You Can Make A Difference
Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others? P.K. Hallinan, author of 90 children's books that have sold almost ten million copies, identifies a key need for people: to have a life which makes a difference in others.
Hallinan boils it down to five steps:
1. Work hard
2. Go in the strength you have.
3. Finish what you start.
4. Be patient.
5. Help others along the way.
Through a combination of personal stories, the stories of others and solid how-to information, Hallinan packs a punch in every chapter of this easy-to-read book.
As he says on page 24, "You have one life, and this is your time in the sun. Use it well."
In the section on “Finish What You Start” (a real problem for many writers), he writes, “Perseverance is often the key to success. We may need to stand up one more time. We may need to take one more step. We may need to fight one more battle…”My friend who made himself a millionaire twice over liked to say, “Success in business comes from doing a lot of little things right.” I agree. In life, as well as in business, it's often the little things that make the biggest difference.” (Page 99–100)
I enjoyed reading this slim volume and recommend A LIFE THAT MATTERS, FIVE STEPS TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Labels: difference, life choice, P.K. Hallinan, perseverance, persistence, success
The Power of Teaching
While it was many years ago, to me, I can remember it as though it was yesterday. I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher Mr. Smith suggested that I might like to join the high school newspaper. He noticed something in my writing and recommended this extracurricular activity.
I took action and became a sports writer on the paper. This sports position was the only one available. I wasn’t active in sports so had to learn everything such as the terminology and the most basic of writing skills. Yet I loved it. I enjoyed observing the games and interviewing the players and the coach and getting quotations then putting that information into the article.
That sports writing experience introduced me to writing stories and headlines and learning how to pull the reader into my story. This introduction to journalism took my life in a focused direction. I ended up being the editor of my high school newspaper, then studying journalism at one of the top schools in the nation, Indiana University. Each step has built a lot into my life and writing life.
Stop for a minute and think about an influential teacher or mentor in your own life. Who is this person? Can you reach out to them and express your appreciation?
Years ago I tried to reach out to Mr. Smith. I called my old high school to see how I could find him. It turns out he passed away a couple of years earlier. I was too late in my expression of gratitude.
Don’t wait too long to express this gratitude to others. Do it today and you will bless the people who have guided your life decisions. I encourage you to watch this 2.5 minute video on the power of gratitude (just follow the link).
This past week I received a review copy of a children’s book from a new author. I met this author seven years earlier when I was teaching at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference near Asheville, North Carolina. In the cover letter, she thanked me for my words of encouragement years ago. I’ve forgotten the specifics of what I said. I’m out at a conference about once a month. You can see my schedule here. I encourage you to look it over and plan to come to an event where we can meet and talk about your writing.
Today take action. Pull out a card and write a note to someone expressing appreciation. Then do it again and again. The power of gratitude can be life changing.
Labels: action, gratitude, teaching, writers conference
Laugh Out Loud Funny
I love reading about unusual experiences and occupations. You learn the inside of the hotel industry in HEADS IN BEDS. Tomsky started in the New Orleans hotel business and during this lively book moves into New York City.
The book is peppered with advice and yet the writing is exceptional. Yes, at times a bit profane but still fascinating writing.
On my way to New York, I was reading HEADS IN BEDS. Many people try to use a story to get an upgraded room when they check into a New York hotel. According to the author, these stories do not work. He worked for years as a front desk manager and heard all of the stories about birthdays, special events and first time experiences. What works? Cash.
I used the advice in my recent trip to try it. When I checked into my hotel, I didn’t ask for any upgrade. When I gave the clerk my driver’s license and credit card, I also gave him a $20 bill (called a baby brick in the book).
The man at the desk said, “Mr. Whalin, thank you very much. You need a better room. I’m going to upgrade you to a junior suite.”
I don’t know where they planned to put me in this 16 story hotel but I was moved to the corner room on the 15th floor.
My view of the city was outstanding and I had a little larger room—all without asking and for a $20 tip. Remarkable. The advice in HEADS IN BEDS works. I recommend the book and the practice
Labels: Heads in Beds, hotel, Jacob Tomsky, memoir, tipping, travel, upgrade
The Holy Grail for Authors
Every business has a pinnacle of success. It is the ultimate mark of
achievement. In book publishing, much of this mark of success is tied to winning
a particular award or getting your book on a particular bestseller list.
