BOOK REVIEW: THE 30 DAY PRAISE CHALLENGE by Becky Harling

cover32952-mediumIf you do something long enough it goes past being a habit and becomes a lifestyle. THE 30 DAY PRAISE CHALLENGE by Becky Harling will help you develop a life of praise and worship.

As a firm believer of spending more time giving God glory than a list of complaints I agree with THE 30 DAY PRAISE CHALLENGE 100%.  One of the reasons why I appreciated this book is because it was written by someone who has been there and done that.

This book is a great response to those who are going through difficult times…….. continue reading at BEYOND THE BOOKSTORE

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THE UGLY SIDE OF WRITING

Young Woman Thinking   I went to bed earlier than usual, 1AM and woke up at my usual time 7:30AM but I did not get out of bed until 8; I was thinking. I had my usual glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee, prayers were said while in bed and so my day began.

Yesterday was suppose to be publishing day a process that should take 2 hours at best. My plan was to begin marketing “My Questions From The Book of Luke” written under the pseudonym M L Floyd BUT the “meat grinder” spit the book back out. The “meat grinder” is Smashwords formatting program that converts a word document into the various eBook formats necessary to sell eBooks appropriate for Kindle, Nook, and other formats. Despite my dedicating the better of 4 hours formatting by the end of the day my book was ready to be viewed but not ready for the beloved “premium” status I wanted.

After correcting the 3 mistakes and resubmitting and getting rejected again! I have to remind myself why I chose to self-publish! Why would anyone want to publish?writer-at-work-sign

I love writing but…..

There is more to be an independent author than coming up with a great story line or presenting an idea on paper. Marketing is a 24 hour a day 7 days a week concept, reality sinks in fast for new authors after they sell the first 100 books to friends and family as well as friends of family. As I tell anyone who ask: Marketing begins before your book is published and years after -you never stop selling.

With The Truth About Vashtai I could not afford a professional editor so I asked for friends to go over the book and find fault. Editing a book is exhausting and as my father the newspaper editor says there will always be something that an editor will overlook. (Yes, he found a flaw in my published book.)  Editors are highly recommended not only by the professionals but most independent writers, myself included.  If you cannot or choose not to use an editor invest in a self-help book such as: Editing Tips for Indie Authors by Norman Price available via Smashwords.

When I write it is for my pleasure, when I edit it is with the reader in mind. Everyone will not like your book, it only hurts when they tell you about it.

The source of my frustration today is not writing, marketing or even editing it is publishing.  Because I have chosen to publish eBooks I have found Smashwords provides the best platform.  I know of a few writers who swear by Amazon however it is not where you book starts it is where it finishes that counts.

When I published The Truth About Vashtai I used the services of Author House to print and format the book. The book can be ordered by all of the major bookstores, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  My first book signing was at Borders and copies were sold at my church as well. The bottom line for me, I sold more books outside of the traditional bookstores than in.

Marketed correctly, your eBook will sell more than print book thus processing via the “meat grinder” is important! Yes, you can pay someone to do this as well.

Do you really want to write a book that someone else will read? Get ready for long days and nights, sitting alone in your room on beautiful days, lots of coffee and frustrating moments. As great as you think your masterpiece is someone else will hate it.

Next week I will finish editing Sister Sharon and prepare to write a novel in 30 days along with my NaNoWriMo buddies. Why? Because it’s like having a baby once you are finished all you see is the beautiful results.

Available via Smashwords
Available via Smashwords
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BOOK REVIEW: WOUNDED BY GOD’S PEOPLE

Sometimes the truth hurts and the truth is that Christians often hurt Christians. “WOUNDED BY GOD’S PEOPLE” written by Anne Graham Lotz is an excellent lesson in how those of us who have been the victim of Christian opinion can move on while defining how Christians hurt other Christians.

One of my many ‘soap box’ issues is the judgmental nature of many Christians who believe they are the experts as to how a Christian should behave but think they should use Social Media to spread their opinions to as many people as possible. It does not occur to these individuals that their words cause more harm than good. In WOUNDED BY GOD’S PEOPLE” the author uses biblical examples of how people inadvertently hurt others.

….continue reading at BEYOND THE BOOKSTORE

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It’s That Time Again!

Winner_180_180_white

For me National Novel Writing Month is the NASCAR of writing, it is exhilarating, challenging and fun! It is an opportunity to communicate with other writers while still writing. Like driving laps around the speedway going as fast as you can occasionally interacting with another driver I will be at Panera Bread (the Speed Way of choice)  write as fast as I can (laps) occasionally interacting with other writers (pit stop).The checker flag for me will be 50,000 words.

I started in 2012 however because of an illness in my family I was unable to complete the race (I guess you would call that a crash).

Scrivener (software)

I am ready, this year I have Scrivener, an excellent program for writers. Scrivener should help me stay organized which will make editing a lot easier.

Though many of us really do want to write a novel in 30 days I would challenge you to join us even if all you get done is 5, 000 words in 30 days.  Because NaNoWriMo, as it is called, is a national event you will be able to participate no matter where you live. This is an opportunity to work alongside writers who are far more skilled than I am.

We start November 1, 2013.

 

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THOUGHTS ON VOLUNTEERING

    FAMILY 1I cannot, with all sincerity, say I am surprised at the number of people who choose not to volunteer although sometimes someone says something that catches me off guard. I was at a family gathering once in which I was suppose to leave early to serve at church and a cousin calmly stated: “We never volunteer, we leave that to other people.” The matter of fact way this cousin made the statement was so “normal” that I had no come-back.

There are some religions that require some type of community service; I do not consider that being a volunteer. Some school systems require community service hours prior to graduating: I do not believe that will encourage individuals to serve later in life.

Serving is never about what you feel like doing though most of us enjoy it. I understand that some people do not have the personality to serve in a homeless shelter and some people work on weekends.

What bothers me is the number of people who complain about the lack of service particularly in the church.

“No one called me when I was in the hospital.”

“I was home sick and no one visited.”

“I am going through a difficult time and ________.”

Church volunteers co more than: greet you when you come in the door, direct traffic, fold programs, or pick up the trash left behind after service. Yes there are those who feed the homeless and visit nursing homes but there are those who call church members when he or she misses a few services or are known to be home ill, take food to those who are too ill to cook for themselves, bring someone to church who would otherwise not be able to attend service.  For the churches who have small group Bible study programs they are facilitated by volunteers. Unfortunately, many hats are worn but a select group of people because others do not have to thus choose not to.

When a person decides to “try” volunteering he or she is amazed.

  • It is not as difficult as he thought.
  • It is not as time consuming as she believed it to be.
  • It is enjoyable as well as rewarding.
  • He is needed because of the shortage of volunteers.
  • She is appreciated no matter how much time is given.

Of course there are quite a few organizations that need volunteers. I believe we must first serve our own household and then serve our extended family which is in the church we are a part of.

If given the opportunity to speak with my cousin again, when she states she leaves serving in the church to other people, I will simply say “we are the other people’.

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