February '23 Newsletter

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Anniversary!

This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day (as well as President’s Day, Black History Month and other occasions). According to Wikipedia, Valentine's Day originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. Today it is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country. I want to wish my wonderful husband a Happy Valentine’s Day.

February is also the month we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, which this year will be on February 17. When you do kind things for others, not only will they benefit, but you’ll find your own happiness increases as well. 

Whether you are seeking a gift for a loved one for Valentine’s Day or looking for a way to show kindness to someone, think about giving a book. It won’t harm their waist as much as candy, and it can enable them to grow in healthy ways. 

As our random act of kindness to the SkillBites community, and in honor of our 11th anniversary, we are offering a Buy One/Get One Free Promo that can be used for our virtual courses and for the workshop we have coming up on February 16 (see more about this below).

When buying either a course or workshop, you can give the course or workshop to two people or attend yourself and invite a friend or family member to join you. Once you purchase a course or workshop, we will send you an email for you to advise who you want to give the course or workshop to, and then we'll provide access to them.

1. How To Reach Your Book Goal

Writing and publishing a book is a lot of work. You don’t want to go through all that effort only to find that your book doesn’t get you the results you want. 

Key to writing a successful book is developing a plan for how you will use your book to gain the results you are seeking. The best time to create that plan is before you write your book, so you know exactly what to do for it to be successful. Having a plan will also help you write a better book. Even if you’ve already written and published your book, creating a plan will increase your chances of obtaining better results.

To help authors develop their plan, I am offering a workshop on February 16 called Publishing Profits: Create A Path To Your Book’s Success. It’s primarily for business owners and professionals who are writing a business book to help them grow their business. In this 90 minute workshop, you’ll actually put together a plan for how you will use your book to gain the results you are seeking.

Click here for more information and to sign up for this workshop.

2. Get Your Book Done!

What’s your #1 struggle or challenge with getting a book completed?

Whether it’s deciding on your topic, or doing the actual writing, or one of the many other obstacles authors face, I’d love to help you.

I’ve developed 2 programs that can help you finally get your book written this year:

The first is a set of 52 tips for writing a business book, sent 1 tip per week via email over the course of the year. The tips cover a variety of topics, including:

  • The many benefits of becoming a published author, including how to use a book to grow your business;
  • Steps to take before beginning to write, which will accelerate your ability to get your book done in addition to enhancing the end product;
  • How to select the right topic for your book; and
  • Strategies for getting your book written in the least amount of time and with less effort

Click here to sign up for the tips at no cost.

The second is a weekly, virtual accountability program. No travel, just 5 - 10 minutes of your time once a week to check in and get some helpful advice, so you stay on track. 

  • Unsure how to proceed?
  • Stuck on which way to go?
  • Having trouble sticking to your timetable for getting your book done?

You need to join the Book Writing Accountability Program! For more information and to sign up for this, click here.

3. New Book

SkillBites will soon be publishing the first book by Clay Olsen, called Beyond Weapons -- A Guide to Holistic Self-Defense. This book will take you on a revealing journey.

Why do we believe that an armed stranger is our main threat when we are twice as likely to die from a traffic accident or fall? Sadly, violent crime victims are often injured by people they know who hurt them at or near the victim's home, according to violent crime statistics.

The author, Clay Escobedo Olsen, uses crime statistics from verifiable sources and fictional stories, called "Storytime,” to guide the reader in exploring these ideas on survival and defense. He exposes “uncomfortable truths” when the analysis goes against prevailing wisdom, such as the stranger-danger example above.

For self-defense, guns are not the only or even the best option. For many civilians, carrying a firearm concealed for protection can be more harmful than beneficial. Holistic self-defense takes into account the benefits and possible harms of various self-defense techniques and shows you how to analyze them yourself to create the right strategy for your unique situation. 

If you are considering how to better defend your home and how to defend your family inside and outside the home, Beyond Weapons-A Holistic Guide to Self-Defense will instruct you in making solid, data-based decisions on how best to accomplish your goal of keeping those you love safe from violent crime.

3. The Skillbites Show

Each month, we bring you an expert to help you get your book done, leverage your book, grow your business or improve your life. The shows are recorded, and you can listen to the recording by clicking here.

This month, my guest is Global Credibility Expert Mitchell Levy. Mitchell is a 2x TEDx speaker and international bestselling author of over 60 books. After interviewing 500 thought leaders on credibility, he published Credibility Nation, a 7-country international bestselling book, delivered a TEDx titled “We are Losing Our Humanity and I’m Tired of Watching it Happen!”, and created courses as well as the Credibility Nation membership community to help members find their purpose and align themselves with it online and offline.

