Archive for the ‘Get your book in print’ Category

“For such a time as this” God has provided the technology to indie publish. But is this the best option for you? How can you avoid making a costly mistake?

Join me Saturday, January 14 (11 am Eastern Time, 10 am CT, 9 am MT, 8 am PT) for a 90-minute webinar on Zoom of need-to-know info (see below) plus get your questions answered.

The $14.95 registration fee (click here) includes access to the recording after the live webinar. After January 12 the price increases to $17.95.

Going Indie Webinar Outline

Click here to register!

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Writing is hard work! But is it worth it? Oh yes, Eric Sprinkle, our tech guru for our virtually amazing June 24-26 Greater Philly and August 26-28 Colorado Christian Conference says in this short but powerful video.

I’m reminded of my journey to publication with my first book. “All you gotta do is figure out what keys to hit,” a cartoon says.

Back then (yes, many, many years ago), when an editor was interested in a book manuscript, he would ask for the entire typed manuscript to be mailed to him via the USPS along with a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) for its return if it was not accepted. [There were no computers back then so I definitely didn’t want to type another copy, and it was too expensive to make copies.]

I still remember the day my book was returned – again – and the note that was inside.

“This was reasonably well written
but exceptionally well typed!”

Wow! As I’m sure you can imagine, I was so encouraged by the “compliment.” I passed Typing 101.

As many of you know, it took six years and 42 “returns” (I learned not to call them “rejection slips”) before my book was finally accepted by an editor I met at a Christian writers conference.

Despite the deadly Ds of disappointments, doubt, and discouragement, I didn’t give up. Why? Because I knew God had called me to write that book. And I hung on to the encouragement of an editor who told me it was well written and needed to be published, but his house didn’t want to deal with the topic.

Much has changed since the 1970s when my fourteen-year-old half sister came to live with us because her father (my step-father) had sexually abused her. There was no social media or #MeToo movement to encourage those who had been abused to tell their story and receive the help they needed to recover. There were few professionals trained to provide hope and healing to victims or to extended families who stepped in. And only Tyndale House had published a book about incest.

[See https://myfamilytoo.com for info about this new edition that I indie published two years ago.)

Had I not persevered, I would have missed the door that finally opened to publish a book about a sensitive topic – a book that is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. I’m also certain I would not have gone on to publish 12 other books or to found and direct the Greater Philly and direct the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

Last week I recorded a video workshop on how to prepare a Nonfiction One Sheet in preparation for meeting with an editor or agent at the Greater Philly or Colorado Christian Writers Conference. (I have learned a lot in the 40+ years I’ve been writing and publishing.)

I talk about what to include and why this information is needed to interest an agent or editor in your book. I also share some of my testimony to encourage you to overcome the Deadly Ds and to pursue your call to write.

Because the journey to publication is not easy and I do not want you to give up, I’m making this workshop available free of charge to everyone – not just those who register for one of the conferences. Here’s the link:


Thank You, Father, for all You have done and will do for me and for each one who reads this and chooses to trust Your promises and timing.

I can do everything God asks me to
with the help of Christ
who gives me the strength and power. 
Philippians 4:13 TLB

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A new year is dawning. There is no bright sun breaking through the dense clouds here in the eastern United States. The same as Christmas Eve, it’s gloomy and raining. If only it was colder so the precip would change to snow – bright white snow transforming the barren landscape into a winter wonderland.

But I can’t control the weather or all that has happened in 2020 – my husband’s cancer, the coronavirus, the political and racial unrest that is tearing our nation apart . . .

Will 2021 bring a return to “normal”? I doubt it! Yet this I know, God is with us. He has not and will not abandon me or you. But we must choose to trust – my word for 2021.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

As I look to the new year ahead, I am more convinced than ever of the need to “write His answer.” I remain committed to do all I can to encourage and equip you to “write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.” The ministry of the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference will continue, if not in person, than we’ll meet virtually.

What about you? If you attended one of the conferences in the past, did you make a commitment to “write His answer”? Have you kept that commitment, or do you need to renew it or make a new commitment? In faith will you seek His will and enabling to “begin the new year write”?

