Sunday, December 10, 2023

Practice Age-Old Wisdom

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

During this time of year, activities tend to slow down--less activity on the publishing front and phone calls are not returned, etc. I use this time to read some books and complete some online courses. While Ive been in publishing for years, I have a great deal to learn and more improvements to make in my own storytelling and writing life. 

Many authors are looking for the magic bullet to propel their books on the bestseller list. These people are often chasing the latest shiny marketing tool or social media network. If you are listening to such information, you can easily find yourself pulled in many different directions. I understand why publishers are looking for authors with a presence on the internet and social media connections. They want authors who will use these different methods over and over to tell their readers about their work. From my view, social media is all about repeat exposure. Someone has to hear about your book at least ten or twelve times, before they will purchase your book. You tell them about your book in different ways such as through a radio broadcast or a podcast or a magazine article or ???. If you want to see or need an example, just follow my Twitter feed or LinkedIN feed and you will see how I talk about my books using diverse methods on a consistent basis. 

As I listen to training programs and learn, there is a repeated emphasis on returning to the basics--email. Why is a vital and effectively used email list much better than the shiny new platform? The simple fact is that as an author, you control your email list as far as the frequency of use and your efforts to grow and expand your list of readers. I dont control the spaces which are commonly referred to as “rented platforms.” 

For any of these social media platforms like Facebook, X or Twitter, LinkedIN and many others, if I violate (even unintentionally), my account can be cancelled or suspended. These rules that are violated are often buried in the settings and almost impossible to appeal or get reinstated because the restoration process is outside of what the author can control. Youve spent untold hours building a group of readers on Facebook then one day your account is suspended. Or your level of response and visibility radically drops because the site has changed their algorithm (which few people understand and almost no one can do anything about). 

Your own email list is what you can control, build and repeatedly use. Do you have an email list and are you effectively using it? Several years ago I created a simple and inexpensive ebook on this topic called List Building Tycoon. If you havent seen it, I encourage you to follow the link or click the small image and check it out. 

Ive not been using my own email list with the greatest effect. Particularly in the new year, I plan to increase my use of my email list and have some specific actions that Ive relearned from these courses that Ive been watching. Each of us have to learn these skills then put them into practice. Its an action step which I encourage every author to do in the days ahead. There are reasons the age-old wisdom works. 

Our life as a writer is a journey. Which age-old wise practices are you not putting into practice?   Let me know in the comments below.


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