Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Bricks of Savannah
      B is for Bricks of SavannahSavannah is a short 2.5-hour drive from home, but it took us five years to make it there. Five years! Unthinkable. The bricks.Savannah has been around since 1773, making it the oldest city in Georgia. History oozes from its varied buildings and twenty-four squares--most of them constructed with bricks and dusted with centuries of s […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Making Eye Contact with God by Terri Gillespie
      Book Blurb:What kind of eyes do you have?Are they downcast and sad, or are they full of God’s passion?This weekly devotional, for women only, enables you to really see God in a new and fresh way.Using real life anecdotes, combined with scripture, author Terri Gillespie reveals God’s heart for women everywhere, as she softly speaks of the ways in which women […]
    • Kentucky Author David Royce
      Welcome to the Book Loft, David! Is there a story behind your book, A Ghost’s Story?After a brief illness, my mother died at age 47, before she really got to know her daughter-in-law or take joy in her grandchildren.  I wanted so desperately to believe in eternal life, to be reassured that someday we would all be together again. A short time later I discover […]
    • A Ghost's Story: Caught Between Life and Death by David Royce
      While out for a run one morning, Jake Weller suffers a critical heart attack triggering a trip to the morgue and what seems to be a near-death experience. But he’s actually dead. The problem is he doesn’t feel dead. He can still experience the world as before only he can’t be seen or heard. Coming to terms with this new reality, he meets an enigmatic—and cha […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • Announcing the 2014 Laurel Award Winner!
      2014 LAUREL AWARD WINNERAuthor Ruth Reid's novel A MIRACLE OF HOPEis the winner of Clash of the Titles's fourth annual Laurel Award.CONGRATULATIONS, RUTH!Ruth will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, A Miracle of Hope; a "Heart of the Matter" radio in […]
    • ANNOUNCING THE LAUREL FINALISTS!
      The entries have been read and the scores have been tallied. Our unique panel of judges, comprised strictly of readers, has determined our three finalists. And they are…Ruth Reid's A Miracle of HopeJune Foster's Deliver UsCarole Brown's The Redemption of Caralynne HaymanCongratulations to all three!!(Of special note, this is Ruth's second […]
    • Winner of the August New Releases Clash
      Thanks to all of our participants for their wonderful submissions. Congratulations to Our Winner!   Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain to go so deep. At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Too Blessed To Be Stressed
      I’m pretty addicted to computer games. There have been a number, over the years, I have enjoyed. Right now I’m playing Zynga’s Castleville Legends. I’m in an alliance of ladies who play and help each other. It’s a generous,  supporting group with a fair number of believers. We encourage each other and have a lot of fun. The ladies are from all over the US, p […]
    • 12 Reasons to Live in a Small Town
      Living in small towns has special challenges and delights. When I say ‘small’ I mean ‘small’. The town I live near has approximately 250 people. The county seat has 3600 and the county has about 16,000. So this is rural America. You might think this county was in the western states where the population is lower and space is not a problem. No, I live in Illin […]
    • A Slave Of God
      I am a slave of Yaweh. We shy away from the concept, and understandably so, given the history of slavery here is the US.  I am one, however, and proud to declare it. As a believer in Christ, I have been paid for by Yeshua through his death and resurrection.  Thus, he owns me and I am his slave. Paul, Timothy and James, the brother of Christ, all claimed it. […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Debut author Keely Brooke Keith and The Land Uncharted
      Book review for The Land UnchartedBy Keely Brooke KeithLydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens he […]
    • Blog hop! Meet Matthew LaCraft, The Yankee Boy
      Thanks for Brenda Hendricks, and her post at http://myquotesofencouragement.com/ last week about her tween novel Trouble at Camp Turnabout CreekShe asks me the following questions about our project, First Children of Farmington, and The Yankee Boy,Matthew LaCraft.1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic? My character is named Ma […]
    • Equanimity: The Spirit Within by Samuel D. Bartoli
      Equanimity: The Spirit Within by Samuel D. BartoliMemoir, Self-helpHalo Publishing International  January 2014 Buy on Amazonand Barnes & Noble.About the Book:Equanimity: The Spirit Within is a story about a man’s search for meaning as he comes to terms with losing everything that he knew and valued. After winning the 1992 Southern California Middleweight […]
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    • Free and Discounted Kindle Book Deals
      Don't miss this special promo for free and discounted book deals on Kindle Books and TipsThe Treasure Seeker: The Quest to Find God, Spiritual Intimacy and Value is just .99For more freebies and deals, sign up for their ezine. www.fkbooksandtips.com 
    • BOOK REVIEW: THE BECKONING BY MICHAEL MINOT
      Michael Minot, a lawyer, is a former atheist who now follows Christ. The Beckoning is not only his story regarding how his beliefs changed but an orderly and methodical account of how the methods he applied to find authentication and proof of God’s validity as he conducted research of the scriptures.While still single, Minot was challenged by a Christian fri […]
    • BOOK REVIEW: POST MARKED EVER AFTER BY MARY BALL
      I’ve reviewed a lot of books, especially romances, so original plots such as this one are rare.When Serena Gray’s husband died she learned in a letter of a secret he kept. It divulged he had a child years earlier from a fling during his youth.  When Serena meets up with handsome Adam, a widower, she soon realizes that Adam’s daughter, Niki is her husband’s c […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

