Saturday, January 8, 2011

Taking the Mystery Out of Business - new release by Linda Faulkner

Today I'd like to introduce Linda Faulkner from Missoula, Montana. She is an entrepreneur and the founder of four businesses. Her new release, Taking the Mystery Out of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success, is destined to be a best seller.

Putting words together has been Linda's lifelong passion. In addition to writing fiction and non-fiction books, Linda is a freelance writer and has been multi-published for many years. She develops and writes career development workshops, procedures manuals, and continuing education seminars, workshops, texts, and online courses.

Linda is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

She is visting us today to share the details of her new book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business.


Linda, why do you think people consider the business world to be “mysterious?”


Most people occasionally encounter subjects about which they know little or nothing. When they bump into such topics at work, however, they tend to get frazzled and often find themselves unable to avoid or work around them. Because I’ve worked in the business world for over thirty years—as an employee, manager, and business owner/entrepreneur—I’ve run into many personalities and perspectives about what to do and how/when to do it. I believe the best way to learn or overcome gaps in knowledge is to simplify a subject (i.e., de-mystify it). That’s what Taking the Mystery Out of Business is about: taking subjects that seem to be complex, simplifying them, and sharing my business knowledge and expertise in a way that anyone can understand.

Many writers hate the business side of writing and, in fact, do not consider themselves to be business people. What advice do you have for them?

If writers want to sell their work, they either have to be business persons or hire one or more people to assume that role for them. Books don’t sell and market themselves; neither do they pay bills, acquire a following, or manage a writer’s time. Self-employed individuals (i.e., writers) need to operate from the same perspective as other businesses. Yes, adaptations are made--a writer won’t handle his or her business in the same fashion that IBM handles its business, for example--but the fundamentals are the same.
Following the advice of those who are successful in their own business endeavors is a quick and easy way for a writer to learn what techniques will and will not work. Each person has his or her own personality. Shy people tend to avoid large gatherings and speaking in public. Readers and fans, however, love to meet writers and learn more about them. Shy people should arrange marketing events that allow them to interact with people while taking advantage of their personalities. Social networking, blogging, and other types of online marketing take a great deal of time—more so than speaking in public and addressing large groups of people. Creating events that involve small groups, like book clubs, however, works well for individuals who prefer avoiding large crowds. If a shy person enjoys smaller venues, is successful at them, and doesn’t mind the extra time and effort involved—that’s what he or she should do.

Being creative is essential. Writers should read and study the successes of other business people and then use their creativity to adapt those processes so they work for themselves.

Who should read Taking the Mystery Out of Business and why should they read it?>

In this practical primer, I lay out the fundamentals of business, providing examples and tips so newcomers to the business world can easily gain an understanding of the challenges they face. Experienced professionals will benefit from a refresher on basic strategies and how to stay ahead of the competition.

Linda, your book should be on the desk of every writer who is serious about their career. Thank you for telling us more about your newest book. Readers can order a copy through her web site and through Amazon.com. Linda also offers a newsletter and blog with tips. You can learn more by visiting her web site.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for offering me this opportunity, Brigitte. I'll be happy to answer any questions of your readers.

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  2. Sounds like a book I should read. I've been writing for 2 years and have some regular freelance jobs, but really haven't considered myself a business person. Guess I am. Time to take things seriously and order your book.

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  3. One of the 9 Fundamentals listed on your cover is Time Management. Do you offer tips or suggestions on how to better manage 24 hours or just the traditional work hours?

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  4. Eva: Yes! You are a business person. Hope the book helps.

    Winston: Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day and I don't believe that you should only manage your work hours. The chapter on Time Management talks about the major time wasters in your day and how to get them under control--regardless of where/how you work: cell phones, minimizing interruptions, prioritizing, procrastinating, scheduling effectively, and planning.

    Everyone: I've create a blog to coordinate with this book (http://www.takingthemysteryout.blogspot.com). If you have specific questions you'd like addressed, just shoot me an e-mail (linda@lindafaulkner.com) and I'll post them on the blog and you can get not only my answer, but answers from followers of the blog, too.

    Thanks for your interest!

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  5. Just wondering, Linda, if you have any suggestions for authors who lives in remote settings. As you said, "Social networking, blogging, and other types of online marketing take a great deal of time." However, is that their best option given a lack of people close by?

