'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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