The Speaker’s Edge: the Ultimate Guide to Locating and Landings Lots of Speaking Gigs (Maven House Press). This is the only book that focuses on tactics for finding and winning speaking engagements. It includes chapters on tools that will make your searches more effective, how to get a book published so as to upgrade your credibility with event planners, an innovative method for filling out formal conference proposals, utilizing your network to land unadvertised speaking gigs, techniques for “knocking your presentations out of the park” and more.
Tell us something about yourself.
Always fascinated by books and authors, I published my first book in 1983 and have published 7 more since. My book topics are eclectic ranging from major league baseball to creativity to business. I currently also represent business experts looking to publish their first book and have a 100% success rate either finding them a publisher or successfully guiding them thru the self-publishing process.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have been a speaker for many years but have never been able to find a book focusing solely on LOCATING speaking engagement opportunities. Most books on speaking cover the full range of speaker topics including setting up a speaking business, various aspects of the presentation itself, tools to use while presenting etc. Typically no more than one chapter (if that) addresses FINDING gigs. So I finally decided I would have to write such a book myself!
How did you celebrate when the book was published?
I celebrated by holding the first copy in my hands and sighing relief … and joy!
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
In eighth grade I was surprised to write a sports column for my class newspaper. My writing far surpassed most everyone else’s which encouraged me to keep writing. Around the same age, I published 3 letters in one year in Metropolis Mailbag, the letter page for Superman Comics. That made it official: I was a published writer!
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Pantser for sure. I do a very, very sketchy outline but prefer to follow my instincts after that.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
I can bang out 2500-3000 words per sitting, which tends to be on a weekend anytime or a weekday morning. No set schedule unless I have a deadline.
How many drafts did you write before publishing your most recent book?
I probably do 4-5 drafts before feeling it’s ready for submission.
What software do you use to write?
I use Word but am old enough to remember longhand, which used to cramp my hand after a while. I always had to shake my writing hand periodically to keep going. Also, typewriters meant you had to re-type your edited draft again and again in order to edit it more. Word eliminates both of these drawbacks so now I only use Word.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Sorry, I did it right the first time because writing is trial and error anyway, no way around it. Whatever you do to get you to the end result is the right way to do it. No regrets, no apologies.
Do you read reviews?
Of my own books, sure. But they usually are missing the point somehow in such a way that I know if I could argue with the reviewers, I would win the argument. Once in a while a review helps me see something I hadn’t seen before. But not often.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Do not give up, note your progress, keep trying, do not give up.
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
Yes. We discuss writing but I no longer share my work although I did in my early years. It was important then when I wasn’t sure if I was any good at all. Now I know that I am.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Someone who truly wishes to do more speaking, but for whom gigs are not coming their way naturally. My book will help.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Amazon, for sure, or by googling for it. Or visit my website www.thoughtleading.com