Writing Brings Healing to the Soul – Free Ebook of Tips

By Lisa Saunders, Special Guest Writer

lisa saunders daughter Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Lisa and her daughter

The moment I gave birth to my daughter Elizabeth in December of 1989, I felt a stab of fear—her head was so small, so deformed. Within 12 hours, I was told she had been profoundly disabled by congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus). The neonatologist said, “If she lives, she will never roll over, sit up, or feed herself.”

He was right.

Writing (and Scripture) was how I dealt with my initial shock and grief–organizing my thoughts of despair by getting them down on paper stopped them from endlessly swirling around and overwhelming me. Getting my revelations and stories inspired by Elizabeth published made me feel less alone as I connected with others. Sharing my story with others not only healed my own soul, but according to the letters I received from readers, my candid thoughts were also bringing some healing to them. Eventually, even my sense of humor returned and I found that I was able to start writing about other things.

Many writers have asked me, “How can I get my story published?” In order to share what has (and has not) worked for me, I’ve written a FREE e-book, “How to Publish and Promote Your Work,” to help others find the same satisfaction I felt when publicly sharing my thoughts. To download it visit the web site post, Free “How to Get Published” E-Booklet and click on the “Get Published” button.

When trying to get a non-fiction book published, it is required to submit a book proposal. The publisher for my recently released book, “Anything But a Dog! The Perfect Pet for a Girl with Congenital CMV,” which is about a big, homeless dog’s devotion to my disabled daughter, gave their permission for me to include my book proposal in my free e-book. Readers can use it as a guide for their own proposals.

Share your soul!
Lisa Saunders

Note from Lisa Copen of You Can Sell More Books: I had the opportunity to read this ebook and it’s a gem. Lisa writes it from the heart, but also provides some special stories and examples that will help you piece together your own story for a book, an article or more. It’s a wonderful tool I recommend.

 Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Where Will the E-Reader “Book” Go From Here?

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kindle Where Will the E Reader Book Go From Here?I recently returned from a writers conference back-to-back with the International Christian Retail Show. Throughout the panels that I had the chance to sit in on as well as the many blogs I have read from editorial agents and others who returned from the retail show, I am happy to see that the Christian market is jumping in on the advancement of technology in e-readers–in my opinion, much faster than they originally decided to build their web site presence in the last ten years.

They are definitely aware that these “trends” of technology in the book business are not all short-term gimmicks, but a revolutionary moment in the history of book selling. And they are determined to be in on it, perhaps. .  . even leaders.

I just read a very interesting article that I wanted to point out to you to go and read called, What are the next radical eReader features?

It lists a lot of great perks about e-readers and a lot of things that e-reader will (or should) do to remain a viable competition to those old paperbacks. One thing that is mentioned i:

Add on great support for writing. The first thing it does is it lets eReaders (or the eReader+eWriter version) replace paper in more and more situations. The second thing it does is kill multi-purpose devices’ ability to compete – phones and Tablets just don’t have very good writing or data entry capabilities and it’s highly unlikely they’d cut down on their ability to do 1 million different things to support both better reading and better writing.

I agree completely, as for those of us who use Kindle as a tool for our collection of information and knowledge, as well as a tool in writing our own next book, the ability to quickly add notes more than a sentence long. One thing I would add to the abilities of my Kindle, which I have owned now for nearly 2 years (1st generation) and have read over 300 books on is actually a feature that it had that I can no longer seem to locate (if you know where it is, please let me know!)

Bring back the “search your library” feature. When I first got my Kindle one of the features that was in the experimental phase was the ability for a reader to search a word or phrase to find out where it appeared in ALL OF THE BOOKS she had ever purchased on Kindle. This is not only handy for a reader who wishes to locate differing opinions from a variety of authors and sources on a topic rather fast; but as an author myself, when I am doing research for my own book I am writing, the ability to scan quickly through my library to see what other authors have said on this topic is invaluable. And I may even refer to these other authors, quote from their books, etc. so it benefits not only myself, but other authors, and eventually the reader, as my research may in fact be more thorough and from a variety of sources.

I don’t know exactly when this featured disappeared as an option, but it was one of the reasons, as an author, I was so excited to get my Kindle.

