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Right Writing News, December 15, 2011 Issue #49
December 15, 2011
Welcome to the 49th 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 ContentsTable of Contents
1) Prepare For Media Interviews
Prepare For Media Interviews
By W. Terry WhalinSeveral years ago, I wrote a book and my co-author appeared on the Today Show. I was excited about this opportunity to reach a large audience with the news about our book. I watched carefully the short segment to see how our book would be promoted.
By the end of the segment, I was yelling at my television. My co-author never mentioned the book. This person acted like they didn't even have a book. Talk about a missed opportunity! This person appeared before millions of people and didn't weave the title of our book into the conversation.
It's a personal example of where my co-author wasn't prepared for media interviews. If you are an author or small business owner, you want the media to interview you. Those interviews give you a chance to tell people about your business or latest book or newest product release. Do you prepare for these interviews or just “wing it?”
From my experience most people get out of an interview what they put into it. If you prepare and have your “talking points” then you take control of the exchanges and increase the possibilities that the interview will result in the type of article that you want.
Many authors haven't had media training or preparation to meet with the media. They have no concept of how to give a killer interview with the media. To help you in this area, I turned to Hollywood correspondent, Gayl Murphy. During her successful broadcasting career, Gayl has interviewed over 14,000 celebrities. From her years of experience as a journalist, she knows firsthand that for a killer interview, “You've got to tell it to sell it.”
Gayl has put together a special report of Interview Tactics and you can get this free report today when you register for our December 20th teleseminar. In the process of getting your free report, you can also ask Gayl a question about how you prepare for the media to interview you.
I'll be asking your questions to put Gayl on the hot seat and grill her about survival techniques for when the media interviews authors. I'm excited to host this live event and ask your questions. If you can't make the live event, go ahead and register because the teleseminar will be recorded. Everyone who registers will receive the replay information.
I'm looking forward to this opportunity for you to learn from such an experienced professional as Gayl Murphy. I hope to be speaking with you during our live event on Tuesday, December 20th. Register today.
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
Move Into High Gear
By W. Terry WhalinTime has marched on. We've reached the holiday season again. I can hear the Christmas music in the malls and watch the decorations spreading throughout my neighborhood. The family has celebrated their Thanksgiving feast and is looking forward to holidays together. I love this time of year.
In the publishing world, many of the key decisions grind to almost a standstill. When I was an acquisitions editor, it was almost impossible to have a publication board meeting to present new book ideas and authors. That means proposals and pitches pile up until after the holidays. Many of the publishing professionals are focused on sending holiday greetings, attending company functions and generally taking some time away from the office for family and vacations.
When you hear about this standstill you have two choices about how you react. You can throw your hands up and say, “Guess it's a bad time to send anything to publishers or agents.”
Or you can lean into it and decide it's a great time to move your work on a proposal or pitch into high gear. I encourage you to take the latter approach because it will help you move forward. Recently I held a free teleseminar about proposal creation. I answered many questions from writers. As I've held these events, I've found many people ask almost exactly the same question for a particular topic. This event was recorded and you can download the replay right away to your computer or iPod and hear my teaching. Plus you will receive a free 24–page resource, Book Proposal Basics when you go to the website. If you don't have a question, just type “no question.” Take action today and get my teaching about proposals.
If you want to push forward with your book idea and get your proposal in the best possible shape, I recommend you take my step-by-step Write A Book Proposal course. I set up this course on auto-responders which means if you sign up on a Tuesday, you will immediately receive the first lesson. Then seven days later or on the next Tuesday, you will receive the next lesson. This 12 lesson course includes a number of surprise bonus lessons and a graduation gift over three months. You complete the lessons on your own pace and it builds until you have a complete book proposal and sample chapter. You will be ready to hit the new year running hard and find a traditional book deal for your book.
Maybe you feel like you have a handle on creating an excellent book proposal. My next suggestion is to establish your own Simple Membership System. Almost every writer that I know has some skill that they teach to others. What do you teach? Can you take that information and repurpose or use it to create your own course? I believe the next few weeks create an opening for you to begin to craft your own teaching into an online course. The Simple Membership System is a complete package with three bonuses and detailed information to launch your own teaching.
