Monday, May 28, 2012

Check for a Discount

For years, I've built a number of websites. It is a key part of my life as a writer. I recommend others learn to create and maintain their websites. I launch a site for many different reasons:

These examples are only a few of the reasons I purchase different websites. 

I organize my websites through Go Daddy. While year after year, the price has increased on the annual fee for websites, you can take one simple step to lower the cost. Some writers have told me they have paid $50 or more for a single year at a website. That is a rip-off and something you should not do.

When you reach the final confirmation page on Go Daddy right before you purchase the product, the shopping cart gives you the opportunity to enter a coupon for a discount. 

Before I finalize the purchase, I always look for a coupon. Open a separate window or tab on your browser. At Google, search for “Go Daddy coupon” and you will quickly find a number of possible sites. You may have to try several different coupons before you find one that works (i.e. lowers your final price). 

I take this simple action whether I am renewing one of my websites or purchasing a new website. I always look for a discount coupon code.

Last night I purchased a new domain. On one website I found the code “flowers” with the words “$1.67 domain.” I tried it and my price changed from $12.99 to $1.67. 

It was an unusual bargain. Will it work for you? I don't know since these coupons are constantly changing. If you need a website, I would try it. If it doesn't work, then still take this additional step of looking for a discount coupon. 

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When You Need to Create a Press Release

Many writers have never written a press release. They figure that's something their book publisher handles or something they can delegate to someone else. In the normal course of events, your book publisher will prepare a press release for the book. This release is focused on the content of your book and a mixture of information about you as the author and the unique marketing position of your new book. It's a one time event then the publicity person moves on to another book.

There are almost limitless opportunities to promote your events, your forthcoming workshops, your new products and other aspects of your work--if you know how to write an effective press release. It's another critical skill that every writer should add to their base of knowledge. The first part of this process is learning to write the release, then you need to effectively get that release to the right media person (newspaper, magazine, Internet, radio or television) and follow-up. The key will almost always be in the follow-up.

Whether you've never written a press release or it's been a long time or you just want a tool to help you in this process, I've found this resource from John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing. It's an online press release generator. You fill in the blanks and it generates a press release which you can receive via email and send out. You have to subscribe and confirm your subscription to reach the Instant Press Release link but then you can save this link in your browser and use it over and over. John is using this tool as another way to build subscribers and it's admirable. If you don't want to be on his list, you can unsubscribe at any time but I see he provides continual value to his audience and recommend you stay with his list.

Another resource in this same area (where you don't have to register for the tool) is the Press Release Builder. If you follow the various links here, you will gain an education in this aspect of the business, learn how to email reporters and much more. 

A few readers are probably grousing about this post and wondering why they should even care. They want to get published in magazines. Or they have a novel that they want to get published. Or they have a nonfiction idea that they are putting together into a book. Here’s why you should care: you are the best person to promote yourself. Unless you write certain press releases and send them into the market and follow-up with the media, they will never be written. Yes, you can hire a publicist to write them for you but if your resources are limited, then you should broaden your skills and learn to write press releases.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Stop the Cycle of Unfinished Projects

In the world of publishing (where I have lived for the last 20+ years), I see many writers with uncompleted projects. They are enthused about a particular idea or concept yet never persist to get it into print. They need the tool set in Craig Copeland's FINISH WHAT YOU START.

As Copeland writes in the preface,"The Power Principles will work for anyone at any level of success. It doesn't matter if you're new or already well on your way to creating success in your life now. The steps are not hard to practice. In fact, you'll find you only need a very small portion of your day to practice them effectively." (Page 5)

Also in the early pages, he writes,"The mission of this book is to answer and address those nagging questions as to why so few succeed and how to get you to succeed and reach your goals. Of course, these Power Principles were created out of observing common threads of habits and behaviors that successful people use time and again to achieve their desired outcomes." (page 21)

While the teaching is straightforward and excellent, throughout the book, key pages called FINISH LINE EXERCISE are included where the reader interacts with the specific content of a section or chapter. In addition, each section begins with an inspirational quote like Walt Disney,"If you can dream it, you can do it."

