This 1 Thing Will Put You in the Top 3%:


This 1 Thing Will Put You in the Top 3%:

What if I told you one thing that would put you in the top three percent of Americans and put you ahead of the pack? This simple procedure will determine your future success more than almost anything else, and yet a staggering 97% of people do not take the time to do it. What is it, you ask? Goal Setting.

I know you’ve probably heard of goal setting a thousand times, but have you created your list of goals? Probably not. I know it sounds harsh, but most people have a vague idea of what they want, but never actually sit down and decide what they want. So many people say they want to write a book and make more money. Ok. Well, here you go. Write the book, upload it to Amazon, beg your mom to buy it, and now you have more money. I’m sure that’s not what you meant, but it technically achieved the vague goal you set, didn’t it?

A well thought out goal is like a compass. It points you in the right direction; it keeps you on target and helps clarify your dreams. So what kind of goals do you need to be a successful writer? Well, that depends on how you define success. A New York Times Bestselling author has a different set of goals than a grandfather writing a children’s book for his grandkids. Decide today what exactly do you want and then write it down. 

Start your goal setting session on a positive note by writing down five things that you’ve already accomplished in your life. Then spend the next few minutes creating a list of desires by answering this question, “What would I love?”

Remember when we were all kids, and someone asked us what we wanted for Christmas? We didn’t think of practical things. We wanted a flying car, a purple pony, a rainbow unicorn, etc. After a while, we become more cynical and stop asking for our desires and ask for practical things. A lot of times we don’t even ask at all. For this goal setting exercise, I want you to step out of the practical and get back into that childlike imagination. It’s still there somewhere deep within the recesses of your mind. Dig it out, dust off the cobwebs and put it to use.

What would you love if I had a magic wand, and everything worked out perfectly? Include desires from every aspect of your life. Make sure to include relationship goals, spiritual goals, financial and personal. Don’t miss any area of your life. Write for a solid half-hour if need be. Let it all out without holding back. Then you can look back over your desires and start setting goals and creating plans.

Remember what Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll still be out there among the stars.”


Download Synova’s Goal Setting Worksheet here


If you’d like more tips and tricks about the business of writing, check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook group and sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter.

If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here

If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writers.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s Course:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE

For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

Author Branding 101

Every successful author has a brand. Do you? J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Steven King all have a brand. We all know these authors and their unique style. If someone asks you where to find a well-written fantasy novel, you won’t send them to John Grisham or the king of horror. 

Do you have an author brand?

Author branding is a crucial element in your marketing game, and if you are missing it, then you won’t find the same level of success. 

Why is Author Branding important?

Branding is about recognition. Think about it this way. If someone asks you where to get a cheap hamburger, where do you send them? McDonald’s. Why? It’s because McDonald’s is known as a place for cheap burgers. You don’t send them to a local steakhouse to find a cheap hamburger. Think about the following words; Amazon, Coca-cola, Nike, Kleenex. Each of those words generates an image in your mind. This instant recognition is what you want to create in the minds of your readers. 

Sometimes the brand will take over the product in the marketplace, and you see this example in Kleenex and Bandaid. Both of those are brand names that have become so prevalent that they have overtaken the product. No child asks for a medical adhesive strip when they scrape their knee. They ask for the brand, Bandaid. The same is said with a kleenex. Think about this. What if your author brand could become so defined that it overtook the market in your genre. How incredible would that be?

What is a brand?

A brand is everything your readers perceive you and your company to be. It’s shown in the fonts you use in your advertisement and the color schemes you use for your website. It includes images and logos and most importantly the overarching theme of your business. Don’t worry. I will use myself as an example.

As a writer, I started out writing on a whim. Whatever came to mind, I would write and struggle to get it published. After I finally succeeded in publishing my work, I found no one wanted to buy my unextraordinary book. There was nothing to set me or my book apart from the throngs of other writers. 

After I wrote the biography of an ex-gangster from Chicago, I completely rebranded myself as a true-crime writer. Since I was writing about a mafia-style gangster, I slowly adopted a mafioso-style look to my online presence. Then came the obvious branding tool, my fedora. Here’s the story behind the hat.

I had just published “Unorganized Crime” and was heading to a local bookstore for a book signing. On the way, I stopped and picked up Sidney (the ex-gangster), and he handed me a black fedora. 

