Sunday, October 29, 2023

Re-Use Your Interviews

By Terry Whalin

You may wonder if anyone listens to the radio. Just because you dont commute or listen to the radio or podcasts, that does not mean large numbers of other people do listen to the radio. If you have any doubts, just read this recent article from the Pew Research Center. Radio can be a powerful medium to tell others about your book or area of expertise.

Recently one of my Morgan James authors was on In the Market with Janet Parshall speaking for an hour about the topic of her book. This radio program has a large audience and is simultaneously broadcast on 700 radio stations. I was thrilled for my author to have such broad exposure for her book. While that one-time broadcast was powerful, what if you could use this interview over and over? 

I called my author and recommended she get the actual audio from the interview, then store it on her own website (so it never disappears or changes). With this additional effort, she can tell others about this interview over and over through social media, her newsletter and other places. Because the interview was live radio, it will sound fresh in a month or a year and attract new readers to her topic and her book. In this article, Im encouraging you to use such a strategy to continually gain new listeners about your book.  

Lets take a step back and ask, is the media interviewing you? If so, I applaud your efforts. How do you get these interviews? Do you pitch yourself to producers or did you hire a publicist? Either option is a good one to get connected to these media experts who need fresh material for their radio programs. You can serve these journalists and also reach new people about your book. In these articles, Ive written about radio interviews before (follow this link). I encourage you to get as much mileage and use out of these intereviews as possible.

Im conviced every author or would-be author needs to learn about the power of radio. Use this link to learn how Alex Carroll has built a huge following, book sales and business on the radio. 

When it comes to working with the media, dont be a one and done interview. Instead take some extra actions to get more mileage from your efforts. There are many radio programs and stations looking for you to interview. They simply havent gotten the right pitch from you or a publicist. 

Each of us have to be continually pitching our important topic and expertise to get these interviews in the first place, then use them to their fullest potential. Each of us are making choices and need to make the best choice then use our resources with wisdom and consist action. 

What actions are you taking to get media interviews on the radio or podcasts? How are you re-using your resource to get the greatest exposure and mileage from it? Let me know in the comments below. 

My Articles in Other Places. 

In these articles, I often encourage you to publish your book on other blogs and other places. Heres some of my articles which have been published recently:

Six Reasons to Write Reviews. On Writers on the Move, I give a the details and encourage every writer to be writing reviews. 

Jumpstart Your Magazine WritingHow can you magazine writing and deliver what the editor needs? I give the details in this article. 

Why Are You The Author?
   At Almost an author, I write about some aspect of book proposal creation. This article addresses a question every proposal should answer because editors and agents want to know this information.


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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Do Something To Make Progress

By Terry Whalin

The writing life is a journey not a destination. If Im honest, some days I dont feel like doing the work. I feel stalled and stuck. Maybe you find yourself in that situation and need some ideas what to do. 

Last week I taught at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference and interacted with many authors. On Monday, I felt worn out and reluctant to be at my keyboard. I felt stalled and unsure what I could do in my office. I kept moving forward and eventually accomplished a number of things--but certainly didnt start enthusiastically. The consistent action on your part moving toward your work will pay off. That payoff may not come immediately but in the long run it will happen. The key when you are in a stall or slump is to do something. As you do that something, you will move forward and get going. It's what I did the other day with my own stalled feelings.

When I was stalled, Ive created a detailed system with my social media posts which is why I have a large following and I post 14-15 times a day and only spend about 30 minutes on it each day. With traveling, I had fallen behind on processing these posts. I turned to my system and began using it to get caught up. This simple activity propelled me out of my stall and into action. What helps you will likely be different but the key is to do something which moves your work forward. 

For your writing life, maybe you can write a short article or a guest blog post or a query letter for a magazine idea. Or you could begin a book proposal with a longer book pitch. Or maybe you need to do some follow-up work on something you already have in motion. Use the gentle follow-up approach so you dont get a “no thank you” response.  There is always something more to do but the key is to consistently take action and knock on new doors. You never know when the right opportunity might open for you. If you dont try it, it will certainly not happen. 

