How to Press Forward When Stopped
|As a writer, how to you move when stuck?|
As writers, I've learned we are frequently told the word “no.”
“Your idea isn't a good fit for us.” (A polite
“Not publishing this type of book.”
There are many other ways we are told no or stopped in our
tracks. For example, I've mentioned in these entries about using the tool called
Refollow every day to grow my social media presence.
Refollow helps you
follow up to 800 people in your target market—and you can also unfollow about
1,000 people a day. You can get month's FREE trial and see if you like using this program (use this link). Consistent use of Refollow is one of the reasons I
have a large Twitter
I want to use this program as an example of how we as writers
need to not get stalled with “no” and instead keep pressing forward. Today I
used the program and followed 800 new people. Normally I open a window in my
browser and Refollow works along as I do other things. To make sure the program
is working, I check on it from time to time. Refollow works with Twitter and
sometimes the program will stop and flash a message saying the program stopped
not because of the program but because of Twitter's limiting the number of
people you follow.
When this happens, I suspect some people close the program
and stop using it—and return tomorrow. I do not take this path. Instead Refollow
allows you to unfollow people who have not followed you back. In some cases,
I've been following these people for years and they have not followed me back. I
use the program to unfollow people. Even using the unfollow portion of the
program, I am stopped. I get a message saying my connection between the program
and Twitter has expired and I have to restart. Some people at this message,
would probably quit the program. Instead I try it again—and often it keeps
working. The program and the process isn't perfect or straightforward because it
works with Twitter. You have to determine your next move when stopped—continue
or use a different aspect or decide to return later (even tomorrow).
This process is often the same in other parts of the writing
world. You pitch a magazine and get a rejection. (Follow this link for
a resource to help you.) Or you approach a literary agent and they don't respond or they say their
client list is full for your type of writing. Or any number of other polite ways
people say “no.” When you get this response, does it discourage you and you take
it personally or do you press forward with something else (like a different type
I encourage you to figure out your game plan before you get
stopped or hear no. Then keep moving forward with the next plan on your list.
Otherwise, you go into stall and don't accomplish what you wanted. The choice is
up to you. I choose to look at the world as full of opportunity and you are
searching for the right opportunity.
As writers we have many different
directions for our writing. I've written books, magazine articles, websites,
Ebooks, radio scripts, and other types of writing for many different audiences
(preschoolers, young readers, teens and adults). If you need some ideas, I
encourage you to download and read the first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing
Dreams (no optin and
use this link).
How do you press forward when you are stopped? What are your
strategies? Let me know in the comments below.
When you are stopped, how do you press forward? Get ideas from this prolific writer and editor here. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: books, forward, Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, literary agent, magazine, persistence, publishing, Refollow, rejection, stalled, stuck, Twitter, writers, writing
Five Sure-Fire Ways to Fail as a Book Author
For many years I've written on the positive
ways to succeed as a book author in these articles. Yet there is another path
which many people take on the road to publishing their book. Here's five
sure-fire ways to fail as an author:
1. Believe if I build it, they will come. These
authors pour energy and effort into building a great website for their book.
While a website is important in your book marketing, it isn't everything. You
may have the slickest well-written website but without telling people about it,
no one will come. There are millions of websites online. If the author doesn't
drive traffic and eyeballs to see your content, then it does not help you or
your book sales. There is much more to the process than simply building a
website and hoping (without action) that people will come.
2. Believe I know everything there is to know about
publishing. I've met authors (some of them even well-known bestselling
authors) who believe they know everything there is to know about publishing.
These people ooze confidence. I've spent decades in this business and read the
trade magazines and other things constantly. Things are constantly shifting in
publishing and there is always more to learn—and I do learn new things all the
time. Overconfidence can be a pitfall for authors. It is great to believe in
yourself but be balanced in that view.
3. Believe the publisher will sell my books for me
without marketing. Publishers make and release amazing books. Yet
without marketing and telling someone about that book—then no one will purchase
it. No matter how you publish your book (traditional, hybrid or
self-publishing), the bulk of the marketing effort will fall on the author.
