Friday, September 14, 2007

If They Don't Come

In the Field of Dreams movie, Ray Kinsella, a novice farmer living in Iowa hears a voice that says, "If you build it, they will come." Throughout the film, Kinsella builds a baseball field in his cornfield.

It happens all the time, an author or a publisher will invest a lot of energy and dollars in building a fancy website to promote their book. Yet no one comes to the site. The author hasn’t learned anything about how to get traffic to his website so while the site has a lot of functionality, it has little or almost no use. What can be done?

Last night I was reading what literary agent Chip MacGregor was writing about some of these issues. He’s got some wise counsel in this area and encourages authors to take proactive steps. Also I'd encourage you to read this article from The Wall Street Journal about the energy that Penguin poured into their book, Eat, Pray, Love to turn a bestseller. It's not easy and it's not done accidentally. Another aspect to make sure you notice, the book is well-crafted. As this quote in the article from Barbara Gattermeir points out, "I was hooked on page one." I've not read this book but I’m fascinated with what has happened to it in the marketplace.

Besides two bits of information, I wanted to make sure you see what Marc Harty has put together as a free 21 lesson eCourse. I'm only about five lessons into this course but I like what's here. It’s clearly written and doesn’t come every day and is divided into small consumable chunks so anyone can learn from it.

Many writers are willing to do the hard work to promote and market their books--yet they need to be educated about how to take cost-effective steps in this area. My hope in this post is to give you some additional resources for the journey.

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3 Comment:

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Crystal Warren Miller Left a note...

This is one of those issues that new writers/beginning writers are most naive about.

There are some good tips here. And for my dwindling,the-three-boys-in-college-ate-my-money,free is GREAT.

Thanks for giving away so many writing secrets to us!

At 8:33 AM, Blogger mobwriter Left a note...

Ditto for me! Being a full-time writer/editor, I used to subscribe to a multitude of Online newsletters, etc. Now I've cancelled most because they take more time reading than they're worth. However, your Writing Life info is packed with info I use every day, Terry. In fact, I took the plunge and bought Site Build It (per your suggestion) for my new Website: Mobwriter.com. What a fantastic program! After a month of well-directed research by Ken Evoy, I'm ready to build the site, confident it will produce.

But that's only one sample from your dynamite arsenal of writers tips.

You may be saying: "Terry pays her to say all this." Nope. Just had to applaud a gem that yields so many benefits to its visitors...free, no less.

Thanks, Terry.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Hello Crystal and Mobwriter,

Thank you both for the kind words about these posts. I've been blessed with a wealth of practical experience and my learning continues daily in this business. I'm happy to pass on a tiny portion of it in these entries about The Writing Life.

Grateful for you,



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