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Right Writing News, September 8, 2013 Issue #56
September 08, 2013
Welcome to the 56th 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) This Fall: A Time to Refocus & Renew
This Fall: A Time to Refocus & Renew
By W. Terry WhalinLife can be full of distractions in the summer time. There are vacations, visits from the grandchildren or friends and other interruptions. Yet in the Fall, the children and grandchildren start school. It is a wonderful time to refocus on your writing and renew your publishing efforts.
The bulk of my days are focused on working with authors through my work at Morgan James Publishing. I'm working with other members of the Morgan James team to champion a book and get a book contract. Then when the author receives their contract, I'm working with them to make sure they understand all of the details before signing the agreement. Or I'm setting up conference calls with others on the Morgan James team then participating in these calls. We are going to publish about 180 books this year including about 40 novels through our fiction imprint Koehler Books. These numbers are in great contrast to the self-publishers who will produce thousands (no exaggeration see this link from Publishers Lunch) of titles. What the self-publishing places fail to tell you (by design) is that they are producing thousands of titles—not just a few. Little wonder these books are not sold in the brick and mortar bookstores (in contrast to the Morgan James books which are inside these stores). I don't want to get sidetracked here except to say the bulk of my day is focused on my acquisitions work.
One of the best ways to refocus and recharge your writing life is to attend an event. You can attend an event in person—or online. In the next few weeks, there are numerous opportunities where you can give your writing life a boost. In each case, I've included the websites with more information so please make sure you check out each event.
September 10, 2013 Why Attend a Writers Conference? Is it really worth it to attend a live event? FREE teleseminar with Morgan James Publisher Rick Frishman answering your questions. Follow the link for the details and to get access and a FREE Ebook, Agents and the Publishing Industry when you register. Also Rick is giving away FREE registrations during the call--but you have to be on the live call to receive one of these registrations.
September 17, 2013 Success Leaves Traces FREE teleseminar Sharon Jenkins interviewing me about the characteristics of bestselling authors. I have interviewed over 150 bestselling authors and you don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn these valuable lessons.
September 27-29, 2013 Wisconsin Writers Association Fall Conference in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. I will be out in western Wisconsin and a keynote speaker for the Saturday night dinner at this event. Also I will be meeting with authors throughout this event.
October 5, 2013 Author Networking Summit in Houston, Texas. At this one day event, I will be a keynote speaker and meeting with authors throughout this event.
October 24-27, 2013 Author 101 University in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event is always packed with great people and information. Throughout the event, I will be meeting with authors about their book projects.
I hope you notice the variety of opportunities in this list of events. Some do not involve travel or cost and are completely free. No matter where you are in the world you can learn from these sessions. Other events involve travel and coming to an in-person event but the opportunity is so much greater at these sessions. I've been attending conferences for years and found them to be life-changing events.
Be encouraged to refocus on your writing and renew your commitment to getting your message into print. I'd be honored to help you.
Join the First Annual No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit With Marcia Yudkin and Colleagues FREE: http://bit.ly/13kKLV5
You Must Be There To Win
By W. Terry WhalinI watch the stories with great interest--the current Power Ball frenzy. The numbers are really high and someone is going to win that prize. Yet you must have a ticket to get into the game--and I've not bought a ticket.
I have an opportunity where you can win but the odds are a lot better than any lottery or powerball. Next Tuesday, September 10th, I will be interviewing the publisher at Morgan James Publishing, Rick Frishman.
Rick has an outstanding background in publishing and has worked with many bestselling authors on their publicity campaigns to promote their books. For the last 12 years, Rick has led Author 101 University twice a year. In March it is held in Los Angeles and in October the event is in Las Vegas. Next month, Author 101 will have another outstanding list of speakers and a wealth of bookselling information.
Next Tuesday you can ask Rick a question and if you are on the call (the action you have to take) you can be one of the winners of a free registration to Author 101.
Yes during the call, Rick will be giving away several free registrations for the event. You will have to be listening to be one of the winners.
From my experience of attending a number of Author 101 events, I know it can be life changing. I hope you will be one of the people on the live call listening to Rick, who is a wealth of practical publishing information.
Just for signing up for the Tuesday call, you will receive a free copy of Rick’s new Ebook, Agents and the Publishing Industry. Even if you don’t have a question, register and say “no question” when asked for a question.
You do not want to miss this live teleseminar because you could win a free registration to Author 101 Las Vegas.
Hope to see you on the call.
Editors and literary agents do not read manuscripts (a surprise to authors). They read book proposals. Learn more at: http://bit.ly/wbkpro
Take Action To Grow
By W Terry WhalinRecently I was organizing my desk and found a CD from a conference I attended in June. The Write to Publish Conference generously gave each attendee a free copy of 26 sessions from the previous year.
Also I picked a book off my shelf that I had purchased months ago, yet never opened the pages and read it. It is one of the many how-to books that I regularly read and apply to my writing life or business practices.
