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

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?

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

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