Monday, March 27, 2017

Learning On the Road

For many years, I’ve been traveling on airlines to different events and conferences. Admittedly traveling is hard on your bags and suitcases. I’ve had to replace bags and once I even had to send my my laptop bag sent off for repair.

With all of my travel, I’ve never gotten my bag off the plane with damage—until this month. My travel goes in spurts and during the month of March I am making four different trips and a series of flights each time. On the first flight to celebrate the 89th birthday of my mother, I landed in Lexington, Kentucky and pulled my suitcase off the baggage carousel. Several hours earlier in Denver when I checked in the bag, the suitcase had four rotating wheels. Now in Lexington, my suitcase had three wheels. With the missing wheel, it wobbled.

My sister suggested I file a damage bag report with American Airlines. I learned these damage reports have to be filed immediately before leaving the airport. I went to the ticket desk and filled out the report, then went on with my trip to celebrate time with my Mom. A few days later, I returned home with my broken suitcase then noticed the bag sustained additional damage—a missing zipper. With a damaged bag, you have to give it back to the airline empty. Then they will either repair it or replace the bag. 

I emptied my suitcase and  took it with me to the Denver airport on my second of four trips. American Airlines took my bag when I checked into the airline with my bags for travel. I made my second trip and returned home. Then I called American to check on my bag repair. They told me it could take as long as three weeks so I assumed I would not have my suitcase for my month of travel. Also they told me the broken zipper (which happened on the return trip) was not on the original claim and likely would not be repaired. I wondered what would happen with my bag.

Between my second and third trips, the FedEx man delivered a huge box to my front door. It held my repaired suitcase and everything including the broken zipper was repaired.  I hear a lot these days about the challenges of travel and the poor customer service from the airlines. I believe it is also worth praising the airlines when they serve their customers well and do something exceptional. It’s why I believed I should include this article.

Several things:

1. If your bag is damaged, report it immediately to the airline.

2. Praise and thank the airline for their good customer service when you receive it. 

I love having a good news travel story to report to you.


Catch a new lesson this experienced traveler learned on the road. (ClickToTweet)
 AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , ,


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Unusual Publisher Event for Authors

Last weekend, I was in Nashville for an unusual author event. Over the last four and half years, I’ve acquired books for Morgan James Publishing. It’s the nature of book publishing to introduce a steady stream of new books into the market. Often this event is called an author launch where they launch their book into the marketplace.

As a publisher, we set the date of this launch months ahead and encourage the authors to work to build buzz and momentum for that date. We encourage their activity but typical for publishers, the author will handle the actual work such as getting people to review the book on Amazon.

Several weeks ago, Morgan James invited authors whose books released from December 2016 through March 2017 to come to a red carpet event. The authors dressed up, held their books and were interviewed on the red carpet. The interviews were live streamed on Facebook Live. After the interviews, Morgan James had special dinner to honor our authors at the famous Wild Horse Saloon in downtown Nashville.

From my many years in publishing, I’ve never seen a publisher put on this type of separate and special event to honor their authors. As a part of the event, David Hancock, the founder of Morgan James, gave each author a special “challenge coin” in a presentation box. “Challenge Coins” started during World War I where a unit carried a coin and were challenged to present the coin to prove their affiliation. These coins are popular with the Army Special Forces. David created these coins which on one side have a book and include the words “Educate, Encourage, Inform, Inspire.” The reverse includes the Morgan James book logo and “the entrepreneurial publisher” and the Morgan James website address. The coin is a remarkable reminder to every author of the partnership with their publisher.

The next day, some of the authors stayed for a day of marketing training. Not every author could stay both days but a number of them stayed and invested in themselves. The training day was excellent and included a representative from Ingram Publishing Services (the distributor for Morgan James books), specific marketing training, media training and much more. Bret Ridgway, co-author of the book, Mistakes Authors Make, spoke about  some of the mistakes authors make and his services at Speaker Fulfillment Services. One of the key mistakes that authors make is writing a book without understanding the endgame with their book. What do they want the reader to do after reading the book? Hire them for coaching or get some of their services or sign up for the author's email list? These elements have to be written into the foundation of your book from the beginning. The training session was excellent and I learned a great deal from this valuable education.

Morgan James Publishing planning two more of these events in Nashville and will follow the seasons of releases for these books. I was honored to be included and look forward to going to the events later this year.  


What is a red carpet event for authors? Learn about this unusual publisher event. (ClickToTweet)
 AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , , , ,


Monday, March 13, 2017

A Simple Promotion Idea for Your Reviews

Several times a week, someone will email and ask me to read their book and write a review. It is a good strategy to approach well-known reviewers. Normally their request mentions a book that I have read and reviewed, then pitches their book. Because I've written almost 700 book reviews on Amazon, I get these requests. To be honest, I look at their books and in most cases I politely decline the offer—for several reasons. Most of them are ebook only books on Kindle and I do not have an Ebook reader. Also when I look at the books, I'm not interested in reading their book so again I decline.