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  6. Anne, I believe the online methods are extremely beneficial to those who live in remote settings ... unless they want to travel! I live in a very rural setting, 20 miles north of Missoula, MT, which has a population of about 50,000. The state of Montana doesn't even have a million people.

    On the other hand, I've been scheduling local radio and TV appearances for this month, and workshops and other book events at bookstores and other venues. Just because a writer lives in a remote setting doesn't mean he or she shouldn't market like crazy to the people who live and work nearby.

    Joining a couple of networks and/or organizations for the purpose of marketing and promoting is also a good idea. I've actually obtained a couple of freelance writing jobs locally because of my networking activities: magazine articles and speechwriting and editing for a national speaker.

    Hope this info helps.

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  7. Maria Louise SantosJanuary 10, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I'm a new writer and like what I'm learning about your book. I'm curious about your memberships (eg:Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, etc) - do you gain membership benefits or is this more for networking?

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  8. If I order the book through your web site, how many takes does it take before you ship it? Does it come USPS or UPS? I'm in Florida.

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  9. Maria, I choose my writer's memberships based on the personal benefits I receive from them. RWA is known for providing excellent resources and networking opportunities to writers in all phases of a writer's career--I've learned more about the world of publishing from RWA than any single writer's resoruce. I joined MWA because I write mysteries and want to connect with others who write the same stuff.

    I also subscribe to Writer's Digest. WD doesn't focus on any one genre or type of writer and is also a terrific resource.

    One of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is to hang out with, and interact, with other writers.

    Best wishes in your writing endeavors.

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  10. Lee, I have books on hand, so I can ship it the day after I receive your order on my website. I ship via USPS. Thanks for your interest!

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  11. Maria Louise SantosJanuary 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Thanks for explaining about the membership. I have heard of Writer's Digest, but wasn't sure if it was worth the money. I'll look into it more. I write science fiction and used search engines to find associations to join. Does Writers Digest have any information on which writing assoc is a good resource?

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  12. Maria,

    This month's WD is terrific. I'll be publishing a couple of blog posts in the near future based on the info it contained. And yes, they offer all kinds of terrific writing resources. Once a year, I believe it's in the late summer or fall, they have a listing of the top 100 websites for writers.

    You might want to check into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA); their website is http://www.sfwa.org. They also operate as Writer Beware, which has a page on the SFWA website and also posts links to information, articles, and blogposts on the Writer Beware Facebook page.

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  13. Thx, time management is something i need help with.

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  14. Can you explain the Relationships chapter? I have a difficult client and need guidence. Does your book discuss ways to handle this sort of relationship or is it more Employer/Employee sort of things?

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  15. Great blog: http://www.takingthemysteryout.blogspot.com

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  16. Winston and Tucker: Thank you both for your kind comments.

    Julia: The chapter on relationships focuses more on what personality traits and characteristics help build and foster relationship than it is a guide about how to have good relationships. It does, as do all the chapters, give examples of people who exhibited both good and bad relationship "skills."

    Some of topics addressed in the chapter include sincerity and authenticity, generosity, WHO the focus of any relationship should be on (clue: them, not you), trust and confidence, and personality types.

    My first review was received today for this book and the reviewer cited four chapters as being her favorite: attitude and relationships were #1 and #2.

    I hope this answers your questions.

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  17. I recently took the plunge to become my own publishing company. After 6 years of rejection letters, multiple conferences, and on line classes, I decided to go it alone and totally self-publish. When I found a niche market I knew would buy my series it was an easy choice to make. I love book signings and speaking. I've held 2 signings, have 3 more booked, and several upcoming speaking engagements. I don't expect to become rich or famous--few authors do. Marketing takes time away from writing. Your organizational skills section might be very helpful since I've taken on an additional career.

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  18. Melinda, Being organized is especially important as you spread yourself thinner. And as good as your skills are, they can still use some work (says someone who knows this from personal experience)! Good luck to you in your new venture and keep up with those signings and appearances!

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  19. This book is perfect for my brother. He's struggling with his 2 year old business and tends to make everything complicated. De-mystifying would help him. Thank you for writing such a much needed book.

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  20. Sally, You're very kind. I hope the book helps him!

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  21. Linda, It's been a pleasure hosting you and I wish you all the best with your new book!

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