If you are checking your email repeatedly looking for a response from a publisher or literary agent. You will be hard pressed to get a response during the next few weeks while they are focused on the holidays. It's not a time to relax but instead you can move your writing life into high gear.
I've written this article to encourage you to take action and move your writing into high gear. I'm taking my own advice and finalizing several of my own projects over the next few weeks. I believe you can achieve your publishing dreams. Yet it doesn't happen on its own steam. You have to take action each day to keep things moving forward.
Why You Need To Use LinkedIn
By Sandra BeckwithI love LinkedIn. I just love it. I have really plugged into it in the past year to learn, connect, share, and grow. So of course I want to see you doing the same thing. But before I tell you why, let me tell you why you think you don't want to be using LinkedIn:
• You don't have time for yet another social network. I hear ya. But you can benefit from the power of LinkedIn in just five or 10 minutes a day. Who can't find five minutes? Am I giving up a few games of solitaire to benefit from LinkedIn? Sure. But that's not a bad thing!
• You've heard other authors say it isn't worth it. Just between you and me, they either said this to keep you away or they don't know how to use it effectively.
• You write fiction and you don't think LinkedIn will do anything to help you. Think again. Do you write romance novels? There are LinkedIn groups for people who write romance books and for people who read them. Want to connect with successful authors of children's books? There are more than 5,000 members in just one of several groups on that topic.
Now, why should you be using LinkedIn to help you sell books?
• We're talking about 120 million users. These people read fiction and nonfiction and they need to know about your book. This resource can help.
• It can help position you as an expert. Expert positioning leads to (among other things) media interviews that promote your book and paid speaking gigs where you sell lots of copies, too.
• It's part of the platform-building process. Lots of the right connections make you attractive to traditional publishers because they represent people who are interested in what you have to offer. This applies to self-published authors, too - you've created an audience for your book.
• You can learn so much. People share a lot of experience and information in the groups. For example, reading the discussions in certain groups is like getting tuition waived for a college level book marketing course.
• Influential people are on LinkedIn. They might be influential in your industry, your genre, or the book publishing world. And these influential people might not be on Facebook or Twitter - or they might be hard to find there. Because there are no cute or clever names on LinkedIn, you'll find the people you're looking for.
• It's easy. You don't have to learn any new skills.
• You can't afford not to. Plugging into LinkedIn in a more meaningful way has been the smartest thing I've done this year.
LinkedIn generates more traffic to my blog and website than all other sources combined. That traffic contributes to my success, and I'd like it to do the same for yours.
We're still getting great feedback on our LinkedIn for authors teleseminar! That's because LinkedIn is quickly becoming the virtual water cooler for people who want to learn about and read your books - whether you write nonfiction or fiction. As the second largest social network in the U.S. and the world's largest professional network on the Internet, LinkedIn offers you more than 120 million members in more than 200 countries. You can't afford to ignore this resource any longer! Its unique features can help you be even more targeted and effective with your book promotion efforts than you can be with either Twitter or Facebook.
In this 75-minute recording and bonus two-page handout, LinkedIn expert Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, shares his LinkedIn book sales secrets for the first time with authors. Learn more and purchase the audio recording at http://buildbookbuzz.com/linkedin-audio-program/. It's a great value.
Sandra Beckwith teaches authors how to be their own book publicists. Subscribe to her free Build Book Buzz e-zine at http://buildbookbuzz.com.
A Key Tool For Every Author
By W. Terry WhalinFrom my years in publishing, I've learned authors are a stubborn bunch. Most of us have huge dreams for our writing. We want other people to read it, publish our work, pay us fairly for our work—yet we don't want to actively be involved in marketing our work and telling other people about our writing. We want to create and write more words. I've been consistently teaching writers to add regular marketing to their writing life. These skills are something that everyone can learn—and it's not too early (or late) in the process for you to begin building your audience.
Recently I met with a much-published author who had a stack of proposals and ideas for books that he wanted to write. I admired his drive and desire to write new books. He does have some websites and I checked out those sites. During our conversation, he mentioned that he didn't have a platform or visibility in the market.
As I looked at his website, this author was missing a key tool in his arsenal of reaching his audience. He had no list-building device on his website. There are many different forms of this list-building device. In general, the author offers a free Ebook or a free audio or a free special report—in exchange for the reader giving their first name and email address. In the last few years, I've created a number of these types of offers.