Have the “deadly Ds” of disappointments, doubts, and discouragement derailed your writing dreams? It’s time to dig deeper into God’s Word and read (or re-read) my Bible study for writers. Click here for excerpts. Order at a discount from https://writehisanswer.com/bookstore. Also available as an eBook on Amazon.

I just finished rereading your book Write His Answer for the third time and wanted you to know how much I appreciate your message. It continues to amaze me how I would read a chapter on a topic just when I needed it. God is good! And He is using you to encourage writers over and over again. Thank you for being His messenger. Jeanie Wise, Ohio

The hot-off-the-press 2021 Christian Writers Market Guide is a must-have resource for finding a place to sell what you are writing or locating an agent, an editor, a designer, a podcast, or a writing coach. This 482 page resource sells for $29.99, but through the Write His Answer Bookstore I am glad to make it available for $24.99 Your purchase is needed and appeciated. It will help with the ministry expenses that have continued even though the conferences did not take place in 2020.

Have you finished your book but have not (yet) been able to find a publisher? “For such a time as this” I believe God has provided the technology to go indie. While there are numerous companies you can pay to publish your book, I encourage you to build a team and do as much of the process as possible yourself. Everyone needs an editor, but you can learn how to typeset your manuscript and even design your cover or use a service such as Fiverr or 99 Designs. My “Grow Your Writing Ministry” seminar will talk you through the steps. And here are just a few helpful books available at the Write His Answer Bookstore.

Have you worked hard to get your book in print only to discover it’s even harder to sell it? Or maybe you’ve been approaching agents and publishers with your yet-to-be published book but you lack the “platform” for them to be interested. How can you build your platform and still find time to write? Is it even possible? Here are just a few of the books I recommend that you’ll find at the Write His Answer Bookstore.

Perhaps your writing project seems too big, too overwhelming, and you’re feeling stuck. Writing your testimony or a personal experience story is a good place to begin, and the audio workshops that accompany the book below provide “incredible storytelling secrets so that the stories of your life can make a lasting impact.” – Linda Evans Shepherd, best selling author and founder of AWSA (Advanced Writers & Speakers Association).

“Few have Marlene’s experience to teach writers and give them the tools they need to Write His Answer and to do it so well. These are practical items even experienced writers need reminding of, such as: have a clear focus, stay close to the Lord, search for truth, reflect (and journal) on your life experiences, stay humble, know your audiences—all of this to remind us that we, as believers in the Lord Jesus, are called to write His answer to those with so many questions. Written conversationally, this book invites you to take part in the work with a ready pen. ” Eva Marie Everson – Bestselling author; President, Word Weavers Int’l.

We’re likely to face continued challenges in the coming year. Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him, but He has promised always to be with us. Father, help us to keep our eyes on Jesus, to trust You, and to “write Your answer.”

God is our refuge and strength,
a tested help in times of trouble.
And so we need not fear . . .
Psalm 46:1-2 TLB

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Guest post by Darcie Gudger and Debra Moerke

The 23rd Annual Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference (CCWC) is coming up May 15-18, and the 36th Greater Philly conference August 8-10. Some of you may wonder if a conference is right for you. You’re just toying with the idea of writing, and maybe don’t have anything prepared, or have scratched out a chapter on a napkin. Publishing lingo and writer talk are foreign. So why go? Below, CCWC alum, Deb Moerke, shares her experience of intimidated newbie to getting a contract with Tyndale. Her book releases October 8th. 

Who knows what God may do at this year’s conference?

Here is Deb’s story in her own words.

Debra Moerke

Debra Moerke, author, speaker, real estate agent

A number of Colorado Christian Writers Conferences in the Rockies had come and gone. I  wanted to attend each year but watched the opportunity pass me by. Either money or time held me back. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was more my own fear and the intimidation of finding myself with an industry of people I had never rubbed shoulders with before that kept me away. What would I say to them? How should I act?

But in 2014, my March birthday arrived and I received a call from my oldest daughter and her family.

“Happy birthday dear Grammy, happy birthday to you!” Sweet voices sang over the phone as my eight-year-old grandson followed up with, “We are sending you to the writers’ conference you have wanted to go to.”

Surprised and touched by my family’s gesture, I said, “Really? Wow! Thank you.” Now I was obligated. No more excuses.

