This week, September 24-October 1, we’re celebrating Banned Books Week. Of course the best way to celebrate banned books is to read one. Check out the American Library Association’s list of Frequently Banned Books. Stop by your library or independent book store and get one today.
Need Credibility? Read.
Writers read. —Rochelle Melander
Okay, so you don’t have a PhD. Maybe you don’t even have a college degree. But you need credibility in your field—and you need it right now! Writing a book or an article establishes credibility. Perhaps you’re working on that. Good. You also need to be reading and writing about what you read. Here’s how to do it:
1. Define your area of expertise. What do you want to write about in your book, article, or blog? The best topics for you are ones that stir your passion and serve a greater purpose. In addition, a great topic will be something you’re still curious about. Don’t choose something that leaves you saying, “Been there, done that.”
2. Read. Read what the experts are writing. Read what the experts are reading (check their blogs and bibliographies for lists). Read about topics tangential to but important for your field. Say you’re an etiquette expert who wants to write a book on manners for teenage boys. (I’d buy that book!) Yes, you’ll read about etiquette. But you’ll also want to read about the cognitive and social development of teenage boys—so you’ll know how to talk to them!
3. Write about it. One of the surefire ways of establishing your credibility is to tell others about what you’re reading. Yeah, you impress the clerk at the grocery store and your neighbor and even your mother—but better to write it down. Here are some places you can review books:
*Develop an Amazon reviewer profile and write reviews of every book you read.
*Use your blog to review books and articles.
*Start an Ezine—and review books in your field.
*Create a review page on your web site and recommend the books that matter to you.
Before long, your colleagues and customers will be looking to you for your expertise! And who knows: now that you have read all of these books, maybe soon you will write one!