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Right Writing News, June 6, 2011 Issue #45
June 05, 2011
Welcome to the 45th issue to subscribers of Right Writing News. If you are reading this issue forwarded from someone, be sure and use the link below to get your own free subscription.
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Table of Contents1) Will I See You In Person?
By W. Terry Whalin
2) How to Write Articles That Sell Your Short Reports
By W. Terry Whalin
3) Craft an Exceptional Elevator Pitch
By Penny Sansevieri
4) It Won't Fly If You Don't...
By W. Terry Whalin
5) Writing In Rhyme
By Laura Backes
6) Twitter Tool or Gimmick?
By W. Terry Whalin
7) Yes, You Can
By W. Terry Whalin
Will I See You In Person?
By W. Terry WhalinThe conference season is in full swing. Will I see you at one of these places? I hope so.
This coming week I'm a keynote speaker at the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I'm looking forward to this event.
On July 23rd, I will be speaking at The Roaring Lambs Conference in the Dallas, Texas area.
In August, I'll be teaching at two different conferences. First, I'll be at The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference from August 10 to 13 where I'll be teaching some workshops and meeting with writers. Then from Auugust 15 to 18, I will be at The Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference in Turner, Oregon. If you can make either conference, I would love to see you face to face.
From November 4 and 5, I'll be at the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference. I have some other conference dates in the works but they are not finalized. You can monitor my speaking schedule at this link.
At each conference, I will be teaching a different topic. I encourage you to check the specific conference schedule to see which classes I will be teaching and how we can schedule some time together to speak about your project. Besides my teaching, I will be meeting individually with writers to learn about their projects and how I can help them through my role as a publisher at Intermedia Publishing Group.
I know that it takes effort to get to one of these conferences but I look forward to meeting you in person. From my experiences of attending these conferences, the effort is well worth the reward of new relationships and greater insight into your own writing life.
Remember Editors and Agents do not read book manuscripts. They read book proposals. Learn how to write an excellent book proposal at: http://WriteABookProposal.com
How to Write Articles That Sell Your Short Reports
By W. Terry WhalinI wanted to follow-up on my article about 5 Keys to Writing and Selling Small Reports. Some writers create products and then use loosely related articles to sell those products. You might sell a few using that method. But you’ll sell a whole lot more if you use closely related articles to market your short reports.
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: Choose a Topic
If you want to sell a lot of “feature length” articles (i.e., short reports), then you need to choose a proven topic. That means you should sell reports that are similar to solutions that your market is already buying.
You can find out what your market is buying by visiting marketplaces like the Amazon.com marketplace (and their bestseller lists) and the Clickbank.com marketplaces. In both cases, look for products appearing at the top of the search results and/or at the top of the categories when you browse.
These are your most popular, best-selling products. You’ll want to create a short report on a similar topic. Ideally, you should give your report a special twist or make it unique in some way.
Example: If you see a lot of bestsellers on the topic of helping brides-to-be slim down in the three months before their wedding, you can create a report and accompanying article about how to slim down safely and quickly in two months.
Step 2: Write an Article on the Topic
Once you’ve chosen your topic, then your next step is to write a 400 to 600 word article on this topic. Your goal is to provide useful yet incomplete information. That’s because you want your readers to solve their problems by purchasing your report.
Example: In continuing with the weight loss for brides example: You might create an article called “Three Secrets to Getting in Shape for Your Wedding.” Those three secrets will prove useful to the reader, but she won’t be able to lose enough weight unless she knows all the secrets contained in your report.
Step 3: Craft a Compelling Conclusion
Next, you need to craft a conclusion that gets readers to click through to your short report sales page. To do this, offer a benefit to those who click through, such as the quick and easy to solution to their problems.
Example #1: “Who else wants to look stunning on her wedding day? Click here now to discover how to lose all the weight you want before your big day!”
Example #2: “Whether you fit into your wedding dress or not depends on whether you know these seven fat-melting secrets – click here to ensure you too look drop-dead gorgeous on your wedding day!”
