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Posts Tagged ‘WestBow Press’

Completing a manuscript can be a lonely journey filled with self-doubt, but these two videos from the winners of two writing contests serve as an inspiration to all writers that persevering to complete the work is worth the effort.  Laurie Norlander entered the Women of Faith writing contest last year and is now a published author. Her book, Mirrored Images and her story is featured in this video.

Another first time author, Stacey Navarro, shares her story in this video.  As a stay-at-home mom,  she wanted to write a book that was something her daughters  would want to read. That motivation was enough to get her to finish her manuscript and enter the Crossbooks writing contest. Her description of what happened when she learned she won is worth watching the video. As with Laurie, her words will be an encouragement to any one working on a book.

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Abide in Me coverOne of the points I always make when I have an opportunity to speak at author conferences is you never know what can happen when you publish a book. So don’t let that manuscript sit in your drawer. Get it published and in the hands of readers. You won’t be sorry.

Recently, I came across the story of author Joel Trenkle, who published the book Abide in Me through Westbow Press. This is a great example of what can happen when you take the step to get published. His story first appeared on the Westbow Press blog.

With permission, I have republished the blog post here.  Now clearly, job offers do not come for every author who self-publishes, but it did for Joel. Perhaps his story will inspire and motivate you if you have doubts about self publishing. Enjoy.

In our book, AIM, Abide in Me, I used areas of my own life to demonstrate how a person can walk through their own personal journey and see how God has been with them through the good times and the tragedies. At the end of each chapter, there is a section for personal reflection and meditation on the key point of each chapter, whether it be forgiveness, repentance, or celebration. A person in Denver, Colorado, gave a copy of the book to her parents and to her in-laws who live in Montana for a Christmas gift. I received a message from her mother-in-law, stating that her pastor was trying to retire and that they had not found a replacement for him.  She said after reading the book, she thought I would be a good fit. My wife and co-author Doni and I prayed about this.  We told her we would not want to have to explain to our Lord why we would selfishly not do something He asked us to do.  We came to Montana and met the congregation. This was a forty-year-old church which had no ministries, no outreach; not even an e-mail address.  I preached on two Sundays, and we returned to Colorado. We received a call asking us to come and shepherd this beautiful congregation.  We sold our home and left Colorado, six children, and twelve grandchildren. We are happily serving our Lord and Savior, Jesus, at Dayspring Mission in Sheridan, Montana.

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In my most recent post, I published the text of the closing address I gave at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference titled, The 2nd Gutenberg Effect: How self-publishing is creating exciting new opportunities for Christian authors.

The main point I tried to make was that self-publishing is providing Christian authors the opportunity to spread their message in a way that hasn’t presented itself in such a significant manner since Mr Gutenberg invented his press.  Take Annie Downs for example.

I do not know how many people you will impact with your writing if you publish, but do I know how many you will if you don’t.

Annie Downs has used self publishing to impact young people with her self published book and obtain a contract with Zondervan.

Annie Downs has used self publishing to impact young people with her self published book and obtain a contract with Zondervan.

She is a blogger and speaker who focused on young women and their need to really understand their identity and significance. After many of her talks, she realized she had nothing to leave to with people. So she pursued self-publishing and published her book with the title, From Head to Foot. As she continued to blog and speak, her platform grew, sales increased and an agent took notice. He shopped the book and Zondervan offered a contract and republished the book with the new title, Perfectly Unique, praising God from head to foot.   I featured Annie in a blog post I almost a year ago. If you want to know more about her story, you can read the post and see a video interview by clicking here.

The second example comes from my own experience. I never set out to be an author, but years ago, I was working on a curriculum and writing some material to support lessons in that curriculum. As people started to use the material, they started asking for copies of the readings I had written for the lessons. So I would run to Kinkos and make copies. Frankly, it got to be expensive and tiring so I explored how to get published. It was really a niche book because it addresses the issue of how a person’s worldview is formed. I did not think it had wide commercial appeal so I decided to self-publish.  And this was all before I worked for Author Solutions.

The book has been available for a few years, but about three years ago, I got an email from a gentlemen in Italy. He explained he had been using the book at the Institute where he teaches. When I asked him how he got the book, he told me an associate of his was given the book at a conference he had attended the year before. He went on to explain they now had interest from an Italian publisher and wanted to get it translated and publish it in Italy. He was writing for permission, which I gladly gave. Then some months later a box arrived at my house with multiple copies of the Italian version of my book, A Clear View.

Clear view and italian version groupNow the royalties from this book will never be life changing, but the thought that someone in another country was willing to invest the time and money to translate and publish it, is very satisfying.

I suspect if you are reading this, you have a manuscript in the works or ready to go and you may be pondering your options. You may also be overwhelmed by the options you have today as an author.  But you should investigate self publishing as an option.

Because while I do not know how many books you will sell if you publish, I do know how many you will if you don’t.

Even more importantly, I do not know how many people you will impact with your writing if you publish, but do I know how many you will if you don’t.

Writing is a talent you have been given, but publishing is part of your stewardship.

So I hope you will seize the opportunity that is before you to get your work into the hands of readers and spread the story and message God has given you.

Writing is a talent you have been given, but publishing is part of your stewardship.

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