Showing posts with label Jack Canfield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jack Canfield. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

When Your Book Isn't Selling


By W. Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin)


I used to cringe when I saw the mail or email from one of my publishers. It probably contained a royalty statement and experience told me many of those numbers would begin with a minus (negative balance).  I’ve written for many different traditional publishers and have had this experience from a broad spectrum of types of books including how-to, self-help, biographies, gift books and children’s books.

When your book sales are off, it’s a natural tendency to want to blame someone. Maybe my editor has left and my book was orphaned inside the publisher with no champion or advocate. Maybe my publisher didn’t market the book to bookstores. Maybe they changed the title between what was printed in the catalog and what was published. Or _(fill in the blank). I’ve had all of these things happen to my published books. Good publishing involves a cooperative process and working with many different people. Much of this process is outside of the author’s control. I’ve also learned there are many pro-active steps authors can take to change their situation.

1. Take 100% responsibility for your own success. In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield makes this the first principle. Over ten years ago, I heard this principle and adopted it in my publishing efforts.
2. Be active in the promotion and marketing of your book.  As the author, you have the greatest passion for your book—way beyond anyone else including your publisher. The great promoter, PT Barnum said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens—nothing.” Consistent promotion of your book is important.
3. Be Generous with your book. Reviews sell books but many authors have few reviews for their book on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Give books to people who are willing to write a review. If they’ve never written a review, give them a tool to help them like with this form.
4. Ask for others for help. In the New Testament, James 4:2-3 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” If you need endorsements, ask but make it easy for them to say yes (offer to draft it). If you need social media promotion, ask but create possible posts. Here’s an example of a page, I created to help others help me spread the word on my latest book.
5.  Take the long view of publishing. Publishing and promoting a book is more like a marathon than a sprint. With the huge volume of published books, someone has to hear about your book seven to twelve times before they purchase it. What actions can you take every day to give your book this exposure? My Billy Graham book trailer has been seen over 11,500 times in the last five years. http://bit.ly/BGBookT
6. No matter what happens in your life, keep going. In Perennial SellerNew York Times bestselling author Ryan Holiday writes, “The hard part is not the dream or the idea, it’s the doing.” If there were a simple formula to create a bestseller, every book would be a bestseller. There are practical actions every author can take. Each part of the publishing process has challenges and as writers your persistence and consistency is critical. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins wrote in the foreword of my book, 10 Publishing Myths, “Only one of a hundred writers literally make their deadlines.” If you meet deadlines with quality writing, it’s an easy way to stand out from the crowd. I wrote 10 Publishing Myths to give writers realistic expectations and practical steps every author can take to succeed. Today, you can get the 11th Publishing Myth as a free ebook.

When you point a finger at others because your book is not selling, just remember: when you extend your pointer finger, four more fingers are bent back toward you. Take action today. Let me know in the comments below what actions you are taking on a regular basis and we can learn from each other.

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W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Straight Talk From the Editor. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Work Your Simple Plan



By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

From time to time, I’ve had author envy.  I look at someone’s twitter following with thousands of people or the thousands of subscribers to their blog or newsletter and I wish it could happen to me. Or I read about a bestselling book and wonder why my books haven’t achieved such a level of success. Envy sprouts into my mind and heart and I begin to grow jealous of another author’s success. Then I pull myself up short. I’ve interviewed more than 150 bestselling authors. Repeatedly I’ve learned there are few overnight success stories. Most authors who spring to the top of the bestseller list have been in the trenches for years growing their presence in the marketplace.

Every author has to take action and begin building their presence in the market. I do not believe there is a magic formula, but there are tried and true methods when used consistently will help you.  Recently I was listening to the audio version of Jack Canfield’s bestselling book, The Success Principles, How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The book is full of insight. Success Principle #13 is Take Action. He writes, “Most people are familiar with the phrase, ‘Ready, aim, fire!’ The problem is that too many people spend their whole life aiming and never firing. They are always getting ready, getting it perfect. The quickest way to hit a target is to fire, see where the bullet landed, and then adjust your aim accordingly. If the hit was 2 inches above the target, lower your aim a little. Fire again. See where it is now. Keep firing and readjusting. Soon you are hitting the bull’s-eye.” (Page 103)

Recently I was meeting with an unpublished author who had written about a 400-page Christian fantasy. He gave me a copy of his novel to read and recognized that he is an unknown writer. Like many people they wonder what steps to take to enter the publishing business and change from being unknown to being known. These steps are not a quick fix and will take on-going time and effort. The good news is with the Internet and regular effort it can be done with a minimal financial investment. Here are ten simple steps.

