My Amazing Indie Writer Journey

by Lisa Prysock           

Greetings friends!  I’m writing to you from my writing office in Kentucky—the land of horses, four-board fences, and many wonderful rural communities.  We’re blessed with the occasional farm and the splendor of bluegrass, violets, and wildflowers dotting our green lawns.

The Inspired Prompt crew invited me to write a guest blog post to inspire you to what we writers love: writing!  Particularly, being an Indie Writer.  I’ll try to share a few thoughts about being an Indie Writer to spur you on.

I have to be honest.  I was an Indie Writer before I even knew what “Indie” meant.  Don’t laugh, but I thought it was a reference to “Indiana Jones” and Harrison Ford.  It’s okay, you can laugh.  I thought we Christian Indie Authors were on an adventure to share the Word of God through our writing as we sort of wildly took over the writing scene, kind of like Indiana Jones and his pursuit of the Holy.  Believe me, it has been a completely fun and almost comical adventure for me at times.  Imagine my surprise to find out it simply meant “Independent.”  Well, that was definitely true!

It’s definitely a learning process.  I’ve felt myself go through about three major learning curves and each one has been amazing.  It’s also an incredible, amazing journey.  I recommend approaching it with joy and patience.  Settle in for the ride and let God lead where you’re meant to go and reach who you’re meant to reach.

Writers' Resolutions for 2017 by Karen JurgensDon’t be afraid to make mistakes—and when you do make them—don’t let them define you.  Keep going.  Try different things to see what works.  Aim high, do your best, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself along the way.  I try to include as much humor as possible in my novels.  Life is hard enough.  Readers expect us to share the truth in a creative way, and lighthearted novels can be so enjoyable.  So do it well.  Give it your very best.  I can honestly say, I’ve given it my very best with each book.

Surround yourself with as many other Christian authors as you can and ask as many questions as possible. You’ll learn a lot by joining a few Christian writing groups. I try to take notes and listen to each author.  They all have so many amazing things to share and you know, it’s true:  iron sharpens iron.

It’s a tremendously rewarding journey, but it will take your all to do it well. You’ll need all the help and prayer you can encounter along the way. There are long nights, absolutely loads of hard work, and many obstacles. However, I’ve noticed the Lord opening the right doors, training me, teaching me, guiding me, continuously equipping and surrounding me with support and a fresh flow of ideas through each stage of my writing journey. Psalm 45 was a huge source of writing inspiration for me.

Today, I’m nearing publication of my fourteenth novel. I’ve written both historical and contemporary romance novels, and a devotional.  There’s still so much for me to learn, but I’ve truly enjoyed each moment in the process. Most of all, when readers write back and tell me they’ve experienced healing such as loss recovery or being set free from something through my writing, then I know I’m doing exactly what the Lord called me to do.  These experiences bless me so much I can barely contain my joy.  I highly recommend it!

Writing Prompt: (Insert your character’s name here) carefully and lovingly packed her two trunks with each of the items she’d need to begin her new life across the Atlantic Ocean with her beloved.  (Mention some of the items she’s packing in each trunk, a little about her beloved, and something about her destination and current location.)

Click to Tweet: My Amazing Indie Writer Journey by @LPrysock via @InspiredPrompt Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—and when you do make them—don’t let them define you. #amwriting #indieauthor


Readers! Lisa is giving away a paperback edition of Annabelle (upon release) for leaving a comment.  [U.S. Addresses only, please] Estimated release date is August 17th.

Annabelle is book 2 in the Brides of Grace Hill Series.  She flees Edinburgh, Scotland from a grandmother with an evil tongue who has beaten her down verbally and emotionally.  Tall and plain, she doesn’t think she has much of a future, much less the chance to have a family and husband of her own.  She writes to her Aunt Millie in Kentucky who is up to a little matchmaking again and subsequently, receives a letter with an offer of marriage from an American with Scottish roots.  He’s residing in Kentucky during the Antebellum Era.  The offer has several conditions, including a perilous journey along the Oregon Trail to begin a new life in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon along the Pacific coast.  Things seem to be going well with her plans, until she disembarks from a riverboat on the Ohio River at Louisville, Kentucky to discover her trunks containing her sole possessions from Scotland have somehow been lost.