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  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

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Posts Tagged ‘Clash of the titles’

Market Mondays: COTT Talks Tribe

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 5, 2011

Creating a Tribe

Each year thousands, perhaps even millions, of books hit the market, making it difficult for authors to reach new readers. Successful writers know they can’t rely on their publisher to drive sales. They need to learn how to do this themselves. It sounds daunting, but it’s really quite simple. You need to find ways to connect with others, and the Internet provides the perfect tool for you to do that. But it’s not about adding to your friends list or twitter follows. It’s about building relationships, or as some call it, creating your tribe. A tribe is a close-knit body of people committed to their leader. As an author, that’s what you want—readers committed to you and your novel.

The more you engage your readers on a personal level, the greater level of loyalty they will feel toward you as an author. Find ways to encourage participation. Invite them to connect with you on Facebook, and periodically peruse your Friends list, looking for ways to engage. Perhaps you can comment on their wall posts or “Like” a comment. One kind word offered on their turf can create a lifetime of loyalty in return.

Ask open-ended questions on your blog or Web site to encourage increased audience participation. If you write a post about time management, ask your readers to offer suggestions. Then make a point to respond to their replies. This will create a sense of “family,” which translates into loyal readership. The goal is not only to create momentary sales, but also to make fans that will anticipate books two, three, four, and so on.

Occasionally, display a dash of vulnerability. Readers love to know you’re human. A few moments of self-exposure can break through cyberspace barriers by placing you on equal footing with your audience. This sense of “equality” will encourage a greater level of site participation, which ultimately translates to sale-generating loyalty.

Create your own buzz:

Here’s how we do it at Clash of the Titles. Each month we have a minimum of four participating authors hosted on our site. Each author brings his or her own traffic. It’s a win-win situation. We provide exposure for our authors, and they in turn point their readers back to us. They do this by linking to us through their Websites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and online discussion groups. We link back to them from our site, twitter account, and Facebook pages.

Find ways to make your readers work for you:

Our authors work for us by creating continual buzz for our site. Their linking to our site helps increase our search engine ratings. Authors also initiate word-of-mouth marketing among their friends and saturate the social media networks.

Jenness Walker, coauthor of Bliss, uses book giveaways to generate audience-led marketing. At the end of author interviews, she provides four ways readers can enter the book drawings: post a link to her blog on their Facebook accounts, tweet the link, subscribe to her site, and post a comment. This ensures an ever-increasing reader base.

Utilize social networking sites:

Never underestimate the power of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and other sites have a high return with zero expense. Most of the traffic we see on Reflections in Hindsight, another Website I participate in, comes from Facebook.

When Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of White Doves, competed on COTT, she saturated the social media with links and posts. These weren’t limited to her personal wall. She posted links on numerous related sites and pages, like American Christian Fiction Writers. Take full advantage of the Facebook search engine to find related pages, and use them to promote author interviews and book signings.

Be a blessing:

One reason COTT has been successful is because we offer more than we get. Authors gain exposure; readers win books and gain a sense of power. Through this win-win blessing, our readers and authors work for us. Authors and viewers happily promote our site to readers.

And most importantly, relax and have fun. If you do that, your reader will to, and you might even create a few new friends in the process.

Posted in Author Marketing, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Plunging into the World of Weird and Wacky

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 2, 2011

or How I Ended Up as editor of OtherSheep magazine

This whole thing started, really, when I wrote my second novel. Ever. Little did I know I was writing spec fiction when I dreamed up this story about a woman from a very special community that practiced the spiritual gifts in modern times. Grace had the gift of healing. Only it didn’t always work the way she thought it should The spec side of my book hit home when Jeff Gerke was the only acquisitions editor interested, and he couldn’t convince his then-employers to consider it. I thought everybody believed in miracles. I learned we do—just in unique ways. And it’s okay.