I would love to hear your feedback as an author. Where are you at in the e-reader timeline? Do you have an e-reader? If not, do you think “it’s just a matter of time before I get one” or are you holding tightly to your paper and binding and waiting for what may or may not be a phase to pass? Has the ability to easily publish books on an e-reader encouraged you to think more broadly about what you may write since you could bypass a publisher?  I’m eager to hear your feedback!

Lisa


 Where Will the E Reader Book Go From Here?

How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

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newspaper titles so important How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?When I was the editor of a magazine, I received a wide range of articles with titles that were very undescriptive, depressing, and even unsettling. It is expected that every editor will change titles of material and one of the keys to becoming a welcomed writer at any magazine is to send in submissions with titles that could actually be used.

In fact, as the editor of a magazine, in my guidelines are described them of our needs as “Look at the cover of Good Housekeeping and study the titles. Then write articles that reflect these topics in addition to adding on the terms chronic illness and Christian faith. This will help you understand the type of articles we are looking for.”

I recently tried to explain to a couple of writers who contribute to one of my websites that I was occasionally updating titles of the content. This was for a few different reasons:

1. The title is the most descriptive part of the message and if it is not appealing or interesting people will not click on it, and therefore it never even have the opportunity to be read.

2. Many of the titles of articles people were submitting were the same or very similar. For example, if 3 people send you articles with titles like, “Getting Through The Baby Blues”; “Dealing With The Baby Blues” and “Coping With The Baby Blues” –even if all of the articles are different in conquering the challenge of baby blues– will your readers know this? No. They will think you are just reposting the same content and updating the title (as many publishers do read books that they re-release with new titles)

3. On the Internet everything comes down to best describing your content so that it can be found by those who are searching for it. Rather than having a title that says “Waiting to Adopt” one should have the title of the blog posts be “Getting Past The Discouraging Moments Of Waiting to Adopt from China.” This is of course, assuming that the blog post is actually about getting past the discouraging moments while waiting to adopt from China.

I recently read in an article, “5 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content” by a nonprofit organization, “Titles are the very first things people read in their email subject line, RSS reader and Twitter or Facebook feed. You could argue that this is the single most important part of any content you produce because without a great title people won’t click (and the all mighty click is what you’re after, right?).”

And Copy Blogger writes in “How to Write Magnetic Headlines”

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” They have an excellent 11-part series that gives some specific guidance that will increase your ability to write better headlines in just hours.

I have also found that by focusing on a quality title I am forced to be more specific in my writing and that it sometimes takes me in a new direction and creates a topic that I had not previously planned on writing about. There are times when I have a title and I start writing the article and soon it turns into three or four different articles.

Some publishing houses now go to the extent to buy Google Ad words. They create 2 to 5 different ads and have the title of each ad be a possible title of one book that they are going to publish. In just a few hours or perhaps a couple of weeks, a publisher can do inexpensive research and find out which title is the best possible one to use on the book.

I was taught as a speaker many years ago from Florence Littauer at CLASS that the best way to find not only what is trending but also how to write great headlines is to pause at the grocery store checkout line and examine those “magazines” that we are often too embarrassed to buy even if we find the headline enticing. There is a reason that everything from the National Enquirer to People magazine sell each week even when the content itself is poorly written or even false. It’s those titles!

I would love to hear your comments about how you have improved your writing of titles for blog posts, or perhaps how you chose the title of your book.

 How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

How to Write an Effective Book Review

Have you ever asked someone to write a review for you and then you read it and realized they didn’t know exactly what you had in mind? There are various kinds of book reviews: those from a professional, those from an average reader, the short “snippet” that gives it a thumbs up or down with a brief explanation, or the review that goes into great depth of the book content and why it was liked or not liked. just spend a few minutes at Amazon to see all the varieties. And it’s interesting to look at the button that says, “x number of people found this review HELPFUL” because not all reviews are actually helpful.

Here is an article that reminds us of some of the key elements to book reviews.

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By Redmond Kaniel

The Internet has changed publishing, making it possible for more people to write published book reviews for the large audience of web surfers looking for perspective before they purchase a book. With more visibility for book reviewers comes the opportunity for them to make money doing what they love to do. Even seasoned book reviewers can always improve their skills. Here are some basic tips for writing a good book review, whether for print or for the Internet. There is no perfect format for writing book reviews, but there are some tried and true methods you can use to structure your work with quality. You want people to read your review and you want to make money at your craft, so whether you review romances, self-help books or classic literature, here are some guidelines.

