God’s Promises Anthology – Call for Submissions

The Benefit Package book coverCrossRiver Media Group is accepting submissions for their newest anthology, God’s Promises, to be published in early 2016. As the nonfiction editor for CrossRiver, I’m leading this project. CrossRiver’s 2012 anthology, The Benefit Package, is 30 stories of God’s benefits based on Psalm 103, and is one of our best sellers.

God’s Promises (working title) will focus on His promise of provision.

Here are the details: [Read more...]

6 Trade Publications Accepting Submissions

Trade publications are magazines that serve a specific industry and the people who work in those industries.

Before submitting to any of these publications, study the magazine. Sample copies can often be requested if not available online. Thoroughly read and follow the guidelines if you want the editor to read — rather than trash — your submission.

The Bloomsbury Review accepts submissions of book reviews, essays, poetry, interviews, and other book-related articles.  http://www.bloomsburyreview.com/reviewerguide.html

Advanced Christian Writer is a bimonthly, eight-page newsletter targeted for published authors; and The Christian Communicator, a 20-page, monthly (Nov/Dec combined) magazine for Christian writers and speakers is written for beginning and intermediate writers. http://regaforder.wordpress.com/articles/guidelines-ad-rates/

Kids’ Ministry Ideas is a resource publication for those leading children to Jesus. It supports children’s ministries leaders by providing affirmation, pertinent and informative articles, program ideas, resource suggestions, and answers to questions from a Seventh-day Adventist Christian perspective. http://kidsministryideas.org/content/writers_guidelines

SchoolArts Magazine is a monthly magazine serving the arts and craft education profession, written by and for art teachers. http://www.davisart.com/Promotions/PDF/WG_2014.pdf

Acres U.S.A. is a magazine written by passionate people who have a sincere interest in the principles of sustainable and organic agriculture.  http://www.acresusa.com/writers-guidelines/

Seeking Sophie. Has anyone looked in the lighthouse?

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

The historical romance Seeking Sophie takes place on Eagle Head Island, Maine, with Sophie Stalz and her new husband, lighthouse keeper Jackson Scott. So what better place for a booksigning than at a lighthouse. And that’s exactly where author Melody Balthaser launched her debut novel Seeking Sophie.

Launched in September, the book has received nothing but 5-star reviews so far. As the editor of Seeking Sophie, I’m as excited to see those 5-star reviews as Melody is (well, almost). Let’s hope they continue.

In a review on Amazon, reader Cynthia E. Dutton says, “Seeking Sophie is like homemade soup…it is hearty, tastefully seasoned, warms your soul, and makes you want more.”

The majority of the story takes place in the fall, and on these cool, rainy fall days here in Missouri reading a review like that makes me want to curl up on the couch with Seeking Sophie while a pot of vegetable soup simmers on the stove.

Melody, at what point in writing your book did you begin to look for publishers?

I didn’t look for a publisher until years after it was finished.

So once you took the plunge and decided to seek publishing, how did you choose the publishers you queried?

My niece told me about CrossRiver Media after getting to know Shanna Groves, one of their authors, through blogging. I went to their website and when I saw their mission statement of bringing God’s love I knew it was the one for me.

Marketing our books is a major part of what we authors do these days. How are you tackling that?

I am slowly learning social media and finding out which venues will work best for me. Because I love lighthouses and chose this for the setting of Seeking Sophie, I’m planning to bring attention to lighthouse history and restoration and market my novel at the same time. In addition, I have a passion for encouraging women in finding and fulfilling their destiny in Christ and will be available to share my journey at every opportunity God gives me.

lighthouse with book cover superimposed

Photo by Bob Tripani of American Lighthouse Foundation

Since your launch took place at a lighthouse can you share a bit about how you earned their backing?

