Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Holy Grail for Authors

Every business has a pinnacle of success. It is the ultimate mark of achievement. In book publishing, much of this mark of success is tied to winning a particular award or getting your book on a particular bestseller list.

The ultimate bestseller list is to see your book on the New York Times bestseller list.. If you study this particular group of authors, you will notice the same names repeatedly land on this list. 

When an author lands on the New York Times list, the achievement is forever carried with their publishing life. They are introduced as a New York Times bestselling author. In many ways, it is the holy grail of publishing to achieve such a milestone.

I’ve never achieved such a milestone but I know a number of authors who have reached this goal. Last Thursday, I moderated a panel with three members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors who have reached this milestone and become New York Times bestselling authors.

I wrote some these words in another airplane on the way to this event. As the moderator, I pulled together the speakers and organized the session into three parts: the pitch or the proposal, the writing and the promotion and life changes that came from the experience. 

I asked each speaker to pull together some tips and suggestions into a handout. This handout was given electronically to the conference attendees. Also I printed a number of copies that I hauled to the event.

This event is at a "members only session" for the ASJA. In other words, you have to be a member of this organization (about 1400) and have registered for the conference and traveled to New York City for the event (an even smaller number).  Several other workshops were going on at the same time but I had a good number in this session.

Originally I scheduled four speakers and at the last minute one of them got ill and could not attend. Yet her information is in the handout. Here’s the handout for this event. I found this document insightful and hopefully you will as well. It is nine pages of solid information and insight.

I give it to you in hopes it will help your writing life.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Get A Top PR Firm to Market Your Book

What if in less than 18 months, you could accomplish the following without spending one red cent of your own money?

Have a major PR firm representing you and getting you booked on...
* ABC World News
* National Public Radio (NPR)
* Oprah & Friends
* 63 major radio stations
And then...
What if companies like Coca-Cola, Wachovia, Yahoo, Toyota, Sony Pictures plus other Fortune 500's and leading non-profits offered to...
* Buy 50,000 copies of your self-published book every year
* Make it possible for you to get $500,000 in advances for your next book,
* Pay you fat speaking fees for 65 speaking engagements
* Give you testimonials from their CEO
* Send emails to 100,000+ of their customers or volunteers promoting your book, cause or business
* Feature you on their website and guarantee you'll get at least 5 million impressions.

Is the above a fairy tale?
Can it REALLY happen ... especially if you're not already famous?
It already has for Brendon Burchard, an author and speaker who's figured out some really ingenious ways to land corporate and non-profit promotional sponsorships and use them to fund his marketing efforts.

To discover how you can use his methods to promote your own book, product or business, you're invited to a free telephone seminar on Thursday, April 18th in which you'll hear Brendon interviewed by Steve Harrison.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know I'm a compensated affiliate for Steve's programs. Here's just some of what you'll learn on Thursday's call with Steve and Brendon:
* What to do step-by-step to get a major company to sponsor your national promotional tour and pay for everything!
* Why the current economic downturn means more big companies and non-profits sponsoring authors, speakers and entrepreneurs -- even if they're not famous.
* A website you can use to find potential sponsors and promotional partners.
* The "secret phrase" which gets big nonprofit organizations to endorse your book and promote it to their members.
* The title of the BEST person to contact with your proposal and why you should never send one done with Microsoft Word.
* The #1 fatal mistake to avoid making when trying to land a deal a sponsorship deal with a Fortune 500 company.
* How to write a short proposal that gets huge companies to sponsor you -- even if you're an unknown, self-published author (HINT: there are five elements and he'll reveal all five on the call.)

and more!
Brendon's information works no matter what type of book you are working on—fiction or nonfiction. Again, to sign up for Thursday's call go here now.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Seize Your Writing Power

Many writers feel like they don't have a lot of power or influence. Especially if you are just trying to get into print with a book or magazine articles, you may be receiving a number of rejection letters. All of us receive rejection letters—whether we've written nothing or many things. It's simply a part of the publishing business and not a judgment on you as a person.