Before you even start reading the book you are reviewing, ask yourself some basic questions. Consider the type of audience you are appealing to. What will the potential reader think of the book title and what does the title suggest? Be sure to scan the preface or introduction to get a general feel for the book. Sometimes the introduction and the book might not seem to connect or maybe the introduction illuminates the meaning of the book. Use the Table of Contents as an overall map of the book, to help you focus on key developments.

While you read the book, consider certain things. What is the genre of the book? How do you experience the author’s point of view? Is the style and language formal or informal? What concepts or ideas are either developed or left out. Is the book stronger for leaving out or including certain points? Consider footnotes and accuracy of information. What did the book accomplish? Does it compare to other books like it?

Don’t forget, people reading your book review are not curled up with the Sunday Times. They are on the internet. Grab the reader’s attention from the start. Provide information which you might appreciate reading. You do not have to necessarily summarize the plot. Sometimes that ruins it for the reader. You also do not have to state whether you recommend the book or not. Think about what is most useful for the reader. When ending your review, summarize rather than introduce more new topics.

The more you work to refine your book reviewing skills, the more money you can make. The Internet provides a viable venue for people who love books and love writing about them. Book reviewing is an art, which takes time to refine, but the most basic tips will have you writing reviews worth raving about.

About the Author:
Redmond Kaniel is an authority on writing book summaries, working with Shvoong Summaries and Short Reviews. To make money online review information is at Shvoong.

 How to Write an Effective Book Review

What Will Be the Lifespan of Your Book? Plan While You Are Writing It!

489343960 364daa0308 m What Will Be the Lifespan of Your Book? Plan While You Are Writing It!
Image by Billie Hara via Flickr

Is your book dated? As you are writing, ask yourself:

  • Is this a book I can sell forever?
  • Am I jumping on a trend and expect it to be over in 2-5 years (and that is okay)?
  • Is this a book that will be dated, but I can do revisions and continue to resell it?

The goal as an author, I believe, should be to aim for number 1 or 3 if possible.  I had actually planned to do a revised version of So You Want to Start a Chronic Illness Pain Ministry, but as I flipped through it and started planning, it turned into an entirely different book, How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry. It went from 70 pages to over 300 and is much more thorough, based on my years of experience between the two books and the hundreds of emails I’d answered with people’s questions. It just made sense to write a new book, not revise the older one.

Is your material going to quickly be dated? If you are writing on the topic of using Facebook to market your business, realize that if you are going with a traditional publisher, by the time the book is published, it may be outdated. And the people who would typically be your best consumers will realize this. As they are doing an Amazon.com search for books on this topic, they will sort by “date published.”

You may also be eater to do a revised version in five or ten years, but write about topics where you are the expert and will always be referred to as such in that field.

One example is, the originally self-published, “What Color is Your Parachute?” Obviously, how one looks for a job has changed considerably since the book was originally written in 1978, but people are still looking for jobs! So author, Richard Nelson Bolles, recently put out a newly revised edition. (Visit Amazon here to see just how many revisions!)

If you decided to write something like “chick lit” that talks about watching American Idol and hanging out at Starbucks, it may appear very dated in just five years (Okay, Starbucks will always be around, but they’ll probably be much more than a coffee house in five years, right?) And with Simon Cowell leaving AI this week, well, that season of interest has long since passed by.

It’s a general consensus that you make more money with a good back-list title than you can be as a best-seller. A backlist book can sell for decades.  This is a good thing to consider while writing your book. Do you want or expect to rewrite it in a few years, and what is your publisher’s expectations?

 What Will Be the Lifespan of Your Book? Plan While You Are Writing It!

Spreading The Word About Your New Book

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salebags Spreading The Word About Your New Book

My new book “How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry” is now completed and published.  I had a speaking engagement in April and a box of the books literally arrived at 6:45 or so the night before I was speaking and exhibiting.

So now I am back in the mode of marketing a book. . . one that is new–and in my opinion, needed. It is, however, needed only by a certain group of people. For the audience I serve with my ministry, Rest Ministries, I am it will meet a great need. I addressed 10 years worth of emails and questions I’ve received from people eager to start  a chronic illness small group or support group in their church or community.

It’s not a book that will be on the shelves at Borders. And that is okay.

I self-published the book under Rest Ministries Publishers. The books I have written over the years keep my organization financial afloat. The benefit is there is no “middle man” and my ministry financially benefits.

