Wednesday, March 30, 2016

PUYB Chats with Gail Tolstoi-Miller, author of 'Networking Karma'

She is a former "goth" girl, a soccer mom, career coach and an avowed introvert who transformed herself to become a successful dual CEO of Consultnetworx™, a consulting/staffing firm and Speednetworx™, a B2B speed networking event company. Her companies are focused on connecting people for mutual fit and success.

As someone who always preferred solitude and time for reflection, Gail struggled for decades with social interaction, small talk and networking; but knew she would have to master these skills to reach her goals. When Gail began to focus on others instead of herself she saw her opportunities skyrocket.
During her 20+ years as a staffing strategist, Gail has coached thousands of job seekers and discovered a startling truth; that those with the strongest networks and the most generous spirits always landed the best jobs in the shortest amount of time. In fact, Gail credits her own success to her mindful giving of care, compassion, and guidance in all areas of life. In other words, she's living proof that Networking Karma works!

And now, to fully live by her beliefs, Gail is sharing these secrets with her readers in her first book, Networking Karma.

Amidst the shrinking job market, Tolstoi-Miller's innovative approach to business and life has singled her out as a resource in her field.  She’s frequently sought after by many media outlets, including Forbes, FOX Business, msn careers, and others, where she shares her ideas on networking, recruiting and the job market. Gail has received the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business 2013 award as well as the Top 2014 and Top 2015 Business awards. She was also named Leading Women Entrepreneur finalist, and selected as a finalist by Enterprising Women of the Year 2013.  Gail has a Bachelor's from NYU.

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About the Book:

Are you Awkward? Uncertain? Even jittery at networking events?

Author Gail Tolstoi Miller, an award-winning entrepreneur and successful CEO, feels your pain. In fact, she spent years experiencing the same emotions when networking. An avowed introvert, Gail discovered a powerful and universal law of connecting, she calls Networking Karma. And when she embraced it, Gail put those anxious, apprehensive interactions behind her to become a career coach
and owner of a networking event planning company.

Now, Tolstoi-Miller shares her secrets with you in her new book, Networking Karma.

If you are trying desperately to get past the constant inadequacy you feel every time you try to attend a networking event, this book is for you!

Networking Karma is a mindful approach to living that asks you to consider each chance meeting and budding relationship as an opportunity to inform, assist, advocate or connect others. “Embracing this spirit of selflessness,” Tolstoi-Miller says, “is the key to building a professional and personal fan base; one that will ultimately return your kindness in unknown and awesome ways. “

Networking Karma proves that life is not “all about me.” In fact, Tolstoi-Miller reveals that the most successful networkers are on a constant mission of “giving.” 

Throughout this book, you will explore dozens of essential and specific Networking Karma to-do’s; powerful ideas you can implement immediately. Shared by some of today’s hottest thought leaders, speakers and business trailblazers, these proven tactics are absolutely essential to getting the edge you need to succeed in business and in life.

Written in a fast-paced, no-holds barred style and steeped in real-world situations, Networking Karma reveals:
  • The negative beliefs that hold you back from networking success, and the 6 empowering steps to overcome them.
  • Why Speed Networking is more fun and effective than absolutely any traditional networking method you’ve ever tried.
  • 3 unique and foolproof strategies for breaking the ice at your next networking event.
  • The 3 vital building blocks to your personal branding success.
  • A surprising fashion “don’t” that may make you appear more successful to others.
  • 10 ways your body language can work to your advantage
  • The simple secret to creating a strong elevator pitch and the best place to test it out.
  • How to turn passive listening into active listening, to attract important new contacts.
  • Smart strategies for bringing stalled conversations to an end—without offending!
  • 3 creative approaches to business card design that will launch countless conversations
  • How to provide value, build awareness, nurture relationship and establish relevance through proper social media avenues
  • The dramatic personal and professional benefits you can acquire through mentoring relationships.
  • BONUS: The #1, can’t-fail networking approach to becoming the most visible and unforgettable person in the room. Hint: It’s all about Karma.
PLUS, exclusive guides, cheat sheets, checklists and secret resources, available only to Networking Karma readers.