Authors are fooling themselves if they believe their publisher will sell the
books—with or without marketing. Yes publishers can get your book into
bookstores—but it is the author's marketing efforts that get readers to purchase
4. Believe attending a writers' conference is a waste of
time. For an author to go to any event (local or far away), you will
invest time and money in this process. If you attend these events with the wrong
expectations or attitude, then you will set yourself up to not get anything out
of it. I believe every author can cut down their learning curve from attending
conferences, meeting the right people and applying the information they
learn to their book and marketing efforts. Knowledge without action is worthless
but you can certainly meet many of the right people at a conference. If you
haven't been to a conference or haven't been for some time, I encourage you to
make plans and a commitment to get to a conference (check out
this link for a list of some conferences). Attending a conference can
invigorate your writing life and success as a book author.
5. Believe the title, cover and publisher do not
matter. Each of these elements are critical in the book purchase
process. I've bought books because of a title or a cover design. I've also not
purchased books because of the publisher. Many consumers do not notice the
publisher and I admit to being a more sophisticated consumer than many people.
These elements are a critical part of the book production process and essential
for your success.
I've written about only five of many different ways a book
author can fail. The details are an important part of the process. Maybe I'm
missing a critical way for an author to fail? Let me know in the comments
Learn Five Sure-Fire Ways for Book Authors to Fail. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: authors, book, cover, eyeballs, failure, marketing, publisher, publishing, sales, writers' conferences
The Missing Link for Book Reviews
Through the years, I've asked numerous people to write a short review on my books—and it has not happened. There are probably many reasons why this happens:
1. They haven't read the book.
2. They are not writers and have no idea what to write for a review.
3. They are busy and never get it done.
4. They forgot and no one reminded them about your need for the review.
These reasons are only a few of the endless possibilities. To write a review does not seem complicated to me. Of course, I've been writing reviews of books for years in print magazines and online. I've written over 900 Amazon reviews and over 500 reviews on Goodreads. Almost daily someone approaches me about reading their book and reviewing it. With limited time to read, I answer but turn down the majority of these requests.
|Click this image to learn about this tool|
My friend Sandra Beckwith has created a simple tool to address this problem and help writers get more book reviews for their books. A former book publicist and long-time member of the publishing community, Sandra understands authors are challenged to get reviews for their books. You can see my interview with Sandra at this link. To address this need for more book reviews, she has created a “reader book review form” or a template to help your readers write then post their review. Two types of templates were created since a nonfiction review would be different from a fiction review.
In addition to creating a well-written template for nonfiction or fiction, Sandra has included information with ideas for writers to distribute and promote the book review form. Also she includes blanket permission to give this form away with as many copies as you want.
Whether your book is brand new or has been published for a while, I believe every author can profit from the use of this simple and inexpensive tool. My strong recommendation is that you purchase this tool (follow this link) then use it over and over to stir your readers to action and write more reviews.
Will this tool help you get more book reviews? It will definitely not help if you don't get it—or if you get it and don't use it. From my years in publishing, Sandra has created a practical tool for authors. I plan to use my template over and over, then I will know if it works or not. I encourage you to take similar action and let me know in the comments below about the innovative ways you are using this tool.
Are y0u struggling to get people to write reviews for your book? Learn about a new inexpensive tool which will help you get more reviews. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: book reviews, marketing, promotion, readers, Sandra Beckwith, template, tool
Endorsements Sell Books
As a long-time reader, I have purchased a number of books
because of an endorsement on the front or back cove or just inside the book.
These brief words from someone with name recognition help you sell books.
Sometimes these endorsements are called blurbs.
From my years in publishing, the process of getting these
endorsements is often a bit mysterious to writers.
Without the author taking action during the production process,
endorsements don’t happen. Many books are published without endorsements but if
your book doesn’t have endorsements, you are missing this sales tool.
You have to ask people to endorse your book. One of the keys in
this process is to understand these high profile people are busy and do not
assume they will read your book before they send their endorsement.
What To Ask and What To Send
--Write a clear short subject line in email: like Easy Blurb Request.
These people get a lot of emails and you want to make it clear from the
beginning how your request is different and easy for them to handle.
--Attach the cover and the edited manuscript (probably not in
layout at this point). Don’t assume they will read the manuscript but you want
them to be able to read it and see the designed cover.
