Why Writers Need Lead Magnets
|"Likes" on Facebook is one type of Lead Magnet|
John Kremer, the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, says
publishing is about building relationships. From my experience, often, who you
know is as important as what you know. Yes you have to write an outstanding
proposal and manuscript (foundational) but reaching the right person and readers
with your writing is a key part of the publishing process.
One of the ways you build relationships is through consistent
and regular communication. As I've mentioned in these articles in the past,
every writer needs to be growing an email list. Whether you write fiction or
children's books or nonfiction, you still need an email list. If you don't have
a list of wonder how to begin one, I have an inexpensive ebook called The List Building Tycoon.
The focus of this article is on creating a lead magnet. A lead
magnet is a list-building device. For someone to get the desired object (more on
what they can be in a minute), this person has to give you their first name and
email address. In exchange for them giving you their email address, then they
join your email list. On every email list, the subscriber has the option to
unsubscribe. Each time I send out to my list, people unsubscribe. It's part of
the process and nothing personal. You want people on your email list who want to
be there so you want to give them the ability to unsubscribe.
To create a lead magnet, first focus on your readers and the
type of people you want to attract. What do they need that you can provide for
them? Is it an ebook? Is it a teleseminar? Is it a video?
Lead magnets are tools to get people to subscribe to your list.
I have a number of these types of tools:
Free lists of information
Free teleseminars and training
There is not a single way to create these lead magnets. Some
people do it with a simple video. The key is to have multiple ways for people to
sign up for your email list. Then you have to promote these lead magnets on
social media to encourage people to get your information. If you follow me on Twitter, you will notice I cycle through a number of these lead magnets through
my Twitter stream (which also shows up on LinkedIn and Facebook). Nothing
happens overnight but consistent action will build into something powerful which
you can use to touch your audience and readers.
Do you have a lead magnet or a number of lead magnets? How are
you promoting these lead magnets? Let me know in the comments below.
What is a lead magnet? Why do writers need them? Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: . Bob Bly, ebooks, editors, email list, lead magnet, literary agents, Steve Laube, teleseminars, Terry Whalin
Use of Time Choices
Each of us have the same time and space limitations. Yet each of us can continue to grow and improve in this area. I know I have a lot to learn and continue to learn about how to manage my time. As I speak with writers, some of them want to write and do zero marketing. I understand this bent toward writing. They get their greatest joy and satisfaction for pouring their words into their computer and telling stories.
Groups of writers have taken personality tests and the majority are introverts. It makes sense they would rather write on their computer or in a journal instead of stand in front of a group of people and teach. Through the years, many people believe I am an extrovert because I've been a keynote speaker at large and small conferences.
Also I've taught continuing classes where I teach for five or six hours with a group of people. For example in May, I will be teaching a continuing class at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park. Last week I was talking with a friend about doing this teaching and he whether I had enough content for this session. I reassured him I had done this type of teaching in the past. Yes I have plenty to teach during these sessions. Is it my natural bent? No but like other writers, I have learned to rise to the occasion and do this type of teaching.
Several basics in this area of time choices:
1. Connect to your readers. Every writer needs to devote some time to building their presence in the marketplace. Some people call this connecting with your tribe or readers. Others call it platform building and marketing. (Click this link to get my free Ebook, Platform-Building Ideas for Every Author). Publishers and literary agents are looking for writers who are connected to their readers. Why? Publishers may create beatiful books and get them into the bookstores (online and brick and mortar store)—but it is the author who drives readers into those stores to actually purchase the books.
|Click this image for FREE Ebook|
2. Whatever you begin, be consistent. Some people build their following on YouTube while others do it through a social media network like Twitter or Facebook. In my view you don't have to be everywhere but wherever you are, be consistent. For example, since 2008, I've consistently written about once a week on these blog entries on different aspects of writing and the publishing world. I've written nearly 1,500 entries and it did not happen overnight. It happened one entry at a time. You too can do it.
3. Spend regular time on your marketing efforts. Over the years I have built a large body of work. Just search for my name on Google and you will see what I am talking about. I have tweeted thousands of times on Twitter. I consistently tweet 12=15 times every day. Yet in these articles, I've also been transparent about the tools that I use for these tweets.
4. Be conscious of how you spend your time. Are you wasting hours looking at Facebook or in front of the television or monitoring the news? Any of these things can consume hours of attention and time. Choose to limit it or eliminate it. Such choices will open more time in your life.