1.  Pick a good domain name—a dot com. How do you want to be known? Pick that for your domain name. What is your area of expertise? If you write Christian fantasy, select something you can brand and promote. 
2. Get a Hostgator account. Most writers can get along for with a small monthly fee. This system is powerful and inexpensive.
3. On your Hostgator account, start a Word Press blog (not a free one but one you set up). The tools are free and because you are hosting it, you don’t have the restrictions of the free Word Press account. Then post several times a week on your topic that you want to brand.
4.  Start a Twitter account with your brand name and post only on that topic—link to articles about it and other things to draw readers. 
5.  Also post to your Facebook about this topic—automatically repeat your tweets.
6.  Join forums on this topic. At first, watch, and then participate with solid content about the topic at hand—and emphasizing your topic. You will become known as a thoughtful expert.
7.  Eventually begin a newsletter with your blog posts—repurpose them into a newsletter and encourage people to subscribe to it.
8.  Repurpose your blog posts to Internet articles and post to the free articles sites (there are many of them). As you repurpose your material in this way, you will become known as an expert in your particular area of the market..
9.  Get a free copy of my 43-page Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. Read this book and take action.
10.  Take action over and over—consistently and regularly to build your brand. It will pay off and you will build your presence and become known.

As you work this simple plan, you will be surprised with the results just like the  bestselling author who took 20 years to become an overnight success. A seemingly innocent event set off the unplanned chain of events propelled the author to recognition. You are the best person to promote yourself but you have to take action. Work your simple plan and it can happen. I’ve seen it over and over.

How are you working your simple plan? Let me know in the comments below.
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W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Check out his free Ebook, Straight Talk From the Editor. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn


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Friday, February 22, 2019

Keep Experimenting to Sell Books



By W. Terry Whalin


I've never met a book author who didn't want to sell more copies of their work. It doesn't matter if they are published through one of the largest publishers or Podunk Press (I don't believe there is such a small publisher named Podunk Press but maybe since there are many of them).

I've interviewed more than 150 bestselling authors and spoken with hundreds of other authors. If you bring up the topic of selling more books, almost every author has a story about something they tried yet failed to work. Often these stories are filled with the author blaming someone else for the lack of sales. They blame:

their publisher
their publicist
their agent
their editor
the wrong title
the wrong cover
the missing endorsements
_____ you name it


It's rare that I hear the author blame the real culprit: themselves. Yes, it's hard to admit but it is the first step toward selling more books and understanding who bears the true responsibility for selling books—the author.


In Jack Canfield's bestselling title, The Success Principles, How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, he begins the book with some fundamentals for success. The first principle is: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life.

For book authors, you can easily take the word Life and substitute Book: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Book. It's amazing how your attitude will shift if you take this simple step.

Many authors long to have their book appear on the bestseller list. For some authors they equate getting on the bestseller list as their benchmark of success for their book. Years ago, I read Michael Korda's Making the List, a Cultural History of the American Bestseller 1900–1999. Korda at the time was the Editor-in-Chief at Simon and Schuster, one of the largest publishers. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

In the introduction, Korda writes, “The bestseller list is therefore neither as predictable nor as dominating as its critics make it out to be. Plenty of strange books get onto the list and stay there for a long time…at least half of the books on any given list are there to the immense surprise and puzzlement of their publishers. That's why publishers find it so hard to repeat their success—half the time they can't figure out how they happened in the first place.” (Page xv) I love his honesty. There is no magic bullet and it is different for every book. The author is key.

Some books start slow and steadily sell then catapult in sales. Other books begin strong then sales drop to nothing. There is no consistent pattern.

My encouragement is for you to keep experimenting with different methods to sell your book. Each author has a different experience.
Recently I spoke with an author who had sold 8,000 to 10,000 copies of his self-published books. He had held over 300 book signings for his book. For many authors book signings have yielded almost nothing but not for this author. He regularly speaks at schools and service clubs and even AARP meetings.

If you aren't speaking much as an author, I encourage you to get a copy of Barbara Techel's Class Act, Sell More Books Through School and Library Appearances. This book gives step-by-step help and is loaded with ideas where you can take action.

What proactive steps can you take to learn a new skill or try some new way to sell books? It doesn't matter if your book is brand new or has been in print for a while. Keep the experimentation going until you hit the elements which work for your book.

What new actions are you taking to sell more books? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tweetable:

As an author, you must be experimenting to sell more books. Get resources from a prolific author. (Click to Tweet)
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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 200,000 twitter followers.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

How to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever with Jack Canfield

With 2017 winding down quickly, I came across a great 5 minute video by Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) that tells how you can make 2018 a great year. There are simple steps that will make a difference - it's worth watching.



Here's a breakdown of what I got from the video. See if you get the same thing. If not, please let me know your take on it in the comments!

1. Review 2017 - it will give you a map of your ups and downs and what needs improvement. Use a journal - what were the biggest accomplishments. What were your ups, downs, obstacles.

2. What was the overall recurring theme of 2017.

3. Don't make New Year resolutions. Set goals instead. A resolution is a promise you keep indefinitely. A goal is an objective that's achieved by a certain date. It's a measurable achievement.

4 Create a breakthrough goal for the year. It must quantify something and have a deadline. Write a book. Lose 35 pounds. Eliminate a medication. A breakthrough goal has the power to change your life. It's powerful.

5. Your goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.


HAVE A HAPPY (AND SAFE) NEW YEAR'S EVE!



Karen


Thursday, September 22, 2016

You Need a Mixture of Marketing Efforts

By W. Terry Whalin


How is your writing selling? It's an old sales adage: If your books (or any writing) isn't selling, you need to be touching more people (asking for the sale) or creating new writing.  Your audience doesn't increase or your books don't sell without continued effort from you as the author. 

