Sunday, January 19, 2020

Why It's Never Too Late To Promote

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

As an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, I've worked with many different authors on launching and promoting their books. As a reader, I've been on a number of launch teams, received, read and reviewed advance reader copies (ARCs) of many books. As a writer, I've taken classes on launch plans, seen the checklists from others and much more. While I've written more than 60 books for traditional publishers, it's been a few years since I launched a new book.

Last spring, I finished my manuscript for 10 Publishing Myths, gathered a foreword from New York Times bestselling author and long-time friend Jerry B. Jenkins and endorsements from 18 authors, editors, agents and publicity experts. The Morgan James team designed a beautiful cover and I had some advanced copies to take to a couple of conferences. While everything looked to be moving forward, suddenly there were some glitches.

First as a part of the process, Morgan James showed my cover to the sales team. Normally they get little feedback but in my case, the sales team suggested changes. It was a good thing in some ways to have their engagement and interest.  The feedback changed some significant details on my book cover. 

I took my book to a couple of conferences and sold a few advanced copies. One reader asked if I would like some feedback. I responded yes I'd love your feedback. It turned out she was a proofreader and sent a lengthy list of over 50 errors (missing words, wrong words, typos, etc.). Grateful for such detailed feedback, I worked through each suggestion and made all these changes before it released to the bookstores (print and ebook).

Also I worked with Misty Taggart from Trailer to the Stars on a one-minute book trailer and I ordered business cards with my first cover. Yet now my book trailer and business cards needed to be changed for everything to match and work properly. Also I built my book website but the clock has continued moving and my December 17th  launch date arrived--and I was not ready and only did a small percentage of my launch plans.
I've learned several lessons from this experience:

1. It is never too late to promote or tell others about your book. If you missed launching your book, begin today to tell others. 

2. Take the long view of your book and make a personal commitment to continually look for new ways to tell others about your book. There are over 4,500 new books published every day (includes the self-published books). The book trailer for my Billy Graham biography has been viewed over 11,000 times in the last five years.  

3. Your passion for your book and topic will last much longer than anyone else. Understand that you will drive the promotion and continued sales of your own work—no matter how you have published.

4. Ask others to help you in the promotion process. Ask others but in your asking make it easy for them to say yes. Just look at this page I wrote and prepared for my new book, 1o Publishing Myths. This page has links to the exact pages on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble where I need reviews. Also I included a link to a two page PDF where they can fill in the blanks and write their review. Also this promotion page includes several ClickToTweet posts they can share about the book on social media (whether they have read my book or not).

5. Create an interesting and inviting giveaway with your book. When I was gathering endorsements for 10 Publishing Myths, Alice Crider told me I was missing the 11th Publishing Myth. I listened and decided to write this chapter. It is designed exactly like the rest of my book but not inside the book. You can get it right away at this link. What type of inviting giveaway can you create for your book?

No matter what happens with the launch of your book my simple advice is: keep moving forward.

What glitches or challenges have you found in launching a book? Let me know in the comments below.


Discover Five Reasons Why It is Never Too Late to Promote from a prolific author and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

How to Recover from a Launch Disaster

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

How do you recover from a book launch disaster? Over 4,500 new books are published every day.  As someone who has been in publishing for years, I understand without the author's active role, little happens.

In recent years, I've watched authors launch books and participate in their launch teams. I've gotten advance reading copies of the book, read it then posted my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. I've taken online courses on launching books. As an acquisitions editor for a New York publisher, Morgan James Publishing, I've watched many other authors launch their books. Like many things in publishing, I've found not everything will go according to your plans.

While I've written more than 60 books, I haven't published a new book in several years. My newest book, 10 Publishing Myths released to the bookstores on December 17th. Last year, I asked New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B. Jenkins to write my foreword. Also I gathered 18 endorsements from other bestselling authors, publishers, editors, literary agents and publicity experts. 

When editor and writing coach Alice Crider sent her endorsement, she told me I was missing the 11th publishing myth: “If I send my book to Oprah, she will book me on her show.” I laughed then I decided to write this chapter and have it designed exactly like the rest of the book. You can get it immediately at this link

Plans were moving forward. The cover was designed and went to the sales team. Often they never respond but for my book, they suggested some changes to my cover. Simultaneously I worked with a former Hollywood screenwriter to create a one-minute book trailer (watch it here) and printed business cards (with my first book cover).  

Months ago,  I had Advanced Reader Copies. took them to a couple of writers' conferences and sold a few books. A reader emailed asking if I wanted feedback. I said of course. This reader turned out to be a proofreader and sent a detailed email with over 50 typos, missing words, wrong words and other errors. I fixed everything—thankfully before the print or ebooks were released in the bookstores.