People wonder how I've written over 60 books. I've written these books one page at a time and one chapter at a time and one manuscript at a time. Like one of my novel writing friends told me years ago, “No little elves come out at night and write her pages.” She does it one page and one story at a time.
How are you making time choices? Let me know in the comments below.
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Labels: . writer's conference, Colorado Christian Writers Conference, consistency, control, introvert, literary agent, platform, readers, time, time management, writer
Five Reasons I Read and Respond to Email--And You Should Too
In various online and print articles and from time management experts, I have read repeatedly that we should take control of the number of times we read our email. Some people recommend you do it only once or twice a day rather than checking your phone or email many times during a day. I understand the reason for this suggestion since most of us check our email too much—to the annoyance of our relatives sometimes. You do have to be controlled about when you check it—but in this article I want to give you a contrarian type of answer—about reasons you should be reading it”
1. Opportunities come in various emails. Recently another author asked me to write the foreword for their book. I looked at the book and agreed then wrote my foreword and sent it via email. I have a new forthcoming writing book and I've been gathering endorsements for this book and a foreword. I've done this work through email. Edtors ask authors to write articles for magazines and much more via email—provided you are faithfully reading them and responding in a timely way.
2. Book contracts come via email. Years ago, contracts were sent in the regular snail mail. Today with secure servers and such, contracts are often sent via email. You can also print, sign, scan the pages and return the contract to the publisher through email. It is how I have been working with authors on their book contracts at Morgan James for the last several years.
3. Money comes in email. As I've mentioned in these articles, I am involved in affiliate marketing. Some of the emails that I send through my email list promote others and their products. If you attend their event and buy their products, then I get a percentage of the sale as an affiliate. I explain more about affiliate marketing in this free ebook, You Can Make Money (use the link to get it and learn more and become one of my affiliates for my products).
|FREE Ebook click image|
4. I learn about writing reading my email. I'm on other people's email list—and I have an email list. I believe every writer needs to be growing an email list. If you don't know how to get started on an email list, I have a little product called The List Building Tycoon After you have an email list, you need to be using it on a regular basis.
|Click Image to learn more|
5. I communicate with authors through email. As an editor, I send a lot of email to authors. It's how I set up phone meetings and for some people, I send them book contracts from our Morgan James publication board.
I'm certain there are more than five reasons why I read my email and respond but these will give you ideas for your own email reading. It's why I read my email and respond to it throughout the day—every day.
Do you have boundaries for reading and responding to your email? Let me know in the comments below.
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Labels: affiliate marketing, contracts, email, email marketing, email newsletters, list building, Morgan James, publishing, reading, writing
Five Ways to Get More Writing Time
|Time can fly when you are on a deadline.|
The Psalmist said, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth
will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm
39:4, New Living Translation) These days seem to be racing and I'm aware of how
time flies and feel the need to make the most of each day.
Each of us have the same 24 hours. Yet some people seem to get
more done in those hours than others. How are you using those hours for your
writing? In this article, I want to detail five ways to get more time for your
1. Get Aware of How You Spend Your Time. It's
easy to waste time if you aren't aware of how you spend it. Take a day or two
and keep a brief running list of your activities. This list will help you
eliminate and improve your use of time.
2. Consider your writing expectations. Do you
plan to write in the mornings or in the evenings or when? Do you expect to get a
large block of time to concentrate and write a lot of words? As you think about
your expectations, think about if you have put any artificial expectations such
as I will write for two hours without pause. That expectation is not realistic.
Maybe you have said to yourself that you need ___ minutes to write. Can you
write off and on throughout the day on a project? Be willing to experiment and
change to see what improvements you can make in this process. Each of us are
different but at times we create artificial (and wrong) expectations for our
3. Use good writing tools. Some friends do
their writing in a coffee shop while others need silence. Would a new tool help
you increase your writing? I've mentioned my AlphaSmart 3000 which I bought on ebay for
about $25. It is old technology but allows me to write on the go and easily
change my location. I've written on airplanes and in libraries and many other
places. Maybe a new tool will help you get more writing time.
4. Apply the lessons from your time monitoring.
Awareness is the first step but then you need to make changes to your use of
time from what you learned. For example, if you spend several hours a day on
Facebook or any other social media site, you can make some different choices.
Maybe you love watching sports and that is consuming a lot of time or some
favorite show on television.
