We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this October.
And Then Came Peace by Greg Masse
Bankable Leadership by Dr. Tasha Eurich
Happy Utopia Day, Joe McCarthy by J.T. Lundy
If Only I Could Sleep by Stephanie Henry
Life Between the Tigers (2nd Edition) by Peter Gerardo and Kris Neely
One Great Year by Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio
Path of the Novice Mystic by Paul Dunion
The Trial of Dr. Kate by Dr. Michael Glasscock III
Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Great Bear Rainforest by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet
Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan
Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.
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Founded by sisters Martha Burns and Alice Dillion, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), and the authors of Reading Group Journal: Notes in the Margin, National Reading Group Month was launched in 2007 in celebration of the WNBA’s 90th anniversary. During the month of October, special events are held in libraries and bookstores in all of the WNBA’s chapter cities.
For readers who cannot attend reading group meetings in person, online reading groups are a great alternative. Online reading group participation is a great way for readers to discover new titles and for authors to reach a broad audience. As a bonus for participating authors, the books can be linked so prospective readers can purchase them as soon as their interest is piqued. Reading group sites are also a great tool for authors to promote their books through advertising and giveaways.
Below is a list of online reading groups.
Good Reads: The world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.
LibraryThing: An online service to help people easily catalog their books and connect with other like-minded readers.
Book Movement: An online tool to help book clubs find titles that facilitate great discussion.
Reading Group Guides: A source of information for leaders interested in facilitating book groups.
Shelfari: A global community of book lovers built to connect readers through meaningful conversations about the published world.
Have you joined a reading group yet? Which one is your favorite?
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As many of you avid readers out there know, this week is Banned Books Week (September 22–28)! Don’t know what that means? No sweat! Greenleaf is here to tell you all about it!
Each year the American Library Association, which promotes freedom of speech and opinion in all forms of media (including books, of course!), compiles a list of the ten most challenged books “to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools.” Banned Books Week, as it has come to be known, is the celebration of the freedom to read.
Although books are usually challenged with good intentions, like protecting children, the ALA believes that censorship in any form is a constitutional violation. Thus, they work diligently to protect our reading rights with the help of other First Amendment advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom to Read Foundation, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and many others.
It is important to make a distinction here between “challenged” and “banned” books. The ALA defines a challenge as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon objections of a person or group.” This action goes far beyond simply expressing an opposing viewpoint of the material in question. It involves a concerted effort to keep others from reading material that is believed to be offensive, sexually explicit, or “unsuited to any age group.”
Banning a book, however, involves a complete removal of those materials. This is the last phase of process. Thankfully, challenges rarely ever evolve into complete bans. This is primarily due to the hard work of teachers, librarians, parents, and students.
So, what’s your favorite banned book?
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Giving back is an important part of Greenleaf’s identity. Our high standards extend beyond our incredible books to environmental stewardship and community building. A recent trip to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas showed just how much we genuinely love to volunteer.
If you aren’t familiar with the food bank, its mission is simple: To feed hungry people in the region by providing food and grocery products through 300 partner agencies. They rely on donations from the community and then volunteer support to process those donations. It was intense work and a lot of fun.
First we oriented with the layout of the warehouse and learned the ins and outs of food sorting.
There was no shortage of food to sort! The generous Central Texas Community keeps the donations coming in, so we busied ourselves working quickly and efficiently to make our way through the stacks.
A conveyor belt helped transport the food to the weighing and packaging area once it was inspected, cleaned, and sorted.
With all of Greenleaf in attendance we processed six tons of food in a few short hours. Knowing that the much-needed sustenance would quickly make its way to pantries and service programs kept us motivated to keep going.
At the end of the day we added our nametags to the impressive collection in the warehouse and reflected on a rewarding day. Thanks for having us, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas!
What’s your favorite way to give back? Leave us a message on our Facebook page or Tweet us at @GreenleafBookGr. We’d love to hear from you!
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The term “platform” is ubiquitous these days. We see it in the business world, we hear it bandied about among authors, experts, and speakers, and we experience it in the social media landscape. This phenomenon isn’t accidental. Platform is a powerful concept that reflects the content, brand, positioning, credibility, audience, and intellectual property you develop. Your platform lives at the intersection of ideas, influence, and income—and your book’s success depends on it.
Interested in learning more about platform? Greenleaf Book Group will be hosting the 2013 Author Summit, from September 25th to the 27th. At the Author Summit, attendees will learn how to develop their ideas, elevate their influence, and monetize their content. To explore more about taking a step toward developing your platform and expert presence, visit http://greenleafauthorsummit.com/registration
Platform, Part 3: Income
Income is the ultimate product of , and in the form of interaction and conversation among your audience. Income means monetizing your ideas and converting customers into closed leads. Great ideas combined with a powerful interaction strategy can lead to great business if handled correctly, as Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City fame has showed us over the past few years.
