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What goals and dreams do you have for the months ahead? Reach more readers? Sell more books? Get them to your online course? Speak to more people? These goals or others are terrific but you must have the connection to people.

Since 2008, I’ve been on Twitter along with millions of other people. If you follow me, you will see that I tweet often throughout the day—which is one element of my success. To use Twitter effectively, you can't tweet once a day or once a week (like I see many writers doing). Consistently providing great content to your target audience is an important part of this process.

A second key is in this process of growing your presence on Twitter is using a secret tool every day. I've been using this tool consistently for years. The tool is called Refollow. In a few minutes, you can follow 800 new people in your target market. A certain percentage of these people will follow you back and your numbers will climb. My daily use of this tool is one of the key reasons I have over 200,000 followers on Twitter. You can follow the link in the previous sentence to see the number of my followers.

Please note my 200K followers are not bought or fake. These are real people who engage with me and my content. It’s what I want for you as well—to grow a large responsive audience.
Refollow is not complicated or expensive. I’ve arranged for you to get a FREE trial. Just use this link.



I use this $20 per month tool to follow 800 specific people every day in my target market, It is not random but I’m following people who are interested in my content or tweets. Your target will be different from mine but you can use the same tool to grow your Twitter following—and in only minutes a  day.

What if I follow them but they don’t follow me back?
Refollow also covers this aspect with another feature. The program will locate people who you have been following but have never followed you back. In my case, some of them I’ve been following for years and they haven’t followed me back. In minutes, I can unfollow up to 1,000 people a day. All of these details are within the rules of Twitter and accomplished through Refollow.

Discover the details and get your FREE trial at this link.

I want you to succeed and achieve your dreams. Refollow can be a key part of your success--provided you take action and use it consistently.

In the comments below, let me know how you are growing your following on Twitter. Maybe you have a different tool you are using and I'd love to learn about it. 

Tweetable:

Use this “Secret” Tool to Increase Your Following on Twitter. Get a FREE Trial. (ClickToTweet)
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It happens to me every day: I try something that doesn't work.

--program stalled. For example, I've mentioned using Refollow every day. It's a great tool but sometimes the program doesn't work or gets stalled. I have to return to it later in the day and see if it will work (and often it does so it is worth coming back to it again after several hours).

--phone call unreturned. As an acquisitions editor, I have convinced my colleagues to issue a contract for a book at Morgan James Publishing. I've not heard from some authors about their decision. Some authors take time and explore other options before they sign with Morgan James.

--emails unanswered.  I send email which does not get a response from another publishing colleague or an author. Some emails get stuck in a SPAM folder. Other times the person is busy and doesn't answer or many other reasons.

--pitches ignored. Some of my pitches to editors and others are not answered. Maybe it is a pitch to speak at an event or teach a workshop or write an article.

--lots of other similar things. With these various examples, I hope you get the idea what I'm talking about here. It happens to everyone. 

When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Do you have a game plan to keep going? I call this shift of action using the “writer pivot.” It's an intentional shift of direction into a new area where you can have success and get something accomplished.

Maybe you are promoting a product, and that effort is not working. My encouragement is for you to shift into something that will work.
There are several important action steps in this process.

1. Take your own responsibility. Many details are outside of my control. I can't control how others will react or respond. What I can control is my own response. I encourage you to understand this aspect and take your own responsibility. Basically you control what you can, then let the rest go and shift into something else.

2. No matter what happens in the process, keep moving forward. This often is an act of the will and requires persistence and  perseverance—excellent qualities for everyone in this business.

3. When one type of writing is not working, I encourage you to try a different type of writing. maybe you need to create an information product or a membership course. If you are a book writer, then maybe write some magazine articles. There are many different options in the writing world. I explore some of these options in my free first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link to download).

Don't go into stall but use the writer's pivot.

How do you react when something isn't working? Let me know in the comments below.

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When you are stalled, use the writer's pivot. Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)

 
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Last weekend I attended a one day, local writers conference. It was a sold-out event and many writers attended this event throughout Colorado and came from 12 other states. 

During this event, I met a number of people and had a number of opportunities—-which I know will disappear without my follow-up actions. In this article, I want to give y0u some ideas about what I learned and will be doing from this one day event. Whatever your experience level in publishing, you can seize many opportunities—but only if you are prepared ahead fo the event.

Whenever you attend a conference, it's important to bring plenty of business cards and exchange them with everyone you meet. Make sure you don't just give them a card—but you ask (and receive) a card from them. This stack of business cards will be an important part of your follow-up process. 

