Friday, June 05, 2009

The Power of Asking

We live in a busy world and the pace of life seems to get faster each day. The amount of email and good things that we can jump into only seems to multiply: blogs, twitter, facebook, myspace, forums and email newsletters. My encouragement is for you to handle it one task at a time. It is OK, not to blog or be involved in twitter. Each element is a choice and you have to know and understand the reason you have strategically decided to be involved in such an effort. Also periodically return to your different obligations and see if they continue to contain value. If not, then see how to eliminate or reduce them. It's something I'm actively doing all the time.

In a couple of weeks I will be speaking at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. I'm looking forward to telling the audience some unusual stories about my journey into publishing. How was I asked to be their keynote speaker? You can find some of those details in this post from Emily Akin. In particular notice the sixth paragraph, "Once she picked her jaw up from the floor, she opened the message, in which Whalin expressed interest in being on faculty for 2009 conference. He mentioned his "deep family roots" in Kentucky, included several topics on which he could speak, and added that he would have a new book out in time for KCWC '09." (I've underlined what I'm emphasizing here.). I wrote Emily, the conference organizer, and asked to be considered for their faculty. The rest of the story is also in this post but it started with my own initiative to ask for consideration. What sort of dreams do you have for your own writing life? Are you asking?

This week during lunch with one of my authors, he asked me about how to get the endorsements and foreword for his forthcoming book. We discussed some possible names and relationships that this author has established. One of the keys in this process is to simply ask the people for their help. Also how you ask is critical. When you ask, I recommend you position your question in the easiest possible way for that person to say yes. For example with an endorsement or foreword for a book, the people who are most often approached are very busy people. How can you make your request stand out--and make it easy for that person to say yes?

If you haven't been in publishing, you probably don't understand these high profile people (the type you want to endorse your book) are regularly asked to write an endorsement. Yet they have several hurdles in accepting such a request--time to read the book and then write something coherent and appropriate about the book. In the process of asking them, I recommend you offer to possibly write them a "draft" endorsement. It will erase the potential hurdle and position you as an understanding person who wants them to say "yes." I've written many drafts of endorsements over the years and sometimes the person will take my exact words and other times they will rewrite them. It adds to the power of your asking if you ask in the right way.

Throughout the week, I've been thinking about this simple principle. Ironically bestselling author Jack Canfield wrote about the same topic in his newsletter through the article, Good Things Come To Those Who Ask. I encourage you to read, study and apply the principles in this excellent article.

What is holding you back from making the next step in your publishing life? I have many insights about taking next steps in my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. Have you read it? Are you implementing the information? If not, then I'm asking you to get your copy today.

Are you using the power of asking? Do it today and you will be surprised at what can happen. I believe something amazing is in store for you.

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