Ask Your Hard Publishing Questions
There is often confusion on the world of
publishing. At times you get conflicting information. Is it better to self-publish
or to do the work to go with a traditional publisher? Do you need a literary
agent? How do you find a good one?
Sometimes you read about agents who do
nothing or are crooks (yes they are out there). You read some websites and that
information conflicts with what you hear from published authors or in writing
books. Where do you get an experienced answer to your hard publishing
When I face these types of questions, I turn to an
expert. Yet how do you even reach an expert and especially if you don't
know many people in publishing?
Tuesday, March 1st, I'm interviewing
Rick Frishman who is in his
39th year in publishing. For many years, Rick ran one of the
largest public relations firms in the United States—Planned Television Arts in
New York City (now called Media Connect). For almost ten years, Rick has been
the publisher at Morgan James Publishing. He has guided many authors to become bestsellers and knows this
industry inside and out.
Here's your opportunity: I've convinced Rick Frishman to go on the hotseat for my questions during
a LIVE 70-minute telewebcast on Tuesday, March 1st!
* * * Here's My Small Request * * *
Rather than have the "content" come out of Rick's
head (or my head) for the March 1, 2016 telewebcast at 6 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m.
EST, I decided to let you ask Rick a question.
So, if you could ask Rick Frishman ANY question you
wanted about attending a writers conference like Author 101 University, what
would your question be?
Here's your chance to ask Rick directly and
get registered for our call on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 (starts promptly according
Click the link below:
* * Get Rick Frishman's FREE Special Report *
You will receive a FREE copy of Rick Frishman's
special report, Creating An Award Winning Proposal that
Rick wrote with
Robyn Freedman Spizman. It's FREE if you ask a question and register for this telewebcast. Click the link below:
After your question gets submitted, you'll
find out how to get phone access and webcast access to Rick and myself for our
LIVE telewebcast, March 1, 2016. If your schedule doesn't allow you to attend
this LIVE event, I encourage you to go ahead and register—and ask your question.
The event will be recorded and everyone who registers for the event will receive
the replay recording.
Rick is one of the most experienced people in
publishing that I know. I hope you will bring on your hard questions about
various aspects of the publishing business. I will be reading these questions
and then asking Rick on Tuesday. I hope to speak to you soon on the
Here's a place to ask your hard publishing questions. (Click to tweet)
Labels: Author 101 University, Rick Frishman
Are You Checking Your Twitter Followers?
If you are just starting on Twitter or have been there for a while, you are probably thrilled when anyone follows you back and you are growing your followers. Even though I have over 165,000 followers on Twitter, at least once a day, I'm checking through those followers and looking for several things:
1. Is this follower someone that I want following me? The world is full of people that I don't want to follow you such as porn or people who are only selling twitter followers or have no content. If I spot such a person, then I quickly block this person and exclude them from being one of my followers. Their tweets will not appear in my twitter feed if I block them.
2. Does this person speak English? I do not speak Arabic or Chinese or Japanese or ???. I speak English and only want to follow and have followers who tweet in English. If you read their profile, in seconds you can determine whether they are writing in English or another language. Or possibly they don't have anything in their profile (as many new people don't). In these cases, I open a new tab and take a quick look at their tweets. If I see it is in another language, then I block these followers.
3. Is this follower in my target market and something I would want to see in my twitter feed (my home page on Twitter)? I make an instant decision and at times I block these people as well and remove them from Twitter.
From the outside, it may look like I follow everyone who follows me. I don't. It's important to make sure you have the right followers. I've written about the daily actions I take on Twitter. If you want to know more of these details, I encourage you to follow this link. I'm continuing to use these tools. In this article, I'm writing about some other simple and quick detailed actions I take with my twitter followers.
I appreciate the people who follow me on Twitter. While it may not seem like you have a lot of control over who follows you, you do. Take consistent action. If you attract porn or spam or twitter trolls, then others in these categories will begin to follow you as well. Through your consistent action, you send a message to others about the types of followers you want to have on Twitter.
From my years in publishing, nothing happens overnight. You will not have hundreds of entries in your blog without consistent effort. You will not have written multiple books without consistent effort. It's the same on your social media. Little by little and daily efforts for only a few minutes will make a huge difference.