Lisa M. Prysock is an award-winning, bestselling, Christian and inspirational author of more than 13 novels.  She was born in Minnesota; raised in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio as a child; and as an adult, has lived in Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio again, and Florida, before settling in beautiful, rural Kentucky near many horse farms in the countryside bordering Louisville.  She and her husband of more than 20 years chose to make their home in Kentucky where the rich heritage, scenic area, local culture and history, along with her faith, are a constant source of inspiration for many of Lisa’s books.  Together, they have five children, grown.

Lisa writes in the genres of both Historical Christian Romance and Contemporary Christian Romance novels, including a multi-author, Contemporary Western Christian Romance series, “Whispers in Wyoming” with Danni Roan, Kari Trumbo, and Rachel Skatvold.  She is also the author of a devotional.  She enjoys sharing her faith through her writing.

She has many interests, but a few of these include gardening, cooking, sketching, arts and crafts, sewing, crochet, cross stitch, scrapbooking, reading, swimming, biking, and walking.  She loves dollhouses, cats, horses, butterflies, hats, boots, flip-flops, espadrilles, chocolate, coffee, tea, chocolate, the colors peach and purple, and everything old-fashioned.  She adopted the slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl” because of her love for classic, traditional, and old-fashioned everything.  When she isn’t writing, she can sometimes be found teaching herself piano and violin, but humorously finds the process “a bit slow and painful.”  A few of her favorite authors include Jane Austen, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  You’ll find “food, fashion, fun, and faith” in Lisa’s novels.

She continues the joy and adventure of sharing her faith through her writing journey as a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and LCW (Louisville Christian Writers).  Lisa’s books are clean and wholesome, inspirational, and family oriented.  She gives a generous portion of the proceeds to missions.

You can find out more about this author at www.LisaPrysock.com where you’ll find free recipes, devotionals, author video interviews and book trailers, giveaways, blog posts, and much more, including an invitation to sign up for her free newsletter.

Links to Connect with Lisa:

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock

https://twitter.com/LPrysock

www.LisaPrysock.com  

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock

 

 

Rescue Operation by Lenora Worth

Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome my friend Lenora Worth to the Inspired Prompt. Lenora’s new Love-Inspired Suspense book is Rescue Operation, a story involving military K9 units and the FBI…and, of course, love ❤

Good morning, Lenora.

Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Lenora: Hmm. I like to warm up by clearing out e-mail and I always read over the chapter I finished yesterday before I start today’s work. I have to have a spiral notebook next to my laptop to jot down notes. And I have a stash of chocolate nearby at all times!

What is the book about?

Lenora:  This is Book Five of a suspense continuity written by eight different Love Inspired authors. It’s a military K9 series so it was definitely a challenging book. My heroine is a Senior Airman and a Search-and-Rescue military working dog handler. My hero is an FBI agent with a vested interest in finding a serial killer.

What is your favorite part of the book?

Lenora: I love the scenes were they get to know each other away from the woods and searching for the killer. In those scenes, they open up to each other in a way that helps them fall in love.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp? 

Lenora: Yes, that we all need redemption. My FBI agent feels responsible for something in his past and my heroine is a very strong woman who shows him he’s worthy of redemption.

Where can readers find you online?

Lenora: www.lenoraworth.com (where they can sign up for my newsletter) @lenoraworth on Twitter, and @lenoraworthbooks on Facebook.