After I meet someone, I will often make a little note on the business card of some follow-up action that I need to later. These events are intense contact with person after person and you can miss a critical idea if you don't write down something to remind you later. The day included many interactions with a variety of writers and I'm capturing a few of them in this article.

Here's some of the people I met at this one day local event:

1. I spoke with several brand new writers. One in particular was trying to figure out where to begin the writing process. As you know from reading these articles, I encouraged her to write magazine articles. She did not have a business card to easily give me her contact information (something common with new writers). I took down her information and promised to send her some information.

2. I found a possible local media contact. In the back of a workshop before it began, I exchanged business cards with someone—and read they were a local radio talk show host. I'll be following up to see if I can get booked on this program later this year.

3. I found some possible new authors for Morgan James. Throughout the day, I met several new writers and listened to their pitches and took their proposals. I will be following up with them to see if they are a good fit for Morgan James Publishing.

4. I saw a long-time literary agent friend. When I attended her workshop, she told about publishing her first book in April. We spoke privately afterwards and I told her about Goodreads. She mentioned that she had not done much with Goodreads and I offered to send a handout on Goodreads. I have this handout online and knew where it was so shortly after our conversation I sent the material in an email on the spot (so I did not have to remember to do it later). She got it while at the conference and thanked me for it. It's another way to handle these types of matters—often the sooner the better.

5. Learn from the different giveaways at the event. One of the keynote speakers gave away a free download. I wrote down the website, downloaded it and have printed it to read it carefully. Another exhibitor gave away a flash drive which has “writing resources.”  I gave them my name and email address to get the flashdrive (which is a wise marketing strategy to capture email addresses). I will be checking out this flash drive and learning from it. This type of learning is one of the actions I consistently take after a conference. Some people will sign up for the flashdrive (give their email like I did) then take it home and never put it into their computer to use the resources. I recommend when you go to these events, you learn from every possible source.

Are you scheduled to attend a conference in the next few months? Follow this link to get some of my recommendations for conferences. Also you can follow this link to see where I will be speaking and attend.

From my experience, many people attend these events, take notes in the workshops and never do anything with it to move their own writing life forward. I've listed a few of my actions from this event. It is a critical part of the process. If you don't take action then things slip through the cracks and never happen.

What actions do you take after a conference? Let me know in the comments below.

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What actions do you take after a one-day conference? A prolific editor and author gives you some ideas here. (ClickToTweet)

 


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Recently I finished another writing project. In the final stages of writing the book, all sorts of things fell apart. My keyboard stopped working. Admittedly I am hard on keyboards and every several years I have to buy a new one. I had typed so much on this particular keyboard that several of the keys had worn off. Now as I typed, I had to push the key several times to get it to show up on my screen. Something was drastically wrong.  I went to my local office supply store and bought a new keyboard and mouse combination. 

When I got home, I took out my old keyboard and mouse and connected the new one. Then I tried to use it and nothing happened. Talk about frustration. I'm on an intense writing deadline and my new keyboard and mouse didn't work. I returned it to the store. The person working at the store had to try several keyboards before he found one that would work. I took the working keyboard and mouse home and it's the one that I used to complete my manuscript.

In the final stages of editing my manuscript and before I submitted it, I reviewed the publisher guidelines. Clearly in the guidelines a couple of elements are required to appear in each chapter. I had written these elements into my manuscript but they were not overt. I took one more sweep through my manuscript and fixed this element before I finalized the manuscript. Yes it was hard but I pushed through and sent it off to my publisher.

Here's my three reasons to finish:

1. Meet the deadline. Most writers do not meet their deadline. If you finish and turn in the work, you show integrity and that you are someone who keeps your promises. It shows others you are a professional and often will generate more work in your future. Why? Because you have completed what is right in front of you. With my work at Morgan James, I have a small list of authors who have signed their contract but never turned in their manuscript. Because I have a relationship as their acquisitions editor, I call them periodically and encourage them to get it into production. Several of these books have been in the “works” for years.

2. Get the Opportunity to Press on to the next stage. If you never finish the manuscript, you never work on some of the other aspects of the book. For example, after you finish, you can work on the endorsements for the book or the foreword for your book or your pre-launch campaign or gathering people to review the book. There is an endless list of possibilities for promotion and marketing yet if you never finish, you don't get to work on these aspects.

3. Completion feels good. The road to success is paved with good intentions. Many people never finish and are stuck without moving to the next step. These writers have a variety of half-baked proposals and partial manuscripts. Yes, if I'm honest,  I have some of those in my files as well. I'm working on getting these projects moving. I know it will take hard work but you can do it. Working at the writing bit by bit, your persistence will get it done.