5. Be committed to moving forward no matter what
happens. When you slip and waste time, it's easy to beat yourself up
and even give up. Each of us have schedule interruptions and get sick and have a
car break down or countless other interruptions. Be dtermined to move forward
and meet your deadlines whether personal or from an editor.
Each of us have the same time and space limitations. Yet each of
us can continue to grow and improve in this area. I know I have a lot to learn
and continue to learn about how to manage my time.
What steps are you taking these days with your time? Let me know
in the comments below.
Discover five ways to get more writing time in this article from a prolific writer. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: books, commitment, interruptions, management, persistence, publishing, Terry Whalin, time, writing
Where to Begin Publishing
Publishing can be confusing and overwhelming. Where do you begin
the process? Recently an unpublished writer contacted me for some guidance. For
many years, she had been interested in publishing and writing in her journal.
Once she sent something to a magazine and got rejected. Then she hasn't
tried again. Yes she reads blogs and websites and has purchased the Christian Writers Market Guide
(all good steps in the process). Yet she was overwhelmed and unsure where to
start her journey.
While I've been in publishing many years, I still recall those
early days in my writing life. I could identify with the overwhelming feeling
and confused about where to begin the publishing journey. If you are in this
situation with your writing, here's what I recommend:
1. Write articles for Sunday school take home
papers. Almost every type of church has publications which are given
out during Sunday School. These are called Sunday School Take Home Papers and
are published 52 times a year. Editors have a huge need to fill these issues
with quality writing and are always looking for the right material. Also their
circulations are generally 100,000 to 200,000 which means lots of exposure for
the writer. Also many of these publications have theme lists where the editor
tells you the topics they need. If you write on those topics, then you increase
your possibility of getting their attention and that they will publish it.
2. Write personal
experience stories. Many publications including Sunday school take
homes, publish personal experience stories. Each of us have
these stories but are you writing them and trying to get them published? Can
you write the story with a solid beginning, middle and end? Can you conclude
with a single point called a takeaway for the reader? These articles are often
500 to 1000 words in length but before you fire off your submission, check the
guidelines (normally online) and read some of their publication (online). You'd
be surprised how many writers don't do this critical step in the submission
3. Regularly submission to publications. I'd like to be published in
Reader's Digest. At the moment it is very unlikely that will happen
because I'm not sending them anything. Notice in my opening story the writer
send something once and got rejected. I know everyone gets rejected. Yes I get
rejected in the process. That rejection isn't personal but simply saying it was
not the right material at the right time for this publication. Maybe the
material is right for a different publication. Persistence and consistency in
your submissions will help you get published.
4. Understand getting published leads to more
opportunity. The editors and literary agents are looking for people with experience. You
get experience writing for magazines and it can lead to books and other
Everyone has to begin the publishing journey some place. I
suggest you begin with magazines because they are short, targeted and quicker than
books plus you reach thousands of people with your writing. I understand why
people want to write books and hold them in your hand. I encourage you to look
for the broader possibility of magazines—whether you are brand new or have a lot
Where did you begin the publishing process? Does this resonate
and raise some questions? Let me know in the comments below.
Where do you begin to get published? Get the specifics here from a prolific editor. (ClickToTweet)
Labels: Christian Writers Market Guide, editor, guidelines, magazines, persistence, publishing, rejection, Sunday school, take-home papers, writer, writing
A Cautionary Tale
Book publishing is filled with possible pitfalls and errors. I witnessed
another one today.
One of my best-selling author friends has a new book releasing. This new book
was from a major well-known publisher. The book was designed well and edited and
included endorsements and practical information. I've supported this author in
the past so I was on the list of people who got a pre-release of the book. This
pre-release included a personal handwritten note from the author and information
about the date of the book release.
It was a push for my schedule but I managed to quickly write a review and be
ready to post it on the launch date. Then I noticed the page on Amazon. It was
not the typical pre-release page but the book had already released a
couple of days ahead of the launch date. The book had zero Amazon reviews
on the page.
How did this happen? Someone at the publishing house set up the
wrong Amazon date for releasing the book (my guess). This author has a launch
team and other elements in place to promote her book. I was not surprised to
learn this team wasd in place since she is an experienced author and knows the
elements to launch a new book. It is important to have a launch team because
there are over 4,500 new books releasing every day. Also most publishers are
selling about 50% of their books through Amazon. Now that leaves another 50% for
brick and mortar, other online retailers, and other places. Still 50% is a large
number at Amazon for the book sales.