Our lives as writers are not straightforward but filled with ups and downs. Success is overrated as a quality and must be earned every day. From my decades in publishing, I know several characteristics are key in this process:

--Persist no matter what. If you get an opportunity, seize it. If you get rejected, knock on a different door to see if that one opens. Your persistence as a writer may take time but will pay off in the long run. 

--Write something even if it is never published.

--Read widely. If you are in stall, one of the ways to get unstuck is to read something that will inspire you and stir new ideas. 

--Write in different areas. Work on your social media feed or write a devotional or a book review or a personal experience article--something outside of what you normally write. 

--Call a friend and check in. Encourage this other person and also get some accountability for your writing. 

Ive given a few ideas but there are many different ways to stir yourself into action and make progress. Heres the critical element: keep moving forward because the world needs our stories and our words. 

When you get stalled or stuck, what steps do you take to get moving and make progress? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Relationships Off the Rails

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

I grew up in a family where the railroad was a key part of my life. My father worked for the railroad and eventually became an executive in the company before he retired. One summer as a college student, I worked on the section gang of the railroad. The work was physical and challenging and if my father wasnt involved, Im certain I would have been fired after a week or two but I lasted the entire summer. 

As a part of this team, we maintained a section of the rails. One time there was a train wreck and several of the cars jumped off the rails. There are many ways this happens but it stopped anything moving along these lines of the railroad. 

Today Im going to use these rails as an example of relationships and how it is important to keep your relationships “on the rails.” From my experience in publishing, this area is rarely discussed but an important part of the community and I hope calling it to your attention will help your publishing relationships.

While to the new writer or outsider, the publishing world seems huge with many people, the longer Im in it, the more I see the community as small and interconnected. 

When you complain or disagree, your actions have ramifications. Twice in recent weeks, Ive watched two editors who have been in this business a long time. Each one has disagreed with someone inside the publishing company and acted as if they knew better than the newer publishing person they were speaking with. Its likely they didnt consciously intend to display this attitude. Their attitude came across loudly and clear to my colleagues and their simple response: I dont need this conversation or input. In each case, this “I know better than you” attitude has reaped lasting ramifications. These editors have been eliminated from gaining additional work. Maybe these individuals dont care but as I observed these actions, I saw several lessons for myself:

--never act superior or “too big for your britches.” Yes, you can play that card but be aware in the long run, it will likely come back and bite you. 

--with every interaction, always look for ways to serve and help the other person. That attitude will go a long ways and mean a great deal to the other person.

--never take your success and experience for granted. Instead, realize you have to earn it day after day.

--always be curious and eager to learn  

My cautionary tale about these two long-term friends and how they shoved their relationship off the rails, was not easy to write or retell. I did it as a fresh reminder for each of us to continually work at building and not tearing down your relationships. Have you had such experiences? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, October 08, 2023

If You Are Missing Something

By Terry Whalin

Its been proven social media posts get better visibility and read if they include an image. What actions do you take if the article you want to use does not have an image? Im going to share the details about what actions I have been taking in this area.

My actions stem from a key philosophy: to take 100% responsibility for my own success. I cant fix what others are missing but I can take responsibility for what I do

Early on in my writing life, I learned that when I wrote for a magazine, I could not control what changes the editor made and eventually got published for thousands of readers. Yet I could control what I turned into my editor which is part of my 100% responsibility for my own success. When I interview someone, I make a point to show this person the article before I send it off to my editor to ensure I have the correct facts. I don't want this other person to rewrite my piece but I do want to have the correct facts. Taking this step preserves my relationship with that person. 

Now that you understand my basic philosophy, what do you do if you find an article which you want to share on social media, but it does not have an image? I quickly search for an image and add one. It sounds simple but its an action I didnt take for a long time. 