I’ve already began to receive questions about the book, the printer, t0 the cover design and marketing, so the next few months as I check things off my “marketing to do list” (which I have put together after my umpteenth time of reading John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book) I will do my best to keep a running list here of what I have done to market my book.

I hope it is helpful, and I am always eager to hear from you in the comments section about your own experiences, resources, etc.

Warmly,

Lisa

 Spreading The Word About Your New Book

Does Your Time Spent Online Help Book Sales?

A recent Publishers Weekly article looked at the breakdown of bookselling and the influence an online campaign might have on sales.

Consider this:

Their research cites that online marketing is especially important to fiction titles. According to this study, 21% of book buyers said they learned of books they wanted to buy from online promotion. This vs. 13% who learned of these titles through other means (i.e. reviews, etc.).

Regarding the importance of an author’s platform: a whopping 28% of readers said they chose a book because of the author, while only 9% of readers bought because of subject. (Publishers Weekly, July 20, 2009)

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com


 Does Your Time Spent Online Help Book Sales?

Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity

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images Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity
I recently received notification of an opportunity for Christian authors to submit their stories (see below) to what will eventually be a series of 12 books! It is a great chance to have your story on prayer heard.

If you are an author, you may wonder why you would want to spend the time submitting to anthologies where you are just a contributor? I’ve been in a few (I’ve posted a couple of the covers) and have found it fun to be a part of the books!

In my book 50 Creative Sales Tips So You Can Sell More Books I explain the perks.

41s8jmja64l sl500 aa240  Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity
Some of them are:

  • You are able to put the anthology book on your web site and list yourself as a contributor.
  • Anthologies are a great way to see how a book is formed and how the compilers work with the contributors to gain media attention. They will likely supply you with promotional and media materials, and you are able to do book signings, radio interviews, and many things you would do as if the book was your own.
  • You become a part of a very large community of peers with amazing resumes. Many of these people have been published hundreds of times. They write for magazines, know publishers, editors, publicists, and reporters and have a large network available for you to learn from. Since the evolution of social media networks like Facebook and Linked In, there’s never been a better time to “make friends” with people in the business and gain contacts with ease.
  • Compilers of anthologies often need and want the contributors to be involved. You may have the opportunity to do a virtual blog tour, book signings, and even appearances at major book industry shows. They will help you organize your efforts in contacting local newspapers, and basically offer anything they can to assist you in helping them market the book. All of this can help you build a worthy set of relationships your network of friends in the business and make it easier for you to get past media gatekeepers. If you call a reporter or staff writer and introduce yourself as a contributor to the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, you will be more likely to gain their interest than with your basic credentials.

Here is the writing opportunity I mentioned above! Best of wishes!

Dear Writer, I’d like to invite you to be part of an exciting new series that Guideposts is sponsoring: The Incredible Power of Prayer. You may have contributed to one or more of my story volumes in A Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, or Love is a Verb. Great! I’d love to hear from you whether you’re a previous associate or have not yet submitted anything to my projects.

Prayer is the heartbeat of the Christian life and is an amazing gift from God to us. A prayer in faith can spur God’s heart to “move mountains” on our behalf. The incredible power of prayer can accomplish miracles that go far beyond anything we humans can accomplish on our own.

Guideposts reaches millions of Americans with their upbeat message of God empowering us. And now, Guideposts is launching a series of 12 books on various aspects of prayer and how people from every walk of life have been transformed through God’s responses. These books will be mailed monthly as part of a book club promotion, and will be exclusive to this readership. I am now collecting submissions for the first three books in the series and would welcome as many stories as you wish to submit.

The first volume is Praying from the Heart and covers God answering our deeply felt prayers of great passion, sincerity, and trust. These prayers may be repentant, express deep gratitude, or describe desperate cries that lay bare a person’s deepest needs.

The second volume, The Healing Touch, deals with stories about prayers that lead to physical, spiritual, relational, or emotional healing. They may involve relationships that don’t resolve perfectly, but bring a closer relationship with God and a new sense of purpose and greater ability.

The third volume, Expecting Miracles, includes personal experience stories about audacious prayers with powerful answers. This is where the need is great and God responds extraordinarily.

The answers don’t need to be purely supernatural; God can work in mysterious ways using all kinds of means. Submissions can be up to 2000 words. Each story should have a creative title, an attention-grabbing lead, main body explaining a conflict or challenge, and a resolution. These need to be descriptive and compelling personal experience stories—not simply testimonies.

