My boss at my day situation loves his “Easy” button. There’s something to that. People are bombarded with things, and life is crazy. Recently, I was on a team reading and ranking submissions that were applications to do something for us. Some were a joy to read; all the information was organized and ordered. But there were others that we really had to dig to find the information or the proposal was incomplete.
I heard the fabulous Jane Friedman talk about this. If you want someone to help you with a writing or marketing task, make it easy for them. She’s right. Always provide the person with context and enough information to complete the task.
Blurbs - If you’re asking for a blurb, send the person a synopsis of your book and your biography.
References - When you ask for a reference or a nomination, send them a SHORT copy of your biography and other pertinent information.
Time - Give the person as much time as possible. I had a publisher once who sent out book blurb requests with a short deadline. It didn’t give busy people enough time to read enough of the book.
Pay it Forward - Make sure you’re willing to help others too. You can’t always be on the asking end.
Give Them an Off Ramp - Give the person an exit that doesn’t cause hard feelings. Everyone is busy, and your timing may not be right. When you call or write your introductory email request, acknowledge that they’re busy and that you understand if they’re unable to help right now.
By providing enough information and time, usually people are more than wiling to help.
What would you add to my list?