'Tis the season for list making. Christmas gift lists, grocery lists, dinner lists, visiting lists, giving lists and at some point for many of us, the New Year's Resolution list, except that I prefer to call it a New Year Intention List. As I think about the past year and the year ahead, I realize that we spend a lot of time creating "To Do" lists. Whether in our business, social, health or financial plans, most of the effort is around what we should do more, less or different. It seems to me that to make real change and real progress we have to start a bit earlier in the process and decide what we want to BE. Aside from the old joke by middle-agers about still not knowing what we want to be when we grow up - there is real wisdom in approaching a new year this way.

We can start amazing changes by deciding what we want to be and then allowing the DO part of the process to develop naturally from that statement. For instance, a person might begin by saying, "I want to be a published author." Knowing this to begin with allows us to then move on and make plans that support that statement. It might include some things like a time goal or research or starting a blog or deciding what to write about, employ a coach and so on. These all belong on the DO list. Creating the BE list first will make the DO list more manageable, successful and meaningful. Go ahead, give it a try, complete the statement "I want to be..."

Perhaps the way to approach your 2011 New Year's Resolutions is to look at the major parts of your life and create a statement about what you want to BE first and then filling in the steps necessary (the TO DO'S) that will carry you through to success. Good luck and let me know how it goes.



What was your favourite Christmas present ever? People love to ask the question around this time of year and I usually answer that my favourite gift was the one I received the year I learned that Santa was REAL.
I was about 6 years old and my mother took me to the local barbershop for my holiday haircut. In those days, barbers generally had small one man shops in local neighborhoods. This was no exception and the barber and his family lived in the house attached to the storefront shop on Victoria Street in Kitchener, Ontario. I have long forgotten his name but I remember the snowy day in mid December when we walked over so that I would look clean and neat for Church on the big day. I was too short to sit in the big barber's chair without a board being placed across the arms to bring me up to "cutting height."
During the session that did not include washing, rinsing, razor cutting, highlighting, blow drying or even a hand held mirror, the portly barber in his white smock inquired what I wanted from Santa Claus while my mother glanced through the aging magazines on the side table. I proceeded to describe the red dump truck that I had seen in the Eatons catalog and how much I hoped that my letter to the North Pole would result in this wonderful gift. I told him that I had even been downtown to see the wonderful old elf in the red suit and asked him personally about this magnificent treasure.
The barber suggested that I should go to bed early on Christmas Eve and that if I was really good, maybe my dream would come true... if I had been a good boy throughout the year. That gave me pause because I wasn't sure if I had kept my end of the bargain about being good. I had two younger sisters and a new baby brother after all and was not absolutely certain that I had always been as good to them as  I should - I still suffer from that anxiety. Over the next few days I continued to pour over the catalog and the pages and pages of gifts and toys, all the while wishing and hoping for the red dump truck.
Christmas Eve arrived and a long night ensued but finally the all clear was sounded and we learned that Santa had been there. It was still dark outside as I crept down the stairs and hurried to the tree. My heart still skips a beat at the thought of discovering the red dump truck! The milk glass was empty and there were some cookie crumbs still on the plate.
There had been some skepticism around the magic of Christmas or perhaps it was just a situation where I didn't understand what it was all about - but never again. Santa Claus proved his existence by listening to my hopes and dreams, and regardless of what any of the older kids say, the magic of the season is still alive and well to this day.
May Santa Claus fill your stockings with everything you dream of and may next year be your best ever.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night


What sort of social media tools should an author be using is a great question and is becomming an important question for everyone. BookTour is a website devoted to all things author-ly and rather than repeating what Kevin has said - it is much easier to simply give you the link. His site is worth getting involved in to keep your own fans informed.

Read his latest update here.



Perhaps you already knew this, but I just realized it today when I opened my "Create Space" account that shows the recent sales, etc. of my book through Amazon. Amazon will now convert your print-on-demand book into Kindle format for 69.00. They send you the files, including your cover properly formatted and then you upload it yourself to Kindle's site.
I do not think this service has been available very long since I looked for it a few month's ago. Anyway, good news if you already have a book ot two listed with Amazon. I sent a request inquiring about whether or not this format will work for Smashwords and the other e - book compilers. I will let you know when I hear back.