“Here Sis wear this. You’ll look cute in it.”  

Those words would change my life and author branding forever. Shrugging my shoulders, I put on the hat. It was way too big and fell into my eyes all day. While at the event, I made a short three-minute video for Facebook, asking people to come out and see us. I thought nothing about the hat.

Two weeks later, I found myself at an author event at this tiny hole-in-the-wall library. I didn’t wear a hat. For the next two hours I had six people ask me where was my hat. It was then I realized the significance. I had accidentally created an author brand and knew I had better stick with it. Now the fedora is incorporated in all my logos and I always wear it in my videos. People look for it at events, and it has taken on a life of its own.

(To See more examples of my branding check out www.mytruecrimestories.com)

Think about your genre, and how can you create a brand that will set you apart from the crowd? Is there something as simple as a hat that can build your brand? Study the successful authors in your genre and see what they do. Do all of their pictures have a specific look about them? Do they always dress a certain way? What can you do to emulate them?

I have a lot of author friends who dress up as a character out of their books at their events. Does your website represent the fantasy world you are creating in your books? I like to think of my branding as a theme. The over-arching Mafioso style bleeds into every Facebook post and every video. Think about your genre and see if you can come up with a little something that will set you apart from the crowd. 

If you’d like more tips and tricks about the business of writing, check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook group and sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here


If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s Course:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE


The Six Basic Human Needs and How They Can Help Your Writing


Motivational guru, Tony Robbins, has established the six basic human needs and how they relate to our behavior. They are certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth, and contribution. So, how do these human needs relate to your writing? 

Too many writers spend years creating their books only to find they won’t sell. It could be because of their unappealing book covers, or their lack of marketing skills, but sometimes there’s another, sneakier reason.

Flat, perfect characters don’t hold the reader’s attention. Psychology tells us that humans are attracted to people who are like themselves. No, there aren’t going to be identical people, but there needs to be something about the person that can be relatable. 

When a book’s character lacks depth, it’s hard for complicated humans to relate. No one is utterly beautiful, amazingly successful, and has no problems. Your characters shouldn’t live this way either.

Every human’s basic instinct is to gain pleasure and to avoid pain. Does your character behave this way? If not, maybe you should re-think your story. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m writing non-fiction, so this doesn’t apply to me. Wrong! It definitely applies to a non-fiction writer. If you are writing a biography, a memoir, or a self-help book, you need to dive into the reasons behind the actions of your main character. 

When I was writing the biography of an ex-gangster, I didn’t merely relate his activities in sequential order. I tried to dive in deeper and discover the reasoning behind his actions. Sidney did most of his criminal activities in an attempt to seek the pleasures of fast cars and fast women. Growing up in poverty, he wanted notoriety and significance. As a child, he noticed all the local mobsters had the respect and admiration he craved. 

So, let’s take each one of these human needs and dive in deeper.

#1. Certainty:

Everyone needs to feel certain that they will be able to avoid pain and gain pleasure. They want to feel a sense of security and find it comforting. If a person is poverty-stricken and has no hope of finding food, they may steal it to feed themselves and their children. They avoided the pain of starvation and gained the pleasure of feeding their children. They may even not eat anything. I know this is a simplistic example but think about your characters now. 

Is the need for certainty met in your character’s life? Yes or no? How does this affect his or her behavior? 

#2. Variety:

After all that jazz about certainty, humans also need variety. If everything was exactly the same every day, humans go stir crazy. Although we need certainty, we must also have a good dose of variety to spice things up a bit.

What variety do you provide in your storyline? How does this help your character? Remember, variety isn’t always a positive thing. Sometimes it can come in the form of a bad situation. 

#3. Significance:

Everyone needs to feel special and appreciated for their uniqueness and importance. Like the other five human needs, this can come in the form of a negative or a positive. Tony gives an example of a street kid mugging a citizen. That thug may have never had anything in his life. He probably felt insignificant whether he would admit it or not. But, at that moment, when he was holding the gun at the victim’s head, he was significant. He was all-powerful, and this filled a psychological need, although in a very negative way. 

How is your character getting this need fulfilled? Are they achieving it negatively or positively?