In May of that year, the day arrived and I packed up my car, kissed my family good-by and drove to the YMCA of the Rockies. I  marked up my registration form putting an X in every box that I could. I signed up for as many workshops, appointments with agents, authors, editors, publishers, and even volunteered to help in the bookstore. I had no clue what that meant. But I planned to dive in and be useful. I hoped to saturate myself with every aspect of the conference. I would come home filled with great knowledge and direction.

That was my plan.

Within 24 hours of meeting my roommate, I joined a couple hundred people in the main auditorium for general sessions. Then stood in line pushing my tray along the cafeteria stainless steel track getting food. Life at the conference was non-stop.There were so many people! After the last session on the first night, I left the main center and walked to my mountain condo in tears. I was overwhelmed. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Who did I think I was?  I had no idea what I am doing.

I reached out to God asking him to guide me and show me what to do. I felt better knowing my roommate had not been to the conference before either and I knew I was in good company. We talked about how we loved the Lord and believed he had called us to write. We agreed to pray for each other during the conference then went to sleep.

The next morning, my roommate and I walked to breakfast. A number of other people who were attending the conference asked to join us when they noticed our conference lanyards read CCWC. Within minutes we were connecting with others who either were first timers or alumni. I began to feel better about my decision to attend the conference as I entered the main auditorium with a handful of ladies ready to worship together and hear a great speaker.

I attended the continuing course that I signed up for and took a million notes. I met with a number of publishers, editors, authors and agents for my fifteen-minute appointments, and I helped the bookstore lady straighten books and smile at people coming in to the area looking for that perfect book. Each person I met asked, “What are you writing?” That was always the question even before they asked my name. Yes, it was still a different world to me but one I was beginning to feel more comfortable being a part of. Though I was relaxing a bit, I didn’t feel I was getting the answers I needed to move forward on my story. In fact, I was getting some mixed directions. Each professional I spoke with had their own perspective and dealt with different genres and parts of the process. One would be encouraging and the next one would say they didn’t see a real need for what I was writing about. Confused, I finished my second day wanting to go to my room and reorganize all my notes.

It was my sweet roommate that gave me the best direction as we climbed into our beds exhausted and brain-dead.  She said that my story was so compelling and being that it was a true story, I needed to talk with Cindy Lambert. My new-found-friend was sincere in believing Cindy could help me.

Cindy and her husband, Dave, were stars of the conference. They were some of the main speakers. When I went to the bookstore to see if I could make an appointment with Cindy, the appointment woman just smiled at me and said, “Oh honey, she is completely booked. She has no openings.” I was crushed. It must have shown on my face because the woman at the appointment table encouraged me to keep checking back in the case a spot would open up. That is what happened. Friday evening, a 5:30 spot opened up. I was in.

I brought the one chapter I had written, and nervously sat down next to Cindy while introducing myself. Before we started to talk, I felt a connection. I knew I liked this lady and she made me feel comfortable. I told her my story. She read my chapter and didn’t quickly scan it as a few others had. Finished, she offered direction and advice. I grabbed my notebook and wrote it all down. Our fifteen minutes were over before I knew it. I was happy with our meeting. I felt a peace and that I had received some great advice. I was beginning to feel my trip was all worth it. Great worship music. Wonderful people. Professional advice from some of the best in the industry and I made some new-found writing friends. This is what I came for.

Little did I know God had bigger plans.

The next morning, just after breakfast, I was walking through the bookstore heading for the auditorium for morning worship when someone reached out and tapped my shoulder. “I’ve been looking all over for you,” the woman said. It was Cindy. Surprised she would be looking for me, I asked her why. She said she had thought about me and my story all night and couldn’t sleep. She wanted to know if I would meet her and her husband for lunch in the cafeteria after the morning workshops. I agreed having no idea what she would want to talk to me about.

I met the couple and we found a table in the back where we had some privacy. Cindy shared with me that she and her husband had been in the business for many years and had been speaking at conferences for around fifteen years. She said that many people approached them, but that she had never approached anyone about his or her writing. She also shared that though she had never done this before, she felt led to help me with my story. She didn’t want to offend me with her offer, but she wanted to come alongside as a collaborative writer to get the story out. I broke down in tears. I could never have seen that coming.

“Yes! Yes!” I cried (literally). I was overwhelmed, overjoyed, humbled.

