Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

Are There Hidden Costs of Publishing?

There are many things in the world of publishing which simply add to the cost and effort to happen but are never documented or talked about. In many ways, these elements become some of the hidden cost of publishing. In some ways publishing is like an iceberg. We can see the top on the water but don't realize all that is below the surface. In this article I wanted to tell you about a couple of these hidden costs then give you some tools and basic principles for your own writing life.

People look at my large twitter following and would like to have that ability to influence and touch others. Yet are you willing to do the work to build that following? I've detailed the five every day steps I take with twitter. I use a program called Refollow to help automate this effort. Sometimes the program does not work. Every day I can use it to quickly follow 800 people in my target market. Then I can also use this program to unfollow people who have not followed me back. Some of these people I followed years ago and I use Refollow to automatically unfollow them. This unfollow process involves clicking and unfollowing each person—up to 1,000 a day. 

Recently several times the program gets stuck. The only way I've found to get it working is to leave the site (stopping the process) and to begin it again (and reclicking all those times). Other times error messages are thrown up on my screen. Maybe Twitter has blocked the unfollow process or something else. These stops and starts amount to some substantial time with zero or little results. Yet I persist because I understand it is all part of the process of continuing to build my audience and presence in the market.  I use these tools consistently day after day.

Over the years, I've created a number of online information products like Blogging for Bucks or my Write a Book Proposal course. I've automated many of these products through autoresponders and other tools. Each of these products include my 100% Love it Or Leave It Guarantee. If the buyer isn't satisfied in a period of time, they can send an email and ask for a refund. This guarantee is a key part of selling products online and it is rare that someone will ask for a refund. This email arrived at a time when I was challenged with other things—yet I took the time to make the refund. Carrying through with your promises is a key part of having an online business and successfully selling products online. It doesn't make it simple or easy.

Here's some basic principles for every writer to get beyond the hidden costs of publishing:

* Understand they are there and keep going in spite of them
*Automate when you can. Investing in tools like HootsuiteManage Flitter and Refollow allow me to continually grow my presence and saves time
*Keep growing in your craft of writing, attending conferences, taking online courses and reading books. I've got shelves of how-to books I've read over the years and continue to read them.
*Timing is critical and yet often out of your control. I've had authors who have looked for an agent for years (not found it) then return to Morgan James and ask if they can sign our book contract. I've had it happen numerous times. An author signed recently who I have been speaking with off and on for three years about her book. 
*Take the long view of success yet keep doing the little things and working to promote you and your writing. Over and over I speak with authors who continue promoting yet have stopped telling their publisher about their promotion (big mistake in my view). The publisher is going to assume they are not promoting and has stopped talking about the author with their sales team and the sales team to the bookstores since it is tied together. Yet if the author continues to promote and tells the publisher, then the communication and promotion to the bookstores can continue. Consistent communication matters.

No little elves come out and write this material for us. We have to be the ones to tell the stories and complete the work.  

Do you recognize the hidden costs of publishing?

Are there hidden costs to publishing? Read about some of them here with ideas to get beyond them. (Click to Tweet) 

Columnist: Terry Whalin


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. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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