Create a blog to promote your book when you start writing it

Can I be any more clear than that? For the authors-to-be who cling to the notion that some publisher is going to take responsibility for marketing and promoting your book - get over it! It was never true and it never will be true. Even those of you with agents and agreements - check the fine print. You are totally responsible for your own marketing.

A simple and clean blog will provide a window to the world. You are not writing your book for 100% of the population. At best, you are targeting your book to 3 or 4% of the reading public and creating a targeted blog will help you do that. They really are simple to create. This one uses a Google sponsored template called Blogger and somewhere on the page is a link to create your own. Follow the basic set up and start entering the conversation. It's alright if you start by simply informing your spouse, children, family and friends. If you invite them to forward your musings to their friends and so on, you will begin to create some followers. That will eventually allow you to tell them about your upcoming book. One other thing to keep in mind, and this can be difficult for writers, keep it short. One of the world's leading marketers, Seth Godin, keeps his blog to about 200 words and he has 100's of thousands of followers.

Many of you have blogs already so don't forget to post something new about 3 times a week and invite people to follow and forward as I invite you to do the same with this blog.



  • What do the enormous changes in the publishing business mean to us writers? 
  • Should we be afraid of the changes or welcome them?
  • Will it be easier to make our way in the world or harder?
  • What opportunities should we pursue or ignore?
These, and many more questions are beginning to rise to the surface as everything we thought we knew about publishing and marketing is disappearing or at least, morphing into shapes and circumstances that many of us are totally unfamiliar with. Will these changes create more opportunities, more competition or more excuses?

I wish that I could say that I am an expert in the new world of publishing and had some sort of third eye seeing ability to know what will work and how it works, what will be the eventual outcome and how to guarantee my success in this new world, but I don't. But, here is what I do have; an inquisitive and constantly searching personality that wants to learn and try new things. And so, that's just exactly what I plan to do.

I invite you to come along for the ride. No guarantee that I will get everything right but I will ask the questions, read the information and try it out on my own writing to see how it works and then report back to you about the how's and why's. Anyone who is already a writer or aspires to author their own book will need to adapt to some of the new realities as traditional publishing undergoes an upheaval reminiscent of what happened to the music industry. We, as writers (just like the musicians), provide the content and as such, have a very vested interest in what is happening. There will be traditionally published heavy weights who cling to the old world, some that will jump into the new world and a plethora of new writers who need answers. So, hold on to your digital rights and let's give this brave new world a look and see where we can go.

One of the preeminent voices in both marketing and writing is Seth Godin. He has announced a new venture with Amazon and we wait with baited breath to see what the marriage of these two powerhouses will bring about. You can find his announcement here and stay tuned to the Book Mentor as we make our way through this time of excitement, change and fear. By the way, please subscribe and pass this blog on to others who will be interested in this process.




Terrific questions and questions that all of us ask at some point in time in our lives. We have all heard the saying that everyone has a book inside just waiting to be released. There is a story behind every life, death, business, discovery, product, event, tragedy, triumph, adventure, service, etc. but we question our own ability to write it.
  • Books are for professional writers with Masters degrees in literature or famous people who hire someone else to write for them. 
  • Writing books is for pointy-headed geeks and academics who spend years in arcane research or labs or classrooms. 
  • No one reads today anyway - isn't it all about social networking and videos?

Don't let this kind of thinking hold you back from the greatest experience of your life. Yes, you can write the book you have always dreamed of writing and with the right (or is that, write) help, you can do it easily and quickly. In today's world you can realize your goals whether they include selling a million copies or just a few memoirs to family and friends with the combination of knowledge and technology that this workshop will make available to you. Our one day workshop will give you a lifetime of skills, abilities and opportunities that you will be able to use over and over again to achieve your personal and business goals.


