Sunday, April 03, 2022

Where Is the Easy Button for Publishing?

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Writing is easy. You sit at your keyboard, open a vein and bleed. This statement has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway. On the surface, publishing looks easy. You write a book and publish it. People are looking for something easy—an easy button. One of my friends, Joel Comm, was selling easy buttons that you could have on your desk and push when you needed it. Yet the button only went up and down—and didn't do anything. From my decades in publishing, there is no easy button and instead the days are full of many “minor” decisions which will make a huge difference in the success or failure of your book.
In the pages of these entries, I've told the story about Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, co-authors Chicken Soup for the Soul (one of the most successful series of books in the English language). People often forget these books were rejected 140 times before they finally found a small publisher. That is a lot of rejection. Mark tells the story in the foreword to my book Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. Just follow this link to download and read the foreword and first chapter.
Last year, on The Write Conversation blog, I told the story of Andy Andrews and his struggle to get published and then how he became a New York Times bestselling author. Follow this link to read this article but the key fact is to notice the persistence and perserverance Andy did to finally succeed with his books and writing. There was nothing easy about it.
A great deal of publishing is being in the right place at the right time with the right stuff. Those qualities of persistence and perserverance are key elements for every writer. Here's some ideas of action steps you can take—no matter where you are on your publishing journey:
1. Write shorter pieces or magazine articles and be pitching them to editors. It takes skill to write a book and it also takes skill to write a shorter article. I would rather be learning on the shorter article than the longer book. Plus you will reach many more people with an article than most books. I continue to write for magazines and have been doing it for many years.
2. Be making connections consistently through LinkedIn. Millions of people are on this business network and I ignored it for years but today I have over 19,000 connections. Last week I called a long-time friend's cell number and someone else answered. I checked the number with a colleague—and they had the same wrong number. I went to LinkedIN and found a different number in this friend's contact area—so I called it and left a message. I was reaching him with an old number which was forwarded to him—and apparently dropped during the last month.  Repeatedly LinkedIN has been a great source of information because generally when people move or change positions, they take their LinkedIN account with them. Each of us need the right connection and you can be expanding your network through LinkedIN. If we aren't connected, then send me a connection invitation (use the link) You might not need it today but maybe you will need to connect at a later point.
3. Get to an event and make new connections.  After two years of a pandemic, live events are returning. I will be at two of them this month and another in June. In May I will be teaching and meeting authors at a vircual event. Follow this link to see my schedule and possibly meet. This week an author who attended one of my workshops in 2018 reached out to me with some questions. She was going to attend the Write His Answer conference in May (which will be virtual and a combination of the Philadelphia and Colorado Christian Writer Conferences). This author was surprised that I answered her email and questions. Even four years after an event, I continue to be in touch with people that I met.
Your persistence and consistency is important—even in the face of rejection like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Andy Andrews. Keep moving forward is my encouragement—whether you find the easy button or not. 
If I'm missing the easy button for publishing, let me know in the comments below.

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