What better way to celebrate the first day of spring than announcing our March Mappie winner. This month’s winning map is all about tips to help those aspiring authors. It outlines 20 important questions that you should seriously consider asking yourself before publishing your next book.
So without further ado the March Mappie goes to… Roger C. Parker for his 20 Questions to Ask Before You Write a Book map.
We quickly caught up with Roger to learn a little bit more about the man behind this month’s map.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m writing from Dover, NH, an hour north of Boston. Dover is a small (25K) former textile mill town, heavily influenced by the University of New Hampshire in a neighboring town.
Q: What do you do?
A: I’m the author of 40 nonfiction, “how to” books, as well as an Internet marketer, and mind mapping trainer.
Q: How do you use MindManager?
A: As an author, blogger, and Internet marketer, I spend about 20 to 25% of my working day with MindManager planning what I’m going to be doing in the remainder of my time.
I used to write books in a linear, Chapter 1 to Chapter 10 fashion, sitting down and trying to write without a detailed map of what I was going to say or where I was going to say it. Writing without a map is a great way to waste a lot of time, characterized by stress, false starts, and endless revisions.
It’s the same with blog posts. During the past year or so, since the iPad version of MindManager came out, I’ve cut at least an hour out of my writing time by identifying the premise, the benefit, and the 7 big ideas I want to cover in each blog post. Not only do I save at least an hour per post, but the mind maps I create ahead of time provide functional graphics to accompany each blog post!
If I sound like an advocate, it’s because I now realize how much time I wasted writing books like Looking Good in Print: A Guide to Basic Design for Desktop Publishing and the first editions of the Microsoft Office for Windows for Dummies series.
Q: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
A: Probably “mind mapping,” because it’s such a broad topic that can refer to too many different things, i.e., the process of visually displaying a project’s contents, hierarchy, and sequence, the tools used to display a book’s table of contents, or a book marketing or back-end profit plan.
Q: What is your dream occupation?
A: I’m pretty close in a lot of ways; I love the act of writing, the stress and heightened awareness of discovering a new topic that deserves careful analysis, the mechanics of organizing a 100 ideas into 10 chapters of 10 ideas each, or the thrill of developing an idea and turning it into a webinar that people later say empowered them to take action.
Q: What is your life motto?
A: I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, helping others discover. However, I was never happy with the idea of faculty meetings, school yard lunch duty, and grading papers.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been informally mentored by many of the greats of marketing and graphic design, including Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the Guerrilla Marketing series, and Jan V. White, author of the most important design books ever written, Editing by Design.
In a way, what I’m doing for others resembles what they did for me, i.e., pass along an enthusiasm and a passion for what I believe in.
Q: How does it feel to win a Mappie?
A: I’m honored; who wouldn’t be? It’s nice to be recognized by a firm whose software took someone with a truckload of inefficient writing habits and showed them how to write better by writing more in less time.
I only hope that others who want to write books to build their personal brands will explore mind mapping as a way to organize their ideas and become more efficient writers and marketers.
The Mappies are Maps For That!’s monthly award. Submissions for the next month are accepted until the 15th of the current month. Any submissions after the 15th are automatically entered into consideration for the following month. To learn more visit Maps For That.com.