I want to encourage you to seize your writing power. What power? I'm talking about your influence as a writer. Whether you have no email list and only a few Facebook friends and only a few Twitter followers, you are a person of influence.

Recently I was reading Facebook and spotted a blog post entry from one of my writing friends, I went to the article, read it and liked it. So I took a few seconds and cut and pasted the title along with the author's name into my Twitter account. I included the link to the article and sent out a tweet. Most of my tweets also show up on my Facebook page

The whole process from start to finish took me two or three minutes. I didn't give it a lot of thought but just took action and sent it out, then went on to something else.

A day later, I received an email from this author. Part of it said, “Just so you know the impact you have, right after you tweeted about it the views spiked and yesterday was my blog's highest viewed day in months. Thanks for the boost.”

I found this news amazing since I put little stock in my actions. Yet I had used my writing power with that tweet. You have it as well. Are you using it?

You may not have written books but hopefully you are reading books. What do you do after you have read the book? Do you use your writing power? One simple way to use it is to write a few sentences of review about the book and post it on Amazon. When you take action and write a review, you are using your influence. I've written over 400 customer reviews on Amazon. No one pays me to write these reviews yet it is a way to use my power as a writer.

After you have written the review, I encourage you to tell your friends about your review. Every review has a “permanent link” on Amazon. You can use that link to tout your review to your Facebook friends or on Twitter or any other social media network. You will be surprised but taking these simple actions will influence others about good books to read.

I noticed my Book Proposals That Sell had another Five Star Amazon review. I quickly tweeted, “My Book Proposals That Sell received the 112th Five Star Review on Amazon today: I'm glad the book helps many people” 

Words have immense power to heal and help others. I encourage you to seize your writing power and take action today.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Learn to Pitch Anything

Editors and agents are always looking for fresh ideas. Something innovative that will capture the imagination of the reading public. The process begins with an idea then it evolves into a story to illustrate the concept with some compelling words. 

For many years I've been interested in the publishing process. Which ideas are published and which ideas languish? What is the process to persuade an editor or agent to take your project or to get a magazine editor to publish your words?

Some of this process happens in your pitch. During writers conferences, I've often participated in pitch sessions. I've been the writer coming to the editor or agent with a single idea or maybe several ideas. I've had to craft my words and target a particular magazine or publication (researched ahead of time). I want to persuade the publishing professional to express enough interest that he wants to see my material after the conference. I've also been the agent or editor listening to the writer pitch their ideas at these events.

What are the factors that make a difference to capture interest? 

At the recent Author 101 University, a writing coach told me about a business book from Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything. Notice how I purchased this book because of a word of mouth recommendation. It is the strongest way to influence others to buy a book. It was the title that caught my attention. Then the subtitle hooked me, “An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal.”

In the first chapter, Klaff reveals that he raises capital for businesses “at a rate of about $2 million per week. From the outside, the reasons for my success seem simple: I offer wealthy investors profitable deals that involve Wall Street banks. But others do that, too. Yet I raise a lot more money than they do. They compete in the same markets. Do the same types of deals. Pitch the same kinds of facts and figures. But the numbers show I am consistently one of the best. The difference isn't luck. It is not a special gift. And I have no background in sales. What I do have is a good method.”

As a writer, you may be reading this last paragraph and think this book is only for business people and way beyond your publishing life. Not so. Whether you are pitching a magazine article or a book to a publisher, the pitching (or selling) dynamics are the same. Some creative types are going to resist the concept of selling. Yet selling is exactly what you do every time you persuade an editor to publish your work (book or magazine or newsletter or whatever).

I've been captivated with the writing in Klaff's Pitch Anything. His stories combined with how-to information make this book worth reading. I'm still reading this book and was also impressed with the customer reviews on Amazon for this book. It is one more indicator about the valuable contents of this title. 

If you want to publish your work as a writer, you need to learn to pitch. I'm gaining insights about this important topic from Pitch Anything. What steps are you taking to improve your abilities and your success in publishing? 

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