We usually think of The Real Housewives cast members as, well, housewives. And with a few exceptions, that’s mostly what they are—women who have the financial luxury to spend most of their days throwing catered dinner parties and gossiping with pricey cocktails in hand. Not many reality TV stars have made the leap from “personality” to true entrepreneur, but Frankel was able to use the show to build and promote her now-infamous Skinnygirl brand.
When Frankel first appeared on the show, she was the relatively “broke” housewife, a natural foods chef living in a 700 square-foot closet of an apartment and struggling to make rent. But she had an idea—a low-calorie margarita—and she used the exposure she received from the show to cultivate her influence and create a strong brand. Two years later, and she’s sold her Skinnygirl cocktail line to Beam Global for a price rumored to be around $120 million—an unheard-of number in the spirits marketplace for a single celebrity. Even though reality TV is often seen as a joke, Frankel is dead serious in her income-building. And now uber-rich.
You, too, can make income happen when you’ve built enough around your content and found your audience’s pain points, or points of interest. Check out our suggestions below to seamlessly and successfully make income a part of your platform-building experience.
Diversify your offerings. You’re going to want a diversified set of product offerings, or assets, to generate multiple streams of income—content, products, services, and programs. You can customize these for audience segments and areas of expertise. Below are a few specific examples of great income-generators:
- Speaking and presenting—keynotes, breakouts, or workshops
- Book sales
- Training sessions and facilitation
- Affiliate marketing
- Custom downloads from your website
Don’t be a one-hit wonder when it comes to generating salable content. Be dynamic. Not only does Frankel continue to market and support her claim to fame—her Skinnygirl margarita—she also offers health DVDs, several bestselling books, online personal training, shapewear, and dieting and cleansing products. All of this is, of course, in addition to her countless paid media and event appearances.
2. Keep an open mind.
A successful income strategy also means building partnerships and welcoming the right sponsorships, spokesperson opportunities, affiliate marketing, and anything else you can think of. Don’t be afraid to dive into new territory.
When Frankel was first approached by Bravo to join The Real Housewives cast, she refused for two months. However, she considered the influence-building potential of the show, and cites business exposure as the only reason she finally said yes, according to Hollywood Reporter. Keeping an open mind not only allowed Frankel to launch her Skinnygirl line; it also earned her a spin-off show, Bethenny Ever After, which garners over a million viewers per episode.
3. Facilitate the process.
Make sure that your content is easily found and easily bought. Invest in a user-friendly and well-designed website to help facilitate and automate ecommerce. Don’t settle for a second-rate one, either—your online presence is going to be where your audience turns to learn about you, buy from you, and stay engaged with you.
Remember that income is ultimately about selling more of less. It’s about the long tail. Sometimes it’s best to start by giving away valuable content. You’ll build trust and get people engaged. They’ll want more.
Ideas are valuable. Keep a list of your ideas for income-generating content and revisit it often. Just because someone might not be willing to pay for your product now doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to sell it. As your influence grows, you’ll be able to leverage more of your ideas into income-making opportunities.
A list is also a good idea because it will help you figure out ways to divide and repurpose your content assets. For example, you could turn your book or blog into a workbook or webinar series. Keep in mind that services and programs like speaking, training, and coaching have a higher perceived value and require higher pricing. You should focus on breaking into these worlds if you haven’t already.
Frankel was able to negotiate the astronomical purchase price of Skinnygirl because of her unique idea and powerful influence. Still, it took some time and some great opportunities for her to get there. The lesson for anyone who aspires to grow is that building a platform happens one “I” at a time—with ideas, interaction, and income. The more time you spend on each component, the better your platform will be and the stronger your income-generating opportunity.
The other idea to keep in mind is that in the end, you will be as successful as the quality of your platform. And the quality of your platform will determine your opportunities and income over time. As you focus on building your platform, think about Gary Vaynerchuk, Suze Orman, Bethenny Frankel, and other creative entrepreneurs that have transformed great ideas into influence and income. Each has mastered the three “I’s” and this mastery has resulted in a powerful platform.
For more information on the ins and outs of what a platform is and how to get started on developing one, check out parts and two of Greenleaf’s platform development series, in which we discuss the and . Want help expanding your influence and developing your expertise? Greenleaf offers a broad range of platform development services, including integrated brand strategy; keynote and presentation design; print and online product development; speaker reel and video production; social media strategy; and more. For a full list of what Greenleaf can do for you, visit .