Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Pour It On During the Holidays

Each year the holiday season is pushed a little earlier. I started seeing Christmas packages in the stores in October. The activities related to publishing almost noticeably downshift into a lower gear. Instead of new book projects, the focus turns toward family gatherings and holiday events.

I love the holiday season and special time with the family. The music and memories are special to me. I love the celebration. Yet if you are involved in publishing, I have a different perspective on what you need to be doing during this time of year.

A large percentage of the publishing community moves into a different gear. Publication boards which make decisions about books don't often meet in December. Instead of a focus on editorial matters, the editors are tied up signing Christmas cards to authors and focused on end of the year matters. Last week I received a list of new proposals from an agent. I wrote right away and listed the ones that interested me. To my surprise, rather than sending them he thanked me for my interest, wished me a terrific holiday season and said he would be in touch. I don't expect that I will receive those proposals until after the first of the year. That pausing activity is a shame in my view because I would like to get reading them and moving forward with them to see if I can get a book contract in the next few weeks.

Rather than slipping into “holiday” mode, my suggestion is that you switch into a different gear and pour it on to move your work and writing life forward over the next few weeks.
Success magazine is one of the resources that I regularly read. Recently the publisher, Darren Hardy held a teleconference on How to Finish Big (follow this link to the YouTube version). 

I was one of the thousands who heard the event. I encourage you to watch the first part of it because Hardy provides a series of strategies you can use to finish the year big. He points out the small difference between a top golfer and someone back in the pack. That extra effort from the top golfer is what it took to succeed in a way which was exponentially ahead of the others.

Do you want to finish the year big or slide into the holidays? 

Here's six ideas of what you can do over the next few weeks to position yourself so the end of this year and the beginning of next year is a huge success:

1. Are you looking for a literary agent? If you have an agent, do you have the right agent for you? Pick up my free list of over 400 literary agents. It includes their names, addresses, websites, phone numbers and emails. Use this list as a research tool to target your approach to several agents and craft pitches which get their attention. 

2. Continue to build your visibility in the marketplace and your platform as an author. I've got a free ebook filled with ideas in this area called Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. If you don't have this ebook, then pick it up. If you have it, I suggest you read through it again and take action on some new ideas in it.

3. What print magazines would you like for your work to appear in 2014? Write some query letters and get some assignments. Some publications have theme lists from the editors about articles they want. Pitch those editors with targeted and on track ideas and you will be surprised at your success. Then write those articles and deliver them and reach a new audience.

4. Is there some topic that you teach on a regular basis? If so, I suggest you develop your own online course where you teach this material in a Fixed Term membership. I have a Simple Membership System product called Your Membership Course which will take you step by step through the process of creating such a course. It is the same system that I used to create my Write A Book Proposal course.

5. If you haven't taken my Write A Book Proposal course, this time of year is a great time to dig into this process and learn about book proposal creation. Whether you are writing nonfiction or fiction, you need to learn how to pitch your ideas and capture the attention of an editor or literary agent. This time of year is a terrific time to dig into the course.

6. Author 101 University Online has recently launched and you can get three timely teachings for free. Sign up and then take the time in the next few weeks to listen to the teaching and take action on the different ideas that you hear from the teaching.

Yes you can slide into next year or you can pour it on in these final days of the year and exceed beyond your wildest dreams. The choice is yours.

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