Sunday, March 24, 2019

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.


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Sunday, March 17, 2019

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 a  day.

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 about it. 


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Sunday, March 10, 2019

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 will work.
There are several important action steps in this process.

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 download).

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.


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Sunday, March 03, 2019

Take Action After a Conference

Last weekend I attended a one day, local writers conference. It was a sold-out event and many writers attended this event throughout Colorado and came from 12 other states. 

During this event, I met a number of people and had a number of opportunities—-which I know will disappear without my follow-up actions. In this article, I want to give y0u some ideas about what I learned and will be doing from this one day event. Whatever your experience level in publishing, you can seize many opportunities—but only if you are prepared ahead fo the event.

Whenever you attend a conference, it's important to bring plenty of business cards and exchange them with everyone you meet. Make sure you don't just give them a card—but you ask (and receive) a card from them. This stack of business cards will be an important part of your follow-up process. 

After I meet someone, I will often make a little note on the business card of some follow-up action that I need to later. These events are intense contact with person after person and you can miss a critical idea if you don't write down something to remind you later. The day included many interactions with a variety of writers and I'm capturing a few of them in this article.

Here's some of the people I met at this one day local event:

1. I spoke with several brand new writers. One in particular was trying to figure out where to begin the writing process. As you know from reading these articles, I encouraged her to write magazine articles. She did not have a business card to easily give me her contact information (something common with new writers). I took down her information and promised to send her some information.

2. I found a possible local media contact. In the back of a workshop before it began, I exchanged business cards with someone—and read they were a local radio talk show host. I'll be following up to see if I can get booked on this program later this year.

3. I found some possible new authors for Morgan James. Throughout the day, I met several new writers and listened to their pitches and took their proposals. I will be following up with them to see if they are a good fit for Morgan James Publishing.

4. I saw a long-time literary agent friend. When I attended her workshop, she told about publishing her first book in April. We spoke privately afterwards and I told her about Goodreads. She mentioned that she had not done much with Goodreads and I offered to send a handout on Goodreads. I have this handout online and knew where it was so shortly after our conversation I sent the material in an email on the spot (so I did not have to remember to do it later). She got it while at the conference and thanked me for it. It's another way to handle these types of matters—often the sooner the better.

5. Learn from the different giveaways at the event. One of the keynote speakers gave away a free download. I wrote down the website, downloaded it and have printed it to read it carefully. Another exhibitor gave away a flash drive which has “writing resources.”  I gave them my name and email address to get the flashdrive (which is a wise marketing strategy to capture email addresses). I will be checking out this flash drive and learning from it. This type of learning is one of the actions I consistently take after a conference. Some people will sign up for the flashdrive (give their email like I did) then take it home and never put it into their computer to use the resources. I recommend when you go to these events, you learn from every possible source.

Are you scheduled to attend a conference in the next few months? Follow this link to get some of my recommendations for conferences. Also you can follow this link to see where I will be speaking and attend.

From my experience, many people attend these events, take notes in the workshops and never do anything with it to move their own writing life forward. I've listed a few of my actions from this event. It is a critical part of the process. If you don't take action then things slip through the cracks and never happen.

What actions do you take after a conference? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Three Reasons to Finish

Recently I finished another writing project. In the final stages of writing the book, all sorts of things fell apart. My keyboard stopped working. Admittedly I am hard on keyboards and every several years I have to buy a new one. I had typed so much on this particular keyboard that several of the keys had worn off. Now as I typed, I had to push the key several times to get it to show up on my screen. Something was drastically wrong.  I went to my local office supply store and bought a new keyboard and mouse combination. 

When I got home, I took out my old keyboard and mouse and connected the new one. Then I tried to use it and nothing happened. Talk about frustration. I'm on an intense writing deadline and my new keyboard and mouse didn't work. I returned it to the store. The person working at the store had to try several keyboards before he found one that would work. I took the working keyboard and mouse home and it's the one that I used to complete my manuscript.

In the final stages of editing my manuscript and before I submitted it, I reviewed the publisher guidelines. Clearly in the guidelines a couple of elements are required to appear in each chapter. I had written these elements into my manuscript but they were not overt. I took one more sweep through my manuscript and fixed this element before I finalized the manuscript. Yes it was hard but I pushed through and sent it off to my publisher.

Here's my three reasons to finish:

1. Meet the deadline. Most writers do not meet their deadline. If you finish and turn in the work, you show integrity and that you are someone who keeps your promises. It shows others you are a professional and often will generate more work in your future. Why? Because you have completed what is right in front of you. With my work at Morgan James, I have a small list of authors who have signed their contract but never turned in their manuscript. Because I have a relationship as their acquisitions editor, I call them periodically and encourage them to get it into production. Several of these books have been in the “works” for years.

2. Get the Opportunity to Press on to the next stage. If you never finish the manuscript, you never work on some of the other aspects of the book. For example, after you finish, you can work on the endorsements for the book or the foreword for your book or your pre-launch campaign or gathering people to review the book. There is an endless list of possibilities for promotion and marketing yet if you never finish, you don't get to work on these aspects.

3. Completion feels good. The road to success is paved with good intentions. Many people never finish and are stuck without moving to the next step. These writers have a variety of half-baked proposals and partial manuscripts. Yes, if I'm honest,  I have some of those in my files as well. I'm working on getting these projects moving. I know it will take hard work but you can do it. Working at the writing bit by bit, your persistence will get it done.

What practical steps do you take with this information? I hope it encourages you to move forward and finish your manuscript or book proposal or whatever other type of project.

How are you finishing your book or your proposal? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, February 17, 2019

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 Ebooks

Free lists of information

Free teleseminars and training

many others

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.


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

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:

Click this image for FREE Ebook
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.

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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