Since that May conference in 2014, Cindy has flown out to my town to spend a number of days with me to see where the story took place and meet some of the people in my life who are a part of it.  I have attended a number of conferences, learning more and more each year. We have worked on the book together for the past three years. Today I have an amazing agent, a contract with Tyndale House Publishers who flew me out to meet with the team that will be working on my book. A release date of October 8th has been set and I believe pre-sale orders will go out on Amazon in April or May. The title is Murder, Motherhood and Miraculous Grace.

My encouragement to each of you writers out there is…don’t give up. Pray and ask the Lord for direction. Keep going to the conference and take in all you can. You never know when that perfect opportunity will arrive where you get a tap on the shoulder from someone who believes in you and your writing and says, I want to walk this with you.

To find out more about the May 15-18, 2019, click here: Colorado Christian Writers Conference. The August 8-10 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference doesn’t have mountains or elk, but it does offer the same exciting opportunity to connect with professionals who can help you get your work in print.

TCC ad 2019


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Cheri Cowell closeup from webGuest post by
Cheri Cowell

I am an author/publisher. I began writing in 2000 with magazine articles and seven years later published my first book. Recently, I had my fourth traditionally published book release with Zondervan, but it is helping my fellow authors extend their reach through my company, EABooks Publishing, that gives me the most satisfaction. So here is my opus, The Tale of Three Authors.

Amy* was considered a successful author with two books published by traditional publishing houses. However, there was one book she’d pitched and pitched and had been unable to sell. The book represented her heart’s cry and passion and she wouldn’t rest until it was published.

Chip* was a leader in his local critique group, winning several writing awards, and the admiration of many. Yet, when he sat before editors at writers’ conferences he performed poorly and never knew how to answer the platform question. He wasn’t good at selling himself or his work, but he was a good writer with a lot to say.

Bonnie* was a retired high school English teacher who’d married her high school sweetheart. Together they’d served as missionaries around the world. Now that her husband was gone and her years waning, she’s begun to look at the legacy she was leaving. Her grandchildren loved the story she always told about a young girl in Bangladesh, the true story about a girl and her life of faith in a foreign land. Bonnie knew she didn’t have the funds most self-publishers were charging, and yet she didn’t fit the profile of the up and coming author the traditional publishers were looking to sink their money into. Was there a place for her in this publishing world?

These three writers found a place with EABooks Publishing

The same year Amy released two traditionally published books, she released the book of her passion as an e-book. She timed it perfectly to piggyback on the publicity from her traditionally pubed books. Now she knows the message of her ‘passion book’ is reaching people and making a difference.

Chip has published five books with EABooks Publishing, some as e-books and others as print-on-demand. He’s found a new outlet for his creativity, and with marketing help from EABooks he’s developed a fan base. And he’s even making a little money. His fans can’t wait for the release of his latest project—an audiobook.

It took Bonnie a long time to make her decision, but when she finally decided to go with EABooks Publishing she found the whole process empowering. When her book began selling on Amazon she sent a link to a friend, who decided to purchase hundreds of copies for the children’s home he supported. Bonnie would have been happy to sell only to her family and friends, but sharing the gospel with hundreds of needy children makes her heart sing.

This tale is still being written and has room for the stories of more authors. Come share yours with Cheri Cowell, Owner and President of EABooks Publishing, at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She’d love to hear about your book.

* Names and genders have been changed but these stories are true.

Note from Marlene 

I’m happy to have Cheri Cowell on the faculty of this year’s CCWC. She will teach a Wednesday early bird workshop from 4:45 – 6:00 on Evaluating Your Options. Cheri will discuss traditional publishing, answer some forbidden questions, and take a look at the many options for self-, independent and co-publishing, and partnership publishing. As someone with her foot in both worlds, Cheri can help you evaluate your options.

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Debbie Hardy for GPGuest Post by
Debbie Hardy

So, you’ve been told that you should write a book, but where do you start? And after you’ve put pen to paper or opened a Word doc, what next? How in the world do you get published?

That’s exactly where I was just a few years ago. In fact, I was so terrified of going to my first writers’ conference that I paid a friend’s way and took her with me so I wouldn’t chicken out and go back home!

Since that time, I’ve attended dozens of conferences, workshops, and seminars and learned a lot about the publishing industry. And I’ve published 3 books, I’m working on 2 others, and I have a literary agent. I’m going to share what I’ve learned at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference in May.