To add an image, take stock of what resources do you for photos? Some people take their own photos and others (like me) use a site with royalty-free images. No one can simply pull an image from another website because that image may have a copyright attached to it. Im not a lawyer but I do understand the necessity to be wise where you find and use your photos. I have several royalty-free sources. 

MockUp Shots is my primary tool to find royalty-free photos. For a low price, I got a lifetime access to royalty-free photos which I use in my blog articles and also in my social media posts which don't have a photo. The search process is simple and easy to use. Another reason to get MockUp Shots is they are continually adding new tools and resources.

Snagit I have used this tool for many years. Currently I have the 2003 version which also has access to a large selection of royalty-free images. It's another resource to consider in this area. 

Marketing expert Kim Garst wrote an article with links to many places with free stock photos. This site has a number of valuable ways to get these royalty-free photos.

As you post something to social media, it is critical to focus each one on the reader and what will attract them to read and process your information. If a photo will help you get more readers and more attention (a proven fact) then use these resources to add whatever is missing and get those readers. 

When you are missing something for a social media post like an image, what actions do you take? Let me know in the comments below.


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Sunday, October 01, 2023

Use the Power of Introductions


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

From my years in publishing, there is an under-used tool which every writer can access. It doesnt matter whether you have published many books or never published. In this article, I'm encouraging you to use the power of introductions. 

Who do you want to meet in the publishing community? Is it an editor, a bestselling author, a literary agent, a publicist or any other role? Make a list of these individuals. Who do you know who can introduce you to this person? 

There is a parlor game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or Bacon's Law “where players challenge each other to arbitrarily choose an actor and then connect them to another actor via a film that both actors have appeared in together, repeating this process to try to find the shortest path that ultimately leads to prolific American actor Kevin Bacon. It rests on the assumption that anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon within six steps. The games name is a reference to “six degrees of separation”, a concept that posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.” You may not have considered it but it is likely someone in your circle of friends and relationships, can easily reach whoever you want to reach. You just need to be introduced to them. 

As an editor, authors often need to be connected to someone inside the publishing house. Whatever need you have, someone can help you. The action you need to take is to ask this person who is connected for an introduction. A Bible verse in James says you have not because you ask not. It may feel uncomfortable but to get to this person, you need to ask for an introduction. 

As you use introductions, you need to understand the role of persistence in this process. From my years in publishing, persistence is a key characteristic for every successful writer. We often hear the word no or cant in the writing life. The key is to understand that particular action didnt work but the next one may work for you. 

As an example of persistence in the area of introductions, during the last few weeks Ive been trying to get introduced to a particular literary agent. Her email isnt on the agency directory or on other directories of literary agents. I know because Ive searched for it and come up empty. Instead I turned to introductions. I called a friend who lives in the same town as the agent. They had no connection. I called a literary agent friend who might have worked with this agent years earlier. Again the connection didnt work. Finally I texted a former colleague of this agent who gave me the right email address. Then I crafted an email to this editor and a few days later I received a response. 

My purpose for telling this story is so you see that reaching the right person takes persistence and finding the right connection for you. It is not a singular action but could involve multiple actions to get there.  

Do you use the power of introductions in your writing life? What techniques work for you? Let me know in the comments below.

My Articles in Other Places. 

Often in these articles, I encourage you to publish your work on other blogs and places. Heres some of my articles which have been published recently:

Escape the Catch-22 of Publishing Editors and agents are looking for people who have published to publish them some more. Yet how do new writers break into that cycle? I give the details how writers can escape this catch-22 of publishing. 

Do you have a Side Hustle? Every writer needs to diversify their income and in this article I give the details and ideas for every writer to get at least one side hustle.  

Why Publishers Prefer Proposals
 Every author needs to create a business plan and in this article I give writers the specifics why publishers prefer a proposal submission. It contains information that never appears in your manuscript but is important as they make publishing decisions. 


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