Attending this workshop has the possibility of changing your life as you will come away with the inspiration, encouragement and real-life tools to craft a book that will propel your career to a new level, offer help to those in need, give you the ultimate business card, establish your place in history, inform future generations, put forward new ideas for change and improvement and anything else that compels and motivates you. We have created a video to give you more details about what to expect:

Seating is limited for this Alberta workshop so sign up today and become eligible for the FREE e-reader draw to be held during the event.
We are always interested in presenting this all-day workshop in new locales and if you can help us, please contact me  and we can discuss how this will benefit you directly.
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yes, you can quote me, forward this message and subscribe to this blog


Yesterday afternoon I gave my final presentation in a series of "talks" to local library branches. The topic was about finding the adventure in our lives and I usually based it around my own adventure of hiking the West Coast Trail which has been well received by the participants. Part of my talk over the past 8 weeks has been to encourage people to write their own stories and memories and yesterday I decided to spend a little more time devoted to that part of the discussion. In fact, I created a short exercise to help the audience organize and recognize the important facets of their own stories and bring them out in the telling.

At one point I made the statement that none of us was present on the planet to live an ordinary life and that regardless of spiritual beliefs, we are here to fulfill a larger purpose than mere existence itself.  I was a little taken aback by the person who disagreed with that concept and insisted that most inhabitants were, at best, ordinary. Fortunately, that opinion seemed to be a solitary one and I sensed that the balance of people took to heart the idea that they had something of value to share with their world.

So, here's a list of a few things that I learned about relating stories:
  • it's not about the grammar, punctuation or spelling
  • it's not even about how you got from here to there (or there to here)
  • it is about your experiences and your memory of them
  • the reader or listener will connect with how the event/story made you feel
  • answering the news reporter's who, what, when and where is a good story outline
  • supplying the what and how creates interest and flow
  • it is a good idea to supply your opinion or thoughts on the matter (this is why they are reading your account)
  • there is something to learn in everyone's story
  • if you don't tell your stories, who will?
  • each of us eventually wants to know where and who we came from
I really enjoyed sharing some thoughts and ideas with the group and provided a written outline to get them started. if you would like a copy of the outline, send me an email and i will send it to you
Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit and you can easily subscribe to this blog.

  • even though the next generation may not be interested today, they will be eventually
  • relating all the historical details is not the same as relating a story



The purpose for writing a book can be as varied as their are writers, but it is important to spend a few moments looking at this before attempting to create your manuscript. This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, roughly titled "Write Your Book in 48 Days."

A writer’s purpose can start with just wanting to tell a story based on your own experience, like a recent trip or perhaps something that happened on your way to work that caused you to think twice because it was funny or tragic or unique. It might be something more strategic like wanting to become recognized in your field of endeavor or to be looked at as a spokesperson in your industry, confer expert status or simply give you more credibility. You might have some specialized knowledge about a subject that is important to share with others, a unique perspective about an event that you played a role in. You may feel compelled to write a book in order to change people’s minds, inspire action, explain a concept or point of view or to simply leave a legacy to your family, friends and other people who know you.

Please post a comment, subscribe to this blog or email it to others



Writing a book and painting a house have certain striking similarities. I spent the past week helping my son paint the interior of his new abode and was struck by how the process of writing a successful non-fiction book is very much the same as successfully painting a house. Defining success in house painting means no paint on the ceiling or floor and a smooth finish with color only in the spots you want to have it. To do this requires a combination of elements including experience, organization, the right tools, a proven process, patience and a willingness to take some risks.

I would like to think that it has always been easy to teach my son new skills but whether it is normal for fathers and sons to disagree, or I didn't exercise enough patience, or perhaps he was not willing to learn from me, I'm not sure - that was the past -  but we both decided to approach this opportunity from a new perspective. He was entirely open to being coached and consider the value of receiving help from a knowledgeable source. I was determined to make this an enjoyable experience and realized that there is nothing wrong with repeating instructions and demonstrating something until the pupil understands. In the long run, it was easier and more efficient to repeat myself than to be impatient.