What practical steps do you take with this information? I hope it encourages you to move forward and finish your manuscript or book proposal or whatever other type of project.

How are you finishing your book or your proposal? Let me know in the comments below.

Tweetable:

Learn three reasons to finish in this article. (ClickToTweet)

 



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"Likes" on Facebook is one type of Lead Magnet

John Kremer, the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, says publishing is about building relationships. From my experience, often, who you know is as important as what you know. Yes you have to write an outstanding proposal and manuscript (foundational) but reaching the right person and readers with your writing is a key part of the publishing process.

One of the ways you build relationships is through consistent and regular communication. As I've mentioned in these articles in the past, every writer needs to be growing an email list. Whether you write fiction or children's books or nonfiction, you still need an email list. If you don't have a list of wonder how to begin one, I have an inexpensive ebook called The List Building Tycoon.

The focus of this article is on creating a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a list-building device. For someone to get the desired object (more on what they can be in a minute), this person has to give you their first name and email address. In exchange for them giving you their email address, then they join your email list. On every email list, the subscriber has the option to unsubscribe. Each time I send out to my list, people unsubscribe. It's part of the process and nothing personal. You want people on your email list who want to be there so you want to give them the ability to unsubscribe.

To create a lead magnet, first focus on your readers and the type of people you want to attract. What do they need that you can provide for them? Is it an ebook? Is it a teleseminar? Is it a video?

Lead magnets are tools to get people to subscribe to your list. I have a number of these types of tools:

Free Ebooks









Free lists of information


Free teleseminars and training











many others

There is not a single way to create these lead magnets. Some people do it with a simple video. The key is to have multiple ways for people to sign up for your email list. Then you have to promote these lead magnets on social media to encourage people to get your information. If you follow me on Twitter, you will notice I cycle through a number of these lead magnets through my Twitter stream (which also shows up on LinkedIn and Facebook). Nothing happens overnight but consistent action will build into something powerful which you can use to touch your audience and readers.

Do you have a lead magnet or a number of lead magnets? How are you promoting these lead magnets? Let me know in the comments below.

Tweetable:

What is a lead magnet? Why do writers need them? Learn the details here. (ClickToTweet)

 
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Each of us have the same time and space limitations. Yet each of us can continue to grow and improve in this area. I know I have a lot to learn and continue to learn about how to manage my time. As I speak with writers, some of them want to write and do zero marketing. I understand this bent toward writing. They get their greatest joy and satisfaction for pouring their words into their computer and telling stories.

Groups of writers have taken personality tests and the majority are introverts. It makes sense they would rather write on their computer or in a journal instead of stand in front of a group of people and teach. Through the years, many people believe I am an extrovert because I've been a keynote speaker at large and small conferences.

Also I've taught continuing classes where I teach for five or six hours with a group of people. For example in May, I will be teaching a continuing class at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park. Last week I was talking with a friend about doing this teaching and he whether I had enough content for this session. I reassured him I had done this type of teaching in the past. Yes I have plenty to teach during these sessions. Is it my natural bent? No but like other writers, I have learned to rise to the occasion and do this type of teaching.

Several basics in this area of time choices:


Click this image for FREE Ebook
1. Connect to your readers. Every writer needs to devote some time to building their presence in the marketplace. Some people call this connecting with your tribe or readers. Others call it platform building and marketing. (Click this link to get my free Ebook, Platform-Building Ideas for Every Author). Publishers and literary agents are looking for writers who are connected to their readers. Why? Publishers may create beatiful books and get them into the bookstores (online and brick and mortar store)—but it is the author who drives readers into those stores to actually purchase the books.

2. Whatever you begin, be consistent. Some people build their following on YouTube while others do it through a social media network like Twitter or Facebook.  In my view you don't have to be everywhere but wherever you are, be consistent. For example, since 2008, I've consistently written about once a week on these blog entries on different aspects of writing and the publishing world. I've written nearly 1,500 entries and it did not happen overnight. It happened one entry at a time. You too can do it.

3. Spend regular time on your marketing efforts. Over the years I have built a large body of work. Just search for my name on Google and you will see what I am talking about. I have tweeted thousands of times on Twitter. I consistently tweet 12=15 times every day. Yet in these articles, I've also been transparent about the tools that I use for these tweets.

4. Be conscious of how you spend your time. Are you wasting hours looking at Facebook or in front of the television or monitoring the news? Any of these things can consume hours of attention and time. Choose to limit it or eliminate it. Such choices will open more time in your life.

People wonder how I've written over 60 books. I've written these books one page at a time and one chapter at a time and one manuscript at a time. Like one of my novel writing friends told me years ago, “No little elves come out at night and write her pages.” She does it one page and one story at a time.

