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

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A Warm Welcome to Roger Bruner!
      Is there a story behind your book The Devil and Pastor Gus?Absolutely! About thirty years ago—maybe forty—I wrote a little play called “B.L.Z.” When I say “little,” I mean little. Just a few pages. In this play, the Devil is disgusted with the fact that his son, Junior, always messes up his evil assignments by doing good instead and sends him to earth on one […]
    • The Devil and Pastor Gus
      Back Cover Blurb:Fifty. Half a century old. Closer to the grave than cradle. And what does Pastor Gus Gospello have to show for his fifty years on earth? Not much. Shepherd of a small church. Married without kids. Faithful keeper of God's commands. Well, most of them, anyway. Gus longs to make a difference for God to have an eternal legacy. Now, as he c […]
    • Cut It Out by Terri Gillespie
      Back CoverThe Hair Mavens are back! Women are flocking to the newly remodeled Hair Mavens Salon. But the salon isn’t the only thing that has changed—two more mavens arrive and create chaos for the ladies; and if that weren’t enough Katya is about to bring on something new that will change all their lives. KATYA: The former mousey Kathy has transformed into t […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • The December Clash Victory Goes To...
      KINSALE KISSESCongratulations, Elizabeth Maddrey! Kinsale Kisses received enough votes to claim the win! This clash received more votes than any other clash in COTT history. So we offer a big thank-you and a standing ovation to each of our contestants: Rachel A James with The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, Heather Gray with Queen, Julie Arduini with Entruste […]
    • December Clash
      It's the most wonderful time of the year!This is our last clash of 2014, but the year isn't over yet! The Christmas season is in full swing and that means books, books, and more books! Whether you're looking for something to curl up with in front of the fire, or something to gift to your best friend, we've got you covered. Come "peek […]
    • Patricia Bradley in the Spotlight
      Former Clash Contestant Patricia Bradley is in the spotlight today! A popular romantic suspense author from Mississippi, her latest book "A Promise to Protect" released this fall and garnered high praise from readers. It's the second book in her Logan Point series, with the third releasing next summer.A Promise to Protect:In a steamy small tow […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book Review: Once in a While by Linda Ellen
      Once In a While The Cherished Memories Series book 1Linda EllenPaperback: 482 pagesNovember 2, 2014ISBN-13: 978-0990904403Ebook 2.99Paperback 14.99Fiction, Memoir, Historical RomanceFrom the Author:Victor Matthews is a down on his luck young man, frustrated with his life and his inability to find gainful employment. Louise Hoskins is a young woman content in […]
    • Book Review: Colors of Feelings LaToya Watson Children's Picture book
      Colors of FeelingsLaToya WatsonChildren’s picture bookPublish AmericaISBN 9781630844202$5.99 ebook; paperback and hardcover editions availablec. January 2014Buy on AmazonColors of Feelings is a great book about children who experience different feelings for each color of the rainbow.My review: Darling large format picture book with a four-stanza poem on the […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast: In the Cleft: Joy Comes in the Mourning by Dana Goodman
      In the Cleft: Joy Comes in the MourningBy Dana GoodmanAbout the Book: Author and Counsellor, Dana Goodman, shares her painful journey through heart breaking tragedy. After losing her 12-year-old son and 30-year-old husband to cancer, she must put back together the broken pieces of her life and her faith. Drawing hope from Christ, she describes how even the w […]
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    • Book Review: Alzheimer's Prevention: Protect Your Brain for Life by Dr. Melody Jemison
      A very thorough book written by Dr. Melody Jemison. Jemison lists multiple things you can do to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's.  The author references a variety of studies. It's never too early to start putting these measures into place. In fact, the earlier the better, as taking the recommended supplements or establishing suggested regimen […]
    • Book Review: The Heart of a Gypsy by Roberta Kagan
      During Nazi Germay Christian Stearn, a freedom-fighter is rescued by a band of gypsies involved in the resistance after being captured by  the Nazis. Christian immediately falls in love with Nadya the beautify gypsy girl who helps orchestrate his rescue. Christian then joins forces and works with the gypsies.The author uses the story to help educate readers […]
    • Book Review: Hearts Awakening (Hearts Along the River) by Delia Parr
      Ellie Kilmer is a spinster with no money and a plain countenance.  Her only hope for supporting herself is to serve as a housekeeper on Dillon Island for widower Jackson,  a widower with young boys.  Jackson makes a marriage proposal to Ellie, but it will be in name only and he’s mainly after a cook and caregiver. The more Ellie gets to know Jackson the more […]
  • 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

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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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