Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm Drawn To Creativity and Innovation

The dual covers on this week's issue of The New Yorker magazine were just a hint of the excellent content called The Innovators Issue. One of the consistent questions that people will ask me is about where writers get their ideas? One bit of insight into this question comes from reading about innovators. Just check out Malcolm Gladwell's article Annals of Innovation. If you are not a subscriber to The New Yorker (as I am), then get over to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of this issue. It's well worth it.

One of the details that is documented in this article is that people can have the same idea at exactly the same time. No one is stealing anything but the same idea can be proposed from two different parts of the country at the same time. I've seen it in the magazine and book business. Particularly new writers are worried about such things but the real question is who will act on their idea with excellence and be the first one to get it into the marketplace, then promote that idea to others?

I continue to see writers struggle to put together a good proposal--and other would-be book authors haven't even investigated the world of publishing to understand that for a nonfiction book they need a book proposal instead of a manuscript. I regularly hear authors complain and groan about doing marketing for their books--yet it doesn't take loads of effort. It does take consistency.

For example, last week I was on the telephone with an editor at a publishing house and mentioned my Book Proposals That Sell to see if this editor knew about the availability and focus of my book. As a former acquisitions editor, I wrote the book to get better proposals. I offered to send a review copy and he wanted to read the book. Notice I initiated the conversation, then followed up and sent him the book. It did not consume my day and only took a few minutes of effort. Will it pay off? I have no idea but in the big picture of sales for the book, I suspect it helps the overall efforts. You can do the same thing with your books or writing work. Look for innovative ways to incorporate these actions into the natural conversation of your life.

I've pointed to The New Yorker and this Innovators Issue as a resource for fostering your own creativity and innovation. I want to quickly look at three other resources. In some ways I feel surrounded with this theme.

This weekend my wife and I watched the DVD version of Enchanted. It is an incredibly joyful and innovative film. If you haven't caught it, then watch this version. Several months ago when it was in the theaters, I saw it twice and my wife caught it three times. Yes, it was that good. If you get this DVD version of Enchanted make sure you look at the bonus features and notice the team creative effort which was poured into this production. This point is emphasized repeatedly in the little clips with the actors and director. Here's another detail that I picked up watching this material. The idea for Enchanted was batted around the Disney Studios for nine years before it was completed. I would encourage you to locate and learn about creativity and innovation from this film.

Here's another resource for you to increase your information about creativity and innovation. If you are in the Los Angeles area or going there for the Book Expo America, I recommend you check out this one day workshop called Author 101 University. Why? It's a one-day workshop that will be crammed with innovative ideas for authors and publishers. If you are in the publishing community, I practically guarantee your head will be crammed with plans and ideas from these sessions. I personally know a number of these speakers and have listened to the others. These presenters know inside information about how to sell books in today's marketplace and you can personally benefit from a day at Author 101 University.

In my recent post, I mentioned a free 7-Question Author Profile Quiz. Another resource to foster your own creativity and innovation is to learn about the Virtual Book Tour Secrets. I recommend every author or would-be author or anyone in publishing can profit from just reading the landing page and following the various links. Virtual Book Tour Secrets is a proven method to sell books quicker, faster and with less human effort. To take this training you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Whether you take the full training or only attend the $20 preview call (this link goes live in seven days so go there and bookmark it), you can get a creative and innovative boost from this session.

These types of opportunities to grow in your writing and knowledge about publishing abound--if you are aware of them. Today I'm celebrating how I'm drawn to creativity and innovation.

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1 Comment:

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Carla Gade Left a note...

Thanks for participating in the Carnival of Christian Writers!
Great article!


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