Come join my Wednesday, May 16, early bird workshop from 1:00 – 2:00, “How to Write a Book AND Get it Published,” and learn how you too can become a published author. We’ll talk about how to get that book to come out of you, how to not appear to be an amateur, and how to get your book into the hands of your target audience.

I’ll also give you a glossary of publishing terms, so you can understand the industry lingo and feel at home.

The CCWC conference has 8 continuing sessions, 4 hands-on clinics to have a professional work on your WIP (Work In Progress) with you (deadline for applying is April 16), and over 50 workshops (including 16 early bird workshops on Wednesday) covering anything you could want to learn about the industry.

Probably the most important feature of this conference is the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with authors, editors, agents, and publishers to discuss your writing dreams.  (Click here for info about CCWC’s appointments.) That’s how I met my agent, my publicist, and my first publisher. (If you want to know the difference between a publicist and a publisher, come to my workshop. I’ll let you in on the secret!)

See you in Estes Park, May 16-19.

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God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn;
he will never go back on his promises.
Romans 11:29 TLB

  • Do you feel called to write a nonfiction book?
  • Have you been procrastinating because you don’t feel up to the task?
  • Perhaps you’ve begun writing but now you’re feeling stuck?
  • Or maybe you’ve got a completed manuscript, but now what? Should you try and find a traditional publisher, or is indie publishing a better option?

When I finished my first book about 45 years ago (yes, I’ve been writing for a long time), indie publishing wasn’t an option. Back then it was called vanity publishing. Not only was it outrageously expensive, it “branded” the author (but not in today’s positive understanding of the word) as not being good enough to find a real publisher.

Today, because indie publishing is often the best option, the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference is offering a 6-hour continuing session on Going Indie.

Cindy Lambert Mar 2015But God’s plan for you may be traditional publishing. If so, a strong book proposal is essential to gain the attention of an agent and publisher. I highly recommend Cindy Lambert’s Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic. Cindy is the former vice president and associate publisher of trade books with Zondervan. In addition to the six hours she will spend working with six authors on their book proposal, Cindy will meet one-on-one with each participant for 30 minutes. Click here for more information and the needed application. It is due April 16.

Proposal-writing classes have always left me feeling a bit bewildered. Each instructor had their own, different list of “musts,” “dos,” and “don’ts.”  The fog lifted for me after working with Cindy Lambert at CCWC. A delightful and caring mentor, I would have enjoyed her class under any circumstances. But as a teacher Cindy really zeroed in on: WHAT we needed to include in our proposal, WHY that information was important to an Acquisitions Editor, WHERE each section should be shown for optimum effect, HOW to dig deeply to uncover what made our writing stand out in a crowd, and, maybe most importantly, WHO are our readers?  It took my understanding of writing and publishing to a whole new level. ~ Lori Hynson – Phoenixville, PA

A pre-requisite for participating in Cindy’s clinic is her Crafting a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal early bird workshop on Wednesday from 4:45 – 6:00. This workshop is open to everyone.

Instead of applying for Cindy’s clinic, nonfiction writers have the option to choose six workshops from the 42 offered Thursday through Saturday. In addition, you still get a 6-hour continuing session. Especially recommended for nonfiction writers is Writing Narrative Nonfiction, Your Book Launch Game Plan, or Write from the Deep.

And don’t forget CCWC’s one-on-one appointments. If you attend Thursday through Saturday you are eligible for FIVE free appointments. (The first 75 who registered get SIX.) That’s more than any other conference offers. Five of the six agents on faculty are interested in acquiring nonfiction books and more editors than I’ve got time to count. See the charts below.

Agents NF

Click here to view a 3-page full-size PDF
of all genres agents are interested in representing.

Editors Chart NF p 1.jpg

Click here to view a 5-page full-size PDF of all editorial needs.

Editors Chart NF p 2.jpg

The conference registration fee increases on tax day, April 17. You can register securely online by clicking here. If you’re waiting for your tax return, you can register now , pay a $100 deposit in the next 7 days and the balance at the conference.

Always remember to:

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him to help you do it, and he will.
Psalm 37:5 TLB


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I’m risking being a pest because I so believe in the value of this new conference. Plus there is now a 9th reason for you to come!