--Write a brief email with only a few sentences. Give them a
deadline and offer to write a “draft endorsement” if they don’t have the time to
write one themselves. As I’ve done this process, I’m always surprised at who will ask
for a draft endorsement. You have no idea of their schedule and whether they
are home or traveling or in some intense deadline. You want to make it easy so
they agree to do it.
--Ask how they want to be identified. Some of the possible options are bestselling author, editor
at ___ or president of ____ or any other way. You will get a variety of answers but want to
identify your endorsers as they want to be named. Many of us have different roles in different places.
--Use their website contact form or social media to reach them.
Some of these high profile people are hard to reach but you want to ask more
people than you will actually need. When I did this process recently, some
long-time friends did not respond. Others sent emails and said no for various
If you can, you want to gather several pages of these endorsements.
Some will be broken into phrases and used on the inside but also on the front or
For a couple of examples of endorsements, I encourage you to
look at the sample of my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link). Notice
the variety and different types of endorsements in these pages. You can do the
same with your book. Also look in detail at the story of Jacqueline Marcell who
self-published her book about elder care and had many high profile endorsements.
She details her process and some of her resources in this article (follow this link).
After the book is in Print
When you have books in hand (often before the official release
date), send a signed print copy to the endorser with your note of appreciation.
This person helped you and your gratitude is an important step in the
It does take effort to get these endorsements but they pay off
in increased book sales. Also online sites will often put the endorsements in
the editorial dection of the book—i.e. before any customer reviews for the
book—which is another opportunity for you as the author to influence and
encourage the book sale.
Some writers wonder about the integrity of this process. The
endorser didn’t read the book cover to cover before adding their name to this
process. Even though I understand how this process works, I still buy books
because of a particular endorsement on a book.
My encouragement is for you to put the effort into this process
during the book production and it will pay off for you.
How do you gather endorsements for your book? Have I missed
anything? If so, let me know in the comments below.
Endorsements sell books. Learn the specifics of how to gather them here. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: bestselling author, blurbs, books, endorsements, integrity, publishing, selling books, writing
Does Your Book Include Acknowledgements?
|The acknowledgement section is where book authors express gratitude.|
As a long-time reader and lover of books plus my involvement in
various aspects of the publishing industry, I notice fiction and nonfiction
books include an acknowledgement section. This category appears in the Table of
contents (mostly for nonfiction books).
These pages are where the author tells about the contributions
of others to the book. They can be beta readers, editors, agents, others in the
publishing house, along with friends and relatives. I have always read these
sections and learn a great deal from them. For example, who is the literary
agent for a bestselling author? The author could have included this information
in the acknowledgement section.
For many years, these acknowledgement pages appeared in the early
pages of a book. I suspect many readers skipped right over them and headed to
the first pages of the book. In recent years, these acknowledgement sections
have been tucked into the final pages of books (nonfiction and fiction). I still read them and often learn some extra
information about the author in the process.
I've found many writers are looking for a literary agent. If you
are in this category, you can use my free list of agents (follow this link) for
their mailing address, website, email address, etc. I encourage authors to use
this information not to SPAM them but for research. You are looking for the
right agent who handles your type of book when you make your submission.
One of the ways to personalize your submission is to pick up
some information about the agent from an acknowledgement page. Not every agent
lists their clients on their website and even if they do, this list may not
include all of the people they represent. Who is a similar author to the book
you are pitching? One strategy with your submissions is to pitch your book to
agents who represent this type of work. You know they are interested in this
type of book. One of the ways you can discover the bestselling author's agent is
in the acknowledgement section.
I believe the acknowledgement section of books is an important
place. As authors, it is where we can express public gratitude to others who
have helped us in the process of book creation and getting the book into the market.
Do you include an acknowledgement section in your book? How do
you decide who to include in this section? Do you put it in the front or the
back of your book? Let me know in the comments below.
What can you learn from an acknowledgement section in a book? Why is it important? Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: acknowledgement page, authors, books, fiction, gratitude, literary agent, nonfiction, publishing, thanks, writing
Try My Secret Twitter Tool for FREE
What goals and dreams do you have for the months ahead? Reach more readers?
