping children, including Dr. Beth, author of Embracing Defiance and Dr. Reggie, author of You Can Heal Your Child. And now I’m excited about Elie Venezky, author of Test Prep Sanity. Below is a guest post, which discusses why he wrote the book.
Standardized tests are coming. And with them comes stress and anxiety, both for the student and his or her parents. Too often, good parents do exactly the wrong things that push their child away from studying. It doesn’t have to be this way. Test time doesn’t have to create tension and drama in the home.
I wrote Test Prep Sanity: How to help your child excel on standardized tests without driving each other crazy to help parents create the right home environment for their children’s success. In this book, I use my 14 years of experience to show parents how to encourage personal responsibility and growth while keeping everyone as relaxed as possible.
Test Prep Sanity is a must-read for every parent whose child is taking a standardized test. It shows parents everything they need to help their children succeed, including:
· When to start preparing
· How to find the best tutor for your child
· When to register for the exam and which books to buy
· How to make sure your child studies without constant supervision
· How to talk about the test with your child
· How to handle complaining
· What to do if your child won’t study
· What to do, eat and wear on test day
· When to expect results
· How to improve test scores on subsequent tests
Standardized tests shouldn’t turn homes into battlegrounds. I’m asking you to help me promote Test Prep Sanity for its November 29th release date. It’s available on amazon.com. With your help, we can reduce the pressure of standardized tests while increasing communication and personal responsibility for students. Parents want to help their kids—let’s give them the help they need, too.
In October, creativeLIVE set out to find 6 businesses to participate live in-studio with Lewis Howes. We asked interested fans to submit a video describing their business plans and why they should be chosen to work 1-on-1 with Lewis in Seattle during “Launching an Online Business,” November 30 – December 2. The audience delivered. Due to the high volume of quality video submissions we chose 7 businesses to feature and we’re excited to have them with us next week.
Every year, more than 11,000 business books are published. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur and an author, your book is likely among them. With that level of competition, though, how can you win the marketing war and get your book noticed? How can you reach a large audience in a short period of time and create the type of partnerships and sponsorships that will make you and your book a household name? One effective way is to partner with 800-CEO-Read, a company that specializes in promoting, marketing, and selling business books.
The beauty of 800-CEO-Read is that they are not a publisher. In fact, they really don’t care if your book is published by a traditional publisher or who that publisher is. Their only requirement is that your book is a business book and that it offers solutions to businesses and companies.
1. 800-CEO-Read are experts in book distribution. They will make sure your book gets to workshops, seminars, and events in the quantities you want when you want them.
2. If you’re looking for a partner in creating bulk book sales, look no further. The 800-CEO-Read team offers respectable discounts for bulk sales, and they’ll help you or a business find a book package that works for your purposes.
3. 800-CEO-Read helps authors customize their books, providing personalized page inserts, book bands that advertise sponsors, book signing plates, cover stickers, or even CD or DVD inserts. It’s a great way to co-promote authors, sponsors, and/or businesses and a terrific motivation in creating these mutually beneficial relationships. Authors who create partnerships with businesses and corporations sell more books. These businesses purchase books in bulk quantities for their employees, clients, and customers. Being able to personalize a book by including page inserts that promote the company or book bands or stickers that include their logo strengthens the company’s brand, while making it highly likely that the company will purchase large quantities of the book.
4. 800-CEO-Read works directly with businesses, helping them find business books that correlate with their message. The team even helps companies bring authors to specific events.
5. Authors will benefit from the effective promotion of their business book on 800-CEO-Read‘s websites, blog, and newsletter. In-depth features and reviews of books are offered to help businesses determine which books they need. In addition, 800-CEO-Read publishes the 800-CEO-Read Business Book Awards every year. These awards are open to any business book that has been published during the year in eight categories: 1) Leadership, 2) Management, 3) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 4) Finance and Economics, 5) Marketing and Sales, 6) Personal Development, 7) Innovation and Creativity, and 8) General Business. Submitting your book for consideration for one of these awards can result in massive publicity to thousands of businesses.
As a business author, you can sell books the traditional way, via Amazon.com, on your website, and at speeches and events, or you can take your marketing efforts one level higher and let the idea experts at 800-CEO-Read help businesses find your book and unique ways to use it.
Finding the right designer for your book cover is like finding the right designer for your clothes. You want someone to design your book who connects with you, understands what you want, and who is talented in the style you want your book to convey. No matter how talented or creative, not every cover designer is able to provide you with a book cover that has you gushing with praise. There are many factors, some of which don’t have anything to do with graphic design, that will impact your relationship with a cover designer and the results you’ll get from their efforts.
There are some specific things to keep in mind when you’re choosing a book cover designer, and they are all important factors that could affect the delivery and design of your book cover. When you’re interviewing a book cover designer, pay attention to the following details and find a cover designer who is best suited for the results you want.
1. Examples of previous book covers. Peruse the designer’s website and ask to see examples of different cover designs they have created. Pay attention to the style … is it professional, edgy, conservation, bold, soft and fluffy, soothing, or helter skelter? Are the color schemes appealing? Are both the title and author’s names clearly visible? Does it have a clean look or is it tightly cramped with loads of pictures or words? A good cover designer is a marketing expert who knows how to present a book cover that is attractive and captures attention. Your book can be phenomenal on the inside, but the words and message won’t mean anything if the cover is unprofessional or doesn’t mirror the author’s style or tone. Find a designer whose style closely mirrors yours and you’ll be more likely to be happy with his or her services.