Click to Tweet: Lenora Worth talks about her new Love-Inspired Suspense book, Rescue Operation, today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt #romance #giveaway


Rescue Operation
Racing to rescue a child
Danger heats up in the Military K9 Unit series.
A little boy is missing, and it’s up to search-and-rescue K9 handler Ava Esposito and her dog to find him … before the Red Rose Killer does. FBI special agent Oliver Davison is hot on the trail of the escaped convict and joins forces with Ava. But when the killer turns his crosshairs on them, Oliver must protect them all before time runs out.

 


Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule Publishing. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalists. She also received the RT Romance Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. “Logan’s Child” won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. She has made the NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With eighty books published and millions in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband, Don. Lenora loves reading, baking, and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

What’s the Best Way for an Indie Author to Promote Their Book?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Maybe we should start with why authors want to sell their books.

Don’t give me that blank stare. I know it seems like a given but many writers go to all the trouble to put a book together then only do a little marketing. Either they are fearful of what people will think or they lack the skills to market, or maybe they wonder if they even should laud the praises of their own work.

Authors should not skimp on marketing.

If a person goes to the trouble of completing a book and then publishing it, whether traditional or Indie, it seems they should get it in front of readers. And at least that gives people a chance to decide whether they want to read it or not.  

Now that the why is settled, let’s look at what ways are best. Here are some positive steps to take in the promotion of your work:

  • Start by building a blog or website or having one built for you. You need a landing page for your readers to find you. Yes, it’s good to create an author page on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and other places but make sure if a reader Googles your name, they can find you.
  • Email list. You need to have an email list of your readers and potential readers so you can reach them with news. Not spam them with constant bombardment. My favorite way to accomplish this is with my email newsletter. And people love presents so be sure to include a gift for the sign-up: a recipe, chapter of a book, short story, etc.  (You can subscribe to mine here for an example plus get a gift of ten of my favorite recipes. 😊Just look for the pop-up.)
  • Social media. There are all kinds of social media you can market your book through. I’d pick two or three and build a presence. Remember to build relationships with people and your books will sell. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as my main three. Experiement and find what works for you.
  • Speaking/book signings. You’ll want to have a few events to allow the people in your area or areas you’re visiting to meet with the author. You can arrange to speak at a church, social club, library, or school. Make sure to set up a book table and sign books. Also have something set up to show people how to order the e-book if they’d rather read on the Kindle or Nook. Book stores are great places to have a book signing since your potential readers are already there.

Here’s our own Betty Thomason Owens at a book signing.

I also have four tips to speed up marketing:

    1. Be reliable and ready. Set up a pattern in the beginning and keep your name out there. You want people to know that you’re serious.
    2. Book links. Make sure you have book links on your blog/website, all social media, your signature in emails, and any guest posting you may do. If someone is curious, you want them to have a link to click on.
    3. Everyone loves a sale. I once bought a mystery e-book for 99 cents and liked it so much that I paid regular price for the next five just to see what happened. It really works.
    4. And finally, the most important tip of all: The Golden Rule. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NLT) Be good to people. Sow seeds of kindness and I believe at some point you will reap a return. Build a network with other authors and promote them the way you would like to be promoted. It will bring a positive investment before it’s all over and you’re sure to make some lifelong friends.

Start today to put some of these principles in practice. Find what works best for you, then be consistent. The readers are out there and waiting for the next author to follow.

Show them where you are.


Writing Prompt: Jillian reached into the mail box and snatched the book-shaped package, clutching it tightly as she ran toward the house. She’d finally get to see…

Click to tweet: What’s the best way for an Indie author to promote their book? You might be surprised. #marketing #IndieAuthors

3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

It’s been about a year since I last interviewed myself on 3QW, so I figure it’s about time to invite myself back. Especially, since I’ve recently released a new book.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of the founders of this blog. So I’ve been around for a while. I’m an elder, sort of. So, on to the questions–

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Betty: Harder than expected! Who made up these questions?

You know who came up with this one. Her initials are BTO. Surely you have three words? Aren’t you a writer?

Betty: Quiet. Encourager. Silly.

