By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
We can easily mark 2020 as a year of incredible change. A year ago, I would not have imagined our world would face a worldwide pandemic and a lock down of our country—and other countries around the world. Businesses including bookstores have come to a screeching halt.
Some of my writer friends tell me they have stopped writing and can't sit at their computer. I understand the distraction but I also have some ideas for you about how to handle change. Pandemic or not, the world of publishing is always shifting and changing. Publications start and publications close. Publishers open and then some publishers close their doors. Editors come and editors go. Yet books and magazines continue to be made and sold. With the pandemic, a number of conferences cancelled. Other events moved to become virtual online.
I've learned to use several new tools or services lately. Instead of standing in line at the post office (which I have done for hours over the years to mail my books), I've signed up at Stamps.com and I'm printing my own postage (media mail for books), then taking them to the post office and dropping off my packages. If you sign up at Stamps.com for their free trial and getting $100 value--using the promo code, when it is completed, behind the scenes, they will give me $20 in free postage. Here's the promo code: C-HDZ9–YNV.
For years I've been using a cassette tape recorder for interviews—either in person or on the phone (using a simple recording device). Last week my old tape recorder broke. I've ordered a new one but the change forced me to look for alternative ways to handle my interviews. I belong to several online groups and ask them for recommendations. Several journalists recommended TapeACall. This phone app will not only record the call but transcribe it. Now the transcription isn't perfect but it's way better than transcribing the tape—especially if you take notes and correct the transcription right shortly after recording. From learning about this app and making this change, it is going to save me a lot of time.
One of the big recent changes that I've made started before the pandemic. In February, I took an intense book funnel boot camp to learn some new techniques for selling my 10 Publishing Myths (follow this link to check out the offer). The training involved using a number of different websites and tools. Some of the most successful Morgan James authors (bestselling year after year) are using these techniques. Will my new book become bestselling? I don't know but I'm trying it.
These ways are just a few of the changes I've made. How are you handling the various changes in our world? I have several recommendations:
1. Move to online events and virtual promotion. I have been promoting online for years but if you haven't been, now is a great time to jump into this process.
2. Be willing to try new services and new techniques. If something breaks or gets interrupted, look for new tools. Ask colleagues for recommendations, pick one and get started.
3. Keep writing and trying new publications and new opportunities. Even if you only write 20–30 minutes a day, that time at your keyboard is much better than doing nothing. Can you write a page a day? As you do, gradually increase your number of pages.
4. Continue pitching and knocking on doors—the opportunities are there. They may be harder to find but they are certainly there. Our book sales at Morgan James are up five percent. Magazines continue to be published and need your writing. Whether you are beginning or have been writing for years, every writer (including me) needs to pitch to get the opportunity.
How are you handling change? What tools or methods are you using? Let me know in the comments and I look forward to learning from you.
When our world is changing, how to you handle it? Get ideas here from this prolific editor and author. (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). His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. 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 200,000 twitter followers.