Step 4: Create a Short Report on the Same Topic
Next, you need to write a short 7-15 page report on the same topic. While a short report can’t solve all your prospects’ problems, it can solve one specific problem.
Example #1: Your short report could teach future brides how to drop 20 pounds before their wedding day.
Example #2: A marketing report could show people how to make money using Twitter.
Example #3: A dog training report could teach readers how to ease separation anxiety in their furry friends.
Once your report is complete, you need to select a payment processor such as Clickbank.com, PayPal.com or 2Checkout.com. Then write a sales letter, include the payment button and upload the letter to your domain.
Step 5: Submit Your Articles… and Sell!
Now you’re ready to use your article to drive traffic to your site!
• Submit this article to EzineArticles.com, ArticleCity.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleAlley.com and Buzzle.com.
• Use it as the basis of a HubPages.com or Squidoo.com page.
In this article, I’ve given you some of the key factors about how you can write and sell small reports. For many more details and dozens of ideas, check out my risk-free Ebook, The 31-Day Guide to Making Money Writing Small Reports. You have nothing to lose and a world to gain in my view—if you take action.
Craft an Exceptional Elevator Pitch
By Penny SansevieriWhat is an elevator pitch and why do you need one? An elevator pitch is a short one- to two-sentence description about the book. It's the briefest of the briefest descriptions you can develop. The reason elevator pitches are important is that we have an ever-shrinking attention span, so you need to capture someone's attention in a very short, succinct pitch.
How do you begin crafting an elevator pitch? The first step is to look at the core of your book. What is your book about, really? Looking at the core of your book will help you determine the primary message. The next step is to look at the real benefits to the reader. Not what you think the reader wants to know but what they actually need: What's in it for the reader?
When I worked with people on elevator pitches, I found that they often kept the best sentence for last. This comes from being an author and saving the crescendo of the story until the final chapter. You don't want to do that in an elevator pitch. You want to lead with the tease that will pull the reader in.
When would you use an elevator pitch? You might use it to promote yourself to the media, to book a speaking event, or to pitch a blogger. Elevator pitches can be used for a number of reasons and in a variety of ways. Once you create a great elevator pitch, you may find yourself using it over and over again. That's a good thing!
Components of a great elevator pitch
All elevator pitches have particular relevance to them, but for the most part, every elevator pitch must:
• Have emotional appeal
• Be helpful
• Be insightful
• Be timely
• Matter to your reader!
Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch
1. Concise: Your pitch needs to be short, sweet, and to the point.
2. Clear: Save your five-dollar words for another time. For your elevator pitch to be effective, you must use simple language any layperson can understand. If you make someone think about a word, you'll lose them and the effectiveness of your elevator pitch will go right out the window as well.
3. Passion: If you're not passionate about your topic, how can you expect anyone else to be?
4. Visual: Use words that bring visual elements to your reader's mind. It helps to make your message more memorable and brings the reader into your story.
5. Stories: People love stories. It's the biggest element of the elevator pitch: tell the story. I also find that when the pitch is woven into the story, it often helps to create a smoother presentation.
How to Craft Your Killer Elevator Pitch
• Write it down: Start by writing a very short story so you can tell the story of your book in two paragraphs. This will get the juices flowing. As you start to edit your story down from 200,000 words to two paragraphs, you'll start to see why it's important to pull only the most essential elements from your story to craft your elevator pitch.
• Make a list: Write down 10 to 20 things that your book does for the reader. These can be action statements, benefits, or book objectives.
• Record yourself: Next, record yourself and see how you sound. I can almost guarantee that you will not like the first few drafts you try. That actually is a really good thing. If you like the first thing that you write, it probably won't be that effective. Recording yourself will help you listen to what you're saying and figure out how to fine-tune it.
• Rest: I highly recommend that you give yourself enough time to do your elevator pitch. Ideally you want to let it rest overnight, if not longer.