We prefer original stories but you may also submit previously published stories. The payment is $25 for stories under 1000 words, and $50 for longer stories. You may retain the rights to publish the stories in magazines and books with smaller distribution sources. We are accepting manuscripts from now until at least June 15 for the first three volumes. We’ll announce the finalists for the first volume around October 15.

Please include on each manuscript—not in headers or simply in the e-mail—your name, contact information (address, phone, e-mail, rights offered) and a bio of up to 30 words. Please attach to the e-mail rather than pasting text in the body. Please direct all inquiries and manuscript submissions to my colleague, Jeanette Littleton at IncrediblePrayers@earthlink.net.

And please feel free to let others know about this project. If this e-mail has been forwarded to you, and you can’t submit to this call, but would like to be notified about other editorial needs as they arise, please send us your e-mail address and we’ll add you to our notification list (we do not sell or distribute these e-mail addresses).

Blessings to you and yours,
Jim James Stuart Bell
Compiler, Guideposts Prayer series

 Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity

I Love My Kindle

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kindle I Love My KindleAfter saving money little by little for over a year for Kindle: Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device I Love My Kindle (and wondering if I would ever get to that $350 mark) I was very surprised to get it as a birthday gift from my husband mid-September. I was scheduled to have wrist surgery a few days after my 40th birthday, so was even more thrilled that I would still be able to read easily with a cast on my arm. Due to an infection, the surgery was postponed, but I have read about 7 books and am in the middle of a few more.

My advice would be (1) If your book is not yet available for the Kindle, ask your publisher to do it. It’s a 3-minute step to request your book to be made available.

HOWEVER, that said, I’ve been trying numerous times in the last week to create an account to upload the books and Amazon says, “try back later.” After visiting multiple forums I see that many people have been having this problem and Amazon’s answer has been “just keep trying until it works.” I have better things to do right now than fill out a form over and over to be told they are having technical difficulties, so my faith in their customer support is lacking at the moment.

That said, the Kindle has been easy to use. With my rheumatoid arthritis and painful hands, it’s been a blessing physically. I’ve also loved having one book-size gadget to carry and it includes my bible (purchased for about $5 on Kindle), the 550-page fiction novel I am reading, and numerous non-fiction.

The ability to be able to highlight text, write notes near it and then export it all into a text file will make my writing and researching for my future books and articles so much easier. And I plan to get rid of some of the boxes of books I’ve saved for years and buy the Kindle version so I can use the search feature and scan all my books for a particular word.

I am still discovering all the functions of this handy gadget, but am pleased. The screen is easy to read (no glare) and I’ve found as I am getting tired, I just make the font larger!

The price of the KIndle may or may not make it worthwhile to you as a writer. But if you do a lot of reading and researching for your own books and find yourself highlighting text and then typing in your notes later, definately consider it!

Lisa

 I Love My Kindle

Looking for Deals on Internet Marketing Software, Tips & More?

128px Feed icon.svg Looking for Deals on Internet Marketing Software, Tips & More?

I would never tell you about something that I haven’t personally tried without telling you I’ve not tried it. Well, I’ve used DealDotCom.com and they are the real thing! You will find a deal of all kinds of software at this site, but every deal lasts just 24 hours and then it’s gone.

Software that will help you with good ebook covers, blog promotional tips, SEO ideas, article marketing and much more! You never know what you will find and these guys that run this have a great sense of humor that will make you actually want to read the description!

I’ve purchased a few different softwares and they’ve been great! One package had more technology info than I wanted to deal wtih and I asked for a refund. It was issued promptly!

So click here to find out morre and check out today’s deals. And yes… it’ is an affiliate link. A few little affiliate links like this help me keep this site going, so I hope you won’t mind.

There have been a number of software packages I have purchased in the past and then they’ve shown up on Dealdotcom.com for about half the price. Ooooo. Hate it when that happens. But that also shows me they are getting people with quality products to participate and that increases my trust of their other products.

You can read more about products they’ve had in the past… and you’ll be wishing you were a member last week!

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For more Book Marketing Tips SIGN Up to receive our RSS feed and you’ll be entered to win a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books Looking for Deals on Internet Marketing Software, Tips & More? by John Kremer.

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 Looking for Deals on Internet Marketing Software, Tips & More?

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