As writers, we have good intentions to learn and grow but we don't take consistent action. I regularly speak with authors who have good intentions to send me a promised book proposal or a manuscript.
Yet a million interruptions have come into their life and they haven't sent it—but they still have plans. Ironically these same authors want to tell me about some pricey training where they've just returned. I've met a number of people who attend many training sessions on a regular basis—yet they have joined the ranks of the person who comes to an event yet doesn't apply the information they are absorbing. It strikes me as a waste of good intentions.
I want to encourage you to apply whatever teaching or training you have received—as you continue to learn more about your craft. I have taken the shrink wrapper off the CD with teaching from a writer's conference. I'm going to begin to listen to some of these sessions.
That book which has been on my shelf for months. I will open and spend some time reading and gaining insight from this seasoned professional who wrote the book.
As I listen to the audio programs and read the book, I will take notes and apply lessons to my own writing life. Each of us have good intentions. The key distinction is if we take action on these intentions and move forward.
If you are looking for a boost to your writing life, then I encourage you to take my Write A Book Proposal course or read my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams book. You must take action to grow and achieve the desires in your heart.
How are you moving ahead to accomplish your writing dreams and plans?
Build Publishing Habits
By W. Terry WhalinIf you are writing a novel or a nonfiction book or ???. What are you doing each day to succeed with this writing project?
Yes, it is important to craft an excellent work with terrific storytelling and craft. We learn these skills through our own reading and continual practice. Writing should be a habit which you continually cultivate and practice on a regular basis.
Yet what about other areas of publishing where you need to develop habits?
Recently I heard from an unpublished author who was getting rejected or no response from literary agents. She was sending out a children's book and couldn't understand why she could not succeed. I wrote this author that she needed to do more to understand the marketplace. Only a few literary agents that I know represent children's books for several reasons. First, the advances are very low for children's books.
Also it's hard to get a children's book published and much of the writing work is Work Made for Hire or something an agent wouldn't be involved in. Finally agents are looking for writers who demonstrate that they have been published. You have to show this skill through writing for print magazines or other recognized forms. This unpublished author was floundering because she had not done the basics to understand the market. As a daily habit, she needed to be reading published authors and how-to books as well as connecting with someone to help her.
Reading in the field is another publishing habit that every author or would-be author should be developing. There are free newsletters and many ways to learn from others. Are you tapping into these resources?
Another publishing habit is to constantly build your connections to others. It doesn't require tons of time but it does require consistent effort. For example, posting on twitter and Facebook in your area of expertise is a publishing habit. You can use tools like Hootsuite so it does not have to consume much time but the consistency will pay off.
I spend the majority of my days working with authors as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James. My personal goal is to help as many authors as I can to achieve their dreams of getting published. As a result of these goals, I'm on the phone with authors or literary agents. Or I'm answering emails or interacting with my Morgan James colleagues about book projects. I have a series of habits that I execute each day related to my work at Morgan James.
What goals do you have for your publishing life? Have you written them down and are you looking at them on a regular basis? What habits do you need to develop in order to achieve these goals?
As you are consistent, it will pay off for you in the marketplace. I have a great deal of free information in my ebook, Platform-Building Ideas for Every Author. If you haven't read this Ebook, I suggest you get it and study it, then apply the lessons to your writing life.
What new publishing habits are you developing?
Get a copy of my free Ebook, Bloggers Guide to Profits & a replay of a teleseminar at: : http://ht.ly/fMSsc
How Are You Asking?
By W. Terry WhalinA great deal of publishing involves the process of asking. For example, if you want to write a magazine article, then you learn how to write a one-page pitch letter called a query and send it to an editor. Essentially you are asking that editor to publish your article.
It's the same with books. You have a book proposal or a book manuscript and you ask the editor or agent to consider publishing your material. It's critical for each process that you ask in the right way to receive a positive response. I've invested a great deal in this teaching process creating courses and free teleseminars and articles.
As I consider this concept of asking, it is a biblical idea. James 4:2 says in the NIV, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” One of the keys is asking with the right strategy and in the right way.
Many times I speak with writers who are struggling financially. There has always been a “starving artist” type of mentality with writers. In recent years, some new tools are available (without cost) to help you raise the funds that you need to accomplish your dreams. Some people call it “crowd funding” and other times it is called “joyful giving.” It's a way your connections (friends and family) can financially support your publishing vision.
One of the most successful programs online is called Kickstarter. I read a new book from Aimee Cebulski called KICKSTARTER FOR DUMMIES. Whenever I want to learn a new skill, I’ve found it is important to learn from people who have detailed experience in this area. Aimee Cebulski is one of these people. She not only writes about Kickstarter but has used it successfully to fund her book, THE FINDING 40 PROJECT.
