July 12, 2007
Once again I’m behind the learning curve but I believe this change will be a good one.
I’ve imported all of my entries from my old blog over to this Word Press site. I have not figured out how to bring in all of the elements of my sidebar–so that will take a bit of adjustment. In the long-run, this move integrates my Right-Writing and my entries on the Writing Life. Notice the top button on each of my Right-Writing pages says, Right-Writing Blog? It will be better in the long run but I will have a few days of painful moving.
July 7, 2007
Do you have associates or affiliates? According to the Merriam–Webster dictionary, an affiliate is someone that you have a close relationship. Several months ago, I started an affiliate program which is a part of my shopping cart. Some people have signed up for this free program. My sign-up page is simple and can be completed in a few minutes. After you sign up, then you receive an email with your own affiliate number and link to my products. Also you will have access to my banners and promotional emails for different products. Several of my affiliates are actively using their links and earning the benefits of such activity. They are receiving checks for their efforts.
Yet the majority of my affiliates have signed up and aren’t making any sales. I’m unsure of the reasons. Maybe they don’t understand how to use the links or haven’t taken the time to put them into emails or on their websites. I don’t have any idea what their particular barrier is to using their links—but I’m working to get this information.
Some of the most successful affiliate programs provide training and sales ideas for their partners. In about nine days, I’m going to provide an affiliate training TeleWebcast. I’ve sent an email to all of my affiliates telling them of the specific date and time for this free training. The TeleWebcast allows them to ask their questions. I will organize the training around these questions plus give them some innovative ideas about how they can improve their affiliate marketing. I hope a number of these people will be able to attend the live training. If they can’t get to the training session, then I will take the replay and store it in the affiliate area so they can listen to it on their own schedule.
If you have not signed up to become one of my affiliates, I hope you will in the next few weeks. And if you have questions about how to use an affiliate program, then ask them during my forthcoming TeleWebcast. As an affiliate, you touch people that I will never cross their path. You can tell them about my products and lead them to the landing page. If the individual buys the book or product, then you receive an email and I receive an email notifying us of this purchase. Then following the unconditional guarantee period, I pay 50% commissions from this referral. It’s a good way to boost your passive income and help other writers in the process.
July 5, 2007
What will take your writing to the next level? Is it a writer’s conference where you invest and travel across the country and have a significant conversation with an editor? Or maybe it’s a class which you take from one person at the conference or several of them. Or it’s an email that you get from a writing friend which spurs you ahead in your craft.
It’s easy to get discouraged in publishing if you look at the massive amount of material in circulation for consideration or the large number of books which are constantly being released (and few of them selling in a significant way). Rather than look at the negative, it is better to be focused on the positive. What can you do today that will make a difference in your life and move you along the path to success? Where is your personal “tipping point” to use a phrase from the best-selling book by Malcolm Gladwell called The Tipping Point. I’ve had other entries about this book.
If you need a bit of inspiration, I recommend you check out this short film, 212 The Extra Degree Movie.
May this presentation inspire you to put out the extra effort and not only today but into everything that you write. I’ve watched this inspirational piece several times. See if you can raise your efforts by one degree.
July 4, 2007
It’s a national holiday in the United States as we celebrate our independence. Because it falls on a Wednesday this year, I received the regular Wednesday Minute from Alex Mandossian. If you want to subscribe to The Wednesday Minute then follow this link. It is a free resource and I’ve only been taking it for a month or so. From the sign-up page, Rick Raddatz started this endeavor but now Alex is carrying it forward. Ignore the munching on this page and sign up (it goes on a very long-time–so please ignore it and quickly sign up). Rick is the co-creator of InstantTeleseminar.com.
Today’s Wednesday Minute is about The Greatest Ad Of All Time. According to Alex, it’s a wonderful tool for Writer’s Block plus you can learn something in the process. I always learn something listening to this brief presentation and I thought you’d like to know about it. I will not steal Alex’s teaser by telling you about the specifics of this ad but it was a surprise to me and appropriate for today.
July 2, 2007
In these entries about The Writing Life, I’ve written a great deal about book covers, back covers and book titles as key to draw the reader into the pages of your book. If you want to read these entries, then I suggest you use the Google search engine tool in the right-hand column.
What if you looked at the question from a much broader view? I’m talking about consumption and how products are consumed or purchased. Over the last few months, I’ve been learning from Alex Mandossian. If you go to his website, you can download his free Ebook, 5 Secrets To Making Change (which is excellent and something I’ve read). If you glance through his background, you will see why I appreciate this experienced marketer.
Last week I was listening to Alex and podcast with Paul Colligan and the lessons they’ve learned from 50 podcasts at Marketingonlinelive.com. At the top of the page for Marketing Online Live and right in the center of this page, there is a sign-up box for email bonuses. I signed up–simple with first name and email address. Why do it? You receive the link and information for Consumption Secrets by Alex Mandossian which is a $247 course. From signing up, you receive over 60 pages in an Ebook format plus five MP3 files of Alex teaching. You can download the material and listen to it on your computer or your iPod.
I’ve been listening to the teaching and I have read through the Ebook and found it valuable information for anyone who cares about how to improve your relationships with your customers. Whether you are a writer or not, this resource can help you improve that communication.
