Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A to Z Challenge - Calls and the Insecure Writer's Support Group

For the A to Z Challenge, I’m posting promo and other tips for writers, along with a daily photo.(All photos taken by me.)

It’s also time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And today’s A to Z topic fits perfect, as making phone calls used to be a major fear of mine.

If you’re a writer or author, at some point, you’ll start making phone calls.

You’ll use calls to set up appearances and media interviews. You’ll talk to editors, publishers, and reporters. You’ll call bookstores and libraries.

If making calls scares you, here’s some tips that might help:

Sketch out what you’re going to say. Practice. Don’t read it over the phone or it’ll sound scripted.

Set aside a block of time to do nothing but make phone calls.

Start with an easy one to get into the groove.

Don’t stop until you hit a yes and try not to end on a no.

Remember to smile when talking - it does come through!

Now, who’s ready to start dialing?

Visit other participants in the A to Z Challenge HERE

And your daily photo - "Calvin and her Reflection"

$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0

Purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Kindle UK, and Powell’s.


  1. Great advice. I'm much better than I used to be on the phone, but I'd still prefer to conduct all my business via email!

    Annalisa Crawford, One of April's IWSG Co-Hosts

  2. Great tips. For anything like that I do need to know what I'm saying first. I hate phone calls at the best of times. I'm so used to doing most of my writer stuff online!

  3. Diane, this was a delightful bit of info. Most helpful and I intend to take it to heart. I just started blogging for the first time ever with this A to Z Challenge to I'm checking out other blogs. Definitely enjoyed yours. I'll be back.

  4. Great info. I know I'll have to start making my round of calls eventually. Ever the procrastinator.

  5. Good advice and a super picture.


  6. I absolutely hate being on the phone! So much better through emails. My favorite tip of yours is to sketch out what you're planning on saying.

  7. Love the pic!

    Yeah I can usually get more done in a 5 minute call than 15 emails.

    Keep up the great posts!

    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  8. Great tips as always! Love the kitty-is she yours?

    Hugs and chocolate,

  9. It's funny I am the official calling person for my family-everyone has me make their calls for them, but when it comes to my own- well that's a different story. Maybe it's the emotional investment there.

  10. love the reflection picture :)

  11. OMG what a beautiful cat (and shot)!

    I love reading the IWSG posts! Thanks for sharing!!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

  12. Awesome pic of Calvin and her reflection!!!
    And phone calls . . . shudder. They scare me too, but I practice and smile, and call anyway . . .although I actually prefer to visit people in person if I can.

  13. the cat photo almost looks like two cats... some slight changes.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
    Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

  14. Phone calls...a much tedious job!
    P.S. 'Calvin and her reflection'... really adorable!

  15. I used to make tons of calls when I was in PR and these are excellent tips. I used to really have to psych myself up to do it. It was exhausting.

  16. Calls are exactly my problem! I just conducted my first celeb interview, but only because it landed right in my lap. I couldn't not do it. Now that it's out of the way, I feel like I owe it to myself to keep it up.

  17. It's scary calling people when you want something! I haven't done it yet when it comes to my writing career. One day I will, though, and I'll take your advice. I'm better on the phone than in person, though :)

  18. Calling people seems to be a losing form of communication these days. Too many people resort to only texting or facebooking, which is just ridiculous! I hate making plans over text messaging. I hope professionals in the writing industry aren't taking that route!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  19. great tips! I love that photo of Calvin!!

  20. Hi Diane,

    I do understand the trepidation involved with making phone calls. Although, I find that I can have a lot of good natured fun with the person I'm calling in a lot of situations. Helps ease the tension.

    I challenged my greatest fear when I was interviewed on the phone and was listened to by a worldwide audience of thirty million.

    I still have the occasional fear of the telephone. Sometimes I can't even look at the phone so I just have to face the fax....

    Happy alpheting and a nice reflective photo.


  21. Cool! There was a time when I used to prefer e-mail communication to phone calls, but these days I jump for joy when the phone rings. It really is a skill that you can lose if you don't practice it often enough. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I can talk to people but sometimes I can also get rambly. This is great advice to help me stay on track.

  23. Smile when talking is so important. Used to tell that to our customer service reps.

    Love the cat pic.


  24. Annalisa, I still don't like it, but I can do it now.

    Elizabeth, I always plan ahead.

    Shelly, she was! Sadly she is no longer with us.

    Melanie, maybe.

    Kristen, that first one is always the hardest.

    Laura, it's so much faster with a phone call.

    Gary, that will force you over the fear in a hurry.

  25. I would imagine that a one-on-one call would produce quicker results, than a load of e-mails passing back and forth!
    Great pic!

  26. Chances are, the person you are calling is looking for your service. If not, there is someone out there who is.

  27. I got over my phone call phobia at my current job (as an IT pro). I think over time I just developed a standard introduction to the conversation. The intro now works to get the "callee" talking and responsive.
    I long for the day when I can dread making calls to editors and publishers and all that.

  28. Get in, make the calls, and get out - that's my motto.
    Amazing photo!

  29. Great advice. I prefer all my interaction by email-no phone!


  30. I'm more nervous about phone calls than any face to face meeting. I don't know why.

  31. I hope you don't mind my post for tomorrow is about Discipline for Artists. This will fit right in with it so I'm going to post a link to your post at the bottom.

    Images by Bil
    Paintings and Sketches of the beauty that surrounds us.

  32. This really spoke to me, LD. In my college days I used to be terrified of calling people! lol I'm not even sure why, but I hated it. What got me over it was my first job at a counseling agency post-grad. I had to call EVERYONE it seemed, so I just said, 'screw it' and pretended everyone I was talking to was my best friend. That did the trick. :)

  33. My CP and I recently spoke on the phone for the first time in three years. We were both nervous but that didn't last long.

    I love the idea of smile while talking on the phone.

  34. Calls aren't hard for me but when I had to train others I had some similar suggestions but I really like your list!

    One thing to keep in mind, the word No, isn't fatal and if you don't ask the answer is always no.

  35. Torturing me here! I'm allergic to phones. sigh.

  36. Oh mine! I never thought about calls when I decided to write in English. What am I going to do? I have a terrible accent as I don't speak it as often as I write it. Another obstacle...oh well.

  37. Terrific advice. I, too, hate telephones. It never occurred to me I'd have to make actual *phone* calls. *Sigh*

    ~VR Barkowski

  38. The very idea of having to do this, i.e. sell myself or whatever, over the phone, really gives me chills. LOL. Great advice though!

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  40. Oh, I get phone phobia too. haha. Enjoy your posts in A to Z. Thanks for all the great tips. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

  41. Yes! Making calls and even going in person are scary. I've been doing it some, mainly in person. My brother's been making calls. :) But I need to start doing that also, because there's only so much he knows about the book.