Sunday, September 22, 2019

Opportunities Are Everywhere

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

If you hold a glass partially filled with liquid, what is your perspective? Is the glass half-filled or half empty?

For the last fourteen years, I've been writing about publishing, I believe the glass is half full. As I look over the landscape of the publishing world, I see opportunities are everywhere. Magazine editors are actively looking every day for writers who understand their publication and write targeted articles for their readers. Editors of online publications are reading their email and looking for excellent material to use. Book editors are also actively reading their mail (and email) and continually listening to literary agents and writers as they pitch their ideas. Over the years, I've been inside some of the top literary agencies in New York City. These agents are looking for the next bestseller that they can champion to their editor friends.

One of the keys to seizing an opportunity is looking for change. The marketplace is constantly changing. New publications start. New editors come on the scene. Long-term editors will leave their publisher and start to work as a literary agent. These changes are only a few of the many transitions in the marketplace. 

When you read about these changes, I encourage you to understand they are opportunities for you as a writer. Each of these professionals is actively looking for a new stable of writers. Your pitch has to be right on target but it can make a huge impact if it comes at the right time. 

Through my years in publishing, I have made my own transitions from magazine editor to writer to book editor to literary agent to acquisitions editor.  For the last seven years, I have acquired books for a New York publisher. Yes I live in Colorado but no one cares where I live as long as I get the work done. I've worked with many authors to explore and bring their books to the marketplace. Each day I'm actively looking for excellent book proposals which I can present to our publication board. Because Morgan James Publishing  is based in New York, I've got a New York phone number and mailing address. In a pattern that is familiar to many in the publishing world, I telecommute for my acquisitions editor role. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out and send me your proposal.

Here are several keys as you explore the opportunities:

—continue to build relationships with anyone and everyone in the publishing community. You never know when a relationship may become important to you. Writers become editors. Editors become literary agents. Literary agents become editors. The fluid nature of the community means you should work each day to expand your connections.

—continue to grasp opportunities large and small which keep you active in the publishing world. There are times when the phone does not ring and you receive no personal email. How do you handle those times? Do you pull into your shell and do nothing or do you increase your activity? I encourage you to write more query letters and pitch more ideas. Activity will breed activity.

—take action every day to write what you want to write and continually touch the marketplace. Earlier this week I exchanged emails with a long-term friend. He has been dreaming for years about writing a book—yet never put his fingers on the keyboard and produced any writing. The days continue to pass and he has not taken action. I encouraged him to choose a small number of words that he wants to write each day and then commit to working at his writing. If you take this small action step, you will be surprised after a month or two at the accumulated writing. It does not happen without taking action.

Let's return to the half-filled glass. Do you see opportunity? I hope so and from my experience I know opportunity is everywhere. You have to seize it. What steps are you taking? Let me know in the comments below.


How Is your glass half full or half empty? This prolific writer and editor sees opportunities are everywhere. Get insights here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  One of his books for writers is Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, Insider Secrets to Skyrocket Your Success. One of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has over 205,000 twitter followers 

1 comment:

Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, thanks for another information packed article. This is very encouraging for all writers. It's easy to fall into thinking the market is overwhelmed, but you give us all hope!

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