This year I’ve been devoting a lot of time to Under the Gum Tree and trying to get exposure that will increase its subscribers and submissions. It’s slow-going. (Admittedly, I’m the most impatient person on the planet.) What I really want is a magic bean: If only someone like Seth Godin would write about Under the Gum Tree on The Domino Project, then thousands of people would subscribe!

One of my mantras in life is: it doesn’t hurt to ask. Of course asking for something is a risk: By asking for what I want, I open myself up to rejection and even possible ridicule. But the risk is so worth it, and I’m learning that it’s more worth it every time I just ask. I’m learning what to ask and how to ask it.

So until I’m ready to just ask Seth to feature the magazine, I’ve been reaching out and asking others. The first couple of times I emailed people, I said things like, “just wanted to let you know about a new magazine that you and your readers might be interested in, thanks!”

Really? If I got an email like that I would think to myself, “And?” Or, “That’s nice,” and promptly click DELETE.

Lucky for me I only did that two or three times, and when I didn’t get a response it was obvious why: those sweet little notes didn’t say a thing about what I hoped the email would accomplish. What’s wrong with you? You’re an editor and a teacher who is forever pounding message/audience/purpose into your students’ heads!

What I really want is to get the magazine featured on some high-profile blogs and websites. So I started sending emails saying things like, “I publish this magazine and if you think it’s appropriate for your readers, would you consider featuring it on your blog?” Some of the people I email reply back with a “no,” but so far it hasn’t been a blanket “no.” It’s been something along the lines of , “no, but you could write a guest post instead.”

And that is how Under the Gum Tree got featured on The Lit Pub. See? The risk of just asking yielded a small victory, and several others are in the works.

What’s your story of just asking that gave you a small victory?

Read more about what I’ve learned along the way. Sign up for my email list & get a free copy of my ebook, Bold is Beautiful.

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