Monday, April 2, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--April 2, 2012

Thought for the Day: For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it (John Ortberg).

Laugh for Today: About 8 o'clock one cold February morning, the young man was still in bed, sound asleep. His mother came into the room. "Son, it's time to get up. You gotta get ready for church," she implored. "I'm not going to church. It's no fun! I don't want to go," he protested. "The people stare at me! They talk about me behind my back! I don't wanna go to church," he argued. "Son, you gotta get up and get ready for church." "I'm not going to church. Give me one good reason why I have to go to church," he protested. "I'll give you three good reasons: One, it's Sunday. Two, I'm your mother, and you'll do as I say! Three, you're the pastor!"

Marketing Hints:
Quite often (in fact, just last week) I receive a call or email from someone who says, “I’ve written a book. Where can I send it?” Marketing is probably 50 percent of writing. Before you write a book, you should have a market in mind (preferably several).

How do you find a market for your book? There are several ways:

* Buy or borrow a copy of Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide (whoops—now Jerry Jenkins. I’ll forever associate Sally with the Guide). This book gives dozens and dozens of book markets, divided into categories such as fiction, nonfiction, ministry, Bible studies, picture books, etc.

* Go through and make a list of publishers who might be interested in your book. Then go to these publishers’ Web sites and check out their guidelines. How long a book are they looking for? Do they want to see the whole manuscript or just a proposal? If a proposal, how many chapters and which ones—the first three, first, middle, and last? Will they accept an email query or hard copy only?

*If, by some chance, you aren’t able to get a copy of this Guide, go to your local Christian bookstore, and look for the books in your genre, and see who published them. Then go to their Web site for further information.

* Join a local Christian writers’ club (more on that in future blogs). It often happens that while fellow members are critiquing your manuscript, one of them may also know of a publisher who might be interested.

* Attend a writers’ conference. And while you’re picking up sample magazines, don’t forget to also pick up publishers’ catalogs. This helps you see what type of books they’ve published in the past. If they’ve published something similar to yours, how is yours different?

Later we’ll talk about preparing a manuscript for publication, and query letters and proposals.
Have a great week.

Remember, "We are called to write and I feel we will be held responsible at the Judgment for the people we could have helped but didn't because we didn't write what God laid on our hearts to write" (Harold Ivan Smith).

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