Come to what? When? Where? The NEW

Write to Impact Lives Conference
February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA

And why?

Question & Exclam pt

9. Writers love books, and they need books! And if you register for both days, along with those who have already registered you will receive FREE the following three books that support the purpose of this conference.

New WHA cover

My Bible study for writers that addresses the struggles we face and must overcome.

Communicate Change Lives

Jim Watkins’ book that I believe every Christian writer needs to read.

CWMG 2018
The info you need to find markets for your work as well as literary agents, writers conferences and seminars, writers groups, editorial services, publicity and marketing services, and contests.

The three books sell for $44.97 on Amazon ($37.99 through the Write His Answer Bookstore), but if you register for the entire conference, you will receive them free of charge (or the equivalent value in other books we’ll have for sale).

8. To give your writing the jumpstart it needs in the midst of the winter doldrums and prepare to meet with editors and agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Attendees will receive 10% off GPCWC’s registration fee .

7. To participate in our Friday evening author interviews and book signing. If you’re not yet published, you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and by fellowship with other conferees and our faculty. We need to

Encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

6. To be challenged, encouraged, and inspired through three powerful keynote addresses.

  • “Christians Are Hateful” – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians – Bill Watkins
  • Write from the Deep – Karen Ball
  • Keeping Your Dreams Alive – Jim Watkins

5. To discover the advantages of Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, Director, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Self-publishing is no longer viewed as the last resort for writers unable to land a contract with a traditional publisher. Even best-selling authors often choose to go indie. This 4-hour learning lab will give you the knowledge and tools you need to publish and market your book.

4. To keep growing your writing skills in a 3-hour continuing session.

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. As an editor, author, and former literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency, Karen has over 30 years publishing experience.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. Jim will give you practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
  • Writing that Changes Lives with Bill Watkins – Writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth can change lives and eventually cultures. During his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of authors including Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Leslie Vernick, and Mike Huckabee. He is also an award-winning author with 7 published books, the president of Literary Solutions, and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books. Whether it’s still an idea or an already published book, learn how to use your strengths to develop a marketing strategy that fits you and reaches your potential readers.

3. To learn ways to build your “platform.”  Whether you land a contract with a traditional publisher or go indie, you need to learn how to effectively reach your audience. Our faculty panel will share what works (and doesn’t) and answer your questions.

2. You’re too late to take advantage of a paid critique, BUT as their schedule allows, faculty will be available for free 15-minute appointments. Sign-up when you arrive.

1. Last but first, to hear from the Lord and recommit yourself to write to impact lives!

God can do anything, you know—far more
than you could ever imagine or guess or request
in your wildest dreams!
Ephesians 3:20 MSG

For more information and to register, click here. Walk-ins are welcome, but please check the website for specific info on the location.

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Feb banner

Looking to overcome winter doldrums and jumpstart this year’s writing?

A brand-new conference is coming up quickly this February 9-10 (Friday/Saturday) in Lansdale, PA (just off the north/south PA Turnpike) at Towamencin Mennonite Church (Friday afternoon) and Dock Mennonite Academy (Friday evening and all day Saturday). Friday night lodging at the Holiday Inn is $89 plus tax with roommate matching available to split the cost with one, two, or three other writers.

A small but highly qualified faculty will provide three inspiring keynotes, valuable 20-minute paid critiques and marketing consultations, a “Build Your Platform Panel,” and in-depth teaching.

Sarah Bolme, teaching a 4-hour learning lab Friday afternoon on Going Indie. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace and the director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Karen Ball, teaching a 3-hour session on Taming Fiction Dragons. In her more than 30 years in publishing, Karen has built fiction lines for major publishers and worked with some of the best authors, including Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury.

Bill Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on Writing that Changes Lives. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with authors such as Mike Huckabee, Charles Swindoll, and Josh McDowell. He is an award-winning author of 7 books and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.

Jim Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on The Five Rs of Nonfiction. Jim is an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. He has spoken across the United States and overseas.

Karen Whiting, teaching a 3-hour session on Developing a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book. Karen is a freelance writer and award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books.

Feb flyer for webFriday evening,  in addition to Bill Watkins’ keynote, Christians Are Hateful – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians, includes author interviews and a book signing. Bring your book(s) to sell and sign.

