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Episode Info: In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, we see a city-wide panic. People respond in two different ways. The townspeople panicked, but George Bailey did not. His action during a time of panic shaped the rest of his career.  Your actions during these uncertain times could do the same for you. “For everything there is a season,” the biblical poet wrote. While so many things are on hold, this is the ideal time for authors to develop roots rather than shoots. People are panicked and running to stockpile necessities. Soon they’ll be isolated with canned food and toilet paper as their only company, and they’ll be bored out of their minds. When they feel secure, they’ll settle down to figure out what’s next. They can’t go to school, church, the gym, or even to work (in many cases), and at that magical moment in the not-so-distant future, they will begin to look for a good book. You can prepare for that magic moment now by developing your platform and building your book marketing assets. Once their boredom sets in, you will be ready to step in with a solution. The characters in your book may be just the thing to get someone through this difficult time.  During this season of social distancing, here are ten ways to get closer to your readers.   #1 Read Books on Craft When a Toyota factory is required to shut down, the company does not waste the opportunity. They are prepared with special training for the workers when a shutdown occurs. It’s their application of the Japanese Kaizen strategy of continuous improvement. They transform downtime into quality improvement time.  This unanticipated change in your schedule is the perfect occasion for you to transform downtime into quality improvement time for your writing. Authors who seize this opportunity will have an advantage over those who do not.  A great way to start improving your writing is to read a book on craft. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some suggestions.  On Writing: How to Write 5000 Words an Hour (Affiliate Link)On Marketing: Newsletter Ninja: How to Become an Author Mailing List Expert (Affiliate Link)For Novelists: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Affiliate Link)For Nonfiction: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Affiliate Link)#2 Update Your Website Chances are, it’s been a while since you have spent much time on your author website. If that’s the case, it’s probably out of date. Many authors make the mistake of only updating website content during major redesigns. In my many years of building websites and working with authors and readers, I have discovered that readers prefer an older design with current information over outdated content in a fresh design.  To improve your website, start with these tasks. Visit each page and look for ways to improve it. Test each link throughout the page and remove or fix broken links.Read through your “About” page and upda...
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