Those don’t really go together, do they? But I’ll take them. Now, second question–

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Betty: Oh, this one’s easy. No, wait. My first thought was to spend a summer in the Puget Sound and research my mother’s family. I’ve been there, briefly, but to spend weeks there, really getting to know it—that stirs my imagination. However, if I had to choose another country, I’d research the other side of the family—in Scotland. Or maybe just throw caution to the wind and head to Greece, or Italy. I have a long list, actually.

That’s okay. We’ll pass on the list. Now, here’s the one I think is most difficult:

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Betty: No Longer Slaves…no longer a slave to fear—I am a child of God, who drowned my fear in perfect love. Because of Him, I’m sure of who I am and more certain of my calling. Sometimes I start my day singing that song. I usually can’t remember anything beyond the first stanza, but it doesn’t matter, I sing it anyway.

Have you ever been a winner? You know that overwhelming sensation that everything is right with the world? Sometimes, it only lasts a minute. But one day, it will last forever. I’m no longer a slave to fear and oppression and my own lack of self-worth.

Preach it, Sister! That’s actually a good choice. I remember you when you were afraid to make eye contact with people. God’s been good to us, hasn’t He?

Betty: Yes, He has.

So, tell us a little about the book you’re giving away to one of our readers—why you wrote it, and what you hope readers will take away from the story.

Betty: It’s the final book in the Legacy series, Rebecca’s Legacy. I wrote it because I was under contract to write three books. OK, that may be why I sat down to write this novel, but almost from her birth in book one (Amelia’s Legacy), I wanted to tell Amy Juliana’s story. She had a rough start in life. Maybe that’s the reason she felt the need to work so hard to please others.

I hope and pray my readers will sense and know the heart of this story. As I wrote some of the scenes, I focused on the prodigal’s return, that overwhelming sensation of love and forgiveness. Unbelievable, sometimes, that we can be forgiven, even though we don’t deserve forgiveness. It’s the Grace of God, given freely to those who believe.

Click to Tweet: This week’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is author Betty Thomason Owens. Comment on the blog post to win a copy of her #NewRelease – #historicalromance Rebecca’s Legacy, final book in the Legacy series. U.S. addresses only, please!


Rebecca’s Legacy, Book 3, Legacy Series

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?

Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?


Betty Thomason Owens is an award-winning writer of historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and is V.P./Secretary of the Louisville area ACFW group. She’s also a speaker, a mentor assisting other writers, co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and serves on the planning committee for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Her writing credits include the Legacy Series, and the southern historical Kinsman Redeemer Series (Book 1, Annabelle’s Ruth, is a 2015 Grace Award winner, and has recently been translated into Spanish). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

When she’s not writing, Owens is a part-time bookkeeper, who loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Betty would like to invite you to her Facebook author page, Twitter, GoodReads, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon Author Page. And she posts weekly on her blog, Hello, Thursday Morning, found at https://bettythomasonowens.com/.

Traditional, Indie, and Everything in Between

by Bonita Y. McCoy

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More publishing choices for writers

Writers often hear the experts comparing the differences between Indie and Traditional publishing. They have classes at conferences and tons of blogs on this topic, but in today’s publishing world, the publishing question isn’t that simple. As the old saying goes, all roads lead to Rome.

We are in a wonderful new age of publishing and just as the building of the Roman roads opened up a whole new world of trade and exploration, the onset of digital eBooks in 2007 and the explosion of small presses across the country have given writers more publishing options than ever before.

In Jane Friedman’s article “The Key Book Publishing Paths:2018”, she references not two but six paths that writers can pursue in order to publish their work.

Those paths include large to mid-size publishers, the big five, small presses, hybrid publishing, Indie publishing, and publishing on social media.

So, the question is no longer how do I publish, but rather, what are my publishing options and which one best fits my goals?

Writers publish for varying reasons. You can see that by visiting different writing groups. Some are interested in literary excellence, others in telling a good yarn, still others want to leave the family stories behind for the next generation.  Then there are those of us who are taking our writing and turning it into a career.