Remember the elevator pitch is perhaps the most important thing that you've created in your marketing package. You want to make sure it's right. Having a prepared "pitch" for your book will help you enormously, whether you are pitching the media, an agent, a publisher, or even a bookstore. Having a short, concise pitch will get and keep someone's attention much faster and also increase your chances for a positive desired outcome. Keep in mind that if your elevator pitch is tied to current events, it might change as events change. A good elevator pitch can be fluid, but it should always be an attention-grabber. In a world cluttered with information and filled with noise, the shorter and more focused you can be, the more exposure you will get for your message!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Penny C. Sansevieri is a book marketing and media relations specialist who coaches authors on projects, manuscripts and marketing plans and instructs a variety of coursing on publishing and promotion. To learn more about her books or her promotional services, visit http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com.
It Won't Fly If You Don't...
By W. Terry WhalinHopefully you've heard the saying, "If won't fly, if you don't try." Many writers grow frustrated with the publishing world. They pitch their idea to a series of agents or editors at a conference. Return home and send the follow-up material to those professionals. Then several months down the line, they get rejected and decide, "Guess no one wants to publish my idea."
That is not necessarily the case.
There are many reasons why your book idea was rejected. Some of those reasons have to do with you and your pitch. Yet other reasons have nothing to do with you and everything
to do with timing. Because most agents and editors use carefully worded form rejections which tell you nothing about the specific reason, you are left to guess. Most people speculate that it's something to do with them. Maybe the editor or agent came to the office and got wrapped in some crisis. They could not handle the submissions on their desk so they rejected everything. Yes, they do this routine rejection just to clear off their desk and give themselves some space. It had nothing to do with the author's proposal.
While you think your proposal is unique and different, there are many similar ideas in the marketplace. As an editor or an agent, I've seen those similar ideas come into my mailbox. I already have one of those in the works so I reject the ones that arrive after it. It has nothing to do with the value of that pitch or the writer.
Agents and editors are looking for the right book at the right time and the right place. Your proposal is important and something I can't emphasize enough. You have seconds to make the right impression. It is your responsibility to give your proposal the best possible chance so someone will accept it. How can you improve your chances of acceptance?
First, craft an excellent proposal and sample chapter. I've written many proposals and sample chapters plus I've reviewed thousands of these proposals. It is not simple or easy but it is a skill you can learn. In the last few months, I've invested a great deal of energy to write an online course for writers called Write A Book Proposal. Step-by-step I teach writers how to put together the best possible pitch for their book. The course is unconditionally guaranteed so if it is not right for you, then I will refund your small investment. One of my bestselling novelist friends called my course "a bold new effort." I've not seen anything like it in the publishing world and I'd love for you to consider it. Grow in your knowledge about publishing and proposal creation is my first suggestion.
My second suggestion is to persist. Often writers send their proposal to an editor or two, and then when it is rejected, they decide there is no market for the idea. That is not necessarily true. The writer hasn't found the right connection so they quit trying. Each Monday I look forward to the column from bestselling author Harvey Mackay. While I read the column in my newspaper, I also subscribe to his columns from his website so I receive it a second time via email later in the week. This week, Mackay wrote a column called, If you believe you are sure to succeed. You can follow the link and read the entire column, but notice the first sentence which is a quote from Henry Ford, "Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to." Do you believe your proposal or idea will succeed in the marketplace? Then take steps to make that happen.
Finally you need to persevere looking for the right connection for your idea. Maybe it's not a book but a magazine article. Or maybe it is both a magazine article and a book. Some of my writer friends have a 24 hour rule to handle rejections. If their proposal is turned down, then they give themselves 24 hours to send it back into the marketplace. It's how they persevere and is an example that you can also follow. Do make sure you are using a current name and contact information for that agent or editor. I continue to receive submissions for Howard Publishing (a company that I've not been with for five years and one that has not had that name for seven years). Just the use of this name on the outside of the envelope is a dead giveaway that the writer is using an old resource.
It will not fly if you don't try. It will never sell in your computer or file drawer. You must get it out there. Take action today.