Sell more books? Get them to your online course? Speak to more people? These
goals or others are terrific but you must have the connection to people.
Since 2008, I’ve been on Twitter along with millions of other people. If you
follow me, you will see that I tweet often throughout the day—which is one
element of my success. To use Twitter effectively, you can't tweet once a day or
once a week (like I see many writers doing). Consistently providing great
content to your target audience is an important part of this process.
A second key is in this process of growing your presence on Twitter is
using a secret tool every day. I've been using this tool consistently for
years. The tool is called Refollow. In a few minutes, you can follow 800 new people in
your target market. A certain percentage of these people will follow you back
and your numbers will climb. My daily use of this tool is one of the key reasons
I have over 200,000
followers on Twitter. You can follow the link in the previous sentence to
see the number of my followers.
Please note my 200K followers are not bought or fake. These are real people
who engage with me and my content. It’s what I want for you as well—to grow a
large responsive audience.
Refollow is not complicated or expensive. I’ve arranged for you to get a FREE
trial. Just use this link.
I use this $20 per month tool to follow 800 specific people every
day in my target market, It is not random but I’m following people who
are interested in my content or tweets. Your target will be different from mine
but you can use the same tool to grow your Twitter following—and in only minutes
What if I follow them but they don’t follow me back?
Refollow also covers this aspect with another feature. The program will
locate people who you have been following but have never followed you back. In
my case, some of them I’ve been following for years and they haven’t followed me
back. In minutes, I can unfollow up to 1,000 people a day. All of these details
are within the rules of Twitter and accomplished through Refollow.
Discover the details and get your FREE trial at this link.
I want you to succeed and achieve your dreams. Refollow can be a key part of
your success--provided you take action and use it consistently.
In the comments below, let me know how you are growing your following on
Twitter. Maybe you have a different tool you are using and I'd love to learn
Use this “Secret” Tool to Increase Your Following on Twitter. Get a FREE Trial. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: engagement, FREE trial, increase followers, platform, Refollow, Terry Whalin, tool, Twitter, writer
Use the Writer's Pivot When Stalled
It happens to me every day: I try something that doesn't work.
--program stalled. For example, I've mentioned
using Refollow every day. It's
a great tool but sometimes the program doesn't work or gets stalled. I have to
return to it later in the day and see if it will work (and often it does so it
is worth coming back to it again after several hours).
--phone call unreturned. As an acquisitions
editor, I have convinced my colleagues to issue a contract for a book at Morgan James
Publishing. I've not heard from some authors about their decision. Some
authors take time and explore other options before they sign with Morgan James.
--emails unanswered. I send email which does
not get a response from another publishing colleague or an author. Some emails
get stuck in a SPAM folder. Other times the person is busy and doesn't answer or
many other reasons.
--pitches ignored. Some of my pitches to
editors and others are not answered. Maybe it is a pitch to speak at an event or
teach a workshop or write an article.
--lots of other similar things. With these
various examples, I hope you get the idea what I'm talking about here. It
happens to everyone.
When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Do you have a
game plan to keep going? I call this shift of action using the “writer pivot.”
It's an intentional shift of direction into a new area where you can have
success and get something accomplished.
Maybe you are promoting a product, and that effort is not
working. My encouragement is for you to shift into something that
There are several important action steps in this
1. Take your own responsibility. Many details are outside of my
control. I can't control how others will react or respond. What I can control is
my own response. I encourage you to understand this aspect and take your own
responsibility. Basically you control what you can, then let the rest go and
shift into something else.
2. No matter what happens in the process, keep moving
forward. This often is an act of the will and requires persistence and perseverance—excellent qualities for everyone in this business.
3. When one type of writing is not working, I encourage you to
try a different type of writing. maybe you need to create an information product or a membership course. If you are a
book writer, then maybe write some magazine articles. There are many different
options in the writing world. I explore some of these options in my free first
chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link to
Don't go into stall but use the writer's pivot.
How do you react when something isn't working? Let me know in
the comments below.
When you are stalled, use the writer's pivot. Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: action, encouragement, information product, magazine articles, membership course, pivot, publishing, stall, writer