20-Aug-2010

You are quite Clever !!

by Claire Odogbo, Author of "Learning to Learn"

I recently had a conversation with a senior colleague at work. She told me that she didn’t consider herself to be intelligent. I was shocked because I KNEW she was intelligent - I mean, that is how she got to rise in such a highly competitive environment like the firm in which I work.

In any case, I realized that she, like most people, rate their level of intelligence based on comparison with other people’s levels of expressed intelligence in popular areas such as academics, how quick you think on your feet or in verbal jabs, or whether you are always the one who comes up with the ideas that in quote ‘save the day’. Some of us are very ordinary in all the areas I mentioned. We have never done better than average in school, people may have finished laughing before we get the joke, and we never have any grand ideas, so in conclusion, we are not very clever. We believe so and perhaps others think so about us. But I will tell you something that might just make you metamorphose from the proverbial caterpillar into the beautiful winged butterfly.

According to a researcher and writer, Howard Gardner, there are 9 types of intelligences namely:

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)

People who are ‘nature smart’ have the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). Taken in today’s consumer society, this is usually mobilized in the discrimination among cars, brands of clothing, shoes, accessories and the like.

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)

Musically smart people typically have the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables people to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence ("Number/Reasoning Smart")

Number/reasoning smart people are usually the number crunchers. Those who tell you they love mathematics, theories and hypothesis. They typically perceive relationships and connections, use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

4. Existential Intelligence

People who are ‘existential smart’ have the sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (“People Smart”)

Interpersonal intelligent people typically interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

Body smart people usually have the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

7. Linguistic Intelligence ("Word Smart")

Word smart have the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (“Self Smart”)

Self smart people typically understand themselves and their thoughts and feelings, and use such knowledge in planning and directing their life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. Self smart people may appear shy, but they are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

Picture smarts usually think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Picture smart people usually see pictures in everything.

So which one(s) are you? You may not be word smart, logical smart, or people smart. But nobody sees how well you dance in your room, or how good you are on the tennis court, or how you can make creative music, or yet still, have an ear for the intricacies of good music which no one else hears. You are quite clever indeed; just find your niche and maximize your potentials.

About Claire Odogbo.
Claire is a freelance consultant in learning and creativity. She organizes seminars, workshops, classes and webinars on creativity and maximizing your potentials.
She is the author of the book ‘Learning to learn’. Available on her website www.lifetrackinternational.com, and on amazon.com.

16-Aug-2010

The Marketing Buck Stops with You!

So you recently wrote a novel which was accepted by a publisher? Great!

Now, you probably think that your work is over? Well, unless you are Salman Rushdie or J.K. Rowling, the answer is a big NO. As a matter of fact, even the most famous authors don’t stop at just getting the book out in the market. The importance of marketing in today’s book business cannot be discounted at any cost. Good marketing can help increase sales and make future book sales easier for you.

If you are a first time writer or a relatively unknown author, then marketing is all the more important. There is a concept of market pull and push. In case of J.K. Rowling, the market pulls in the book while in the case of a first time writer; it is market push which is required. Pushing in a book into the market resulting in sales is not that easy for a first time writer. In this age where hundreds of new books get released every week, you need to market it effectively so that the reader deems it fit to be bought.

Even before I start discussing ways of marketing your book, you need to answer one question. Do you have confidence in your book? If the answer is yes, then read on. If you say no, then no one can help you. Book marketing starts with believing in your baby. Sales will follow.

One of the main reasons for a book’s failure is lack of marketing. If no one hears about your book, then what’s the point in writing? After all, you wrote because you wanted your story to be heard, right?

Your book may have been published by a traditional publisher, self-published or through Print on Demand (POD) but no one will know about it unless you as the author are ready to take the next step; that of marketing and promotion. Unless you can afford to hire your own publicist or PR company, the onus of marketing the book is entirely your own. Contrary to the opinion of professional PR firms, there are many low cost ways to promote yourself and your book. Marketing is all the more important if:

1. You are a first time writer
2. The book is self-published
3. The book has been published through POD
4. All the above

In case your book has been published by a traditional publisher, you'll find that they do a lot of marketing for you, but that is not enough. You will still need to contribute in the marketing exercise if you wish to see your book sell and make it to any of the best seller charts. So here are a few ways you can market your book.

Get Reviewed

This is the most effective way of getting people to talk about your book. Getting reviews for your book is easier that most forms of marketing but it is the credibility of the reviewers that matter. Aim first to get them reviewed by the best reviewers. This can be very difficult unless you have common contacts. Good reviewers are wary of taking on first time writers and this is because of the deluge of books that the market has been flooded with. And a major portion of these books are by first time writers. Since the quality of most of the books in terms of content is questionable, the good reviewers stay away from them.

The next step should be to target publications that have readers whose interests make them a likely target audience. Book reviews by actual readers of the book also matter. So, if you know someone who bought your book, then get in touch with them and ask for feedback. Tell them to blog about it or put their reviews on the online bookstore’s site. This usually works since prospective readers/customers are limited in their ability to search reviews from varied sources themselves.

Get into that bookstore

If your book has been published by a traditional publisher, then getting your book to the bookstore is not your headache but if it has been self-published or through POD, then it is the author's responsibility of exploring that option. Nowadays, POD service providers provide distribution services as well for bulk orders.

Authors should build relationships with bookstore owners. Get in touch with them; bring up the topic of getting them to stock your book. If it needs, tell the owners/managers that you will do a book reading or book signing session. You will have more influence and success in independent bookstores, since chain stores work with wholesalers and distributors.

Get back in touch

So what if the last college you attended was 10 years back, you are still an alumnus. Your alma mater still needs you and so do you. You have written a book and you are proud of the fact so why not let your college know about it, not with the intention of selling the books but to get the word around. The current students of your college could well be your future buyers.

This applies to all your previous companies as well. Unless you fought before you left the company, they too would be proud of your achievements. Let them know about your book.

Personal Promotion and Social Networking

Internet marketing has changed dramatically in the last 3-4 years, with many new applications and tools. Create a personal website which needn’t be fancy--just enough to present information about your book and create a buzz. In addition to describing the book, you can post reviews and offer a free chapter to readers. This will create that interest that you are looking for. The eyeballs to sales conversion rate increases dramatically if the prospective readers/buyers can find all the required information about you and your book all at the same place.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter Myspace etc can be excellent marketing tools for your book promotion. Book marketing through social networking sites take time and effort, so you can't give up after only a few days.

As a first time author, your main objective is to hammer your name and the name of your book into the public consciousness. Use all your creativity in such a way that not only does it increases sale for your current book but will also improve your chances of successful marketing next time.

There are many other ways of marketing your book. An author just needs to use his/her imagination to tap into some unexplored marketing goldmine. Always remember, there is nothing called overnight success. It might take you years to achieve that overnight success. At the end of the day, you will become very tired but very enlightened. Believe me; it is very satisfying to see all your hard work pay off.


Pijush Gupta is the author of “Have a Pleasant Journey” published by CinnamonTeal. He blogs at www.pigtale.co.in