Mitchell has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley, including four publishing companies that have published over 750 books.

When someone asks “what do you do?” does it take more than 5 seconds to respond? If you do, you may lose their attention as they become disinterested. You need to say something that captures their attention in the first 1-3 seconds. You need to say something that generates enough interest that they want to spend the time and energy to get to know you a little bit more. After interviewing over 500 thought leaders on credibility, Global Credibility Expert Mitchell Levy has unearthed a simple, yet powerful approach to streamline a person's customer-focused purpose in 10 words or less. 

Listen to this podcast so you will:

  • Be able to say what you do in 5 seconds or less.
  • Have an easy-to-express phrase (your CPoP) that encourages prospects and recommenders to ask you to tell them more.
  • Create your compass that will guide your activities going forward.

Last month, my guest was Rachel Valliere. Rachel is the founder of Printed Page Studios and has designed hundreds of books over the last 13 years. She has been featured in Forbes and has designed books for numerous entrepreneurial authors, including Grant Cardone. Her mission is to educate authors on the importance of book design and provide traditional-publishing quality design to independently-publishing authors.

Book design is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued aspects of self-publishing today. If you’re publishing a nonfiction book to grow your authority and impact, expert book design is a must. Boost your publishing success by learning why book design matters, how to prepare, and practical tips to ensure a winning book design.

You can listen to it by clicking here. You can also click here to read a blog post on cover design tips.

Do you have expertise that you believe would benefit the SkillBites community of entrepreneurs and authors? If you would like to be the guest on the monthly SkillBites Show, contact me at judy@skillbites.net or 610-783-4519. If there is a topic you would like to hear on the podcast, let me know and I’ll look for an expert to cover that.

4. Help for Dyslexic Readers

In honor of January 1 being Copyright Law day, I decided to make that the topic of this month’s tip. There’s a lot of confusion about whether you need to register your copyright interest. As the author, you own the copyright interest in your content without having to register that interest and without even placing a copyright notice in your book. By including the copyright notice in your book, you put the reader on notice that you do own the copyright. However, if anyone were to steal your content, you would have limited recourse unless you register your copyright interest. Unfortunately, the internet has made it much easier for illegal copies of your book to be distributed.

Classic children's books rendered in Noah Text® available for sale at Amazon.com range in reading level from Velveteen Rabbit and My Father's Dragon to The Great Gatsby and Call of the Wild. Authors who would like to explore making their books available in Noah Text® can contact nealgoff@gmail.com.

5. Tip of the Month: Guidelines on Books Reviews

Book reviews play an important role for authors in enabling them to sell books. Books that have over 10 five-star reviews generally sell more than books that have few reviews. As a book gets more sales, its rank improves, which leads to it being recommended by Amazon more, which leads to yet more sales. It’s a great cycle to be in.

Getting book reviews is not that easy. People promise to write a review, but then don’t do it. A few years ago, I wrote an article that provided several tactics for getting book reviews. If you’d like me to send that to you, let me know by emailing me at judy@skillbites.net.

Some of my authors have complained to me that people have written a review of their book on Amazon and yet the review isn’t showing up. Amazon has certain guidelines it enforces in an effort to ensure that the reviews that are posted are unbiased. I’ve summarized below three of the main guidelines that affect whether Amazon permits a book review to appear:

  • Only people who have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com in the last 12 months, using a valid credit or debit card, can post a review or provide star ratings.
  • Amazon considers reviews by friends, relatives, employers, business associates and competitors as a conflict of interest and prohibits them as apparently biased.
  • Reviews that promote the service that the author provides are not allowed. The review is only supposed to pertain to the book.

Amazon also prohibits authors from soliciting reviews in a way that may influence someone to leave a positive review or rating. Authors can’t provide free or discounted products, refunds, gifts or other compensation to anyone in exchange for a positive review. If you want to ask people to post a review of your book, you can give a free or discounted copy of your book or other gift to them and ask for them to post a review, but you have to keep your request neutral; don’t ask them to post a positive review.

If you hear from someone that they posted a review of your book on Amazon that isn’t showing up, you can ask the reviewer to write to community-help@amazon.com to find out why their review has not been posted. Similarly, if you get a review that you feel violates the guidelines (e.g., it contains foul language, or constitutes harassment), you can write to community-help@amazon.com for assistance in removing the review.

Thanks for supporting SkillBites. If there is anything you think we ought to be doing better or anything we should be doing that we’re not, please let us know. We value your input.