June 27, 2007
I’ve been reading a lot of “buzz” about Timothy Ferriss’ new book, The 4–Hour Workweek. The title alone is rather provocative (and inviting). I’ve had two emails in the last few days for teleseminars with Ferriss. I tried to get into one of them yesterday but it was already completed. I looked around for the replay–and couldn’t locate it.
Then a few hours ago, I got an email with the link to last night’s replay—but it will only be up for 72 hours (and the clock has already been ticking). While the replay includes a fast-forward button, it does not allow you to download the entire file–because Arielle Ford will be selling this interview as a part of a package. If you want to hear it, then you have to do it now.
June 26, 2007
After interviewing hundreds of book authors for many years, you’d be surprised how frequently these authors want to tell me how much they dislike the cover of their latest book. Or they will tell me how the book title wasn’t the one that they would have selected. Inside when I hear these stories I shake my head and feel like shaking the author and saying, “Get over it and move on and be excited about what you have in front of you.” It doesn’t make a good impression on the journalist about this part of the publishing process.
Many years ago, one of my high-profile authors strongly disliked his book cover photo. The dislike carried into his eagerness to promote this particular title. Before too many months, this book faded out of print.
On the positive side of book cover design, Roy Peter Clark wrote “Judge My Book by Its Cover” in the June 18th Publishers Weekly. The article points out a simple truth: ideally the cover designer reads the book and gets in sync with the author and publisher about the vision for the book audience. It’s a good piece and I recommend you read it.
What the printed article does not show is Clark’s book cover for Writing Tools. I have not read this book but I’m familiar with Clark’s work at Poynter Online. Here’s a list of his 50 writing tools and articles. Here’s where he podcasts about these writing tools. It’s a rich resource and every writer can gain something from Clark’s Writing Tools.
June 25, 2007
This past weekend I was definitely in the minority.
Over 400 women were attending the She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was one of half a dozen men who were around at this conference. Besides being in the minority as a man, I was the only literary agent at the event. This annual conference trains women in two primary areas–as speakers and as writers. During the conference, I taught an hour workshop about Book Proposals then met individually with over 25 writers in 15–minute sessions.
Because this group of women have been receiving training about book proposals and talking with editors, in general I was impressed with the quality of their submissions. The majority of them came prepared to talk about their book idea. Many of them were petrified because it was their first time talking with an editor or a literary agent. There were several other editors and publishers represented at the conference who were also holding these 15-minute sessions. The format alone is always a challenge for these meetings. The participants are anxious for my feedback and I have to listen carefully to their idea and ask some probing questions as I flip through their proposal.
Years ago I sat in the position of these writers and hung on every word from the editor. I made lots of notes as they talked then tried to go home and follow through on each of their suggestions. I learned the hard way–and I suspect these people from last weekend will learn it as well–that I take the suggestions as just that “suggestions” and not the absolute truth. No one editor or literary agent has this absolute truth perspective with a massive amount of wisdom to pass along to the writer who is pitching. Some of those ideas are right on target while others need to be ignored. That choice is up to the individual.
I’ve told this story in at least one other entry. Years ago I had a 15-minute meeting with an editor that I respect. I took detailed notes as this editor critiqued my book proposal. I returned home and followed each of the suggestions then sent the proposal back to this editor. He didn’t recall that he had even talked with me about this idea. I was crushed and disillusioned and all sorts of other disappointed feelings. I thought I was receiving the total straight scoop about how to navigate the waters of publishing.
Now that I’ve had a few more years of experience in this area plus had the opportunity for the last few years to be the person who meets with writers, I return to the choice factor. The individual writer has to evaluate the advice, then decide if it’s right for their manuscript or book proposal or not.
You can imagine that I was a bit whipped and worn after meeting with writer after writer. I’m unsure if my counsel had much value at the end of the day. Never-the-less, I gave it my best shot. It’s all anyone can expect during these sessions. People forget the subjective nature of the publishing world. One person loves your idea while another person rejects it. One person believes your book is the absolute best thing they’ve ever read on the topic while the next person believes with equal passion that you’re work is only for beginners and lacked “freshness” (whatever that means).
As you listen to the opinions of various writers, editors, literary agents and other professionals, don’t forget to listen to your own internal voice about the writing.
June 21, 2007
I must be headed to the Phoenix airport for another conference. I’ll be going out to the She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina this coming weekend.
Several of my friends are road warriors and travel almost weekly or several times a month. It’s not my normal travel schedule to have three weekends in a row in three different areas of the United States. In each place, I’ve had some good meetings and opportunities.
I’m excited about the potential in Charlotte and we’ll see what happens. I’ve been learning how to be very productive during the long airplane trips. I’ll have my AlphaSmart in my laptop bag. I continue to get some weird comments but it’s been a lifesaver for getting work done on the airplane–yes even in the coach section when the person in front of you puts their seat in recline. Because the AlphaSmart has a much smaller screen, it doesn’t have the difficulties of a laptop in that same situation.
My entries here will be scarce for a few days. If you ever wonder, just check my schedule and it may give you the answer.