I began with a general email to people listed as members of the organizations I wanted to partner with. I followed up with a visit at the lighthouse and a face-to-face meeting. Emails back and forth and a request to read my manuscript and help with lighthouse details opened a door to a relationship. A book launch and weekend party trip to the area was a way to offer promotion for them and myself. They jumped on board and offered a book signing too! Now I have made wonderful connections that will benefit both of us in the future.

I believe that God has to open the door initially but then you must followup with a face-to-face meeting and an authentic desire to help promote their cause as well as yours.

What was the worst thing to deal with in the publishing process? What was the best?

The worst thing to deal with is my lack of patience. Waiting is always a tough thing for me to do and a huge amount of the process is just that. Waiting for the response from a publisher, waiting for the editor’s changes and comments, and waiting for a release date are just a few of the things that require patience.

I have learned a lot about myself and that has been the best thing about the publishing process.

What advice do you have for writers concerning finding and gaining a publisher?

God will show you when it’s time to put yourself out there and He will guide you. Be quiet and listen for His voice in the midst of the chaos within and without.

As a Christian writer, I want and need that guidance from God. I really struggle to recognize His voice. It’s encouraging to me to hear that advice from others.

What advice do you have for writers for during the process between acceptance and release?

Realize that you are not like every other writer out there and don’t compare yourself to others. Explore areas that make you unique. Find what works for you and let your marketing reflect your personality and writing.

Do you have a second book in the works? A publisher already lined up?

I am working on the second novel in my Drawn to Light series, Chasing Clare (working title). It takes off from the ending of Seeking Sophie but focuses on Sophie’s best friend, Clare O’Malley. I will submit it for possible publication when it’s complete.

I enjoyed the character of Clare a lot. She’s such a spitfire. You mentioned the waiting process that tried your patience, but I think it is as difficult for readers to wait for that next book when they find an author—and characters—they enjoy. I find myself in that boat quite often. 

What did you know going into this whole publishing process that helped you the most?

Basically, I knew nothing of the publishing business and was not able to anticipate the complexity of each phase. In some ways, this may have saved me from disappointment since I didn’t have expectations.

What did you learn—good and bad—through all this that you’ll apply to the next time?

I learned that I need more organization and focus in my life to be able to accomplish my goals. I’m reading books on the subject and implementing tools that will help with future writing projects and my life in general. I’ve also learned to embrace my idiosyncrasies. They give me my unique voice.

If Seeking Sophie were made into a movie, whom do you imagine playing the lead characters?

Sophie- Amanda Seyfried
Jackson- Richard Armitage

Thanks for being here today, Melody, and for sharing your publishing journey with us.

Readers, who would you imagine playing the role of sea captain Jared Martin? 

If you have comments and questions for Melody, put them in the comment box below. She will be available to answer throughout today.

ABOUT MELODY BALTHASER

Author Melody BalthaserMELODY BALTHASER lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and their three children. She has traveled to Africa to help orphans in Zambia and worked in children’s and women’s ministry. She enjoys traveling, hiking, camping and canoeing, but when winter settles in she heads indoors to sit in front of the wood stove, while a classic chick-flick plays on the T.V. and homemade soup simmers on the stove. Melody’s passion is to encourage people to let God’s love free them of fear and rejection to live the adventurous life their Creator intended.

ABOUT SEEKING SOPHIESeeking Sophie book cover

In 1858 New England, orphaned, indentured servant Sophie Stalz stabs her master to protect herself from rape. Now she must rely on her brother and his friends to protect her. Escaping through the Underground Railroad, Sophie finds herself stranded on an island in the hands of a stranger.

Surrounded by the sea and occupied with the duties of a lighthouse keeper, Jackson Scott just wants to be left alone with his memories. His fortress is about to crumble when his friend deposits Sophie on his doorstep. An old debt needs to be paid and the cost is dear.

As her master is Seeking Sophie, will Sophie and Jackson find a life together free from their past?

Seeking Sophie is available at CrossRiver Media and Amazon (availability on Kindle coming soon).

