Friday, December 28, 2012

Make Resolutions You Can Keep

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If you are like me, you have goals, dreams and plans for the New Year. I encourage you to write down these resolutions or plans or goals. You want to make them specific actions so you can hold yourself (or your partner can hold you) accountable to carry them out.

Over 15 years ago in 11 days I wrote a diet book by Carole Lewis called First Place. I took such a crazy writing deadline because the publisher was determined to have the book inside the bookstores for January. If you look at bestseller lists, often in January there will be several diet books about losing weight. In our overweight society, many people resolve to lose some pounds in the New Year. They begin with such great resolve and commitment.

As I write these words in late December, the fitness center in my community has been empty—except for my consistently using it. Over the last few days close to the holidays, I worked out alone in a room full of equipment. In January, I expect someone will always be working out with me. Then the first week of February will arrive and the crowds will slack off because people’s resolve begins to lessen.

To become a proactive author, I want to suggest several resolutions or goals that you can keep throughout the months ahead. I encourage you to use these ideas to create your own goals. Make sure you make each one specific, measurable and action oriented.

1. Plan to consistently talk with others about your books or products. As the author, you should take the primary responsibility to market and tell other people about your books. There are dozens of tools and ways to do it. Your method should be a way that serves other people (helps them) and doesn’t pound them with “buy me” messages. The “buy me” message is a turn off and the service to others is an attraction. Can you take your book and create a teleseminar or take chapters from your book and turn them into magazine articles or blog posts? For example, I have my Book Proposals That Sell, which has over 100 five star reviews on Amazon and continues to help people. I have a free teleseminar on proposal creation but also an online step-by-step course on proposal creation. I’m teaching about proposals in a free workshop on January 7th but also teaching about proposals at the Florida Christian Writers Conference in late February. Notice the multiple ways I’m still talking with people about the same product and serving them. How can you create such an effort for your book?

2. Resolve to Persevere. Are you trying to publish something which is getting rejected? You are in good company. Just check out this article from bestselling novelist James Scott Bell called Rejecting Rejection. Possibly you have not made the right connection to get your work published. Are you consistently submitting your work? Often when I ask writers about this detail, I find they haven’t been consistently working on getting their book pitch to the right editor at the right time and the right place. I don’t believe that I’m a great writer. I work hard at improving my storytelling and writing—yet I am persistent and preserve. I’m determined to a fault. Nurture this quality in your own life in the weeks and months ahead.

3. Resolve to take better care of yourself. Over the last few years, I’ve worked hard at getting more consistent sleep, taking a daily multiple vitamins and a commitment to regular exercise. Also I attempt to watch my weight and eating patterns to be in balance. Am I perfect? No, but I continue to consistently work at these elements and build regular patterns into my life. For several years I taught consistently at a writers’ conference and until I made this commitment to myself, I didn’t know this facility had an exercise room. The last time I used the room every single day of the event. It is a goal that I’m determined to keep. Your goal will be different for your lifestyle and situation but do consider this area of your life.

4. Resolve to learn a new skill then practice it repeatedly. Maybe you want to develop your storytelling skills. Then I suggest you look at different conferences and plan a way to get to listen to an instructor. I’m going to be all over the U.S in 2013 and here’s where I keep my schedule. Or maybe you can learn from a how-to book or take an online training. I use all of these methods to keep growing in my abilities and skills. 

I’m expecting great things will happen in the coming months. How about you? Are you setting goals and moving in this direction? Take action today.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , ,


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Be Memorable NOT Strange

Writers are interesting—no doubt about it. I've been around creative people for many years. I'm always fascinated with the often high energy and creative force behind the storytelling and excitement about their ideas and getting their work into the public. I find this true whether it is a print magazine article or an online newsletter or a book.

As a writer, you want to stand out and be memorable. You want to make an impression but you want that impression to be positive.

During this time between Christmas and New Year, the bulk of the publishing world is silent. I spoke with a writer yesterday who can't reach her New York editor. I'm not surprised since most people are on vacation or holidays.

There is a difference between standing out and being memorable or being strange. Let me give you a couple of recent strange writer examples.

I tend to carry my phone with me. If I leave my office, I forward my desk phone to my cell phone so I'm relatively easy to reach—unless I'm on the phone speaking with someone else. If I am in a meeting, I turn off my phone then return calls after the meeting or the next day. Even on Christmas Day, I carried my phone with me. Most of the day my phone was silent, then I got an unforgettable call that afternoon from an author.

The purpose of the call? This author was calling to tell me he had decided not publish with my publisher and that he had selected a different company. Really? And you are calling me on Christmas Day with this news? I said these words to the author. In fact I had called him a week earlier and left a message—and he “claimed” to be returning my call. But the timing from this author was completely strange and inappropriate. Ironically when I confronted him about it, he didn't seem to think so. I thanked him and cut short the call since I walked out of the room and took it during a family gathering.  You bet this author made an impression that I will remember for a long time.

In these entries, I've written about the importance of making a good impression. As I think about this author's inappropriate call, I'm grateful that he didn't come with our publishing company. I know this author would have interacted with many different people in the publishing house. In a small way, I was seeing how he would interact with others throughout his time with the publisher. If it made a negative impression with me, I expect such behavior will also happen with others.

As an author, you want to be memorable not strange. 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , , ,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Christmas Gift for You

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season
with family and friends.

As my special gift, I've created this Audio
Postcard(TM). To get your Audio Postcard, turn up
your speakers, and click on this link:


Listen for me...


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , ,


Monday, December 17, 2012

Choose to Eat That Frog

Do you have a task on your to-do list that you are avoiding? 

Each day I make a list of the tasks to accomplish. One by one I cross them off. Yet one or two stubborn items are never completed. If I do not complete these tasks then eventually they drop off my list and become wishes—not something that will be accomplished.

