Sunday, September 27, 2020

Six Keys to Consistent Social Media

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook, you may wonder how I manage to post such focused content 12–18 times a day. Since 2008, I have posted over 55,000 times (yes a lot of posts). In this article, I want to give you some basic principles I use week after week.

1. My Mindset is to act like I'm running a writing magazine. Your attitude is critical in this process. In my mind, my Twitter feed is like I am running a writing magazine about various types of publishing. My posts are targeted to my readers. If you read these posts, it's like getting an education in publishing. I've told you what my attitude and mindset is about my social media posts. What is yours? Your mindset is important to get the right mindset for this process.

2. Collect and read blogs from others—but not randomly—with a plan. I subscribe to a number of blogs about writing and publishing that come into my email box. I don't have to search for them and use these article in my social media plans. I have a plan and in general, I know where I'm going to put a particular type of article on my plan. I've made these choices to make it almost automatic and take little time.

3. Work ahead using Hootsuite (or some other schedule program). Throughout the week in focused times, I am working on my social media plans. Hootsuite allows me to schedule my posts. It has been a valuable tool in this process for me. Other people use buffer but use a scheduling program in this process. In general, I am filling out the bulk of my scheduled posts ahead of time.

4. Once a week, I fill out the remainder of my schedule plan. I keep a text file with various posts that I've used in the past. Some of them are in categories while others are random. It often takes me about 30 minutes once a week to fill in the remainder of my social media plans. Every day I take a few minutes to double-check my Hootsuite and make sure everything is going to work properly.

5. Always add the unexpected or current content. I read through my various posts and make sure they are relevant for where I am scheduling them. Often my current spot for posting them is weeks in the future. Sometimes an article will not be timeless and have information which needs to get out to my readers now—instead of weeks in the future. I add those posts to my scheduled plans. It is flexible—but I have a plan.

6. Consistency counts and people are reading these posts.  I intentionally do not spend a lot of time reading social media posts. Through my Hootsuite, I engage with people who do respond to my various posts. Without focus and a plan, social media can be a huge time waster. Your consistency will pay off and I can tell from the reactions that people are reading my posts and I know it has value for these readers.

Admittedly this process takes work, time, focus and planning to successfully execute. In my view it has been well worth it. In the comments below, let us know what I'm missing or other ways you achieve consistency with your social media. I look forward to reading your comments.


What are the keys to consistent social media? Get the details from this prolific editor and author. (ClickToTweet)

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Interview Insights When The Roles Are Reversed

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Over the years I've interviewed New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins a number of times for different magazine articles. When we met at least three decades ago, both of us were magazine editors and attending the Evangelical Press Association convention. One evening at EPA, three of us (all editors) played scrabble against Jerry—and Jerry won. He is a world-class scrabble player and knows all of the strange three letter words.

When Jerry and Tim LaHaye wrote the first Left Behind novel, Jerry sent me a review copy. I read it while on a trip and was skeptical about the plot. The opening scene where half of the people in a 747 are raptured (disappear) seemed unbelievable (even though I understood this concept from the Bible). Then I got hooked with the characters and read every one of those books (which have sold over 60 million copies).

Jerry graciously agreed to write the foreword for my newest book, 10 Publishing Myths. Both of us have appeared on the same stages at various writers' conferences yet Jerry had never interviewed me—until recently. Jerry runs the Jenkins Writers Guild and each month has a Master Class interview (follow this link to see a sample and even sign up.) Several months ago, the Jenkins Guild released our interview. I asked (and received) permission to post this 36-minute interview hereEither click the link to open the video in a new window or use the video below.


We covered a wide range of questions including:

Yes there is a great deal of valuable content packed into this video. I had fun answering Jerry's questions and I hope each of you will enjoy and gain value from this video. It was a different experience for us to reverse roles for this interview and Jerry interviewed me instead of my interviewing him.

Have you experienced this interview reversal? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.


Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins interviews this prolific editor and author. Watch this valuable video when the roles are reversed. (ClickToTweet)



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Saturday, September 12, 2020

A Simple Way For Writers To Stand Out

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

The publishing world is competitive. Thousands of new books are released into the world every day. Yet there is a simple way for writers to standout. While this method is simple, it is not easy: do what you say you will do.
Years ago when I was an acquisitions editor at another publisher, a colleague needed me to connect with a contracted bestselling author who was late on his manuscript—a year late. As someone who has stayed up writing all night to meet a publisher deadline, I was surprised this author could be so late. At this publsher, we had weekly schedule meetings where we talked about our contracted books and where they were in the publishing process. I learned a lot just listening to the details about these various books.
As a writer I have all sorts of deadlines. Some of them are self-imposed and some are from my editors. Last week I received an email from a friend about her new children's board book. She was looking for reviews. I reached out, asked for a copy and the marketing director at her publisher sent it to me. I loved the creativity in this little book, wrote my review and posted it on Amazon and Goodreads. There was no money exchanged in this process. I read books and write reviews for fun. I receive many books and don't get all of them read and reviewed but in this case a board book only has a few pages the process was easy to do. 
As the Bible says in Matthew 5:37a, “All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'.” It is a simple way to stand out as a writer. If you meet your deadlines with high quality material, if you promise to write something, and then do it, you will separate yourself from other writers.
How do you stand out as a writer? Do you have other ideas? Let me know in the comments below.

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Sunday, September 06, 2020

A Critical Writer's Help


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

With the worldwide pandemic, our days as writers have been different than any other time in history. People are working at home instead of offices. Children are learning online instead of in the classroom and many other things have changed in our world. There is good news for writers in that books continue to sell (in fact book sales are up in many areas), publishers continue to offer book contracts then produce and distriubte books.
These changes have been hard on many writers (including myself). For some people spending this intense time has disrupted their marriages. I've read where the high divorce rate has even increased during this pandemic. In this article, I want to talk about a rarely discussed but one of my most critical writer's helps: my wife. Do you have a supportive spouse? If not, can you find a supportive writer friend?
Recently I was contacted about updating a book that I wrote over 20 years ago. This book is out of print and an organization continues to use this book in their work. Some of the stories in this book are dated because we no longer have phone booths. As I talked over the updating project with my wife, it called to my attention something that I “knew” but didn't focus on: she has not read the majority of my publshed books. She had not read this book and offered to go through and mark some things that needed revision. Her efforts on this project were a huge help to me. 
This year marked my 25th  year of marriage. My journey as a writer has not been simple but involved multiple moves, job changes and much more. Christine has supported me throughout this entire journey. I'm talking primarily about emotional support. She has given me support in these critical areas that every writer needs:
1. A Sounding Board for New Ideas and Directions. As writers there are many different possibilities for our work. It's good to have someone to bounce around ideas. If you need some possibilities, check out the first chapter of my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (no opt-in).
2. Someone to talk about books and publishing (sometimes too much). Just so you know our conversations are not just one-sided. Yes she listens to my publishing stories but she has her topics that she discusses with me. For example, she loves plants (indoors and on our porch).
3. Accountability to keep me on task. Yes we talk about this important area as well even though I've been meeting deadlines for many years before we even met.
These factors are only a few of the critical ways I've been blessed with her support. On the fun front, one fo the activities that we've done together for years is go to the movies once a week (normally on Saturday). With the pandemic, movies have not been possible. Last week we purchased an Amazon fire stick and installed it on our television.  I've known about this option but never used it until last week. The fire stick has opened up another large range of original movies and television series. It has added something else we do together.
Where are you getting this critical writer's help? Let me know in the comments below.

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