A few years later I joined a group at Goodreads.com and traded book reviews with a very friendly, perky author. Little did I know I would enter the world of Christian vampires. I may not be the most conservative of Christians, but I always considered Bram Stoker on the other side. There are witches in the Bible, sure, even space travel and time travel and one could argue steam punk and monsters, but only the oddest of oddballs hint at human bloodsuckers. But there they were in this crazy novel, bigger than life and sentimental and…saved. Very cool. Thus began a friendship with Ellen C. Maze, whose story you’ll read in the January 2012 edition of OtherSheep.

As an editor I’m sitting on the other side of the rejection table. It’s totally no fun. I was forced to start learning how unfun it is when I joined a contest site, Clash of the Titles, as a host and had to pick contestants (from anonymous entries), telling some yes and others no. Talk about stressful. I also edit a literary magazine for the Wisconsin Writers Association. I seldom tell the members who submit an outright no, though it happens upon occasion. Mostly I can tell the authors about another market, or to fix something in the story and try again. Creative Wisconsin is a membership magazine, dedicated to showcasing membership work. It’s a joy to work with these people, many of whom are hobbyists and simply delighted to see their work in print. There’s no contracts, no money, no hard sales. I get to use my skills as a desktop publisher and I’m happy. I even get a little salary.

Written World intrigued me from the start up. I’d been invited to submit short stories to Harpstring which was fun for me during a downtime in my schedule (AKA in between novels). When I learned that OtherSheep was looking for a lead editor strictly for the magazine, I applied. And here I am. While Creative Wisconsin is more of a service, OtherSheep is a business. This leads me to ponder my role as an editor. Am I strictly in acquisitions mode? Right now OtherSheep is so new that I’ve had to go out and seek submissions, listening to pitches, and figuring out where the audience is and how to reach it. After some conversation during a company publisher panel, I feel good about deciding how I want to work with authors. Some of the unsolicited submissions are simply not spec fiction with faith elements. Those are easy to decline because I have a concrete reason. After teaching seminars on how to submit work to publishers and seeing this side, I truly understand the frustrations of authors simply not caring to check first to see if the publisher is a good fit for their work. Some of the submission are truly rough, but sparkle – those diamonds just waiting to be cut. And there I see it. If an author is willing to learn, to work with me, I am willing to mentor. I may not always have this time to show the author what I need, what they need to do, but right now I’m in a good place, sifting for diamonds and sparkling with the joy of finding those rare teachable authors.

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Positivity and the Clash of Unpublished Authors

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 5, 2011

I am a total wuss when it comes to judgment – outside my car, that is.

Telling someone else his or her writing, aka lifeblood, isn’t what I’m looking for either to purchase or to go on to the next level or to be considered in this contest makes me quiver like the bunny in the snow under my window.

So…I find myself in two precarious situations that test my mettle.

One is the ever-growing Clash of the Titles contest site, where the rewards are—a button that says “I took the COTT Challenge” or “COTT Champion,”– and hopefully a lot of new fans. Authors also get lots of kudos and affirmation, and readers get to pick which excerpt best showcases the current contest: In this case, Most Intense Emotions from authors who are unpublished. Or Pre-Published. However you choose to see it.

I had nine excerpts. I was supposed to choose two. I wussied. I said I wanted to have two clashes in one week. Apparently I wasn’t the only having trouble. The administrators told me they wanted four clashes that culminate in a month-long championship run-off, so I could have two, just over two weeks.

It was hard enough to choose four excerpts. At least I got to pre-interview each of the authors, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with each of them, particularly the runner-up of this week’s clash, a Ms. Kat Heckenbach. She’s got a delightful sense of writing and attitude, and immediately picked up some nice comments and already piqued the interest of two publishers. Now that’s a winner in anyone’s book.

As I pointed out on Wednesday, Unpublished is just a state of mind. These days anyone can publish pretty much anything – even a manual on how to be a child molester. At least even Amazon realized sleazy money isn’t enough to make up for public outcry. There’s a place for vanity publishing if you’re willing to put the time and money into the project and make it come out right – as did our champion from the previous week (mighty nice lady and Reflections team member) Elaine Cooper did. Her reward? Besides the snazzy COTT champion button? She received an Honorable Mention in the Romance category in the Los Angeles Book Festival! How many ways can we say Congratulations, Elaine! Way to go.

Even I can stand back and see that having winners and runners-up and honorable mentions are cause for celebration, and it’s my joy to participate.

For the other opportunity to grow my character? Stay tuned! The Grace Awards http://www.grace-awards.com/ are coming up – nominations close March 15 – so hurry! And, yes, I’m a judge.

 Next week is Read an Ebook Week! Find out how to participate here: http://ebookweek.com

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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