Thursday, November 27, 2014

Indie Authors Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

Hi everyone! This is Kelsey again. I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving, and that the joy and contentment this holiday evokes lasts the whole year!

Today I wanted to let you know about a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale in which a large group of indie authors is participating. Following is a list of authors and books, including coupon codes that you can apply when you purchase the books. I believe several of these authors have made appearances on the Word Painters blog! A variety of genres is represented. (Note: I have not read all of these books, so I cannot say I endorse all of them; but I am familiar with many of the authors and think their books would be worthwhile. I was also told that this list was put together with attention to high standards.) I hope you enjoy checking them out, and maybe even finding a prize to read!

Also, stay tuned for a special announcement on Monday!

The Ankuluen: Cyber Monday
Saffron's Big Plan and Other StoriesCyber Monday
Do You Take This Quest?: Cyber Monday

Faith Blum
A Mighty Fortress: Black Friday [V4Y5K36D -- 10%] and Cyber Monday
Be Thou My Vision: Black Friday [7626YZAK -- 20%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Brown
The Prodigal Pup: Black Friday [SB14CP31 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]
Learning Lessons from Furry Friends: Black Friday  [SB14CP31 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]

Kelsey Bryant
Family Reunion: Black Friday [YFY84GHU -- 20%]

Elizabeth Ender
RansomedBlack Friday [GNE6VUXY -- 30%]

Julie Gilbert
Nadia's Tears: Cyber Monday

Leah Good
Counted Worthy: Black Friday [K7CVNEER -- 40%] and Cyber Monday

Melody Grubb
The Land of Calais: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Warmth of His Eyes: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Send Me, Lord Jesus: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Therese Heckenkamp
Past Suspicion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Frozen Footprints: Black Friday
Rachel Heffington
Anon, Sir, Anon: Black Friday [9MTYHSX3 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Rebekah Jones
Journeys of Four: Cyber Monday
Grandmother's Letters: Cyber Monday
A Year with the Potters: Cyber Monday

Jaye L. Knight
ResistanceBlack Friday [Q45HN6G9 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Tina M. Neely
Diamond Hair Princess: Black Friday

Joel A. Parisi
Shadow Play: Cyber Monday

J. Grace Pennington
Radialloy: Black Friday [Y2XHGYDN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
In His Image: Black Friday [KXNZ7PYN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
Machiavellian: Black Friday [UFXGUYMM -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Jennifer Sauer
Why Rodney Never Should've Gone to the NAPIC: Black Friday [F76DDR7S -- 45%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Touch My Tears: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Third Side of the Coin: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cara Simmons
The Haven: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Leviathan: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Champion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Jordan Smith
Finding the Core of Your Story: Black Friday [NL4NJXWS -- 30%]
Melanie D. Snitker
Calming the Storm: Cyber Monday
Rachel Starr Thomson
Reap the Whirlwind: Cyber Monday
Lady Moon: Cyber Monday
Angel in the Woods: Cyber Monday

Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history ... and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why do I need an EBook?

Do you need a Kindle book? I mean you may not even like Kindle books. You might be of the opinion that the only real books reside in a physical cover. If you do think that, why would you even consider doing an eBook? Today, I am going to share with you the reasons that you want to put your books into eBook format.

EBooks are on the rise. No matter what your opinion of eBooks is, the fact is that eBooks are on the rise. A growing number of people are buying eBooks and not buying physical books. This isn’t to say there isn’t a demand for paperback as well. It would be equally foolish to say that no one wants paperback books as it would be to say that eBooks won’t last. EBooks look like they are here to stay.

You will sell more books. Many people who don’t want to spend eleven or more dollars to check out a new author, are willing to spend half that to see if they like your style. EBooks are an author’s friend to be able to offer their books for almost nothing, get people hooked, and sell a lot more books.

They make you look more professional. Since major publishers are now making sure that they have an eBook up for each book that they release, you will look more professional for having one.

There are a lot of promotional opportunities that open up for you. There are many sales and other types of book promotions that you can take part in if you have an eBook. You are opening up a whole new frontier as a writer.

You have more control. You really can adjust the price more with and eBook, where there is no printing cost involved. You can also adjust it quickly. This gives you the power to do super sales, yet still make money.

Still have questions? Ask me 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Recommendation: How to Make a Living as a Writer

Greetings all, John J. Horn here.

I'd love to make a living as a writer, and since you're reading Word-Painters you probably would as well.

I saw a recommendation last week for James Scott Bell's new book How to Make a Living as a Writer. I haven't read any of Bell's fiction, but I did enjoy his craft-guide The Art of War for Writers, so I took the $2.99 plunge and bought it on Kindle.

Very helpful book.

Bell is honest with readers that making a living purely by writing is challenging, but he also gives some concrete advice to achieve that goal.

He covers everything from coming up with ideas to the actual writing process to book formatting, self-publishing, finding an agent, and more.

How to Make a Living as a Writer is helpful for fictioneers and non-fiction authors, and Bell says you may well have to write both in order to make a living.

I've been reading bits and pieces on my phone over the last week (almost finished) and it has my fingers twitching to start on my next story.

And, it's cheaper than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, which seems to be what everybody compares cheap things to.

Check it out!

Monday, November 17, 2014

What Really Constitutes Christ-Centered Fiction?

by Caitlin Hedgcock

Today I’d like to share some thoughts on a topic that’s been on my mind recently: What is the essence of God-centered fiction? Does a book have to include Scripture references in order to be Christian?

For context, all of my children’s novels have been targeted at Christians. The books are full of Scriptures and references to theology that families will understand and appreciate—all within the framework of an adventure.