But whatever your reasons for wanting to publish, there is an avenue for you to take.

The large to mid-sized publishers and the big five offer a writer great opportunity. They usually provide editing, cover design, some marketing, and some form of an advance payment for your story. They also shoulder all the financial risk. So, even if the story doesn’t sell well for some reason, you’ve made something for your efforts.

The big guys can also get your book into brick and mortar retailers, be it bookstores or chain stores such as Costco or Wal-Mart, giving your work more visibility.

So, if one of your publishing goals is to see your book on a shelf at the local book nook then one of the mid-size guys might be for you.

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Publishing changes over the years.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is social publishing. That is where you set your work free in the wild on a social media platform. There are many out there for doing just this such as Wattpad, Medium, Write.as, and Writers Café.  These are usually Serial story sites where the writer publishes segments or chapters of his story daily or weekly. This is great for garnering a fan base.

Of course, there is the writers own blog on his website, Tumblr, or BlogSpot for those who want to share articles, data, and content with their audience. These sites build audience trust and let them get to know the person behind the writing.

If your publishing goals are to grow an audience, get quick feedback, and experiment with writing styles, then this is the way to go.

Small presses, Indie, and going hybrid are the bread and butter of the writer’s existence.

Small presses are a wonderful addition to the publishing world. They give the writer a more personal experience with the publishing staff which helps to develop that much-needed trust. They also give the writer accountability for deadlines, help with editing and cover design, as well as assistance with marketing. Publishing with a small press can open doors as a speaker and teacher, allowing the writer opportunities that aren’t always available to Indie authors.

So, if your goal is to speak as well as to write and you want a more close-knit community, then a small press would be ideal for you.

Of all the roads that lead to Rome, Indie is the one many consider the back alley or the shortcut. However, Indie writers are true entrepreneurs. The thought of doing it all themselves and having control over every aspect of the writing and business components does not put them off. Instead, they learn the ins and outs of the entire process, allowing them to make better career decisions based on industry facts and their own experience.

Those who are “going Indie” tend to delegate many of the jobs such as cover design and editing to others who have more experience and talent in these areas in order to assure they put out a quality product. This means the writer shoulders the financial risk.

The Indie writer will also have critique partners, beta readers, and mentors to help keep their writing on track. When needed, they hire accountants and personal assistants for the business side of the writing career. If done well, an Indie author can enjoy a long, profitable career while being at the heart of the decision-making process.

So, if your goal is to make a career out of writing and you want to be in on all the decisions, then going Indie is for you.

In our present publishing market, a writer is no longer tied to doing only one option. Many well-known authors are publishing some of their stories, that don’t match up with the needs of their traditional publishers, on their own, creating for themselves a career as a hybrid author.

Hybrid writers take their experience from the traditional publishing world and combine it with the freedom of Indie publishing. This form of publishing allows an author to try a new genre, get their feet wet with a pen name, or put out works that don’t fit on any of the normal bookstore shelves.

So, if you’re an already published author and you want to try a new genre or put out that unique story that’s on your heart, the option of doing both Indie and traditional might be for you.

Never before in history have there been so many opportunities for the writing community, so many roads leading to Rome. Small press, Indie, or the big five, it’s all about your writing goals and what publishing option best fits your needs. No matter what the experts say there are more than two roads that lead to your publishing dream.

Writing Prompt: The idea of going Indie thrilled Carol; so much so, she was having trouble sleeping. Not wanting to wake Harold, she got up and tiptoed out of the room.

Click to Tweet: The question is no longer how do I publish, but rather, what are my publishing options and which one best fits my goals? #IndiePublishing #amwriting

Truth Be Told header with words two

Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over twenty-nine years. She is a mother to three mostly grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her blog and novels are an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit her on Facebook/bonita.mccoy or bonitaymccoyauthor or at her website bonitaymccoy.com.  Her new release Truth Be Told can be found on Amazon.