Because I've been reading and writing book reviews for many years, I have publicists and publishers often pitching for me to read their books and write about them. I am committed to continuing to read new books and write book reviews about those books. I review the book on Amazon but also on Goodreads, where I have 5,000 friends (the limit).

Repeatedly I see authors launch their book with no book reviews on Amazon--zero. In fact, during the last week, I've seen two long-time publishing professionals (literary agents) launch new books with no Amazon book reviews. If Amazon is selling 70% of the books (a number that I've seen recently in the publishing press--unsure if true or not), then it is critical for every author to get book reviews. I've mentioned this resource from Tim Grahl but get it and use it: https://booklaunch.com/amazon-reviews/ Scroll down and on the bottom get the free download from him because it has templates for emails and spread sheets and all sorts of valuable tools. It doesn't matter if your book came out last month or last year, you need to be working on these reviews. If someone goes to the page on Amazon and there are no reviews or only one or two reviews, this information affects whether others will buy your book.

Last week I was traveling and met with Charles Billingsleya well-known Christian recording artist. Charles released a new book from Worthy Publishing on March 7th. Charles he gave me a copy of Words on Worship. The book is a well-designed, attractive hardcover. Inside Charles had gathered four pages of great and well-known endorsements. I know that effort took work and is something every author should do for their new book. For my own curiosity, I looked on Amazon on his launch day and he had no book reviews on Amazon. 

To help Charles, I quickly looked at the book, wrote a review and posted it on Amazon--and also Goodreads. I also tweeted about the book a couple of times to my 200,000+ twitter followers. Writing book reviews is a simple way you can support other authors.

Here's my simple yet important idea for you when you write book reviews: include a live link to your own book at the end of the review. Within their customer reviews, Amazon allows you to include a link to another product. Why not use this tool to tell readers about your latest book?

Now take a closer look at my review for Words on Worship. Now notice at the end of the review, I write: “W. Terry Whalin is an editor and the author of more than 60 books including his latest Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist.”  Because this link is live to my book page on Amazon, a reader interested could go over to the page and purchase my book. 

As long as I'm writing about book reviews, I have a free teleseminar on this topic. Just follow the link and get the full replay and download the gifts associated with it.

Your work to tell people about your book is on-going after it is published. The key from my perspective is to always be looking for new ways and on-going ways to promote your own book--even when helping others with a book review.


Here's a simple promotion idea when you write a book review. (ClickToTweet)
 AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Monday, March 06, 2017

How to Get a Wealth of Social Media Content

Where do you get your content for your social media? Is it all your own material or does it come from others?

People in publishing are looking for writers with excellent content. I’ve been on twitter since 2008 and tweeted over 35,000 times. My following has grown from zero (no followers) to over 200,000. How in the world do I determine what to have on my social media feeds and why do I never run out of new content?

Haphazard and rare use of social media never works. To develop a following, you need to be putting out good and consistent content. I use a free tool Hootsuite to schedule my tweets throughout the day. Each communication is focused on my audience and readers (who are writers or people interested in publishing). Your target audience will be different but you must have a specific target.

Collect content and images. I subscribe to a number of blogs and newsletters who are in my target market I read these blogs and learn from them. Also I use these articles as content for my social media. As I find each one, I take a few minutes each day and add them to my Hootsuite releases for the days ahead. I keep the title of the article and attach the image from the article (since images get more social media attention).

When it comes to my tweets, I’ve developed my own structure for my daily game plan for my posts. Yours will be different but take the time to develop a structure. With this structure in place, your search for content is focused and deliberate. For example, I begin each day with a quotation and an image (often of the person quoted). Many people love these quotes so they are shared and retweeted. 

At the beginning and the end of the day,  I will point to my own resources such as blog posts (almost 1400 posts in my blog) or free teleseminars or other personal resources. I keep a small plain text file with these posts and recycle them on a regular basis. In the middle of the day, I have new content from the articles and blogs and newsletters that I regularly read. I do not automatically take every post from these newsletters. With each one, I’m focused on my audience and asking,” Is this material a good fit for my reader?” If the answer is no, then I do not include it.

From my experience, there is an abundance of resources to add to your social media feeds. It’s part of the reason I tweet at least 12 times a day. It continues to draw new readers and older readers.

The consistency and quality will draw people to your work. Yes this is platform building 101 but necessary for every author. If you need more information about platform building, then get my free Ebook on the topic.

As you have a wealth of social media content, the consistent effort is important and will pay off for you. You don't have to be on every social media channel. Pick one or two and major on that particular channel.


Follow these tips to have a wealth of social media content. (ClickToTweet)
 AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Labels: , , , , , ,