Toward the end of his book, Copeland nails a summary of his book saying,"FINISH WHAT YOU START is really about getting started, through having an objective, making a decision towards reaching it, taking an action to begin, and constant forward movement towards your goal. The steps I've outlined in this book will give you the tools to get started and keep the momentum going." (Page 246)

I highly recommend you get this book, study the pages and work through the exercises. It will help you achieve the benefit in the subtitle for this book: unlocking the success secrets of the top 1%. 

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Get Global Book Proposal Help

What is a topic or subject that you have a lot of passion? I've found passion will carry you forward to help others in this area. 

For many years, one of my passions has been to help would-be authors create excellent book proposals. As a long-term writer, I knew editors and agents read proposals—not manuscripts. I had written two proposals which garnered six-figure advances from traditional publishers. While I had read a number of writers book proposals at conferences, I didn't see the full onslaught of the unsolicited submissions until I worked as an acquisitions editor. 

As an acquisitions editor, I was tasked to bring the best possible books for my publishing company to the publication board where they could make a publishing decision. From reading thousands of submissions, I grew frustrated because I was not receiving complete or quality submissions. I knew these authors wanted to be published and had made considerable effort yet often the submission was missing a key (or several key) components. Without this critical information, these authors were rejected instead of seriously considered for publication.

The unfortunate part of the rejection process is these authors received a form rejection without the specific information why they were rejected. It's impossible for the editor to include this information (time) and not a part of the editor task. 

Because of my passion to help writers succeed in the publishing world and from my own frustration as an acquisitions editor, I wrote Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. This book has  100 Five Star reviews on Amazon and continues to help writers succeed in their submissions.

I took my passion for excellent proposals then created a step-by-step online course at WriteABookProposal.com. While my book has a lot of information, it is a series of somewhat random tips or secrets. My online course is much more step one, step two, etc. to create a complete and excellent book submission.

I'm teaching about book proposals at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference on May 16th and hope to see some of you at this terrific event at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.

There is a FREE opportunity for you to catch my teaching about proposal creation on Thursday. I'm stepping on a global stage and the unusual platform of the Global Teleclass. You do have to register for the class, Write A Winning Proposal & Find Your Champion. Follow the link to register and get the information. The class will be for an hour and begin promptly at 9 p.m. EST (New York) on Thursday, May 10th.

I hope to speak with you soon and you can get my help in this critical area of the publishing process.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Never Say Never

If you haven’t said it, I don’t doubt that you’ve thought the words: “I will never ______.” 

Some of my professional writer friends proclaimed about blogging: “I will never blog because you are simply giving away your writing craft for free. Why should I give away my storytelling when I can sell it to a magazine or be writing a book?”

I’ve heard other writers say, “I will never do a work made for hire. There is no reason to give away all of my rights to a publisher.” They have committed to never signing that type of agreement. 

Other writers have an aversion to doing anything in the marketing and sales area. They proudly say, “I’m a writer and I write. I never want to be selling myself and my books.”
From my years in publishing, I’ve learned there is little point in using the word “never.” 

Let’s tackle the different areas I mentioned as “never” statements. 

First I have become a blogger. I run in seasons of consistency. If I’m traveling or consumed with a project, then my blogging takes less of a priority. Yet I continue to blog. Instead of seeing it as giving away my writing, there are ways to monetize and make money from your blog. Every writer needs to have a presence in the marketplace and blogging is a terrific way to build your presence. I have over 1,000 searchable entries in my blog

Also I’ve learned to monetize my blog and it’s even something I’ve been able to pass on to others through my Ebook, The 31 Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks. If you have not read this valuable resource, I recommend you get it “risk free” and read it for 60 days. If you don't find it valuable, then send me an email and I will refund your money. That's what I mean by risk free.