My book launch didn't happen as planned. Maybe your published book isn't selling as you expected. I've got good news: it is never too late to promote your book

Here's some things you can do for your book—no matter when it releases:

1. Do what you can every day to tell more people about your book. It doesn't have to be a lot but be consistent in your efforts.

2. Gather your own resources and use them. They can be simple like use your email list, write a  blog, write a guest blog posts, or ask friends to read and review your book. 

3. Make your own promotion page. For 10 Publishing Myths, I created a page to help others promote my book. Look at the diversity and see if you can do something similar.

4. Make an excellent and short book trailer. People need to hear about your book over and over before they buy it. A good good trailer helps in this effort. Follow this link to see my one-minute trailer.

Your passion for your topic and book will carry beyond a launch date.  You can continue no matter what happens—part of being a writer is to have such persistence and perseverance. In spite of any glitches along the way, you can keep going.

Have you had a similar experience? Or even different with a book launch? Let me know in the comments below.


How do you recover from a Launch Disaster? Get ideas and resources from a prolific author and editor,  @terrywhalin. #writingtip #pubtip (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, January 05, 2020

4 Reasons I wrote 10 Publishing Myths

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

An acquisitions editor at a New York publisher, I spent many hours speaking with authors about their manuscripts and their own expectations for their book.  Often they will tell me, “I want my book to be a bestseller.”

In part, I love to hear those words because as an editor, I'm looking for bestsellers or books that will actively sell into the market. As someone who has been in publishing many years, I understand over 4,500 new books are published every day and 1.6 million books were self-published. The additional bit of information about self-publishing is on average these books sell 100–200 copies during the lifetime of the book. To beat those odds, every author needs to have a plan and strategy for selling their book.

I've seen many plans get changed as books get published. Years ago one of my books which received a large advance, had a different title in the publisher's catalog than when the book was published. This publisher never showed the cover to the high profile author—and he strongly disliked it. As a result, he never promoted the book and the sales were dismal. The book was taken out of print after six months. I was disappointed for all of the effort I put into writing and creating this book but many critical factors in the success of a book are outside of my control.

From other authors, I've heard many of these types of stories about their books. The process of publishing and promoting a book is filled with pitfalls and possible errors. I took my years in publishing and poured it into writing 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed.

I want to give you four reasons I wrote 10 Publishing Myths:

1. To give authors a realistic picture of publishing. Many authors have written a manuscript but do not have any idea of the details of publishing. I've written about these details in my book.

2. To help authors understand much of the process is outside of their control. There are many things that can prevent your book from successfully selling in the marketplace.

3. To give authors practical advice they can do to sell books and be successful. While much is outside of the author's control, there are numerous practical actions every author can take in the process. It's the focus of each chapter.

4. To understand there is not a bestselling formula but there are bestselling practices. Many authors are looking for a magic formula to make a bestseller. If such a formula existed every book would be a bestseller because each of us would follow that formula. It does not exist but there are active steps every author can take which is my emphasis. For example, I have worked with other professionals to create a short book trailer. Book trailers are all about exposure. Someone has to hear about your book a number of times before they purchase it. My trailer helps in this process.

5. To take the long view and not look for short term success. (A Bonus Reason) Many authors are looking for a way to rocket to the top of a bestseller list and a short-term gain instead of taking the long view for their book and continuing to tell people about it. From my experience it is the long view that will eventually bear fruit or get you book sales.

My book released last month and can be ordered in four different ways on my website. I encourage you to get a copy for yourself and another one to give it to another writer.

Have you fallen for a publishing myth? Let me know in the comments below.


Learn four reasons for 10 Publishing Myths from this prolific writer and editor. Get insights here. (ClickToTweet)


In addition to 10 Publishing Myths, I created a bonus chapter on the 11th Publishing Myth. It is free and you can get it today. Just use this link.

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Sunday, December 29, 2019

When Your Book Isn't Selling

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

I used to cringe when I saw the mail or email from one of my publishers. It probably contained a royalty statement and experience told me many of those numbers would begin with a minus (negative balance).  I’ve written for many different traditional publishers and have had this experience from a broad spectrum of types of books including how-to, self-help, biographies, gift books and children’s books.

When your book sales are off, it’s a natural tendency to want to blame someone. Maybe my editor has left and my book was orphaned inside the publisher with no champion or advocate. Maybe my publisher didn’t market the book to bookstores. Maybe they changed the title between what was printed in the catalog and what was published. Or _______(fill in the blank). I’ve had all of these things happen to my published books. 