#4. Connection/Love:

Although we need to feel unique and significant, humans aren’t happy if they don’t also feel connected and loved by others. Again, humans can get this need fulfilled in good ways and bad. Why do battered women go back to their abusers? A lot of the time, it’s because they need to feel connected, and they don’t have the ability or mindset to find that connection elsewhere. 

How is your character connected to others? Do they feel isolated and alone? If so, how does that affect their behavior?

#5. Growth:

Every human grows physically, but unfortunately, it seems many don’t grow emotionally. This problem is the cause of much of the office politics, drama, and chaos in the workplace. Everyone must grow emotionally and physically. When reading a book, we expect the character to be a different version of themselves at the end of the book. Notice I said different, not better. There was a reason for it. While we want the heroes to grow and become better, we simultaneously want to see the antagonist deteriorate. Although sometimes, the antagonist is so likable, we find ourselves rooting for the bad guy. In this case, we hope he or she finds help and becomes better through the process. 

#6. Contribution:

Every human has a deep desire to leave his or her mark on the world. We want to be significant and make the world a better place. Parents want to leave a better world for their children. People who give back to their community find a deeper meaning to life and seem to have a purpose and drive. What is your character doing to give back? How is he or she contributing to the betterment of society? If he isn’t, how does this affect him? Is he bitter? Is she depressed? 

Conclusion:

When writing, dive deeper, and answer each of these questions for all of your characters. If you do, you will find your writing will have more depth. You will have happier readers and more book sales. 


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here


If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE


What is a Story Arc?


Simply put, a story arc is the transformation of a character from one state to another. It’s the growth process of the hero, the empowerment of an underdog, or the digression of an antagonist. A single book has a small growth journey for the main character, but the best place to witness a story arc is in a long-running television series. To keep the viewers interested, these characters will transform over time. 

Watch any soap opera and you will see a great example of a story arc. You most likely won’t see a great storyline, but the arc is definitely there. I apologize to all of you daytime television lovers out there, but on the grand scheme of things, no book series would last twenty years by constantly adding more drama between such plastic and unrealistic characters. 

How many of your favorite characters started out as a bad guy, but throughout the series of events, he slowly transforms into a likable person? This is a good example of a story arc. 

All writers need to keep this basic arc in mind when writing fiction stories, or even nonfiction in some cases. If you are writing your life story, then this will be your journey to awareness. Ask yourself the following questions whether you are writing your life story or you’re writing fiction.

  1. What are the hero’s characteristics, circumstances, and values to begin with?
  2. What happens to the hero during this story and how does it change and mold the character?
  3. At the end of your book, how has the hero changed? 

When writing a series of books the story arc becomes more prevalent. You don’t want one character to grow tremendously in book one and then start over in book two. Start the growth journey from the character’s current position. 


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here


If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE


5 THINGS SUCCESSFUL WRITERS DO THAT YOU DON’T! *PART 4*

Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann

Could only five minor adjustments make or break your writing career? Synova thinks so. Here are five things you can implement today to help you succeed. This is part four of a five-part series.

#4 T.I.M.A.

Tony Robbins talks about taking massive action to achieve your goals, but I found there was one thing missing in his advice, so I added it.


Taking IMMEDIATE Massive Action:


The law of averages says you can depend on about 10%. If you have a newsletter that goes out to 1,000 people, you can usually depend on roughly 100 people to take action. That means they will OPEN the email. That doesn’t mean they will read your book add and buy the book. Take that 100 people and find 10% of those, and that’s the number of people you can depend on actually following through and taking action on the book ad in your email. That is only ten people!
I know it sounds depressing to have ten people out of a thousand who actually buy the book, but that’s the law of averages. Now that you know this, you can use this to your advantage.
What did you do to attract those original one thousand people? Now take that action and multiply it by ten, and you’ve already jumped your final outcome to 100. See how this works?

1,000 x 10% = 100 100 x 10% = 10


How do you achieve the results you want?

You must take massive action. For example, you currently reach out to ten people each week, then 10x that and reach out to 100. Whatever you are doing, find a way to take massive action; immediately.
I had a hard time achieving my goals because I had a habit of procrastination. I would take massive action eventually. It is so easy to get in the wrong mindset and put off the massive action.

Procrastination is poison to your dreams. You must break through and take IMMEDIATE action. Don’t put your dreams on hold. Take Massive Immediate Action Today!