The ultimate bestseller list is to see your book on the New York
Times bestseller list.. If you study this particular group of authors, you will notice
the same names repeatedly land on this list.
When an author lands on the New York Times list, the achievement is forever
carried with their publishing life. They are introduced as a New York Times
bestselling author. In many ways, it is the holy grail of publishing to achieve
such a milestone.
I’ve never achieved such a milestone but I know a number of authors who have
reached this goal. Last Thursday, I moderated a panel with three members of the American Society of
Journalists and Authors who have reached this milestone and become
New York Times bestselling authors.
I wrote some these words in another airplane on the way to this event. As the moderator, I pulled together the speakers and organized the session into
three parts: the pitch or the proposal, the writing and the promotion and life
changes that came from the experience.
I asked each speaker to pull together some tips and suggestions into a
handout. This handout was given electronically to the conference attendees.
Also I printed a number of copies that I hauled to the event.
This event is at a "members only session" for the ASJA. In other words, you
have to be a member of this organization (about 1400) and have registered for
the conference and traveled to New York City for the event (an even smaller
number). Several other workshops were going on at the same time but I had a good number in this session.
Originally I scheduled four speakers and at the last minute one of them got
ill and could not attend. Yet her information is in the handout. Here’s the handout for this
event. I found this document insightful and hopefully you will
as well. It is nine pages of solid information and insight.
I give it to you in hopes it will help your writing life.
Labels: American Society of Journalists and Authors, ASJA, author, bestseller, bestselling authors, holy grail, New York Times
Get A Top PR Firm to Market Your Book
What if in less than 18 months, you could accomplish the following without
spending one red cent of your own money?
Have a major PR firm representing you and getting you booked on...
* ABC World News
* National Public Radio (NPR)
* Oprah & Friends
* 63 major radio stations
What if companies like Coca-Cola, Wachovia, Yahoo, Toyota, Sony Pictures plus
other Fortune 500's and leading non-profits offered to...
* Buy 50,000 copies of your self-published book every year
* Make it
possible for you to get $500,000 in advances for your next book,
* Pay you
fat speaking fees for 65 speaking engagements
* Give you testimonials from
* Send emails to 100,000+ of their customers or volunteers
promoting your book, cause or business
* Feature you on their website and
guarantee you'll get at least 5 million impressions.
Is the above a fairy tale?
Can it REALLY happen ... especially if you're not already famous?
It already has for Brendon Burchard, an author and speaker who's figured out
some really ingenious ways to land corporate and non-profit promotional
sponsorships and use them to fund his marketing efforts.
To discover how you can use his methods to promote your own book, product or
business, you're invited to a free telephone seminar on Thursday, April 18th in
hear Brendon interviewed by Steve Harrison.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know I'm a compensated
affiliate for Steve's programs. Here's just some of what you'll learn on
Thursday's call with Steve and Brendon:
* What to do step-by-step to get a major company to sponsor your national
promotional tour and pay for everything!
* Why the current economic downturn
means more big companies and non-profits sponsoring authors, speakers and
entrepreneurs -- even if they're not famous.
* A website you can use to find
potential sponsors and promotional partners.
* The "secret phrase" which gets
big nonprofit organizations to endorse your book and promote it to their
* The title of the BEST person to contact with your proposal and why
you should never send one done with Microsoft Word.
* The #1 fatal mistake to
avoid making when trying to land a deal a sponsorship deal with a Fortune 500
* How to write a short proposal that gets huge companies to sponsor
you -- even if you're an unknown, self-published author (HINT: there are five
elements and he'll reveal all five on the call.)
Brendon's information works no matter what type of book you are working
on—fiction or nonfiction. Again, to
sign up for Thursday's call go here now.
Labels: Brendon Burchard, sponsors, Steve Harrison, teleseminars
Seize Your Writing Power
Many writers feel like they don't have a lot of power or influence. Especially if you are just trying to get into print with a book or magazine articles, you may be receiving a number of rejection letters. All of us receive rejection letters—whether we've written nothing or many things. It's simply a part of the publishing business and not a judgment on you as a person.
