Sunday, July 09, 2023

The Details Matter


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Often in the writing community, I see someone who has missed the details and they matter. Inside a publishing company, there are many steps in the process (and through the years these steps seem to grow in detail). For example, if I dont put a manuscript or proposal into our internal system  (which means responding to my email), then it does not get a letter of acknowledgement in the mail and then I dont process it for a possible contract. If I miss this particular detail the author and their submission doesnt get considered. Because of the large volume of submissions I have missed sometimes despite my best attempts to promptly communicate and keep these submissions moving forward. 

These details matter throughout publishing. In this article, I want to give you some specific examples that I have seen recently. I write these stories to emphasize and encourage you to take care of the details in your own publishing. The best publishing is also a team effort. Its not my sole decision whether a submission is published or not. I have to champion your book to my colleagues, then each of them have to respond about the book. Sometimes I get a contract and other times the group decides to pass on a submission inspite of my best efforts to get the author a contract. From my years in publishing, I understand and respect this team effort. 

Recently another author reviewed one of my books on Goodreads. I was grateful for this positive review. When I read it, I noticed his incomplete profile on Goodreads which didnt even have his photo. I was in the same position several yerfs ago. I took action and updated my profile, connected it to my blog and many other details. Today some people read these articles from my blog over on Goodreads. Its not where I would read it but as authors we need to have our material accessible to people wherever they want to read it. 

For a variety of social media sites, other authors will use the ClickToTweet which Ive added and share it with their audience. Im always grateful for the additional exposure. Many of these people are missing a key detail: the royalty-free image from my article. Its been proven that adding an image to your social media posts will increase your readership. People are drawn to the image then read the words. If you are like me and have no graphic design skills, I recommend getting lifetime access to MockUp Shots (follow the link). In a matter of minutes, you can have instant access to hundreds of images. 

Another simple way to get more attention with your posts is to tag the various people named in the post. I will often see these types of post on social media with this missing detail.

As I read various blogs and online articles, Im looking for valuable content. If I find it, I look for an easy way to share this information on my various social media networks. While there are many different tools to easily add this information to your blog or article, I find many content creators have missed this important detail. Because it is missing, it is much more time-consuming to share the story.  It takes a bit more cutting and pasting, but I often go ahead and add the article or blog post to my social media feed. 

As an editor, Im constantly receiving and processing new submissions from authors. Often I see where the author is missing some critical information such as their mailing address, phone number or word count.  Because of the missing address and phone information, Im forced to write the author and ask for it. Without it, I cant get their submission into our internal system to move forward. I suggest before you submit your material, take one last look to make sure you arent missing such a detail. Your editor will appreciate your additional effort. 

Ive given a number of different types of examples where the details are important. Can you think of another area where the details matter? Let me know in the comments below. 


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