Whether you work with a traditional publisher who sells your book into the bookstores or you self-publish and are on your own, you still need to be reaching more people with your work. As an acquisitions editor, I tell every author that it is 80% up to them to sell more books. Yes we can sell the books into the bookstore but unless the author is building buzz and telling others about the book, those books in the bookstore will be returned to the publisher.

I wish I could tell you there is one path or one formula to sell books and become a bestseller. If such a formula existed, then every book would be a bestseller—and that is just not the case. Some books that are poorly written hit the bestseller list while other well-crafted titles sell a modest number of copies. The average self-published book sells about 200 copies during the lifetime of the book. The average traditional book sells around 1,000 copies. Now each of us want to beat these averages so how do we do it? It's through a mixture of different marketing efforts.


One of the most knowledgeable people that I know in this area is Rick Frishman. For over ten years, Rick has been our publisher at Morgan James Publishing. For almost 30 years, Rick led one of the largest public relations firms in the U.S. called Planned Television Arts (now called Media Connect). He has a huge list of bestselling authors that he has worked with like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Stephen King and Mitch Albom. Rick is the creator of Author 101 University which will be next month in Los Angeles. I've interviewed Rick a number of times and did so again earlier this month. You can catch the 45-minute interview for FREE at: http://writersconf101.com/index.php

In this in-depth interview, Rick compares book promotion to the four legs of a stool: Internet, print, radio, television, then he gives insights about each of these legs and how authors should be working in each of these four areas. See the balance that goes into this type of approach? It is a mixture of various marketing efforts for your books.

One of the most successful series of books in the English language is called Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jack Canfield tells us about following The Rule of Five to market their books. This short video (less than two minutes) gives you the details about how to achieve your goals.

Are you mixing your marketing efforts to sell your books? Tell us the details in the comments below.

Tweetable:

Are you mixing your marketing efforts? Get ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written for more than 50 magazines and published over 60 books with traditional publishers including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Book Proposals That $ell. He loves to help writers and has a large twitter following. Evan Carmichael ranks the top 100 marketers to follow on Twitter and Terry has been consistently on this list (#56 in September). He lives in Colorado.



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Monday, August 22, 2016

Every Writer Must Be Passionate About Their Writing


By W. Terry Whalin

As writers, we hear the words “no, thank you.”  How rapidly you hear “no, thank you” (or some version of rejection), will depend on how often you are pitching your work to magazines, literary agents or book editors.
  
Some writers insulate themselves from rejection.They love to write for their blog but never get around to sending off their material to print publications or agents or book editors. Why? Because they don't want the rejection letters.

One of the most published works in the English language (outside of the Bible) is Chicken Soup for the Soul. What many people have forgotten about these books is Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were rejected over 140 times. Finally they found a small publisher in Florida to get their book into the bookstores. That is a ton of rejection. How did they handle these rejections? 


Jack and Mark learned to look at each other and say,”Next.” That single word (Next) is futuristic and looks ahead. You can use “next” when you get rejected to propel you ahead to the next submission. Mark Victor Hansen wrote the foreword of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow the link to read the sample).

Writers have to be passionate about their work to find the right place to be published. It is not an easy process and if publishing were easy, then everyone would do it. As an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher, I tell every author that it is going to be 80% up to them to sell books. Why 80%? Because as a publisher, we can sell the books into the brick and mortar bookstore but if the author does not promote their book, then these books are returned to the publisher.

Even if you get a large advance from your publisher for your book (rare but still happening), that publisher will run out of steam about your book. It doesn't matter if you've written a novel or a nonfiction book or a children's book. Every author has to use the passion about their subject to continue to market and tell others about their book.

One of my passions as a writer is to help authors produce excellent book proposals. As a frustrated acquisitions editor, I've read many proposals which were missing key elements. I wrote Book Proposals That Sell to guide authors and the book has over 130 Five Star Amazon reviews. I discounted the book and have the remaining copies so buy it here.  Yet my passion for proposals is more than this book. I have a free teleseminar about book proposals. Anyone can get my free book proposal checklist (no optin). Every other month, I write a column called Book Proposal Boot Camp for The Southern Writer magazine. I also have a step-by-step membership course on how to write a book proposal

Also I created Secrets About Proposals. In addition, I often guest blog about proposal creation different places and write print magazine articles about proposal creation. I hope these examples show you my passion and how it has continued way past one book. You should be doing likewise for your own topic or subject area. It's more than writing. Use the passion that drove you to complete your book to continue to market it.  Why do I continue to display my passion and keep working at it? Because I want others to use this book proposal material for their own success—and I want each of us to be producing better submissions.

There is not one path to success in the book publishing business. Yet every author must channel their passion into the ongoing promotion of their book. It takes many forms such as magazine articles, guest blog posts, tweets and much more.

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Every Writer Must Be Passionate About Their Writing. Learn details here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing.  He has written for more than 50 magazines and several of his 60 books have sold over 100,000 copies. Terry lives in Colorado and has over 183,000 followers on Twitter.

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