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Free Tips for Writers from Best Selling Author Kim Brooks (1417 hits)

Free Tips for Aspiring Christian Authors

I’ve been blessed to have come in contact with many people whom God has placed a book
inside them. If God gave you the dream to write a book, know that it’s up to you to
birth it out. God can make it happen for you, but you have to take some necessary steps
to help make your dream become a reality.

The following are some Q&A tips and helpful links for aspiring authors.

What do I do if I don’t have time to write the book?

Like anything, if you want to accomplish something noteworthy you have to effectively
plan for it. Give yourself and write down a deadline as far as when you plan to have
your book finished. Plan out certain times during the day or during the week that you
will commit to working on your book. Know your ideal writing time, for early risers
like myself, my creative peak is in the morning. I have yet to write any book at night
because I mentally shut down after 9:00 p.m. However, there are some night owls who write
better at night. Know your best writing time, plan when you will write, and work your plan.
Work around the schedule you already have, and make it a priority if it’s important to you.

Help, I have writer’s block!

To be honest, as a Christian Author the term, “Writer’s Block” never escapes my lips
(unless I’m telling someone else not to use that phrase :0) Do not convince yourself
that you aren’t in the mood to write because you have writer’s block. I have a passion
for writing, so honestly I don’t have to be stirred up to write, but even if I don’t feel
like it, I pray before my fingers hit the keyboard, and I just go with the flow.
Never confess that you have writer’s block; if God gave you the book idea, then He’s
not going to “block” you from writing it :0)

Okay, so I’ve written my book, now what?

Now that you’ve written your book, you must decide if you’re going to self publish,
or pursue a publisher for a book deal.

What does it mean to self-publish?

To self-publish means to be the sole person responsible for making sure everything
gets done that is necessary to make typed pages on a computer or a hand-written
manuscript turn into an actual book. The publisher is the chief investor of the project.
Whether using personal savings, a line of credit, or borrowing from family and friends,
the publisher is the person who pays for the entire project. Some of the things a
publisher pays for is the editing, book cover, interior layout design, and the printer.

Also, when you self-publish, you handle the business end of your book. You are
responsible for packaging, marketing, promoting and selling the book. You secure
distribution channels and deal directly with booksellers, ship the books, create invoices,
maintain inventory, register a business name, handle accounts receivables and payables.
It is a lot of work and it’s definitely an investment of time and money.

What are some of the things I need in order to successfully self-publish?

* drive and determination
* a good support system
* talent
* faith in God and your God-given abilities
* money
* time
* patience
* good interpersonal skills
* good business acumen (remember this: writing is an art, while publishing is a
* a marketing plan
* a budget
* a teachable spirit

What does it mean to pursue a publisher?

To pursue a publisher means you submit a query letter to a publishing house
(based on their submission guidelines) with hopes that they’ll respond with interest
in publishing your work. If they publish your work, you won’t have to pay for anything
except most marketing costs. You may also be afforded an advance to have your book
published (which could help with book marketing costs), and once you make back the advance
you get a small percentage of each book sold (depending upon the terms of your contract).

Do you recommend I self-publish, or pursue a publisher?

That question can only be answered by you. However, I believe initially self-publishing is
a great way to test your product on the market, and if you book does well in sales, then
it may catch the attention of a major publishing house which may be willing to re-publish
your book and possibly acquire a multiple book deal with them. There are over 100,000
books published every year, so you have to somehow make your book stand out from the crowd
(i.e. catchy title, professional cover, attractive author photo, endorsements,etc.).
Also, when you initially publish your own book it shows the publishing house that you are
a serious author and if it sells well then you take some of the risk off that the
publisher may have by publishing your book. This is not to say that authors are not
published at all unless they self-publish, I just encourage self-publishing initially
because you learn, hands on, about the publishing industry. However it is a lot of work,
and if you have a problem making collection calls to retailers and distributors and
asking people for money who haven’t paid you yet, then self-publishing may not be the
thing for you.

Roughly how much does it cost to self-publish?

Like self-publishing guru, Dan Poynter says, Self-publishing is like buying a car.
There’s no one set price; and it’s based on what you’re willing to pay for each feature.
Roughly, to traditionally self-publish it may cost from $5,000 – $10,000, but technology
is now where you can publish using print-on-demand which can be thousands of dollars
cheaper. Google: Print-on-demand for a list of print-on-demand companies.
Be sure to read the fine print, and make sure you understand all the terms of their
contract before you decide to do business with them. Oh, and be sure and compare prices!
Don’t just go with the first thing you see!

Instead of paying all that money to self-publish, why don’t I just go with a publisher?

* If your book sells well, you could make more profit by self-publishing.
For example, you may receive up to 10% for each book sold if you go with a publisher,
however you could make 40-50% of each book sold if you self-publish and sell your
book at a discount to distributors, or 100% profit when you sell to people in person.
* If a publisher accepts your work, it could take another 1-2 years before it hits the
* You have no control over the cover, and they may want to change some of your content.
When you self-publish, you have total and complete control and there’s also tax
benefits because as a self-published author you have your own business – your
product is your book.

Side Note: To be honest, self-publishing is not for everyone. There’s a saying that the
easy part is writing your book. Once you write it, then you have to promote and sell it.
You have to have a target audience, a marketing plan, and a platform or a message you
want to give to the world, and you have to be consistent, persistent, and creative in your
marketing efforts.

Okay, so I’ve written my book and I decided to self-publish. Besides prayer and confessing
that the favor of God is on me and this book, what do I need to get my book “out there.”

* Well, in order to get your book “out there” you need to be “out there”
(wherever “out there” is :0)
* Join a local writer’s group. For those in the Detroit area, I’m a member of American Christian Writers/Detroit Chapter.
Email Pam Perry through www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com for more info.

More free tips can be found on www.PamPerryPrCoach.com and MinistryMarketingSolutions.Blogspot.com

* If you don’t have a local writer’s group, join online communities of other writers. A great example is http://www.chocolatepagesnetwork.com

Yahoo Chat Groups may have a group of writers who write in your same genre.

* Attend annual writer’s conferences and let everyone you encounter come to know you and your book. Take your book, postcards, and business cards with you everywhere
(and make sure everything you present is done in excellence, because you’re representing the God you serve and yourself) Don’t be shy. Be like John the Baptist in the wilderness, don’t be ashamed to tell everybody about the book that God birthed through you. It just may be the encouraging word that other person needs, and it just may change their life!

Recommended Reading:

The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter -
Get and read this book FIRST, even if you hadn’t finished writing your book yet. It’ll
help you decide whether or not you want to self-publish or pursue a publisher, and if
you self-publish it tells you everything you need to do, and in what order, in order to
self-publish. I used this book when I initially self-published my first novel,
He’s Fine…But is He Saved? before I acquired a two-book deal with Kimani Press, which is
an imprint of Harlequin Books – one of the largest publishers of women’s fiction.

Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your
Business, and Brand Your Ministry by Pam Perry, Anthony Obey, and Crystal Obey-
This book is chalk full of informative, inspirational articles for aspiring authors and
business owners targeting the African-American Christian market.
For free tips also visit www.PamPerryPrCoach.com and
www.ministrymarketingsolutions.blogspot.com Pam really knows her stuff and was the publicist God used to help launch my writing career! My
saying for her is that every Christian writer should, “Know Jesus – and know Pam!”

Christian Writer’s Market Guide by Sally Stuart -
Updated annually, this book, known as the “Bible of the Book Publishing World,” lists all
Christian publishers, agents, and magazines who are looking for
submissions and it also gives their submission guidelines. Follow the suggested
guidelines to the letter.

Be The Media by David Mathison
In today’s “techy” age, there are tons of opportunities for authors to save money by marketing and promoting their books themselves, and with millions of people and
potential readers online daily, now is the best time to learn how to maximize online
marketing tools. Instead of waiting for the media to feature you, it’s time for you to ‘Be
the Media!’

This book is available EXCLUSIVELY on their website using the following link: www.bethemedia.com

1001 Ways To Market Your Book by John Kremer – though this book can be a bit overwhelming at first, he has some good nuggets and marketing ideas.
If you aren’t able to purchase his book just yet, at least sign up for his eNewsletter for free tips to authors on www.JohnKremer.net

All of these books can be purchased online today through this website. Add these resources
to your library, and you’ll be well on your way to major success in your writing career!

Other related resources which may be of interest:
How to Write and Publish Your Own EBook in 7 Days!
Write And Publish Your Own Outrageously Profitable EBook(R)
In As Little 7 Days – Even If You Cant Write Or Type!
Novel Writing Made Easy
Professional Authors Step-by-step System (manual & Workbook Included) For Planning A Novel.

How to Write a Great Children’s Book
Want To Write Childrens Books? Robyn Opie, Author Of More Than 75 Published Childrens Books, Reveals Inside Information On How To Write For Children And Get Published!

Ten Non-techy Ways to Market Your Book Online
How To Increase Your Ebook And Printed Book Sales
Through Internet Marketing.

The Essential Guide to Ghostwriting
How To Make Money As A Ghostwriter – Step By Step Plan For Anyone Wanting To Use Their Writing Skills To Earn Money From Home.

Instant Book Writing Kit
How To Write, Publish And Market Your Own Money-Making Book
(or EBook(R)) Online.
How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent
The First Book Written From An Active Literary Agent’s Perspective To Teach Authors Why Agents Reject Manuscripts And Offers Them Dozens Of Resources To Help Them Find The Perfect Agent For Them. Written By Veteran New York Literary Agent Noah Lukeman.
Posted By: Venus Mason Theus
Friday, January 8th 2010 at 3:25PM
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