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

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  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A WARM WELCOME to JO HUDDLESTON!
      Is there a story behind your book WAIT FOR ME?When I wrote my latest novel, WAIT FOR ME, I had been to a real coal mine community one time. One memorable time. I went home from college with a friend for a weekend. Her home was in the coal mining region in southern West Virginia.We had arrived at my friend’s home after dark and I did not see any part of the c […]
    • WAIT for ME by Jo Huddleston
      BACK COVER BLURB:Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love bet […]
    • Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:James R. Callan who offered his Mystery novel  Over My Dead Body--A Father Frank MysteryK. D. Harp who offered her […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • April New Releases
      Hostess: Michelle MassaroWriting Gladiators.... Step into the ARENA!Welcome to another Clash here at Clash of the Titles! Below are FIVE New Releases, hot off the presses in April, for your entertainment. They all look wonderful to us, but YOU will decide which one takes Top Honors this month.Please check out the covers and descriptions below and vote for th […]
    • Introducing Biblical Fiction Author Stephanie Landsem
      This week Clash of the Titles is proud to feature Stephanie Landsem, author of The Living Water biblical fiction series. She will carry you back into the times of Jesus and explore beautiful truths that resonate deeply with readers.Let's hear from Stephanie about her books and how she handles the interesting challenge of writing about Jesus. 1.) What wa […]
    • Series Feature: The Hawk and the Dove
      Welcome Penelope Wilcock!Clash of the Titles is proud to feature The Hawk and the Dove series by English writer Penelope Wilcock! With the first books written in the early 90s and the remainder published 20 years later, the Hawk and the Dove  series has captivated readers for decades. Set centuries ago, these books offer an authenticity not often found in hi […]
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    • 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: Jordan's Shadow by Robin Johns Grant
      Jordan’s ShadowRobin Johns GrantCan’t stop reading!February 2015Print 12.99E book: 2.99Buy on AmazonFrom the Publisher:The Crosby family has a frightening problem. Is it psychological? Supernatural? Or something entirely unexpected?In 1984, seventeen-year-old Rose and her fiancé discover an injured girl with no memory. The girl, Jordan, is in Rose’s life for […]
    • Book review: Historical novella Acres of Dreams by Sharon McGregor
      Acres of Dreams book reviewSharon McGregorShort Historical InspirationFrom the Publisher: Katy is a nineteen year old girl sent to Canada by her family in the late 1890s to find a suitable husband. Katy has other plans however--she wants a career, not marriage. During the round of social activities arranged by her sister, she is drawn against her will toward […]
    • Emma Right, Children's books, Kindle Fire giveaway
      Synopsis Of While Princesses Sleep, Book 1 of the Princesses OF Chadwick Castle Seriesby Emma RightWhile Princesses Sleep: Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure, Book 1 (Princess Castle Adventure Mystery series) is a tale of two royal sisters who are princesses.1. While Princesses SleepThe Princesses Of Chadwick Castle Adventure is an eight-book series set […]
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    • Book Review: 1929, Book One (The 1929 Series) by M. L. Gardener
      When the stock market crashes in 1929 it crushes the wealthy lifestyles of three young couples whose lives are intertwined. This riches to rags story captured my interest and I hung in there for the entire book because it started off well. Jonathan Garrett the husband of one of the couples feels responsibility for their circumstances as it was his brokerage […]
    • Book Review: A Painted House by John Grisham
      I have actually read this book before but didn't review it. It's just as good the second time round and a deviation from Grisham's usual legal mystery/thrillers. Frankly, I feel it's his best work. The first person narrative and southern setting reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird though the plot is quite different.At the heart of the sto […]
    • Book Review: Sail Upon the Land by Josa Young
      The prologue of this book starts in India with the rape of Damson a sheltered young woman. From there it takes us back to the 1930's and traces forward through four generations of English women ending with Damson.  The superb writing and the sensitive treatment of real life circumstances such as depression, being born with physical challenges, pregnanci […]
  • 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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