My Rights to My Work. Many authors do not want to sign work made for hire agreements which give a publisher or individual the right to your creative work. 

In the case of work made for hire, these writers have limited their own potential through their use of the word “never.”
My literary attorney has told me that I’ve signed more Work Made for Hire agreements than anyone she knows—yet I’ve been a working writer for years. Work Made for Hire comes with the territory in my view. 

Several years ago I wrote two devotional books for a book packager as a Work Made for Hire. I wrote the books in a two month period and was well-compensated for my work. Each of these books sold over 60,000 copies (which is a good book sale credit for any author). I would not have had the opportunity if I had said “never.”

Writing or Marketing? Finally I want to address the writers who say they never want to sell or market their books. I understand the reluctance to enter into the marketing and selling process. It would be great to delegate this process to someone else but it is not realistic thinking. Every writer has to learn to market to sell their work and get it into print. They also have to be involved in the marketing and promotion of their work when it gets into print. The savvy writers understand this process and lean into it rather than resist it.

My recommendation is to wipe the word “never” out of your vocabulary. Instead approach your writing looking for open doors of opportunity. 

As I look over the publishing world, I believe there are many opportunities for every writer. It is your responsibility to be submitting your work and regularly knocking on doors to see which one will open for you and your work. As you attempt new things, you will be surprised which ones will open for you.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

If You Build It & They Don’t Come

Years ago when I launched my first website, I worked hard at all of the details of this site—the functionality, the appearance and the contents. I was convinced this website would sell tons of books and generate terrific amounts of new writing business. I was stuck in fantasy and not reality because it did not happen.

I often meet unpublished authors who are convinced a website or lots of activity on Facebook is the single answer to sell many books. They have fallen into this trap of believing the line from the movie Field of Dreams, that if they build it, the people will come.

Today I’m wiser and have written more than 60 books for traditional publishers. As a book publisher, I’ve helped more than 150 authors launch their own book. From my years in publishing I want to give you five critical actions to take with your book marketing.

1.   Decide to take 100% responsibility for your book marketing. Many authors have told me about their dismal book sales whether they have been published from a recognized publisher or a self-published. They always want to blame someone or some event. Anything and everything is responsible except their own actions. Your attitude is critical and yes others will help you but you have to lead the charge for telling others about your book.

2.   Be willing to try a limited number of new things. You must focus your book marketing efforts to be successful. I encourage you to be reading books and online materials of others. As you learn about something new, try it and add it to your book marketing strategies. I understand you have to limit the new things or you will run in a million different directions and be completely ineffective at anything. It is important to be open to new opportunities.

3.  Always be learning something new. It is a book marketing attitude killer to feel like you know everything there is to know about selling books. No one knows everything. Look for new ideas through blogs and online reading and reading books. With this open attitude, you will find new opportunities to sell your books to others.

4.   Meet new people. Whether you go to a local Chamber of Commerce meeting or a conference, get out of your office and interact with others. Listen to their ideas and tell them about your own efforts. The cooperation and networking will increase potential for your own book sales. Many authors spend too much time at their keyboard or computer and not enough face to face time with others. 

5.  Decide to never give up on your book. Some books are slow starters in the market and take a while to begin selling. Persistence will be your friend when it comes to selling your book. I’ve read an individual has to hear about your book seven times before they actually make a buying decision. Whether it is five or seven times, these readers have to hear about the value of your book repeatedly to make a purchase decision. Your persistence in telling others and reaching new audiences will pay off for you. Never give up.

Finally I want to give you two free resources to help your book marketing efforts. First is a free traffic newsletter from my friend Jimmy D. Brown. His success in Internet Marketing is legendary. Pick up the first issue of his Traffic Jam Newsletter and 10 Ways to Get Other People to Send You Free Traffic. His newsletter will stir ideas. 

The second resource is my free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. Get it free at: http://terrylinks.com/pb  Next read this book and take action on the ideas.

You can build it and they will come but only if you continue to promote your book.
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