Friday, December 01, 2006

If It WERE Easy...

ChangeWhen push comes to shove, I can be as stubborn and unwilling to change as the next person. For most of us, it's our natural bent and our opinion rules or we take our materials elsewhere.   If you have this sort of attitude, then you will be challenged to find any place to publish your material —whether in a magazine or a book—whether fiction or nonfiction.  Of course, you can always self-publish then try to find a market for that material and many people have decided to head in that direction (for many different reasons). Much of successful publishing works on building consensus and enthusiasm and being willing to change and adjust. It's a valuable skill--and a often a choice of our will.
Are you willing to rework your article or book proposal so it is better than good but falls into the excellent, gotta-have-this-one category? Are you constantly growing in your insight and abilities to craft a good story? If not, what steps can you take to move in this direction.
This week I had completed a book proposal and sample chapter which I felt was ready to go out the door into the market. Instead, I received comments which pushed it back with suggestions for improvement and change. I could have pulled up my marbles and taken them to another game--but I didn't. Because I understand the reality. Like my co-author said to me, "Terry, if it were easy, everyone would do it." It's true so this material is undergoing more change to make it better. Why?  You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Several weeks ago I joined an evangelical blog group called 14Six.com (based on John 14:6). There is a small graphic for the group in the right-hand column of my entries about The Writing Life. I was one of the charter 14six members thanks to Cory Miller at Church Communications Pro. Last Tuesday I was reading Cory's site and discovered some additional resources for you through his blog entry. His three paragraph post includes some great free ebook resources. I downloaded several of them and read through Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson which has almost 50 pages of ideas (many of them inexpensive).
While these ebooks are not tied directly to your writing/ publishing area, if you think creatively with the ideas, then you can apply them to your own area of the business.  Each of these authors at the ChangeThis site are marketing leaders. For example, many years ago at an Evangelical Press Association convention, I heard Guy Kawasaki was known as the Apple evangelist in the early days of Apple computers. I've met Kawasaki off and on at various events over the years.  He includes a great deal of his experience and wisdom in this downloadable ebook, The Art of the Start (which provides a sneak preview into his book with the same title). Will one of these ideas take your writing or your visibility or your book to a new level? I have given up predicting--but I know one thing for certain: it will not happen if you don't try it.  I hope these ideas will give you some additional resources.
Also check out this PDF for Straight Talk.  It's a one page download which shows Straight Talk from the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission in the number one place on Amazon Short. These rankings change every hour. I created this PDF to freeze-frame it.  Please feel free to pass it on to others. At 49 cents, it's a bargain.
Back to my opening paragraph, through these resources, I am constantly learning new things—and growing in my knowledge and ability. In addition, I am choosing to change and choosing to grow.  That easy way must be out there but I've not found it yet. There is no replacement for good, old hard work.

4 Comment:

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Cory Miller Left a note...

Terry, thanks for the link! I'm looking forward to reading your "Short." I saw it on Amazon and was intriqued about the "Short" concept. Thanks for all you do here to help us write better! :-)

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Bonnie S. Calhoun Left a note...

Thanks for the great resources!

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Richard L. Mabry, MD Left a note...

Somehow it's hard to think of an editor having to revise his own book proposal. Thanks for demystifying the process.
I invested 49 cents today and found your Straight Talk From The Editor to be excellent. Well done.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Gina Conroy Left a note...

Great reminder that if we aren't willing to work, we won't grow in our craft!


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