Because we are all different, yet unique in that we live acim support my philosophy that everyone has a special story to tell. I encourage you to get off the sidelines of life, get a pen, piece of paper and start writing. If you chose to start writing your book on a laptop computer the way I did, all the better.

Everyone has a story to tell, in fact more stories need to be told through books. Why? Books represent history, entertainment, resource, tool and a pathway to learning. Even though a higher percentage of books are of the electronic version nowadays, meaning one can purchase them on an e-reader, tablet or mobile phone, a lot of people, including me enjoy having a soft or hard cover book to hold in our hand.

When I decided to actually write my first book, I did not really know where to start, however I knew what story I was going to write, it was about my life and how others help you succeed in life. I wanted my book to help others avoid the mistakes I made, in order to position themselves to succeed. Why?

Good question and the reason I wanted my book to help others succeed is because I am an inspirational speaker, thus my mission is to help people solve problems they encounter as a result of life challenges. Perhaps your book will be different and I hope it will be, because diversity in writing is a strength and we can all learn and or discover something new, refreshing and fascinating from other authors and the life they live.

So how do you get started as an author of a book? I am glad you asked and the first thing you should do is decide on what you are going to write about. You will need to know what genre of books you want to write about, for example do you want to write a novel, science fiction, nonfiction, or children books.

As you can see, there are a lot of great genre choices, but pick one and stick with it. Then have laser beam focus by setting a tight deadline, in other words I decided to write my book in 30 days and I did. My writing goal was to write a new chapter each day and on the days I backed off writing, I would edit, correct typos and focus on the message I wanted readers to take away from my book.

It’s easy to sign up for Google Alerts. Simply go to Google Alerts and fill out the simple form, which will ask you for the “Search Query,” meaning the word you want to track. Here I would enter your full name. Next it will ask for the Result Type; “Everything” is probably the best choice here, but if you have reason to be specific, you can choose to receive only results in a specific category: News, Blogs, Videos, Discussions, or Books. Then you choose how often you want the results and how many results you want to receive, which is either All Results or Only the Best Results.

If you are unsure what to put for any of these categories, to the right on the screen as you select them, Google automatically shows you the current results you would get based on that selection so you can determine whether “All Results” might be more than you want or precisely what you want.

As you select the categories, consider how likely your results will be to fit what you really want to know. For example, if your search query is George Washington because you wrote a biography of Washington and you only want to find out when your book is mentioned online, you might want your Result type category to be only Books. However, if you want to see every mention of George Washington to see whether there’s a discussion on a blog, or a conference about him being held that you can participate in, you might want to select “Everything.”

As for your actual Search Query term, if you use more than one word, Google will present results where both or all words appear, although they may not be consecutive. For example, if your name is Natasha Smith, you might get results that list everyone who ran in a marathon because in that marathon were Mark Smith and Natasha Johnson. To solve this issue by limiting results to be solely about you (or anyone else named Natasha Smith), you will want to put quotation marks around your name in the Search query field: “Natasha Smith”.

The results you get back will tell you how well your online efforts are succeeding. For example, if you have a blog and you blog on Monday about your book and you get a Google Alert on Tuesday showing your blog as one of the results, you know your blog is getting out there to the search engines.

More importantly, you will find out who else is talking about your book. For example, another blogger, to whom you have no connection and who simply is a book lover, might write a review of your book on her blog, or you might find that someone who blogs on your topic mentions your book on his blog, or perhaps there’s a newspaper that prints a review of your book, and because the newspaper also has a website where it prints its content, Google Alerts lets you know about that book review. You then will know how well word is getting out there about you and your book.

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