Good publishing involves a cooperative process and working with many different people. Much of this process is outside of the author’s control. I’ve also learned there are many pro-active steps authors can take to change their situation.

1.      Take 100% responsibility for your own success. In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield makes this the first principle. Over ten years ago, I heard this principle and adopted it in my publishing efforts.

2.      Be active in the promotion and marketing of your book.  As the author, you have the greatest passion for your book—way beyond anyone else including your publisher. The great promoter, PT Barnum said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens—nothing.” Consistent promotion of your book is important.

3.      Be Generous with your book. Reviews sell books but many authors have few reviews for their book on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Give books to people who are willing to write a review. If they’ve never written a review, give them a tool to help them like with this form.

4.      Ask for others for help. In the New Testament, James 4:2-3 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” If you need endorsements, ask but make it easy for them to say yes (offer to draft it). If you need social media promotion, ask but create possible posts. Here’s an example of a page, I created to help others help me spread the word on my latest book. Use this page as an example of something you can create for your own book.

5.      Take the long view of publishing. Publishing and promoting a book is more like a marathon than a sprint. With the huge volume of published books, someone has to hear about your book seven to twelve times before they purchase it. What actions can you take every day to give your book this exposure? My Billy Graham book trailer has been seen over 11,500 times in the last five years.

6.      No matter what happens in your life, keep going. In Perennial Seller, New York Times bestselling author Ryan Holiday writes, “The hard part is not the dream or the idea, it’s the doing.” If there were a simple formula to create a bestseller, every book would be a bestseller. There are practical actions every author can take. Each part of the publishing process has challenges and as writers your persistence and consistency is critical. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins wrote in the foreword of my book, 10 Publishing Myths, “Only one of a hundred writers literally make their deadlines.” If you meet deadlines with quality writing, it’s an easy way to stand out from the crowd. I wrote 10 Publishing Myths (released December 17th) to give writers realistic expectations and practical steps every author can take to succeed. Today, you can get the 11th Publishing Myth as a free ebook (which is not in the book).

When you point a finger at others because your book is not selling, just remember: when you extend your pointer finger, four more fingers are bent back toward you. Take action today.

Am I missing an action idea you can take? Or maybe you have other feedback. Let me know in the comments below.


What action steps can you take when your book isn't selling? Get some ideas from this prolific writer and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Take Simple Action Steps

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

When I was a high school sophomore, my English teacher, Mr. Smith, saw something in my writing and encouraged me to join the newspaper staff. I started writing sports even though I was non-athletic and didn’t follow sports. I learned the jargon and began to write sports. Ultimately I was the editor of my newspaper my senior year and went on to Indiana University and majored in journalism. I thought I was going to be a newspaper reporter but instead joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and spent the next 10 years in linguistics. I began to work on the mission magazine and ultimately became the editorial director and in charge of the public face of Wycliffe in print.
My return to writing from linguistics began in the magazine world. I learned to write a query letter to pitch my idea and then got assignments and completed those assignments. Over the years, my writing has been published in more than 50 publications.

My first book was published in 1992 because an editor at David C. Cook asked me if I had any ideas for children’s books. As a company, their mission statement charged them to teach children about missions, yet they didn’t have a single book on the topic. Since I worked for Wycliffe, she asked if I had any possible children’s book manuscripts. I pitched a possibility and she said, “That’s a good idea, Terry. Write that up and send it to me.” 

I went home and submitted my manuscript. While I went through a number of versions but ultimately it became my first book called When I Grow Up, I Can Go Anywhere for Jesus. This 32 page picture book started my work in books. Since then I’ve written over 60 books for many different publishers. I’ve been an acquisitions editor at three different publishers and for a while had a literary agency (closed).  Many wonder how I’ve done it—and it’s really simple action steps.

At a conference or on the phone or on email, I pitch my ideas to editors. When they respond positively and are willing to read it, I follow up, write it and send it to them. I don’t get published each time—but I do give myself a chance to be published. From being an editor and asking writers to send me their work, I know only about 10% or less actually submit it for consideration. They miss the opportunity by not doing what the editor has asked.

I’ve spoken with hundreds of writers and read thousands of submissions. I compiled a lot of my lessons into my new book, 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. Watch my one-minute book trailer for the book.

One of my 18 endorsers told me I was missing the 11th myth. I decided to write that chapter and give it away (looks exactly like the rest of my book). You can use this link to get the 11th Myth right away

My journey as a writer continues with simple action steps: do what the editor asks and submit what they need. 

