Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Opportunities Are Everywhere

If you hold a glass partially filled with liquid, what is your perspective? Is the glass half filled or half empty?

For the last six or seven years, I've been writing about publishing, I believe the glass is half full. As I look over the landscape of the publishing world, I see opportunities are everywhere. Magazine editors are actively looking every day for writers who understand their publication and write targeted articles for their readers. Editors of online publications are reading their email and looking for excellent material to use. Book editors are also actively reading their mail (and email) and continually listening to literary agents and writers as they pitch their ideas.

Over the years, I've been inside some of the top literary agencies in New York City. These agents are looking for the next bestseller that they can champion to their editor friends.

One of the keys to seizing an opportunity is looking for change. The marketplace is constantly changing. New publications start. New editors come on the scene. Long-term editors will leave their publisher and start to work as a literary agent. These changes are only a few of the many transitions in the marketplace. 

When you read about these changes, I encourage you to understand they are opportunities for you as a writer. Each of these professionals is actively looking for a new stable of writers. Your pitch has to be right on target but it can make a huge impact if it comes at the right time. 

During the last month, I've also been making some changes. After four years at one publisher and working with many authors, I recently resigned that role. I took an acquisitions editor position with Morgan James Publishing

Each day I'm actively looking for excellent book proposals which I can present to our publication board. Because Morgan James is based in New York, I've got a New York phone number and mailing address. For the last eight years, I've been living and working in Arizona. Later this week, my family and I are moving to Irvine, California. In a pattern that is familiar to many in the publishing world, I will telecommute for my acquisitions editor role. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out and send me your proposal.

Here are several keys as you explore the opportunities:

—continue to build relationships with anyone and everyone in the publishing community. You never know when a relationship may become important to you. Writers become editors. Editors become literary agents. Literary agents become editors. The fluid nature of the community means you should work each day to expand your connections.

—continue to grasp opportunities large and small which keep you active in the publishing world. There are times when the phone does not ring and you receive no personal email. How do you handle those times? Do you pull into your shell and do nothing or do you increase your activity? I encourage you to write more query letters and pitch more ideas. Activity will breed activity.

—take action every day to write what you want to write and continually touch the marketplace. Earlier this week I exchanged emails with a long-term friend. He has been dreaming for years about writing a book—yet never put his fingers on the keyboard and produced any writing. The days continue to pass and he has not taken action. I encouraged him to choose a small number of words that he wants to write each day and then commit to working at his writing. If you take this small action step, you will be surprised after a month or two at the accumulated writing. It does not happen without taking action.

Let's return to the half filled glass. Do you see opportunity?

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5 Comment:

At 2:03 AM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

Hi Terry. Your post inspired me to send in my proposal to Morgan James. It's a memoir called Love, Tears & Autism. I'm hoping it ends up on your desk! Thanks for the inspirational blog posts. They are the best 'how to write' ones I get in my inbox every morning.
Cecily Paterson

At 10:57 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Thanks for your uplifting post, Terry. I'm a "glass-half-full" person and see opportunities everywhere. In fact, my family teases me about what they call my idealism, but I like to call it simple faith. :) You are right. Writing opportunities are everywhere. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open to them. My continual prayer is that our Lord will give me "eyes to see and ears to hear."


MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Peter DeHaan Left a note...

Congratulations on your new position; I wish you the best!

(And may your move go smoothly!)

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

This is excellent news, Terry! Best wishes on the move and your new role--I always felt you were a natural editor.

I will, however, miss having lunch with you whenever I'm in town. Please be sure to send me your new contact details and God bless!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Stephen Left a note...

I think many writers stop after they put the pen down and don't realize they are full-time promoters and marketers. Make this effort a fun attack on the system, and the glass can be sipped at half full.

From my writing, I have several projects going in different directions where my Query letter is aimed to a specific target. Even my recent books published, Vegas Die and Captain Cooked, I keep brainstorming new marketing ideas to further sales. The publisher is not going to be thinking of me as being their top priority, it must be by my actions.

In the area of rejection, where the glass might seem half empty, I see it again as a challenge. To the point, I am not waiting around for an agent to respond to my query of my latest literary product, 'bin Laden's Revenge'. I have decided along with sending out Query letters I will go forward in publishing this book as an E-book, my --half full-- strategy being to establish a branding and fan base that I can demonstrate the book's value to a future publisher. If only the industry would see this direction as being a positive in pre-establishing the market.

All in all, books are being published in greater numbers, so there are many full glasses.

Again, congratulations and best wishes in your new direction.

S.P. Grogan
Watch book trailer video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_2ypU7RQ1I


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