I want to encourage you to seize your writing power. What power? I'm talking about your influence as a writer. Whether you have no email list and only a few Facebook friends and only a few Twitter followers, you are a person of influence.
Recently I was reading Facebook and spotted a blog post entry from one of my writing friends, I went to the article, read it and liked it. So I took a few seconds and cut and pasted the title along with the author's name into my Twitter account. I included the link to the article and sent out a tweet. Most of my tweets also show up on my Facebook page.
The whole process from start to finish took me two or three minutes. I didn't give it a lot of thought but just took action and sent it out, then went on to something else.
A day later, I received an email from this author. Part of it said, “Just so you know the impact you have, right after you tweeted about it the views spiked and yesterday was my blog's highest viewed day in months. Thanks for the boost.”
I found this news amazing since I put little stock in my actions. Yet I had used my writing power with that tweet. You have it as well. Are you using it?
You may not have written books but hopefully you are reading books. What do you do after you have read the book? Do you use your writing power? One simple way to use it is to write a few sentences of review about the book and post it on Amazon. When you take action and write a review, you are using your influence. I've written over 400 customer reviews on Amazon. No one pays me to write these reviews yet it is a way to use my power as a writer.
After you have written the review, I encourage you to tell your friends about your review. Every review has a “permanent link” on Amazon. You can use that link to tout your review to your Facebook friends or on Twitter or any other social media network. You will be surprised but taking these simple actions will influence others about good books to read.
I noticed my Book Proposals That Sell had another Five Star Amazon review. I quickly tweeted, “My Book Proposals That Sell received the 112th Five Star Review on Amazon today: I'm glad the book helps many people”
Words have immense power to heal and help others. I encourage you to seize your writing power and take action today.
Labels: Amazon, author, book reviews, influence, power, reviews, writing
Learn to Pitch Anything
Editors and agents are always looking for fresh ideas. Something innovative that will capture the imagination of the reading public. The process begins with an idea then it evolves into a story to illustrate the concept with some compelling words.
For many years I've been interested in the publishing process. Which ideas are published and which ideas languish? What is the process to persuade an editor or agent to take your project or to get a magazine editor to publish your words?
Some of this process happens in your pitch. During writers conferences, I've often participated in pitch sessions. I've been the writer coming to the editor or agent with a single idea or maybe several ideas. I've had to craft my words and target a particular magazine or publication (researched ahead of time). I want to persuade the publishing professional to express enough interest that he wants to see my material after the conference. I've also been the agent or editor listening to the writer pitch their ideas at these events.
What are the factors that make a difference to capture interest?
At the recent Author 101 University, a writing coach told me about a business book from Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything. Notice how I purchased this book because of a word of mouth recommendation. It is the strongest way to influence others to buy a book. It was the title that caught my attention. Then the subtitle hooked me, “An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal.”
In the first chapter, Klaff reveals that he raises capital for businesses “at a rate of about $2 million per week. From the outside, the reasons for my success seem simple: I offer wealthy investors profitable deals that involve Wall Street banks. But others do that, too. Yet I raise a lot more money than they do. They compete in the same markets. Do the same types of deals. Pitch the same kinds of facts and figures. But the numbers show I am consistently one of the best. The difference isn't luck. It is not a special gift. And I have no background in sales. What I do have is a good method.”
As a writer, you may be reading this last paragraph and think this book is only for business people and way beyond your publishing life. Not so. Whether you are pitching a magazine article or a book to a publisher, the pitching (or selling) dynamics are the same. Some creative types are going to resist the concept of selling. Yet selling is exactly what you do every time you persuade an editor to publish your work (book or magazine or newsletter or whatever).
I've been captivated with the writing in Klaff's Pitch Anything. His stories combined with how-to information make this book worth reading. I'm still reading this book and was also impressed with the customer reviews on Amazon for this book. It is one more indicator about the valuable contents of this title.
If you want to publish your work as a writer, you need to learn to pitch. I'm gaining insights about this important topic from Pitch Anything. What steps are you taking to improve your abilities and your success in publishing?
Labels: Oren Klaff, pitch, Pitch Anything, pitching, selling