How are you making time choices? Let me know in the comments below.

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Are you making wise time choices? Get ideas from this prolific editor. (ClickToTweet)

 
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In various online and print articles and from time management experts, I have read repeatedly that we should take control of the number of times we read our email. Some people recommend you do it only once or twice a day rather than checking your phone or email many times during a day. I understand the reason for this suggestion since most of us check our email too much—to the annoyance of our relatives sometimes. You do have to be controlled about when you check it—but in this article I want to give you a contrarian type of answer—about reasons you should be reading it”

1. Opportunities come in various emails. Recently another author asked me to write the foreword for their book. I looked at the book and agreed then wrote my foreword and sent it via email.  I have a new forthcoming writing book and I've been gathering endorsements for this book and a foreword. I've done this work through email. Edtors ask authors to write articles for magazines and much more via email—provided you are faithfully reading them and responding in a timely way.

2. Book contracts come via email.  Years ago, contracts were sent in the regular snail mail. Today with secure servers and such, contracts are often sent via email. You can also print, sign, scan the pages and return the contract to the publisher through email. It is how I have been working with authors on their book contracts at Morgan James for the last several years.


FREE Ebook click image
3. Money comes in email. As I've mentioned in these articles, I am involved in affiliate marketing. Some of the emails that I send through my email list promote others and their products. If you attend their event and buy their products, then I get a percentage of the sale as an affiliate. I explain more about affiliate marketing in this free ebook, You Can Make Money (use the link to get it and learn more and become one of my affiliates for my products).


Click Image to learn more
4. I learn about writing reading my email. I'm on other people's email list—and I have an email list. I believe every writer needs to be growing an email list. If you don't know how to get started on an email list, I have a little product called The List Building Tycoon After you have an email list, you need to be using it on a regular basis.

5. I communicate with authors through email. As an editor, I send a lot of email to authors. It's how I set up phone meetings and for some people, I send them book contracts from our Morgan James publication board.

I'm certain there are more than five reasons why I read my email and respond but these will give you ideas for your own email reading. It's why I read my email and respond to it throughout the day—every day.

Do you have boundaries for reading and responding to your email? Let me know in the comments below.

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Learn Five Reasons to Read and Respond to Your Email. (ClickToTweet)

 
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Time can fly when you are on a deadline.

The Psalmist said, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4, New Living Translation) These days seem to be racing and I'm aware of how time flies and feel the need to make the most of each day.

Each of us have the same 24 hours. Yet some people seem to get more done in those hours than others. How are you using those hours for your writing? In this article, I want to detail five ways to get more time for your writing.

1. Get Aware of How You Spend Your Time. It's easy to waste time if you aren't aware of how you spend it. Take a day or two and keep a brief running list of your activities. This list will help you eliminate and improve your use of time. 

2. Consider your writing expectations. Do you plan to write in the mornings or in the evenings or when? Do you expect to get a large block of time to concentrate and write a lot of words? As you think about your expectations, think about if you have put any artificial expectations such as I will write for two hours without pause. That expectation is not realistic. Maybe you have said to yourself that you need ___ minutes to write. Can you write off and on throughout the day on a project? Be willing to experiment and change to see what improvements you can make in this process. Each of us are different but at times we create artificial (and wrong) expectations for our writing. 

3. Use good writing tools.  Some friends do their writing in a coffee shop while others need silence. Would a new tool help you increase your writing? I've mentioned my AlphaSmart 3000 which I bought on ebay for about $25. It is old technology but allows me to write on the go and easily change my location. I've written on airplanes and in libraries and many other places. Maybe a new tool will help you get more writing time. 

4. Apply the lessons from your time monitoring. Awareness is the first step but then you need to make changes to your use of time from what you learned. For example, if you spend several hours a day on Facebook or any other social media site, you can make some different choices. Maybe you love watching sports and that is consuming a lot of time or some favorite show on television. 

5. Be committed to moving forward no matter what happens. When you slip and waste time, it's easy to beat yourself up and even give up. Each of us have schedule interruptions and get sick and have a car break down or countless other interruptions. Be dtermined to move forward and meet your deadlines whether personal or from an editor. 

Each of us have the same time and space limitations. Yet each of us can continue to grow and improve in this area. I know I have a lot to learn and continue to learn about how to manage my time.
What steps are you taking these days with your time? Let me know in the comments below.

