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

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A Warm Welcome to Terri Gillespie
      Is there a story behind your book She Does Good Hair? [Laughs] There’s always a story behind our stories, isn’t there? I’ve moved a lot and have therefore had many hairdressers over the years. I also sold advertising and specialized in ads for salons. Hair salons are an interesting culture and each has their own mood. One of my hairdressers was young woman w […]
    • Congratulation To Our Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. I know you want to know ... WHO WON?But before we announce our five winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Laura Hilton who offered her  Amish Romance  Awakened Love.Valerie Goree who offered her  Suspense  Colors of Deceit. Annslee Urban who offered her  Romantic Su […]
    • Ohio Author Lillian Duncan
      Welcome back to the Book Loft, Lillian! Is there a story behind your latest book DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS?Three things happened within a few days of each other to inspire DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • Winner of the May Release Clash
      And the winner is.....OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie BrashearCongratulations, Angie!This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our c […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
    • Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston
      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review—The Last to Know by Melissa Hill
      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
    • BOOK REVIEW: BETRAYAL BAY KAREN FENECH
      I like historical romances but haven’t read a medieval one. I’m pleased with this one so I’ll definitely look for more set during this time period and by Fenech.  The story centers on Lady Katherine Stanfield whose own castle and holdings have been invaded by the power hungry Ranulf. In the dead of night she rushes to De Lauren, her former fiancé for aid. Wh […]
  • 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

  • The Barn Door

  • 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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