Read Networking Karma and integrate its law and lessons into your life. No matter how introverted, shy, awkward or uncertain you are when it comes to networking, you’ll get past your sticking points and see your relationships--and dreams--take shape.

For More Information

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Before writing Networking Karma, I reached out to other authors for advice and ideas. I also did a lot of research online to get an overview of the process of writing and publishing.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I never considered pursuing a publisher since I had no experience as a writer. I met other entrepreneurs who had successfully self-published business and self-help books so I knew it was something I could do.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

Ingram Spark converted the file to an .epub for a fee. This was easier and less expensive than some other options I had explored.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I researched the cover price of other books with a similar page count that were in the category. I thought I should keep the price in the mid-range. I came up with a price and then consulted with my business coach. She integrates eastern numerology into her advice. Together, we established a “fortunate” price that would give Networking Karma the best advantage.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

Yes, I released the book in February to coincide with the month of the Chinese New Year. This is a month of great significance as it represents the changing of the calendar and new beginnings. Additionally, since the book speaks to spiritual and philosophical elements of the eastern culture, I thought it would be appropriate.

How did you choose your cover?

I launched a design contest on the creative website so that I had several directions from which to choose. I provided parameters at the start of the contest; although I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, I knew I would know it when I saw it. It was important to me that the design would pop off the shelves. I always believe that a clean, white space looks best. I specified red and black in the design so that the book would connect with the brand colors of my businesses. I was drawn to the vertical title treatment because it is interesting and different. The swirl design in the art symbolizes the cyclical energy of Karma. This is a vital element in the book so I wanted it to be included in the cover design, as well. In fact, each chapter begins with the same graphic.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I revised the book as I went through the writing process.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?

My book’s cover features a swirl logo that represents the karmic nature of networking. I am creating brand merchandise (including mugs and shirts) to strengthen the message of Networking Karma.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

Yes, it was a trying experience. First, I hired a reputable company to create a slick, feature-quality production. I was extremely unhappy with the work and I had to halt production. I ended up going in a completely different direction with my trailer and I’m very happy with the results. Here it is:

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I have a give-away contest on Goodreads and I have also sent out copies to reviewers. I think it is fine to give away books as long as there is a strategy behind it. The ROI needs to be considered.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Before a book is released, there are a lot of things to be considered. First and foremost, authors should think about strategic relationships. Who are the people who can help you to reach your best audience? Make a list of them and then attempt to develop a rapport with these people. Second, be ready to introduce your book to the world via the Internet. Create/set up a dedicated web site and social media pages, and have blurbs, bios and messaging ready to go. Third, if the book is business related, be sure there is synergy with your established brand and co-brand your book accordingly.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Authors should take an active approach to getting the word out through social media, podcasts and publications. Blogging on your own blog, as well as for other outlets is also a great way to build ongoing buzz.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

I used my website as a lead generator to build a list of potential readers. I also set up a Facebook page, blogged and used social media to share content to build up interest. I mentioned the upcoming book in all of my speaking engagements, articles and podcast interviews and drove people to the Networking Karma website.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Yes, I want to continue to get the message out because I believe every single person could benefit from embracing the spirit of Networking Karma. I also plan to use the book as a tool to enhance my thought leadership. I have a career coaching business, which will soon offer an online portal for job seekers. I am also planning a tour of college campuses to help students leverage the information in Networking Karma to help them reach their full potential in life!

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

There are a lot of networking books that provide tips and to-dos to help readers become better networkers. The truth is, most people buy these books and never do the things that the author recommend. Why? Because of fear.

Fear of networking. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown.

I address this fear in Networking Karma. With some self-reflection and visualization exercises, readers can get past this fear and start putting the book’s unique content to work for them. In addition to dozens of tips, secrets and to-dos, which I share from my personal experiences, the book features guest contributors who are industry powerhouses. From the world’s foremost authority on body language to a fashion industry icon; from an insanely popular LinkedIn Makeover expert to a master storyteller—and more—their help and guidance is found in the pages of Networking Karma. I truly believe this abundance of insight, ideas and inspiration will help readers connect and conquer anything!

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