In the introduction for KICKSTARTER FOR DUMMIES, Cebulski writes “Kickstarter has quickly become a mainstream way to get a creative project made.” Most people have no idea how to raise funds for their creative project, Kickstarter gives anyone the ability to raise funds—but it does take strategic planning and thinking to pull off successfully. This book will help you understand the details and creative possibilities.
The Kickstarter model is working. Page 6 says, “As of March 2013, individuals using Kickstarter have:
• Launched 89,400 projects
• Funded 37,300 projects – a success rate of 43%
• Raised $434 million”
“Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing approach to fundraising. This means, if you don’t hit your fundraising goal within a certain timeframe (about 30 to 60 days), you get nothing. As a result, you need to be very strategic in your planning, your goal-setting, and backer solicitation, all of which I cover in depth in this book.” (Page 7)
The illustrations, step-by-step instructions and depth of this book make it a “must-have” for anyone who is going to use Kickstarter effectively. I recommend you get this book, study it carefully then launch your own creative endeavor. Aimee Cebulski has shown readers the path for their own success and opportunity with KICKSTARTER FOR DUMMIES.
Open your mind to new ideas and approaches. For some of you, Kickstarter will be a path you should explore to get the funds you need to publish your book or to market your book. The opportunity is certainly there for you. Will you seize it and ask others?
Follow My Current Publishing Reading
By W. Terry WhalinFor over 20 years, I've been constantly reading about the publishing world. I'm using publishing in the broadest sense of the word to include magazines, newsletters, online publications and books. Many people just focus on books.
The world of publishing is constantly in motion with different leaders and key decision makers as well as an ever-changing way of doing things. For example, as recently as five years ago, most publishing professionals frowned and discouraged any form of self-publishing. Today this area of the market is thriving. Admittedly you have to be wise about how you self-publish. I hear the stories almost daily of people who have wasted thousands of dollars in the self-publishing area with little to show for it. Yet there are some remarkable successes in this area so it has changed.
/span> During my day, I read in the trades. I read newsletters. I read online publications and print publications (newspapers and magazines). Often as a part of my reading process, I will look for a way to share this information to my twitter followers (yes click this link if you aren't already following me on twitter).
The links of what I'm reading and believe is valuable appears on my twitter feed. It only takes a matter of seconds for me to pass on this information and I do it on a consistent and regular basis.
Most (but not all) of these tweets appear on my Facebook page. I have a link established that says take all of my tweets and put it on my Facebook page. Yet sometimes this doesn't work. Sometimes the connection link is broken or needs to be repaired or any number of other technical glitches.
If you aren't reading my twitter feed, then you miss my pointing out this fresh information and insight about my learning and reading in the publishing world. Admittedly I don't point to everything—but I do tweet about a high percentage of it.
I send this information to my Twitter audience because it is continually growing. In the last week, I've passed 75,000 followers.
If you don't have a twitter account, I encourage you to start one. I've got a free ebook called Mastering Twitter in 10 Minutes or Less. It is a little out of date but the basics remain the same. If you want to know how to grow your twitter account and maintain it (i.e. eliminate fake followers and other ineffective followers), check out this recent post or this older one (refollow is an excellent tool that I'm actively using). Or to gain more insight you can scroll down on my blog and in the right hand column I have a search tool. You can put “twitter” in the search tool and read the different articles I've written over the years about twitter. It's got loads of terrific information for you.
The world of publishing is constantly in motion and if you'd like to look over my shoulder and read what I'm reading and learning, following my twitter posts is one of the best and easiest suggestions that I can make. Follow me and I will follow you and we will have a direct connection—so you can easily send me a direct message (which I read and respond to throughout the day).
How To Improve Your Twitter Followers
By W. Terry WhalinWhile it's great to have a lot of followers on twitter, how can you improve the quality of your followers?
As the twitter community grows, there are all sorts of fake profiles, profiles with no photo (which in general shows that the person doesn't care about their twitter account), and twitter accounts which are not in English (I don't like all of the non-English material in my twitter feed).
In the last few days, I went over 75,000 followers. In this article, I'm going to show you a free tool that I'm using to improve my twitter followers. For the last several weeks, I've been using a FREE tool called Manage Flitter. There is a paid portion of this tool but I'm only using the free version.
When I log on to this tool, it takes several minutes for it to load all of my follower and check them out. Then in a matter of seconds, it shows me some key aspects:
*People who aren't following me but I'm following
*People who don't have a photo in their profile (indicates they don't use twitter much in the majority of cases)
*Fake or Spam twitter accounts
*Non-English Twitter accounts that I'm following
The program is easy to use and in a matter of a few minutes I can select these different groups and unfollow them quickly.
If you use Manage Flitter on a regular basis, you will improve the quality of your twitter followers. I hope it will become a good resource for you.
Tell me about your experience with Manage Flitter or other twitter tools. I'm always looking for ways to improve my Twitter account without spending loads of time on it.
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