Writing In Rhyme
By Laura Backes, Children's Book Insider
Children love rhyme. The rhythm of the text, the way the words bounce off the tongue can be especially appealing to young children who are mastering language and reading. There are two vehicles for verse in the children's market: poetry and rhyming stories. Both have special guidelines.
Reprinted with permission.
Twitter Tool or Gimmick?
By W. Terry WhalinOne of my writer friends and I were talking about twitter. He suddenly said, "Terry, you use a program to automatically grow your following right?" I agreed that I'm using a program called Tweet Adder. I've been using Tweet Adder for about seven or eight months and yes it has dramatically increased my followers on twitter. I see Tweet Adder as an important tool and not a gimmick because it does automate a number of functions. Previously I was working each day at increasing my followers on Twitter and now Tweet Adder handles these functions.
From my experience with Twitter, one of the best ways to increase your followers is to first tweet excellent focused content and second to follow others who have an interest in that content. You have to follow others gradually and consistently. If you decided to follow 400 people in a single day, then that would appear to twitter like you are abusing the tool and they could suspend your twitter account and defeat your entire purpose for being on twitter.
You can invest the time and energy and follow people to grow your twitter following. Or you can use a focused tool like Tweet Adder to help you in this process.
The program runs 24 hours a day in the background of my computer and will gradually follow new people. They don't follow random people but individuals that I've selected through keywords. For example for my Terry Whalin twitter account, I'm looking for followers who are interested in writing, publishing, books or those types of words. Tweet Adder searches the profiles of people on twitter and you can select whether you want them to speak only English (my preference) or to be in a certain geographic area and other limitations. The program will search for new followers, eliminate any duplicates and follow more of these selected people each day.
After a period of time, if the person does not follow you in return, then Tweet Adder unfollows this person. It keeps the balance between people you are following and people who follow you on Twitter.
The program has a one-time fee and not something monthly (like some other Twitter programs). Also from time to time, Twitter will change how their program works. The folks at Tweet Adder keep up on these shifts and modify their program so it still keeps working--and send out an update to you without any additional expense. Other programs will charge you a fee for that update but it's not the case with Tweet Adder.
At this writing, I'm still learning how to use this tool but it is not a gimmick. It is a valuable tool for you to grow your twitter following without spending massive amounts of time and energy. If you are looking to increase your presence on Twitter, then I recommend you try the free download of Tweet Adder and eventually purchase this tool.
Yes, You Can
By W. Terry WhalinOften I've met writers who are struggling financially. They are looking for a publisher or magazine to publish their work and promptly pay them to solve their mounting bills. Writing can pay but it does not always happen in the way that you presume it will happen. There are many different ways to earn a living in the publishing world.
As a writer, I've discovered many different ways to make money in the publishing world. One of those ways is through advertising other people's products and using an affiliate link. The affiliate industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and is something that any writer can use to supplement their income.
You may have a blog or a website. Have you monetized your website or blog so you have created a revenue stream? Or are you simply putting content online with no expectation that it will make money? If you are wondering, "What is affiliate marketing?" Or "What is Terry talking about?" Then I've got good news for you.
In the last few weeks, I've written a new Ebook called You Can Make Money. A Step-by-step Guide to Passive Income through Affiliate Marketing. This free 30-page Ebook provides the details of how to get started on affiliate marketing. I wrote it and used my own examples and illustrations. I have my own affiliate program at www.TerryInfo.com The program is free to sign up and includes banners and other tools for you to promote my products and earn 50% of the income. I used the Pop up Domination program to make it easy for you to receive this free Ebook. Just go to www.TerryInfo.com and enter your first name and email address. You will immediately receive the free Ebook.
I wrote this new resource to help you understand and use the tools in my affiliate program. The principles in the book are universal and something you can use with many other affiliate programs than mine. I hope you will sign up for my affiliate program then take action and use the tools to make money. Why? Because you will touch people that I will never encounter. You can tell them about my products and lead them to my sales page for the product. If they buy the product, then you will receive an email about it--and I will receive an email about their purchase. After the guarantee period, then you will receive 50% if the income from that purchase.
I believe there is great opportunity--if you take action. Will you?
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