Click here for the conference flyer.

And for more info and to register click here.

Conference Bonus:

An extra bonus for conferees is to attend and participate in the Munce Christian Product Exposition (CPE) February 11-13 at Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

Munce, the largest association of independent Christian bookstores in North America, holds two CPEs each year, the second in Nashville, TN, in the fall.

It is a real privilege to come and interact with 100+ bookstore owners. Karen Whiting will do a special training at the CPE in how to make the most of this exciting opportunity including: 

1. There are several limited spots open to sign complimentary copies of books for retailers at the Sunday afternoon (4:30 – 5:30) author personality event. Authors need to provide 50-80 copies of their book to give retailers. This is a great opportunity to get your book in the hands of retailers who might choose to carry the book, or have you come to their store for an event. You can include your speaker one sheet, bookmarks, and other promotional materials.

2. Experience a book trade show. The exhibit floor is open on Monday and Tuesday plus there are workshops on marketing and other retail topics. You’ll see the latest in products and have the opportunity to talk to retailers and sales reps (you cannot interrupt the sales happening between retailers and sales people).

Click here for the schedule. If you’re interested in attending, email Karen at authorkarenwhiting@gmail.com.

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Discouraged face
Yes, this is not a typo! I didn’t ask if you are a  winning writer.

Of course, what writer doesn’t long to be a winner? Seriously, haven’t you dreamed of becoming a best-selling author with a HUGE following on social media and readers clamoring for your next book?

But I’ve got to be honest with you. The reality is that few writers will become best-selling authors. In fact, a large percentage will become discouraged and quit before they land a book contract.

And yes, we will whine! I know I have. I’ve argued with the Lord. “I’m simply trying to serve You with my writing,” I’ve reminded Him. “And I’ve tried really, really hard to find a publisher. I believe I’m doing what You called me to do. So why aren’t You opening the door to publication?”

During the six year period of trying to find a home for my first book the Lord frequently heard my complaints, my whining. I’m so grateful He enabled me not to give up and for the small publisher who finally took the risk and printed 1,000 copies that eventually all sold.

Back then self-publishing wasn’t an option. It was viewed as vanity publishing. Even if it had been an acceptable way to get into print, it was an option I couldn’t afford.

I believe the Lord has heard the whining and seen the tears of discouraged writers. “For such a time as this” He has provided the technology to make indie publishing possible, affordable, and respectable. No longer does it brand an author as not being good enough to find a real publisher. Instead, going indie is something even best-selling authors are choosing.

Today authors can literally reach the world through the Internet and eBooks. And now, with POD (print on demand) they no longer need to print thousands of copies (at the cost of thousands of dollars) to make the price per book affordable.

While there are reputable companies you can pay to publish your book, the cost is still more than many can afford. That’s why I’ve always advocated the “build a team” and “do-it-yourself” approach.

I am so excited about the opportunities that exist today to get our books into print and about the seminar I’m teaching this coming Saturday, September 23, in Cherry Hill, NJ, as part of the annual Stay Focused Christian Writers Retreat. It’s packed with encouragement and practical info and includes 18 pages of handouts. I’ll be teaching:

Go & Grow, Write & Speak through the Hurts – Our most powerful writing, both nonfiction and fiction, will grow out of our life experiences. I’ll share biblical principles for those times that test and stretch our faith and later become the focus of our writing and speaking ministry.

Discover God’s Plan for Your Ministry – Is God calling you to write an article, story, or book? Who is your audience? What are their needs? How will you reach them? Should you look for a publisher or go indie? What are the advantages and disadvantages of traditional and indie publishing?

You Can Do It! – How to indie publish affordably yet professionally.  Learn why thousands of authors are choosing to go indie to publish books of all genres. More importantly, learn how you can join them and do it too.

Think Big Because You Serve a Big God – How to cut the old tapes, stop listening to the wrong voices, and accomplish what God is calling you to do.

The retreat is being held at the Holiday Inn, 2175 Marlton Pike West, Cherry Hill, NJ, beginning Thursday evening, September 21. I’ll teach the above workshops from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 23. For more info and to register go to https://stayfocusedwritersretreat.com/keynote-speakers/.  I hope to see you there!

stay Focused retreat



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