Painting a house and teaching someone else how to do it is like coaching a client through the process of writing a book. We start with having an organized approach, gather the information and layout a plan for its execution, choose the most important tasks to undertake, reveal the insider knowledge that allows success to enter the picture, and start with the end result in mind. Knowing where we want to end up and keeping the big picture in front of us helps us get through the challenges and difficulties that always crop up when we are creating something important.

The sense of satisfaction and joy that we both experienced in making his home a place of pride is much the same as creating a wonderful book that will entertain and inspire all who come into contact with it.

Please consider subscribing to my blog to receive some inspiration and ideas.



You might find this information a bit too "teckie," but here goes anyway. Self publishing our books requires knowledge and information and sometimes expert advice. If you are interested in learning about some of the ways to promote your book online then read here. For those of you who are very comfortable in the world of digital marketing, then this will either provide confirmation of what you already know or fodder for additional opportunities. For those of us who consider ourselves still a little "tech-challenged" it will give us a starting point to have that conversation with the geek we hire to help us. Good article and worth reading for those of us with books to sell. Once again, you can access the information here.



How do I actually go about writing a book? I know that I have a great idea for my book but I am not sure about how to organize it, how to outline it, how to divide it into chapters or topics. I am not sure how to create a great title. I am not sure if I have the writing skills or enough unique ideas and thoughts to create a book. I know that I want to write a book, but I need some help and advice to get me started and keep me moving toward the finish line.

Help is at hand with our WRITE, PUBLISH & SELL WORKSHOP.

A few things that are covered in the WRITING portion include:
  • Blueprint
  • "What's your book about?"
  • Objective
  • purpose
  • topics
  • must haves
  • opening sentences
  • Organize
  • map boards
  • targets
  • field trip
  • Know-How
  • best selling titles
  • expert status
  • writing plan
These topics, plus much more, all focused on your writing project and designed to get you from "thinking about it," to actually finishing your book and getting it ready for the publishing process. This is a very hands-on workshop, with lots of feedback, to help you create what you have always wanted - your own book. The only prerequisite is an open attitude and a desire to succeed in finally creating your book.

Yes, you can make a difference in the world, leave a legacy and enhance your credibility and recognition in your industry, in your city, in your world.

Join us for a fabulous day that will move your dream to a reality.

To see more about the workshop and the facilitators, watch our video;



Yes, you can really create your book - no matter what!  I have uploaded a video about a workshop I am presenting in Calgary on September 21. I hope you can make it.




Many books feature quotes at the beginning of each chapter but where do you find the perfect quote? Surprisingly enough you, the author, might be the perfect source yourself. In this video I offer a few ideas that might be helpful and if they are, please pass this on to someone else.



One of the reasons many of us write is to make a difference in the world. My friend Gord, whom I hiked the West Coast Trail with, which led to my first book, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at age 57. Instead of hiding it from the world, he and his wife Brenda decided to make it public and raised $21,000.00 last week at the inaugural golf tournament. This money will be used for research and truly shows that one person, no matter what the circumstances, can make a difference. PLEASE SEND THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO COULD USE SOME INSPIRATION IN THEIR LIFE.



How do I make the writing process easier? I hear this from people fairly frequently as they work on their book in a haphazard and inefficient way. It becomes more difficult because they are trying keep the big picture in their mind instead of the small one. Break your book into small sections and write more frequently. Instead of being scared off by the idea of how much there is to do, let your mind concentrate on a smaller part of the project and then write in small bursts. Much easier, more fun and a better book without all the rereading because you lost your train of thought by leaving too much time between writing periods. More insight available on this video:



We are standing on the threshold of the Golden Age of Writing. Why? Because there are now so few barriers to a writer getting their stories and books into the public eye. At one time, the publishers and retailers had total power over authors and they wielded it mercilessly. All of that has changed and a writer can utilize many tools right from their computer desk to communicate and connect with readers directly. Here's a short video I recently posted on YouTube, on my Book Mentor channel. You can subscribe to both my videos and blog very easily by  following the instructions on either one.



