Saturday, August 27, 2005

Use Your Own Resources

Yesterday I will admit to a bit of technology frustration. I promoted the tele-seminar about Book Proposals That Sell to several large online groups. Annie Jennings PR sponsored this tele-seminar and included the entire seminar as a free MP3 download. I included the link in these entries about the writing life—then the correspondence started. People were unable to get the file.  Completely outside of my control, Annie’s website went down. Was there another solution?

Thursday night, I downloaded the MP3 file on my computer. It took a while—because I’m on a slow dial-up connection to the Internet. Yet I got the entire file and listened to it—excellent quality product and covers the major points from Book Proposals That Sell.  Yet no one could download the file. I tapped into my own resources. I created a location online where others could access this file and uploaded the file to this place (again it took a bit of time but happened). Today I had a friend test the file to make sure it wasn’t corrupted, downloaded properly and sounded OK. This friend told me that everything sounded great.

I had created a short-cut link that hooked to the file location. I changed the final location for the short-cut which is a function of SNIPURL.com (and something I’ve talked about for these entries in the past—if you haven’t used this tool, learn about it). Instead of pointing to Annie’s location, I pointed to my revised location. I tapped into my own resources so people can access the file. Now eventually Annie’s site and download location will appear back online. She’s got some other tele-seminars that you will probably want to access. No matter what happens, my tele-seminar will be accessible. Thankfully in several places, I promoted the snipurl.com link and not the actual location. After I changed the snipurl.com link, I was confident it would work.

Here’s my small but important insight for you and your own writing life.  Much of publishing is outside of our immediate control. There is an intricate chain of events from when you have an idea for a magazine article or a book and that book gets into the hands of readers in a bookstore. You can’t control much of that process and if anything fails, the book will not reach people. You can’t worry about what you can’t control—but you can take control of what you can in this process. For example, you’ve written your magazine idea into a query letter and it’s gotten rejected. You can either let go of that idea or you can take control and send it immediately out to another magazine (probably reshaped for the new publication). Or if you have been trying to write children’s books (or substitute any other type of book) and not finding a place for those ideas, maybe you need to switch to a different type of writing.

You can only be responsible for you—and the rest you have to let go. Make sure you take full advantage of your own resources.

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