Are you taking these simple action steps? Let me know in the comments below.


Are you taking simple action steps as a writer? Gain insights from this prolific writer and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Face the Silence With Action

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Are you getting silence as you reach out to literary agents or editors during the holidays? Yes you might get a little response such as holiday greetings or Merry Christmas. From my years in this business, there is often a shift in the community from right before Thanksgiving until right after New Year's Day. People put off sending manuscripts. If they have a book contract from a publisher, they often delay to sign it until after January 2nd and any number of other decisions of this nature.

My authors are Morgan James are still active and corresponding with me but little is finalizing and moving forward—so mostly silent in some ways. How do you handle this silence? Does it stop your writing and your work in the community? In this article, I want to give you some pro-active idea of what you can do to be productive and face the silence with action.

1. Read books on the craft of writing. As you read these books, use a highlighter and post-it notes to take action on what you are learning. For example, my book, 10 Publishing Myths will release on December 17th. I encourage you to go to my website—and use one of the four different ways I offer to get the book. Also you can immediately get the 11th Publishing Myth (a chapter not included in the book).

I need your help to promote and tell other people about 10 Publishing MythsUse this page for some social media posts as well as links to the various places to write reviews and much more.

2. Plan an event for January. Maybe you want to plan a webinar or a local speaking event. Send some emails or make some phone calls or take some action for this event to get schedule and promoted.

3. Write a new book proposal or begin a new book manuscript. You can also take my Write A Book Proposal course and begin step-by-step to learn the important craft of writing a book proposal. This proposal will be your blueprint for writing and marketing your book. Do this writing work during these days in December.

4. Make plans to get to a writers' conference in the new year. Which one will you select? Who will you pitch? Take this time to plan and strategize your next publishing steps.

5. Look for new writing markets. Get the first chapter in Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link) and study the various writing opportunities. Pick one or two and try a new one.

6. Try some new ways to market your book. Get 1001 Ways to Market Your Book or a similar type of marketing book with proven ideas.

Each of us have the same amount of time. Let's seize the day during these silent days and move forward into the new year with great action and expectations.

How are you facing the silence in the publishing community? Let me know what actions you are taking in the comments below.

How do you face the silence of the publishing community with action? Learn from a prolific author and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Get A Realistic Publishing Perspective

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

I've spoken with many authors about their plans and ambitions for their published book. Authors pour a lot of energy into writing their manuscript and creating a book proposal or careful pitch of their book for editors or literary agents. These authors make statements to me like:

“My book will be a bestseller.”

“My book will make a lot of money.” 

“My book will sell ____ copies.”

Also over many years in publishing, I've had publishers tell me that my book would be in airport bookstores and they had plans to market and sell many copies of the book. Conventional wisdom in publishing says the larger the advance, the greater the publisher investment and the greater they will have to invest in marketing to get this investment back and more. I've been blessed to get a couple of six-figure advances—but I have lengthy stories (not good ones) about how each of these books turned out in the market.

From my years in publishing, I know and understand that much can go off course (wrong) in the publishing and marketing process. A great deal goes into publishing a book and then selling that book to readers, getting their enthusiasm about the book and telling others for even more sales. Many of the details of this process are outside of anything the author can control or do about it—a reality.

On December 17th, my next book, 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed will release to bookstores nationwide. I wrote the book to give authors practical action steps they can take with their book to get it into the market.

Let me encourage you to watch the one-minute book trailer here:

Also when I was gathering 18 endorsements for this book from editors, literary agents, bestselling authors, PR experts and others, Alice Crider told me I was missing the 11th Myth: If I send my book to Oprah, she will book me on her show.  When I heard this myth I laughed but then I decided to write this chapter. It is designed like the rest of my book and you can get it free here (follow this link). You will get this PDF immediately and it will have the foreword by New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins, the various endorsements and the chapter with the 11th myth.

Help Me Promote 10 Publishing Myths

I hope you will order my book through one of the four options on my website—but even if you don't order the book, I would encourage you to tell others about it using my ClickToTweet links on this page.

As you need gifts for the writers in your life, I want to encourage you to buy a copy of 10 Publishing Myths and give it to a friend who needs the encouragement and practical advice.

I'm excited about how 10 Publishing Myths is going to help authors all over the world—whether you have a new book or want to put more life and sales back into a book that has been in the market for a while. As long as you have enthusiasm for telling others about your book, there is hope for you in the market.

Do you have a realistic publishing perspective? What myths have you fallen for? Let me know in the comments below.


How to do you get a realistic publishing perspective? Get ideas and resources here from a prolific author and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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