As I learn more about non-Christians, however, I realize that there are some subjects they will just not make time for. As writers, we have the potential to reach more people than we could ever meet in person; but what if those people won’t touch our literary endeavors?

I’ve got this quote up in front of my writing desk to remind me of the grand challenge wrapped up in our charge:

“Good writers don’t moralize, nor do they preach, but they do create longing for the true and the beautiful, and that is why you must write with Christ at the center of your reason for writing. That does not mean that every book must be a retelling of Luke’s gospel, however, every worthy book written by a Christian will direct readers away from self, and sin, and put them on a quest for God and his gospel. Create longing for these things.” ~ Douglas Bond

Create longing—isn’t that a good way of putting it? And it’s not a longing for just anything, but a longing for truth. That makes me think of a master planner leaving little clues for a reader to detect, a trail of breadcrumbs leading to the most important reality.

Of course, it all comes down to your audience. If you write to provide Bible-oriented stories for Christian children, then your style will be different to the writer who specializes in creating fictional parallels to current issues and moral dilemmas. Homeschool families might not mind “preachiness” too much, but an average Amazon customer probably won’t like it.

That is not to say we are ashamed of using Scripture, or that we are conforming to worldly patterns; not at all! All I suggest is that God created the art form of storytelling and that we don’t all have to focus on the same audiences or use the same approaches to glorify Him. Putting Christ and truth at the center of our aims, methods, worldview, and writing decisions can result in constructive diversity.

On the other hand. . . . 

We don't want that diversity becoming blurred with license to do "just anything" in stories, remembering Eph.  4:29 ~

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth," (pen works pretty well here too) "but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Or readers, right?)

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!
Caitlin R. Hedgcock is a Christian author who aspires to use storytelling for God’s glory. She lives with her family in England's picturesque county of Hertfordshire. Visit her blog or Facebook page to find out more.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Encouraging Verses for the Writer

I got curious earlier this week and looked up Bible verses that could be applied to writers today, and here is what I found. I hope this encourages you as you continue your hard work!

 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalm 45:1)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (Psalms 139:17-18) (Quick note: the Hebrew word for “count” is related to the word for “scroll” and “record.”)

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29)

O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (Psalm 105:1)

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:23-25)

This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. (Psalm 102:8)

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23)

This link will bring you to a very nice blog post with more verses that we can all take strength from:

Do you have a favorite verse that inspires your writing? (I find Psalms 139:17-18 and Philippians 4:11 particularly special to me … the former is on my blog and the latter’s reference is on my business card.)

Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history ... and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog

Monday, November 10, 2014

Historical Research: Creating a Timeline

When writing a book that covers a lot of events, I find it very helpful to make timeline. I am very blessed that my mom invested in a very awesome timeline set years ago, and I can still use it. But you don’t need fancy figures to make a good timeline. Here is a step by step guide on how to make your very own timeline.
What you Need
Some wall space
Computer with internet access
A printer
Some string or ribbon
Tape or paper clips

Step 1: Tack up the string or ribbon across the wall space you have.
Step 2: Print off the list of events/timeline figures you want
Step 3: Cut the events/figures apart
Step 4: Tape/clip them up in order on your timeline.

Here is a picture of how mine turned out:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Social Media Marketing

Yes, I've written some on this subject before, but I wanted to delve a little deeper today on a few tips for social media marketing.

First, the experts recommend posting five times a week (For Facebook and Google+. There are no limits on Twitter.). I heartily agree. You don't want your fans to be overwhelmed by too-frequent posts or forget about you. There has to be a good balance.

Second, what do you post? There has to be a balance of book sales, writing updates, and personal life. Posting just WIP updates, new sentences, or photos of your baby/husband every single time gets boring. Let there be balance and variety!

Do you use photos? Stock imagery attracts the eye. Even if you only have a new sentence to share, using an applicable photo really helps lure engagements and expand your reach. 

Really think about what interests you. What causes you to click "like" or "share"? Remember that when you are planning your next post.

That's another thing. Plan your posts. Don't randomly throw something out there and expect good results. Think it through. I often plan the night before what I will post - sleeping on it is always good! Be scheduled.

Choose your days and times wisely. When is your audience most likely to be online? Post then. For me, it is around 8:00 AM. I get good engagements from then until around 11:00. Activity slows down until around 6:00, when folks get back on Facebook or Google+. The benefit of only posting once a day is that you are more likely to get "likes" and "shares". 

Remember, it's about quality, not quantity. If you're going to post something, endeavor to make it worthwhile. Take the extra time to edit that photo. Think that status update through - and find appropriate stock imagery to accompany it. And remember that it's a status update, not a diary.

So, what ideas do you have? What have you learned about what works on social media and what doesn't?

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog or Facebook to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Historical Research: Finding Good Books

When you are getting ready to research a subject, you most likely will want to read a book or two about the time and/or events that surround your story. But how do you find good books? What if you have a small budget for books? Here are some of the best ways to find really good books.

I am a huge fan of this social media site for readers. Unlike a lot of social media sites, this one is very safe, as it is just about reading books. You can easily make new friends by friending people who like the same books you do. You can also read reviews on books and see other books that might relate to that one.

I love Amazon, especially all the free books on Kindle. Many old history books are available for free. There are also great deals on used books here. Reviews are also available, so you can read what other people thought about a book.

Half Price Books is a chain store for used and discounted books. It is a great place to find good deals on books you want. If you don’t have Half Price Books near you, thrift stores and local used book stores work just as well.

Ask your Friends

Yes, the old fashioned way. Asking friends can often lead to great book recommendations. Some of them might even be willing to lend you books so that you can save money that way.