2. How does the cover designer communicate? What is the preferred mode of communication? Will you have to convey your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions via email, or will you hash out your preferences and brainstorm over the telephone? What is the waiting time for responses and inquiries? What is your initial opinion after talking with the designer for the first time? Does he or she communicate in a professional manner? Are they cordial? Do they freely offer their own ideas and concepts, with relevant information to support it? Did the designer sound serious about his trade and treat you and your project with respect? Good communication is vital if you want a book cover that pleases you and integrates your style, tone, and wishes. If you suspect a communication gap, this might not be the designer for you.
3. Experience. Creating a book cover is an art form. It integrates color, text, and pictures in a unique way to express the personality and content of you and your book. For this reason, most book cover designers are versed in marketing and promotional copy, as well. Ask to see any samples of book covers and promo materials the designer has created. Ask if they are familiar with the technical specifications of designing a cover suitable for print. Inexperienced designers may have difficulty integrating the specifications required by printers for trim, bleed, spine width, and appropriate placement of text, photos, and bar codes.
4. Price. Of course, budget is always an issue, but sometimes, you do get what you pay for. It’s also true that there are experienced talented designers who offer competitive rates, just as there are unqualified do-it-yourselfer, wannabe designers who overcharge for mediocre services. A good rule of thumb is not to hire the least expensive cover designer you can find, but rather to seek to find the best cover designer that you can afford. Again, request samples of book covers they have already designed to be sure they have the skills and experience you’re seeking.
5. Schedule. When does the cover designer work? Is this a hobby or a full-time job for them? Do they do graphic design on the side, on the weekends or during the evenings, in addition to their full-time job? While these factors may not affect the way your book cover looks, they could affect your timeline, the turnaround time for revisions, or your ability to communicate.
6. You. You might be the single most important component in being happy with the services provided by your book cover designer. A book cover designer cannot provide you with a book cover that will make you happy if you don’t tell the designer what you want. The more detail you provide, the better. Without your input, suggestions, wishes, and feedback, a designer must rely on guesswork and his ideas, rather than yours, to create your book cover. As a result, you can be unhappy with the work, and the designer can find himself having to start over from scratch … numerous times. Don’t frustrate your cover designer. Work with him or her. Be open about what you do want … and what you don’t want. If you don’t know what you want, spend some time browsing through bookstores or online (try Amazon.com), finding book covers that resonate with and appeal to you. Share those images with the cover designer so he/she knows where to begin or which direction to follow. It’s the best way to make sure you are on the same page and that you’ll both be happy with the final product and the relationship that you’ve established.
Finding books when you know the title is easy. On the other hand, finding out about books when you don’t know the title can be difficult. As an author, your book’s title has to be memorable, descriptive, and sometimes catchy. These same characteristics also often apply to keywords and phrases that are used in search engines, like Google. So, doesn’t it make sense to use the same concepts used in search engines to title your book?
Keywords and phrases are used in web copy to steer people to websites and to increase a website’s placement in search engine rankings. First, it’s necessary to determine the most commonly used keywords and phrases related to your particular product or service, then develop copy around those words. The more closely your keywords are aligned to the most popular ones, the more likely it is that your site will come up in an Internet search. The same concept can be used by authors to name their books. By exploring different titles, you can determine how many times that title, or something very similar, has been searched. The title with the highest search ranking will receive the most exposure on the Internet, because when people use those keywords or phrases in search engines, the results will also produce your book.
Google Adwords provides the avenue for this type of search, and it’s very simple to do. Simply go to Google Adwords (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS) and input potential titles in the “Word or Phrase” box and then ask for results. The title with the highest number of searches is most likely to generate more visibility and sales.
What if your titles don’t produce the search results that you hoped? In that case, you might want to rewrite your book title so it correlates to commonly used keywords in your niche. Do some experimenting and find the keywords or phrases that people are using to find information in your industry, and then use those keywords or phrases in your book title. The results are the same as inputting in a title, but in this case, you’re working backwards, finding a keyword and developing a title around it—rather than developing a title and then determining how popular it is.
This strategy to boost the power of a book title has been used by many bestselling authors, including Tim Ferris, author of The Four-Hour Work Week. Initially, Ferris was leaning toward naming his book “Drug Dealing for Fun and Profit.” However, it was market research to see which title performed the best in search engine results that changed the title to one that has sold millions of books.
Below you’ll find a screenshot of the Google Adwords page, which shows just how simple it is to conduct this type of research. By tweaking potential titles and/or narrowing your search to include different categories, you’ll find a combination that produces the best results. When your book’s title or subtitle uses these words or phrases, it will be included in searches for a target audience that is already interested in finding information related to it. The best way to sell books is to receive massive exposure—with Google Adwords and a bestselling book title, you’ll receive it.
Last Monday, the producers of The Steve Harvey Show called, and by Wednesday I was on a plane to Chicago to appear as an expert on the show.
Although I can’t tell you what the show is about (we’ll have to wait ‘til it airs), I wanted to share a picture of Steve Harvey holding my book.
Many of you have asked me how I got booked for the show as well as The Ricki Lake Show just two months ago.
So I decided to write a special report that shows you how to get booked on TV talk shows, without paying a publicist… or anyone for that matter.
It’s called How to Get Booked on TV Talk Shows and it’s absolutely Freee.
If you want to use TV publicity as a way to build your brand, promote your products/services, and become a go-to TV expert, this special report is for you.
Since I am offering this report for freee for the next 48 hours, I suggest you send the link to at least 5 of your colleagues who want to start appearing on TV.
Get your How to Get Booked on TV Talk Shows special report now.
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. I’m sure you know at least 5 people who could benefit from this report,
share this link with them now.