6 Tasks to Accomplish with Act 1 of Your Novel – Part 4

You want to write a best seller. What writer doesn’t?

First you’ve got to come up with a good story idea. Then you’ve got to get that idea from Point A to Point Z and figure out everything in between. (That’s my hardest struggle — plotting.)

You’ve got to hook your reader —  and keep them reading.

Or your chance at that best seller list gets fried like a fly on bug zapper.

The truth is debut novels usually don’t make the best seller lists, but that’s no reason not to put your best effort into every book you write.

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve learned ways to write a stronger story and thus increase your chances at getting published and selling lots of books.

Here’s what I’ve discussed so far in 6 tasks to accomplish in Act 1: [Read more...]

Coming soon to an e-reader near you

It’s done.

I hit the send key last Friday.

After two years of fighting with myself and the manuscript — and spiritual forces of darkness — the revised second edition of my book, titled Carried by Grace, is now with the publisher ready for her to work her layout magic.

Help! My Husband Has Sexually Abused our Daughter: A Devotional Guide for Mothers of Victims was my first book. I knew nothing about the publishing world and did a lot of things wrong in my efforts to find a publisher. No one really wanted to touch the topic, especially from an ignorant newbie author who didn’t have anything else in the works.

So I went the POD publishing route. And marketed the book to Focus on the Family. The book made their approved list, was carried in their online bookstore, and placed on the list for their counselors to send out to those who needed help.

When my publishing contract came up for renewal five years later, I decided not to renew. I had learned a lot about writing in those intervening years and decided to revise the book, make it better. Several times since taking it off the shelves, the counselors at Focus on the Family have asked me when it will be available again. They sent it out regularly to hurting moms facing that situation.

That’s what writing is all about for me — ministering the hope of God to others and offering them encouragement for wherever they are in life.

Many writers have a similar purpose that drives them to write. They’re passionate about helping others, whether it’s through writing nonfiction or fiction.

I want to encourage you.

Keep plugging away at that manuscript.

Learn all you can about the craft and write, write, write.

Be diligent at finding a publisher or to research self-publishing options.

Persevere to reach your dreams as a writer.

I’d like to share a quote from Carried by Grace and reveal the new cover.

Carried by Grace book cover“I sat that August morning in the living room staring out the front window. A few days earlier my daughter had threatened suicide and been admitted to a local psychiatric hospital. My husband sat in jail, arrested for sexually abusing her. My eyes burned from a night of tears and fitful sleep. The rosy hues of sunrise promised a warm Colorado summer day, but as I pulled my knees tightly to my chest I felt swallowed by darkness — like Jonah in the belly of the whale. Grief consumed me and fear of what was ahead nearly paralyzed me.”

How do you hope to minister to the wounds and hurts of others? Share your desires in the comments below.

Where in the world is your story?

Garden of the Gods, ColoradoHave you ever started reading a book thinking it was contemporary fiction and then 2 … or 3 … or 4 chapters later realized it was historical?

Or maybe you’ve spent the first several pages trying to figure out where the story takes place — big or small city, where you live or in a foreign country?

What do issues like this do to your reading experience?

Does it jar you out of the story when what you thought was really isn’t?

Do you have to step back and reassess before you can dive into the next paragraph?

How do you keep from jerking the reader out of your story? How, instead, with every word you write, do you submerge the reader in your story — seeing, tasting, touching, and experiencing the world you’ve created for them?

Parts 1 and 2 of this series discussed how to hook your reader and create a leading character your reader can bond with. Part 3 of this series will add one more piece to writing a story that will keep your reader reading. [Read more...]

How a Walk of Faith Led to Publication

Author Jennifer Slattery

Author Jennifer Slattery

Welcome to this month’s Friday Feature interview. Today I visit with author Jennifer Slattery about her debut novel Beyond I Do. Read on to learn how her faith led her to her publisher. [Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: