Sunday, October 07, 2007

One Small Missing Step

Several weeks ago, I held my second affiliate training teleseminar. I'm committed to the on-going training of these affiliates. The principles that I taught orally as well as through my study guide are applicable to almost every affiliate program.

As expected, I recorded the call and prepared to send the replay link to my affiliates via email. To add listener interest and the professional quality of this replay, I add a few seconds of music at the beginning and the end of the replay using Sound Forge 8 Audio Studio. I purchased this software earlier this year from Mike Stewart who is known as the Internet Audio Guy. I met Mike at Mega Book Marketing University. I've used Sound Forge a number of times to edit and prepare different products.

When I worked on the audio replay of this affiliate training, I had a problem. Every time I combined the music with the training audio, the sound was off. With some combinations, the music was slowed down until it was like a dirge. In other combinations, my voice was high-pitched and talked too fast to understand it. I knew there was some small missing step but I could not figure it out--despite trying many different combinations. I watched some audio training, then tried again with the same poor result. I emailed Mike Stewart and he graciously responded but I still was not able to make it work.

The speeds of the music and the audio were different. Music was at 44 MHZ and the audio was at 22 MHZ. While I understood the problem, I didn’t understand how to fix it—until yesterday. I had to open a new file, copy my audio then adjust the MHZ from 22 to 44. Then and only then when I added the music segment to the front and back did it play properly. I was stuck for a couple of weeks until I figured out this small missing step. I knew the software was going to provide the solution but I didn’t know how to use it and make the right combination.

With this small step, I fixed my audio and took the final steps to send it to each of my affiliates. Also I used the program to remaster my audios for Editor Reveals Book Proposal Secrets and I sent those files into production and to improve this product. Now each of the three CDs will include a few seconds of music at the beginning and end. The music for all three CDs is exactly the same and it helps the branding for this particular product. After discovering this missing step, I was able to move ahead with several of my pending projects.

While I have this love/ hate relationship with computers and software, I understand that the majority of my difficulties are my own problem. They are not related to the program or the computer. These programs only execute what they are told to do. If one small step is missing, then they do not perform.

It's the same in the publishing world. Are you missing a small step that can propel you to the next level with your writing or your marketing? Is there a tool that you are missing which you need? Do you need to join a critique group to get feedback and improve your writing? Do you need to gain interview experience and add that skill? Do you need to add a newsletter to your website and begin building your audience--even before you get your book published?

Take some time to look for the solutions to the missing pieces, then add them into your skill set. It could make a huge difference in the days ahead.

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