I'm writing these details about this story which contains a number
1. Details matter. The release date of your book should
match up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other places. As an author, you can
check some of these details but depending on how you publish, they are mostly
handled internally inside the publishing house.
2. With a launch or book. things can go wrong. When this
happens to you, acknowledge it and keep moving forward.
3. Nothing is fatal in this process—unless you quit. Even
when something goes off or doesn't happen, you can still recover from it and
sell books. The only way for you to be stopped is when you give up and stop.
Almost anything can be overcome with action.
4. Marketing is an ongoing process for every book.
Last week one of my books got a new review. I was interested to read it. When I
looked it was a one star review with hardly any information. I was disappointed
but it was from a real person and when you get a one star review, it validates
all the other reviews for the book. In other words, nothing to do about it but
keep moving forward. I encourage you to do the same.
I wrote this article to help and encourage you with your own marketing
efforts for your book. It is not easy for anyone—even people with a lot of
experience in this area. The key is to keep going and keep moving forward no
matter what happens.
Tell me that steps you are taking to move forward no
matter what happens in the comments below.
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Labels: author, bestseller, book, challenges, difficulty, launch, marketing, persistence, publisher, publishing
Do the Hard Work
|Ideas like an anvil can be hard to execute|
I understand my work in publishing is not easy or simple. It is not. There
are a number of things which I don't do easily—but I still do it and that is my
encouragement to you.
For example, I'm not crazy about making phone calls yet yesterday I spent
several hours on the phone making calls. The majority of the time I left little
upbeat messages to authors. Why? Because from my years in publishing I know how
rare it is to get a phone call from an editor at a publishing house. My
intention is to stand out and be the exception. I understand this business has a
lot of rejection—people saying no thank you and passing on your project.
Our model at Morgan James is different from others (something I spend a lot
of time talking with authors and agents about). You may not like all the details
of Morgan James,
but we are providing opportunity for authors and making incredible books in the
marketplace. Do all of these books succeed? No because we can make books but
can't make them sell. In the process, I try and manage expectations for authors
and tell them that 80% of the work is up to them. Yes Morgan James can sell the
book into the brick and mortar bookstores—but it is the author who promotes and
drives readers into the bookstore to actually buy that book (through many
different ways such as social media, radio, magazine articles, public speaking
and much more).
A number of the authors that I called yesterday have not returned my calls or
answered me via email. In a number of cases, I've called them multiple times
over the last few months and left these messages. Each of the people I called have
received a contract from Morgan James—but for whatever reason they have not signed or
negotiated this contract. Maybe they are looking for an agent or a better offer
or haven't finished their book or ??? (multiple reasons). The main purpose of
my call was to let them know that I still believed in their book and wanted to
help them get it published and into the world.
Let me tell you about two authors I worked with this past week. One author I
met at least five years ago and haven't heard from in a long time. She reached out
to me and asked if our contract had changed in the last four years. Her book has
not been published. Four years ago the timing wasn't right but now she is ready
to move forward. I checked with my colleagues and a new contract was issued and
sent to this author. Will she sign and move forward and get her book into the
bookstores? I don't know but she now has a new opportunity.
Also this week I spoke with another author who has a literary agent. A year
and a half ago, I had lunch with this agent and he told me the author wasn't a
good fit to publish with Morgan James. I listened and accepted this decision and
moved on working with other authors. Then a few weeks ago, this author reached
out to me. She has the same agent but the book hasn't been published and she
wanted to explore Morgan James. I spoke with her and have now moved this book
into the process where my colleagues look at the author and the book to see if
they will issue a contract for this novel. I have no idea if Morgan James will
publish this book or not but again I am providing the opportunity.
What is hard work for you? Are you doing it? Maybe you don't like social
media or marketing or creating an email list or any number of other tasks. Are
you doing these hard tasks? My encouragement is for you to keep moving forward
every day. Your steps may be small but continue to move forward and eventually
you will get it done. Keep growing in your craft and reading and learning more
about new aspects. Keep broadening your connections and network and keep looking
for new opportunities.
I understand that some of the process is not easy but you can do it. If I can
help you in the journey, let me know. My work contact information is on the bottom of the second
page of this link. My encouragement is for you to keep moving forward and
that you can do it.
Let me know in the comments below, what actions you are taking to tackle the
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Labels: authors, books, connections, marketing, Morgan James Publishing, publishing, social media, work, writing