Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Alton Gansky Interviews Terry Whalin about Billy Graham

Recently, my friend Alton Gansky interviewed me about my new biography on the life of Billy Graham. I hope you enjoy this short interview. If you can't see the embedded information below, then use this link, which will open a new window in your browser.

Al and I speak together about the remarkable life of Billy Graham. I tell stories about working for Mr. Graham as Associate Editor of Decision magazine and also about what I learned working on this easy-to-read biography, Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist

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Monday, March 09, 2015

When Opportunity Knocks, Do You Take Action?

Some people wonder how I've been published in many different magazines and written a number of books. Yes some of it boils down to having a basic writing talent. Some of it involves learning the craft of pitching and writing queries then building relationships with different editors and literary agents. Yet another factor is critical.

I do not believe that I'm the best storyteller or the best writer in the room. I continually work at being a better storyteller and writer. I do have a critical trait necessary to succeed in the publishing world: persistence and perseverance. If an editor or agent says to me, “That sounds like a good idea. Write that up and send it to me.” 

I slip away for a minute and write down the idea, then I create a plan when I get home to write the work and send it off to the editor or agent in a timely manner. If you wait months or years, the editor or agent may have forgotten the conversation. On the other hand, if you follow through, you will stand apart as one of the few people to do so.

Some writers get worried and scared about the competition and the massive volume of submissions in the marketplace for few spots. Yes the volume is certainly there—as I can validate from the volume of submissions I receive as an acquisitions editor. Yet there are ways to stand apart from the other submissions.

1. Craft an excellent article or proposal or manuscript

2. Seize the opportunity and if someone asks for it, submit your material.

When I became an editor, I was surprised at the few people who followed through on the opportunity and submitted their material. Now that submission has to be appropriate for the magazine or book publisher or literary agent. But if it is, then it will be read an considered—because the writer actually took action when the opportunity was there.

Let's pause for a second and consider your exchanges or interaction with editors or literary agents. Have you been encouraged to send your material? Have you followed through and taken action? If not, do it today and you will distinguish yourself from others at a particular event or conference.

I want to conclude with a new opportunity for you. Wednesday evening, March 11th (in a couple of days), I'm going to be interviewing Rick Frishman, the publisher at Morgan James and the driving force behind Author 101 University. For many years, Rick ran one of the largest public relations firms in the United States, Planned Television Arts (now called Media Connect). He is intimately familiar with the process of building buzz about an author and book in the marketplace. 

Author 101 University is not a Morgan James event. Rick brings in publishers, literary agents and many publishing professionals. It is held twice a year and I know from attending there are numerous people at this event that you will not be able to reach and speak with—unless you attend Author 101 University. The training is unique and excellent.

Here's your opportunity—if you take it: Wednesday I'm interviewing Rick and asking your questions around the topic, “Why attend a writer's conference?” During our LIVE event, Rick will be giving away several free registrations to Author 101 University next month in Los Angeles. To win one of these opportunities, you have to be on the LIVE call and be able to attend the event next month. I understand that winning a free registration, it will still involve some expense to attend the event. Go to www.writersconf101.com and register for the LIVE event.

I encourage you to take action when you receive an opportunity. It gives you the best chance for achieving your publishing dreams.

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