This post is part of a blog series designed to help you with the business side of writing. If you missed Part 1 you can find it here:PART ONE. If you missed Part 2 you can find it here: PART TWO. If you missed Part 3, you can find it here: PART THREE.

Look for PART 5 next week. Also, keep your eye out for Synova’s new book Titled Ten Things Successful Writers Do That You Don’t…coming soon!



If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here


If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE


5 Things Successful Writers Do That You Don’t! (PART 1)

Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann

Could only five minor adjustments make or break your writing career? Synova thinks so. Here are five things you can implement today to help you succeed.

Purpose!

Every successful author has a specific purpose behind their writing business. Ask yourself the following questions before you go any farther. If you cannot answer these simple questions, then you aren’t ready for the Big Time. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you have to be set in your own mind before you can convey anything to the world successfully.

#1. Why Do I Write?

#2. Who Do I Write?

#3. When I’m Gone What Will My Children have to tell about my writing career?

#4. Where Do I want to End Up In 5 Years?

Stop and write down these four questions on a sheet of paper. Don’t merely do this in your head. Writing it down will bury the concepts deeper into your mind. Sit back and really think about each response. Then write it down. Keep a copy nearby your workstation. This will help keep you on track.

I know it can be hard to come up with some truly meaningful answers, so I will answer them to give you an example. I have two sides to my business, so I will provide two responses for each question.

#1. Why do I write?

On the True Crime side – I write about cold cases each week to give a voice to the victims of violence. I could probably make more money if I focused on famous cases like Jon Bennett, but instead, I write about obscure cases that have been forgotten by the traditional media. This is the passion and purpose behind my writing. It is what gets me up at 5 am to study my craft. You must have a clear mission to drive you when the going gets tough.

On The Simply Biz side – I write each week to help other authors. For those of you who follow Synova Ink, you can see that I have built a small empire. I have done it all myself. I haven’t hired anyone to run my website, design my graphics, or publish my Youtube videos. I have spent thousands of hours studying, taking seminars, and working through online courses. I know how frustrating it can be not to be turning a profit on your business. I watched as several authors I know gave up on their dreams, and it broke my heart. I don’t want you to let go of the creative spark within you. This is why I write for authors.

**Don’t think that your fiction book cannot serve a purpose! Life is complicated, and 90% of people are needing and longing for entertainment. Why do you think Hollywood is so successful. People are tired, stressed, and discontent. They are looking for a way to escape the hardships of life. Your fiction book can fill this need.**

#2. Who Do I Write For?

This question focuses on your target audience. You really need to get a laser focus on them. Who are they? What do they want? Where do they hang out?

On the True Crime Side – I have a split target audience on the true-crime side of Synova Ink. First, there are the victim’s families. They have a specific set of needs and desires. Separate from those people are my True Crime Fans. I have even split this segment down even further. My target audience is women 35+, college kids going for a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement, and Law Enforcement personnel. Those are my targets, and I know what to provide for each one separately.

On the Simply Biz side – I have also split this into two target groups. I have aspiring writers who have never published a book and don’t know where to start. Then, I also have seasoned writers. Some are frustrated with their business, and some are merely looking for the next insider tip.

Find your target audience and keep them in mind when you write. It makes things so much easier, and it will require less editing later on down the road.

#3. When I’m Gone What Will My Children have to tell about my writing career?

I want my children to see me pull myself up out of depression, financial scarcity, and insecurity to become a world-famous author and entrepreneur.

I want them to tell my grandkids of all the victims’ family members I have helped and how many cases I helped to solve by generating leads for law enforcement.

What will your grandkids hear about your career?

#4. Where Do I want to End Up In 5 Years?

I want to be a New York Times best selling author, an award-winning author coach, and be titled America’s Greatest Crime Writer. What do you want? Make the goals BIG. Small goals aren’t inspiring, and they won’t push you forward.

This post is part of a blog series designed to help you with the business side of writing. Look for PART 2 next week. Also, keep your eye out for Synova’s new book Titled Ten Things Successful Writers Do That You Don’t…coming soon!


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Join Synova’s Newsletter here


If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


For more free tips about writing check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook Group

JOIN SYNOVA’S SIMPLY BIZ FACEBOOK GROUP HERE