Why should you check your twitter followers? (Click to Tweet)
Labels: followers, spam, Twitter
Overcome Your Roadblocks
Some days feel like you are stopped at every turn.
queries to magazines are rejected. You've crafted your proposal or
manuscript and sent it to a number of literary agents at the same time. None of them are
responding. You glance at the Amazon numbers for your books and they are in the
millions (i.e. not selling at least on Amazon). Your twitter followers are not
growing. The list of possible roadblocks to your writing life appears
The critical difference between success and being
in these types of stall is to persevere and find the way to overcome your
roadblocks. Think about your current roadblocks. Are you stuck or are you
looking for the path around that roadblock?
I've written about how I use a tool called Refollow where in a short amount of
time I follow 800 new people every day. About once or twice a week, when I use
this tool, I will get a message from Twitter telling me that I've followed the
maximum number of people for that day and it will reset tomorrow. Maybe I've
only followed 123 people of my planned 800. It looks like I'm blocked from
following additional people. Yet I've learned if I wait 45 minutes to an hour,
then return to the tool again, it starts working and I follow the additional
people. I have found a way to move forward even when blocked.
It's the same way with your writing. If you want to
write for magazines, are you targeting the right audience for a publication? Are
you crafting good articles with solid storytelling, a beginning, middle and an
end? Do your articles have a single point or a takeaway? If not, there may be
good reason why you are getting rejections from the editors. You will need to learn
more or make different adjustments to get through these roadblocks. Maybe you
need to join
a critique group or form your own critique group to get this
Or maybe you are writing children's books and
sending out your material and getting quickly rejected or hearing silence. It's
another roadblock. While many people believe children's books are easy to write
(they aren't), you need skills and background to pull off such a submission. Get this additional
information and you will find your way around the roadblock.
If you aren't selling enough of your books, what
actions can you take today to change this roadblock? Can you reach out to speak
at another event? Can you create your own event? Can you begin to be active in
an online forum? Pitch some podcasts for scheduling you as someone to interview
and gain exposure to a new audience? There are dozens of ways around the
roadblocks but it will not happen if you wait on someone else and don't take
The world is full of opportunity but you have to
seize it. It will not happen if you sit around and wait for it to come to you. Look for the opportunities to overcome your
Hitting roadblocks with your writing? Here's how to overcome them. (Click to Tweet)
Labels: children's books, magazine, overcome, perseverance, persistence, publishing, queries, roadblocks
Seven Critical Steps for Every Author
Over 80% of
Americans plan to publish a book at some point in
their lifetime. Over 4,500 new books are published every day. Yet
repeatedly I hear from authors wondering how to sell their books and what steps
they should be taking in this process.
Let me tell you right from the start, when it comes
to book publishing and in particular selling books, there is no magic formula.
If there were such a formula every book would be a bestseller. Yet
there are proven essentials that every author can do—and that's what I'm writing
about in this article. These steps are not in any particular order but it's
important to tackle each of them.
1. Know your target audience
(readers). The more information you have
about this reader, the better you can focus your efforts to reach them. No
matter how much we want it, not everyone will read your book but your target
2. Be active or visible with your
audience. It is different for every author but if you know your target.
Where are they? Listening to their radios? Then you need to be on radio
programs. On Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, then you need to become
more visible in these places. To help you, I have a free ebook, Platform building Ideas for Every
3. Start and actively use an email
list. If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about then I
recommend you explore these two links for My List Building Tycoon at: http://bit.ly/t2W1zy or on Kindle: http://amzn.to/wU6Fzb. The essence of it is you
create an ebook or audio or something valuable for your audience. Then give that
ethical bribe away to your audience in exchange for them giving you their email
address. Only you control your email list (not some other platform like Twitter
or Facebook). Then you build your list as you use the list to continue to give
your audience value.
4. Take responsibility for your own
marketing. Each of us have excuses. We are introverted. We don't like
it. We want to just write. We want someone else to do it—why we get a publisher.
Listen to yourself and then stop the excuses and take action. Every day when I
speak to authors I tell them that they bear 80% of the responsibility for
selling their book.. They say, “yes” but then balk at taking action. You will be
exceptional if you do take your own responsibility.
5. Get to a
writer's conference. Conferences are a key part of
my own growth and people I know in publishing. You will learn a great deal and
also make friendships with editors and agents. Over the next few months, I'm speaking at different
conferences and would love to meet you in person. Follow this link
to my schedule. I especially recommend Author 101
6. Have the Right attitude. You
should always be growing, trying new things and experimenting to find your path.
It is different for each book and each author so you have to be moving forward.
Remember you are not selling your book or yourself. Instead you are helping as
many people as you can help. In the process, stress the benefits and advantages
of your book and how it will help others. Much more attractive to people than
“selling” and as an author you will be more comfortable doing it.
7. Create a simple system to become active
with your readers. It is different for every author. Maybe your path is
blogging or social media
or radio interviews. As you speak or write, focus on helping others but also
leading them to your products where to spend money to get additional help. An
example of this process would be my free teleseminar about book proposals. When you
take this teleseminar, I lead you to my Write A Book Proposal membership course.
Opportunities are around you—but to take advantage
of these opportunities, you have to seize them and take action. Don't count on
anyone else or you will certainly be disappointed (publisher, bookstore,
Amazon—no one). If I can help you, reach out to me.
Learn the seven critical steps for every author: (Click to Tweet)
Labels: author, Author 101, bestselling author, blogging, book proposal, email list, Facebook, responsibility, social media, Twitter, writers conference
A Valuable Twitter Tool to Locate A Tweet
If you are on twitter, consistent posting tweets
with valuable content for your target audience is one of the most valuable steps
you can take to build your audience. I've written about the tools that I use and the simple steps I
take every day to post this content.
Day after day I'm posting valuable articles and
content. Weeks or even months later, I want to
find that piece of content. How do I find it? My challenge is there are
thousands of tweets in my profile and it's not easy to find something specific.
When I face this
situation, I turn to a free tool called Snap Bird. The first
step is to authenticate your twitter account. You have to be logged on to your
twitter account. It is a one-time process to authenticate your
Then because Snap Bird is logged on your twitter account,
you can search for a key
word or a person's name or twitter name, or a word that you recall from the
twitter post or any number of other ways to do it. This tool is simple and menu
driven. I like how this tool is
quick and searches through through a number of tweets. If it doesn't find the
tweet, then it can continue searching. The program has limitations but often
using it, I can locate my missing tweet.
This tool has a
specialized use—searching your tweets. For some of you, it may come in handy. I
hope so. Give Snap Bird a try and let me know
how you like it and the innovative ways you use it.
Can't find an old tweets? Use this free tool. (Click to Tweet)
Labels: free tool, locate tweet, search, snapbird, tool, Twitter
Break Out of the Pack
Through the years, I've read thousands of
submissions from authors, their proposals or manuscripts. In a few sentences I can see
if they are quality storytellers or what they are pitching. It doesn't take long
or reading much information to see it. Some people have estimated at any given
time there are over a million manuscripts and proposals in circulation in the
publishing world. While the process is somewhat subjective and different from
person to person, all of us are looking for a standout. We want to see
someone who breaks out of the pack (in a
positive way). The author has to quickly show their distinctions and how they
are going to sell books.
Recently I was filling out a form for a publisher.
They were asking about my number of Twitter followers.
Was it 1-500 or 500-2500, or 2501-10,000 or 10,000+? If you look around at other
authors and see they have 1,000 to 4,000 followers on Twitter. Then how can you
increase your followers and stand out. I'm not talking about buying followers to
instantly increase your number (which doesn't count since these are fake
followers and will not be caring about your tweets or engagement). I'm talking
about making a consistent effort to increase your followers so you will break
out of the pack and stand apart. I've detailed what you can do on twitter to increase
followers. With my over 161,000 followers, it's one of the ways I break out
of the pack in such a discussion—but you can do the same with your work. It's a
matter of consistent focus and deciding that you will stand out.
Or consider Facebook. The average Facebook user now
has about 338 friends, though the median number is quite a bit lower: 200. This
means that while half of all Facebook users have 200 or fewer friends, many of
the billion-plus Facebookers have quite a few more. In fact, 15 percent of users
have friend lists topping 500. Now there is a limit on personal accounts of
5,000 friends but if you have over 500 friends then you are suddenly in the top
15% of Facebook users and are standing out. Currently I have over
4,800 friends on Facebook. I grew these numbers gradually but it is another
way to break out of the pack.
It was not until about a year ago, that I began to
be active on Goodreads (check my profile). There are 40 million readers on Goodreads.
How many friends do you have on Goodreads? Through hitting the maximum, I
learned the number of friends tops out at 5,000. And I have that number so I
stand out from the people who only have a hundred or two hundred friends. How
can you increase your Goodreads friends? Go to this page and
use the buttons which help you find friends.
To break out from the pack takes consistent effort
but you can do it. What steps are you taking today to help you get the right
attention from editors and agents for your work?
Breaking out of the pack takes consistent effort. Get your action steps here: (Click to Tweet)
Labels: book proposal, editor, Facebook, Goodreads, proposal, publisher, standing out, Twitter