For example, my Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to A Rejection-Proof Submission is a free Ebook. I promote this Ebook on my name website, my blog and a number of other places including twitter.
When you create one of these tools, you are gathering names and emails for an email list. Each time you send an email (whether a single offer) or an e-zine, you include the removal or unsubscribe links so the reader can no longer receive your mailings.
Everyone begins with a small number of subscribers then through providing consistent quality materials, your list grows and your audience grows. To me, List Building is a key tool for every author or would-be author. It doesn't matter if you are writing nonfiction or fiction, poetry or novels or magazine articles, every writer and author should be working on this regular communication tool.
To help you with more of the details about how to build a list, I've launched The List Building Tycoon. This step-by-step guide will teach you the various elements of list building and start today to gather your audience. This 76–page resource is backed with my 60 day risk-free guarantee.
Whether you get my List Building Tycoon ebook or not, I hope you will begin to take action and develop your own audience. It's a key step for every author.
New eBook: Unlocking Social Media for PRMaximize social media for PR. This new eBook will show you how.
Social media is playing an increasingly prominent and important role in PR – and PR Newswire has developed a new eBook I think you'll be interested in, which offers easy, actionable tips for developing and/or enhancing your social strategy.
Download Unlocking Social Media for PR, written by PR Newswire social media expert Sarah Skerik, and discover a simple, step-by-step process for getting started and succeeding in social media. In the eBook, you'll discover how to:
-Integrate social media into your daily practice of PR -Select the right social networks for your organization -Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for PR -Generate earned media via social channels... and much more
Get the eBook now. I think you'll find it an excellent resource, with all the tips, insights and strategies you need to unlock and engage opportunity with social media. Additionally, you'll have access to over $2,000 in free and discounted PR Newswire services for small businesses. Additionally, I've partnered with PR Newswire to provide access to the PR Toolkit. The PR Toolkit is the go-to resource for small business PR and marketing information. Click here to learn more!
Use Audio To Grow As A Writer
By W. Terry WhalinEach of us have the same constraints for our writing life: time. Yet some people manage to get so much more done in that 24 hour period. We want to write (and have plans in this area) yet we also want to continue to grow as writers and communicators.
One of the tools that I've been using for this area of growth has been audio. While I don't have a long commute like many people, I do spend a fair amount of time in my car driving—even in short bursts of time like five or ten minutes. How do I use those short amounts of time?
Several years ago, I purchased Jack Canfield's bestselling book, The Success Principles, How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. I hauled the book to a conference where I saw Jack and he autographed my book. I hauled the book on several trips—yet never managed to crack open the pages and read it. If you are a reader, I imagine you have a few books where you handle them in the same way.
I decided I wanted to learn the information in The Success Principles and another means to that information was through audio. I purchased the audio book and loaded the six CDs into my car player. Then for the next few weeks every time I was in my car—even for a few minutes—I turned on the audio book. In a short amount of time, I heard every single CD and learned a great deal from these CDs. In fact, the experience was so valuable to me that I plan to hear the entire book again soon.
Several weeks ago, I launched Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams Audio. It is almost an hour and a half of my teaching about different ways you can jumpstart your publishing life. It doesn't matter whether you are unpublished or much published, you will gain practical insight and inspiration from this CD.
Karen Morerod, author of More Than Just A Pretty Face, wrote about my CD, “The most challenging thing for me is: time. My family is great at giving me writing time, but after working seven hours away from home, my energy/creative levels are waning by the time I get home - IF, indeed, I have the luxury of being at home in the evening. Many times I’ve driven the two hours from KC to Mahattan and I must say, listening to your CD was the fastest drive I've ever had! Usually when I try to listen to CDs in the car, my mind wanders. But this CD totally got me encouraged to get BUSY - plus it had such practical ideas. The CD gave me vision! It was wonderful.”
Time is the challenge for every writer. If you choose wisely, you can use audio as another tool in your arsenal to grow as a writer. It's what I'm doing. Are you?
The Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success
By Penny SansevieriI have a friend who lives in San Diego. She and her boyfriend rented this lovely home outside of the city. They have tons of land, a great house. It was really a fantastic deal. Since they were in such a good place, the rent was cheap and they had no intention of moving anytime soon, they decided to do some minor renovations to the house. This became their "weekend warrior" project. They'd paint, tinker, plant and in the end, they had a great and slightly improved property. Then one day the owner stopped by for a visit. "Bad news," he said, "I need to sell this property and I have a buyer who wants to offer top dollar, in a market like this I'm sure you understand why I need to take it." They had 30 days to move out.
Now, you might think this is a very sad and unfair situation, but it happens all the time. And it doesn't just happen to real estate, it happens online too. It's a great thing, this social networking, but what a lot of people forget is that you don't own the sites you are populating. While Facebook owns the world (pretty much) right now, things could change. But more than that, sometimes a slight "uh-oh" from you and a slight violation of the site's terms of service can cause you a world of grief. We had a client several years ago who built up 5,000 friends on his personal profile. I kept cautioning him about doing promotion on that page as Facebook has rules against doing promotion on a personal profile. He continued to do promotion (though not heavy) and lost his page. He never got it back. His entire tribe of 5,000 people was lost in the minute it took Facebook to pull down that page.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to utilize these tools and promote yourself, but just remember: as much as you might feel "at home" on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter, you don't own these properties. They do. Be smart and make sure you aren't making these sites the center of your success. Here are a few tips to help you own your real estate:
Website. You should always, always, always have a website. I know some authors who use Facebook as their websites. Big mistake. I know other authors who get a website that doesn't belong to them, meaning they are part of a community of free sites they don't own. If the community decides to stop doing websites and goes away, guess what happens? So does your content.
Smart Social Media. One of the things I really recommend is that you center all of your content around your website. That's partially why I suggest linking your blog to Facebook and Twitter. The content starts on your site and gets funneled from there, rather than in reverse.
Other ways to promote. Consider other ways to promote your stuff that isn't social media centric. Interviews on (other) blogs or websites, for instance. Yes, you are still putting stuff out there on other sites, I'm not saying not to. I'm saying that you need to make sure that whatever content you put out there is reflected on your site as well.
Duplicate content. There's a problem with posting huge amounts of duplicate content online, but unless you are pushing hundreds of pieces out a month, I doubt you have anything to worry about. However, the flip side is that you want to make sure you have copies of all the content you put out there. If you're uploading a video on YouTube, don't delete it off of your computer because you think it's "safe" on this site. It may very well be, but if you lose your page or YouTube gets bought (again) and morphs into something else, you're in trouble.
Enhanced website. When I talked about having a website, I'm not just talking about having a one or two-pager. I mean have a robust site packed with content. Make sure that you have a blog, and you might consider adding a resource section, etc. All information about your books should be on the site (don't rely on Amazon to house this for you) and be sure that any ordering information is on your site as well. Wait! You might ask, is Amazon in danger of going away? Not likely. But as they've shown in the past by pulling down books and buy buttons without warning: Amazon can do whatever it wants.
Traffic. So, the nitty gritty of promotion is what? Sales, right? Sure, and exposure too (though I think you should target exposure first, then sales, but that's another article). If you're sending all of your traffic to social media sites, guess what? Your website traffic is probably pretty low or non-existent. If you send traffic to social media sites guess who benefits? Well, certainly you do in the way of exposure, but long-term this isn't a good plan. Let me explain why.
If you aren't promoting your site as the center of the universe, and instead pushing people to social media sites, then your website isn't getting those super valuable incoming links from blogs, websites, etc. that you are promoting yourself to. As a result, your site will sink in Google rankings. That means if you lost one or more of your social media sites, you could certainly pick up the pieces and start sending people to your site, but that will be a long, hard haul. Better to focus on that now and gather that traffic, along with the buzz you create in social media, so you aren't caught with a zero starting point if anything happens.
You might think that the moral of this story is a slightly paranoid "trust no one" mantra but it's not. It's about protecting your stuff and being a smart and savvy author. You would never open up a store in a mall without a lease that locked you in for a certain amount of time, right? While there are no guarantees in anything, you need to be smart about all of these wonderful, free, not-owned-by-you social media sites. You might do a fantastic job of driving traffic, fans, and likes to various pages. But the reality is that you should focus on what you own, your website. I love my social media sites and yes, it's a widely known fact that I'm addicted to Twitter. Yet they aren't the center of my online universe, my website is. Yours should be, too.
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
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