Writers are notorious at procrastination. We sharpen our pencils. We spend time on social media reading Facebook and tweeting on Twitter and learning about other social aspects. We send messages on writer's forums and spend time answering email—anything to keep us from our writing.

Yet time marches ahead and the work does not get accomplished. Bestselling author Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog! “Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

You can learn more details watching this short Eat That Frog movie. The book includes 21 solid methods to stop procrastination and get more done in less time. I read this book over several weeks—a little bit at a time and have been taking action on the different suggestions.

Procrastination is not an easy topic to tackle yet you must find ways to tackle the difficult areas of your writing and move forward.

What frogs are you facing in your day and how can you tackle it at the beginning of the day instead of having it hang around and bug you?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , ,


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Use Twitter Without Wasting Time

One of my writer friends emailed me this week about his twitter account. He was concerned about losing followers and not increasing his followers without spending lots of time on twitter. I reached out to help him and recommended Tweet Adder

Another friend and literary agent, Wendy Lawton wrote her end of the year report card. When it came to twitter, she wrote, “SOCIAL NETWORK: D I have to admit to Twitter fail. I just can’t find the time to do it all. Aaarrrgggh! And I tried Pinterest and Goodreads—so I’d know how they worked—but I had to cry “uncle.” I can’t do my job and keep up with all these opportunities.”

I empathize with this busy literary agent. Each of us have our own daily challenges. Maybe you are trying to create daily time to write and can't seem to find moments to move forward. Maybe you are sending out your latest nonfiction or fiction book and getting regularly rejected. Or maybe you have crafted your materials but can't seem to get them into the hands of agents or editors because of constraints on your time. 

I'm several months into a new job as an acquisitions editor. I'm enjoying it and appreciate the work with authors but it leaves little time for writing—or social media. Yet I must be doing something in this area. If you look at my twitter account, my followers continue to grow and I regularly send out information on twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. In fact, I'm about to go over 42,000 twitter followers.

I'm going to show you how to use twitter without wasting lots of time on it. First, let's cover some basics about twitter. Do you have your profile set up properly with your photo and your profile? Do you have a background on your twitter page to make an attractive place for others to visit? These steps are simple and something you accomplish one time—yet important. Please look at some of the details that I give in this area through this free handout on social media (on page 2).

For several years I've been using a program called Tweet Adder 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It is constantly turned on and working. Tweet Adder is designed around the rules of Twitter and will slowly follow people that you have selected to follow (using keywords geared to your particular target audience). If the new follower does not follow you in return, then the program will unfollow these people. This simple process keeps your numbers increasing on twitter.

Also I like that Tweet Adder is not a monthly fee program but has a one-time fee with lifetime updates. On a regular basis, Twitter changes how they operate and Tweet Adder will make the adjustment to their program and issue a new version of it. Then the next time you start the program, it will notice you don't have the latest version and ask if you want to download and update your program (which I do).

You can get a 20% discount on the fee for Tweet Adder if you use this discount code disCouNt20 (yes it is case sensitive) when you check out. 

Other than a tiny bit of time to set up the program and regularly use it, Tweet Adder allows you to use twitter and increase your followers and does not require much of your precious time. I highly recommend this program to everyone who wants to build a presence on twitter.3

Also there are some other tools that you need to use on a consistent basis. It does you little good to be using Tweet Adder on twitter if you aren't posting tweets on a regular basis. I post tweets at least three to seven times scattered throughout the day. You can use a free program like Hootsuite to set up these tweets and they can post during the day. You take 10 to 15 minutes (or less) and set up these posts.

In addition, I recommend you keep a running list of different programs you want to promote on twitter. I have a number of free teleseminars and resources that I've created. I have a little file with these resources and various tweets that I use on a regular basis. I don't have to recreate them but can simply cut and paste and post the tweets. It allows me to use the tools but not spend a great deal of time in the process.

Consistently using twitter doesn't have to consume your life—but like your writing, if you want to grow your presence on twitter, you need to use it on a regular basis.

I hope I've helped you see the value of such tools like Tweet Adder. If you have doubts, I recommend you download the trial version and use it for a few days to see if it will work for your needs.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Read and Share with Others

Throughout my day, I receive a variety of newsletters and blog posts. Plus I'm reading about the world of publishing. As I read, I'm looking for the share buttons which could be in a sidebar or at the top or bottom of the article. With one click of these little buttons, you can pass the information in the article along to the people who follow you on Twitter or your Facebook friends.

I enjoyed reading what literary agent Rachelle Gardener wrote about wanting to throw a book across the room in a recent blog post. So I tweeted about it (see the link for my tweet).

Joan Stewart the Publicity Hound put a compilation of some of her tweets which contain valuable insights about working with journalists or editors or getting more publicity. So I tweeted about it (once again use this link for my tweet).

Today I was reading my local newspaper and on the front page was a fascinating feature about how bestselling novelist Philip Roth has decided to stop writing novels. At the age of 80, I applaud his decision and I tracked down the article, located the share buttons and tweeted about it.

Book Marketing Guru John Kremer has some great info statistics about social media. When I read it, I found the share buttons and tweeted about it.

To locate these buttons and use them only took seconds. It gives my twitter feed and my Facebook page fresh content—which is diverse and focused on my topic of publishing and writing. 

Are you using these buttons to pass along information on your topic and focus to your readers? It will help you grow your readership and increase your presence as an expert in your area of the market.

Finally, are you adding these share buttons to your own blog posts and websites? It is through these little share buttons that you spread the message to others and build your own visibility. 

Notice the buttons at the bottom of this post? That's why I include them each time. I hope you will use them to share with others.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

WP Easy Optin Plugin

Labels: , , , , , , , ,