Writing a book is different than writing an article or a blog - it is more permanent somehow and seems to be a more solid reflection of who we are as a person. This must mean that we need to take the entire process more seriously and whatever we write should be something we have expertise and knowledge about. Without doubt, our readers and the world in general, treat a book with much more importance and respect than the somewhat ethereal world of digital writing on blogs and websites. The printed page holds a mysterious power and respect for its permanence and that is exactly why we are writing a book in the first place, is it not?

A non-fiction book should be based on a level of expertise, training and technical ability that the author can demonstrate in both their biography and their writing prowess but just exactly how do we go about discovering what we are "expert" at? We can look to our formal education credentials for starters. Holding a degree in any discipline will automatically confer expert, or at least knowledgeable, status. There are many more areas in which we can search for writing ideas that will offer real value to our readers and that is the most important criteria. Are we providing value for our readers and another way to look at it is this; how will our writing change a reader’s life for the better?

If we consider our credentials for writing in this context, it allows us to look at areas of life that we are interested in, such as hobbies and sports, ancillary skills that we have developed like writing, speaking and training, perhaps travel that we have done, courses we have taken, jobs we have held, computer/internet training that we have undertaken. Look for things that you think people take for granted like editing, punctuation and other writing related skills - not everybody has these. Your longtime enjoyment of gardening, reading, fine wines, good food, weather phenomenon, party planning, photography, recycling, business cycles, the stock market, Roman naval wars, tarot reading, car racing or anything else under the sun, including the sun, can be fodder for your book. If you are interested in something, there is a very strong likelihood that there are other people on the planet who share your passion and want to read the latest book on the subject - yours!

excerpt from, "The B. O. O. K. System"
by Robert J. Bannon



Inspiration is that deeper part of our spirit that emerges when we give ourselves permission to live our dreams




As a book coach, I insist on my clients answering this question before they start writing their book. It is the single most important piece of information that an author needs to know in order to write a book. To see some ways to help you with your answer, check the video below.


Book writing coach, Bob Bannon, offers his half day workshop in Calgary on Saturday, August 21, 2010. The B.O.O.K. System is a highly successful program for organizing and completing a non-fiction book for business professionals, entrepreneurs, life coaches, business coaches, career coaches, professional speakers, technology leaders and innovators. For those people who have been harbouring the idea of writing a book but have not "got around to it," this is the course for you. You will leave with the knowledge and inspiration to to take the leap into authorhood.



As a professional speaker, you recognize the need to have a book that offers your unique perspective on your subject. Nothing gives a speaker more credibility than copies of their book for sale at the back of the room. Your book is also a source of additional speaking engagements in addition to the recognition that you receive from new contacts. If your passion is speaking and the idea of writing a book puts you into a permanent state of procrastination no matter how compelling the argument to create one, then help is at hand.

As a book coach, I specialize in assisting professional speakers become authors. I understand that your strength is the spoken work, but mine is the written one. I have worked with Internationally known speakers to coach them through to their successful books and I can do the same for you. I have developed a system that works and makes the process easy and fast while maintaining the absolute integrity of your own thoughts and ideas.

If you have not created the book you have been thinking about, and perhaps promising for years, then contact me now with a short outline of what you are hoping to accomplish and we will see if it is possible to collaborate on that vital piece that has been missing from your keynotes - your own book!


The B.O.O.K. System workshop is designed for people who are not yet writers but realize that a book would enhance their business and personal life. They see the potential to position themselves in the marketplace or among their peers. They realize that a book brings them credibility and sets them apart from their peers. this half day workshop is loaded with methods, systems, tips and tricks that really work and will make you a published author in a lot less time than you imagined. As a dedicated book coach, Bob Bannon has the experience and skills to get you up and writing a successful non-fiction book that you will be proud to see on the bookshelf of stores everywhere. Watch the video for more information and contact him directly to bring the B.O.O.K. System workshop to a city near you.