Showing posts with label Opportunities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opportunities. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Every Writer Needs Media Training

By W. Terry Whalin

It is painful to tell these two stories because of the missed opportunities. Yet I tell them because I want you as an author to profit from these situations for your own writing life.  As the title of this story says, I hope from reading this article, you will understand why every writer needs media training.

This week a couple of my Morgan James authors appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. This particular segment was filmed in October but aired this week. I was excited for these authors and set my DVR to record the show (since I rarely watch it).  I found their segment and watched it. Their story was highlighted and interesting—yet something was missing. There was nothing in the story to indicate their full story appears in their book. The book or the book title was not mentioned. The result was another missed opportunity to tell a national audience about their story.

I've never appeared on this type of national television show. It must be full of tension and excitement for the author to make sure you answer the questions and make a great appearance on the show. The challenge for the author is to make sure no matter what message the television show wants to give—that you meet your own agenda (sell books).

This recent story is not the only time I've seen missed opportunities. Years ago I wrote a book called Running on Ice for Olympian Vonetta Flowers. She was the first African American to win a gold medal in the winter Olympics. In fact, Vonetta was on the 2006 U.S. team for the next Olympics in Turin, Italy. Katie Couric interviewed Vonetta on The Today Show. It was a great interview yet nothing in the interview mentioned that a book told Vonetta's story. While I'm pleased to have written this book, I wanted it to succeed in the marketplace (sell) yet the opportunity was missed.

No matter where you are in the writing and publishing world, now is the time to prepare yourself for these opportunities so you do not miss them.  In the publishing world, we call it media training—and it's something every author needs to learn.

Here's three valuable yet inexpensive resources to prepare yourself for the media:


1. Gayle Murphy has been a journalist for many years. I interviewed Gayl in this free teleseminar and you can get her seasoned advice for every author about how to tell it to sell it.


2. The Media Training Bible by Brad Phillips. I reviewed this book several years ago (follow the link). The seasoned advice and tips in this book are invaluable. Phillips is a well-known and excellent media trainer. Every writer will profit from a careful reading of The Media Training Bible.


3. Be the Media compiled by David Mathison. This older book is excellent to help you know how to create your own message and different ways to get it out into the marketplace.

For the last couple of years, I've been doing radio interviews to promote my Billy Graham biography. In the next two weeks.I'm scheduled to be on two LIVE radio shows telling stories from the book. It's fun and I'm grateful for these opportunities. Each time before the interview, I remind myself why I'm on these programs: first to be energetic and tell interesting stories about Billy Graham. 


Yet integral to this agenda is my second key point: to make sure I tell people where they can get the book. I've created a website with multiple options to purchase the book. During several of these interviews, even if I am not asked about it, I take the initiative to weave into the conversation the specific name of my website and where people can get the book.

When you receive these types of opportunities for your writing, seize them—yet use wisdom to make sure you cover your own interests.

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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and has written more than 60 books for traditional publishers including Book Proposals That $ell and Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. He blogs about the Writing Life and lives in Colorado. Terry has over 194,000 twitter followers.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

26 Reasons a Writer Should Blog - Part 4



We often here people speak of a "learning curve". 

By that we usually mean we take on a challenge which teaches us new things. 

So do writers learn anything from blogging? Once again, the answer is

 Yes!


Today we're going to take a look at some of the things we can learn when we blog and how they benefit us in other ways.

12.    L is for Learning.
  • You learn about your topic. During the month of April, I wrote almost every day on the topic of Africa. I have lived on this continent since the age of four, and yet I learned so much about the countries of Africa, their cultures, flora and fauna. I compiled a “Blogging Bucket List” of places I want to visit, or revisit, over the next year or two. Many people who read my blog during the April, mentioned how much they too learned about this amazing land.
  • You learn by doing research. I had to do quite a bit of research into Africa. For example, my brother and sister-in-law are currently on an epic overland adventure from Johannesburg in South Africa, up to the magical Serengeti Plains in distant Tanzania. I realized I knew nothing about Serengeti, so guess what? S is for Serengeti! And I now just wish I could have tagged along with them. 
  • You learn from what you don't know. I am currently doing this series of why writers should blog. I can think of reasons why I blog, but why do other writers blog? As I ask the question and read other writers' blogs, I learn more about the technique of blogging. 
  • You learn from other writers and make cyber friends. As you write about subjects that intrigue them, so they start visiting your blog, and if they leave comments this encourages you to pay them a return visit. In the process I learn about their passions, their home-towns, their hobbies, and many other fascinating information.

13.     M is for Multitasking. 
  • Most blog posts lend themselves to multitasking. I make a point of thinking through any post or series of posts I want to write. Does it have any purpose apart from filling a space for the day? I've already discussed how often my blog posts end up as devotional articles either on another site, or in my weekly devotional messages, Closer Walk. (Sign up via the link at the bottom of the page if you are interested.) 
  • You can share your experiences in a series format, then use it on another blog with modifications, or use them to form the skeleton of an e-book in the future. 
  • Blog posts can form a good basis for teaching topics. I intend to teach my online group for South African Christian Writers about blogging. We work on a Topic of the Week, and what more relevant than to tackle blogging for writers over a period of weeks?

14.    N is for Newsletters. 
  • Blogging opens an opportunity to start a newsletter. I had been blogging intermittently for years before I signed up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Within the first few days, I realized I needed a way for people to sign up to follow my blog. Oh, they could follow my website through RSS, and a few did. They could sign up for my Closer Walk weekly devotions, and some did. But to actually follow my blog every time I posted? 
    • I started a simple newsletter geared only to update readers who want to know when I update the blog, and I created a sign-up form. The list started with just three names; me and two writing friends who were also doing the challenge, but it’s slowly growing. This means I have more contacts with whom to share my news in the future.
  • Newsletters are fun to produce, but they can become cumbersome and difficult to keep up with. If you are simply doing one to notify your readers of a new post, it doesn't need to be long, in fact you must honour your commitment to let them know about the latest post, and not write a full-on newsletter. You soon learn the technique of producing an attractive but simple newsletter that relates to your readers.

15.   O is for Opportunity.

  • Blogging gives you the opportunity to find out how much material you have on a topic. Periodically, I have an Ah-Hah! moment. “I could write a book about that!” But could I? Blogging gives me the opportunity to find out. How much do I actually know about the topic? How much information is available on Google or in books that I own? Will I need personal illustrations and anecdotes? Do I have enough?
  • Blogging offers the opportunity to gather information for a forthcoming project. By asking questions of my readers, I can gain further insight into the subject. So a good way to end a blog post is to ask a question. See if you can encourage interaction. I once wrote a series of articles on International English. In my final post, I asked my readers if any of them had funny stories to share. The result was another post.
  • Blogging can attract attention to your work. I have heard of writers gaining the attention of an agent or a publisher who has read their blog material and offered them the opportunity to write it up as a book or as an article.

 Do you have a topic you feel would make a book? Is there a way you could explore it through some blog articles? Does the idea excite you? Or does it make you nervous? Why? Share with us in a comment below.  

MORE ON THIS TOPIC: 

26 Reasons to blog - part 1: A - C
26 Reasons to blog - part 2: D - G
26 Reasons to blog - part 3: H - K

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer, has brought encouragement and inspiration to a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

Visit Shirley at her writing home, ShirleyCorder.com where she encourages writers, or at RiseAndSoar.com where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or Facebook.


Sign up to receive a short devotional message (bottom right) from Shirley in your inbox once a week. 

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