Tuesday, 04 October 2022

T The Pro-Active Author

Small Things Matter

Small Things MatterRecently an online group had a discussion about small or short writing projects. Do they matter and do they lead to longer writing projects? Yes they do and in fact the small things matter. Many forget big doors turn because of little hinges. A small or short writing project can lead to bigger things.  In this article I want to give you some specific examples and ideas for your own writing life.

Your relationships with others in the writing community is important. Often who you know as much as what you know or pitch is weighted with importance. For example, people recognize birthdays and anniversaries on Facebook. Do you particpate and say something? If you do it's a way for you to be back in the thoughts of that person. When someone passes, do you say something on Facebook? Do you mail a physical sympathy card? I have a box of these cards and when I see that someone's relative has passed, I will often reach for a card, fill it out and mail it. It doesn't take much time but the gesture is appreciated and remembered.

In these articles I've talked about getting your book into libraries and the importance of promoting these books to others so the books get checked out and used. It's a small effort but I have a series of social media posts that I've created to promote my own books to a local writer's group. I don't use them very often but from time to time I post that my books are available at our local library. In my short post, I include a link which goes to the place where they can check out my book and use it. I make this small effort occasionally but it helps others to know about and use my books in the library.

Recently I noticed one of my long-term writing friends is speaking at a nearby church. We had not seen each other in decades but I reached out to him and we arranged to meet for coffee. During the time we have known each other, this writer has published about 30 different books. He was telling me about one of his books which consistently sells about 50,000 copies a year. I don't have any idea about the sales of  his other booksl but this one book has consistently earned year after year.  You may have written many books but if you write one like my friend with consistent sales, then that book will be a small portion of your overall books but something huge for you personally.

Follow-up Opportunities. Often throughout the day I will think about a social media post or an email to send or a phone call to make.  Everyone is busy and often it takes a gentle follow-up with this person. I use the word gentle because if you push, you can easily hear no response. Are you taking action when these ideas come into your mind? To have the idea in the first place is great, but the people who take action are the ones who get it done.

Write Reviews and Articles. The ability to write a short book review or short magazine article is a different skill than writing a longer book project (nonfiction or fiction).  I don't want to get rusty in this skill I've developed over the years. I continue to write book reviews (over 1,100 on Amazon and over 700 on Goodreads). I continue to write articles for magazines and blogs. I encourage you to write these shorter pieces as well.

In the world of publishing, there are many other important yet small actions which matter. What small actions are you taking which matter?


In the world of publishing, the small things matter. This prolific editor and author is aware of the importance of his “small actions.” Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)

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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: www.terrywhalin.com.

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