Tweetable:

Discover five ways to get more writing time in this article from a prolific writer. (ClickToTweet)

 
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Publishing can be confusing and overwhelming. Where do you begin the process? Recently an unpublished writer contacted me for some guidance. For many years, she had been interested in publishing and writing in her journal. Once she sent something to a magazine and got rejected. Then she hasn't tried again. Yes she reads blogs and websites and has purchased the Christian Writers Market Guide (all good steps in the process). Yet she was overwhelmed and unsure where to start her journey.

While I've been in publishing many years, I still recall those early days in my writing life. I could identify with the overwhelming feeling and confused about where to begin the publishing journey. If you are in this situation with your writing, here's what I recommend:

1. Write articles for Sunday school take home papers. Almost every type of church has publications which are given out during Sunday School. These are called Sunday School Take Home Papers and are published 52 times a year. Editors have a huge need to fill these issues with quality writing and are always looking for the right material. Also their circulations are generally 100,000 to 200,000 which means lots of exposure for the writer. Also many of these publications have theme lists where the editor tells you the topics they need. If you write on those topics, then you increase your possibility of getting their attention and that they will publish it.

2. Write personal experience stories. Many publications including Sunday school take homes, publish personal experience stories. Each of us have these stories but are you writing them and trying to get them published? Can you write the story with a solid beginning, middle and end? Can you conclude with a single point called a takeaway for the reader? These articles are often 500 to 1000 words in length but before you fire off your submission, check the guidelines (normally online) and read some of their publication (online). You'd be surprised how many writers don't do this critical step in the submission process.

3. Regularly submission to publications. I'd like to be published in Reader's Digest. At the moment it is very unlikely that will happen because I'm not sending them anything. Notice in my opening story the writer send something once and got rejected. I know everyone gets rejected. Yes I get rejected in the process. That rejection isn't personal but simply saying it was not the right material at the right time for this publication. Maybe the material is right for a different publication. Persistence and consistency in your submissions will help you get published.

4. Understand getting published leads to more opportunity. The editors and literary agents are looking for people with experience. You get experience writing for magazines and it can lead to books and other possibilities.
Everyone has to begin the publishing journey some place. I suggest you begin with magazines because they are short, targeted and quicker than books plus you reach thousands of people with your writing. I understand why people want to write books and hold them in your hand. I encourage you to look for the broader possibility of magazines—whether you are brand new or have a lot of experience.

Where did you begin the publishing process? Does this resonate and raise some questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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Where do you begin to get published? Get the specifics here from a prolific editor. (ClickToTweet)





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Book publishing is filled with possible pitfalls and errors.  I witnessed another one today.

One of my best-selling author friends has a new book releasing. This new book was from a major well-known publisher. The book was designed well and edited and included endorsements and practical information. I've supported this author in the past so I was on the list of people who got a pre-release of the book. This pre-release included a personal handwritten note from the author and information about the date of the book release.

It was a push for my schedule but I managed to quickly write a review and be ready to post it on the launch date. Then I noticed the page on Amazon. It was not the typical pre-release page but the book had already released a couple of days ahead of the launch date. The book had zero Amazon reviews on the page. 

How did this happen? Someone at the publishing house set up the wrong Amazon date for releasing the book (my guess). This author has a launch team and other elements in place to promote her book. I was not surprised to learn this team wasd in place since she is an experienced author and knows the elements to launch a new book. It is important to have a launch team because there are over 4,500 new books releasing every day. Also most publishers are selling about 50% of their books through Amazon. Now that leaves another 50% for brick and mortar, other online retailers, and other places. Still 50% is a large number at Amazon for the book sales.

I'm writing these details about this story which contains a number of lessons:

1. Details matter. The release date of your book should match up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other places. As an author, you can check some of these details but depending on how you publish, they are mostly handled internally inside the publishing house.

2. With a launch or book. things can go wrong. When this happens to you, acknowledge it and keep moving forward.

3. Nothing is fatal in this process—unless you quit. Even when something goes off or doesn't happen, you can still recover from it and sell books. The only way for you to be stopped is when you give up and stop. Almost anything can be overcome with action.

4. Marketing is an ongoing process for every book. Last week one of my books got a new review. I was interested to read it. When I looked it was a one star review with hardly any information. I was disappointed but it was from a real person and when you get a one star review, it validates all the other reviews for the book. In other words, nothing to do about it but keep moving forward. I encourage you to do the same.

I wrote this article to help and encourage you with your own marketing efforts for your book. It is not easy for anyone—even people with a lot of experience in this area. The key is to keep going and keep moving forward no matter what happens. 

Tell me that steps you are taking to move forward no matter what happens in the comments below.

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Are you prepared when things go wrong in the publishing process? Get insights here. (ClickToTweet)
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