Resolutions Every Author Can Use

Research shows that about 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 8% are successful in achieving them. These dismal statistics cause some people to eschew New Year’s resolutions.

Sadly, goalless people wander and then wonder why they are not achieving what they had hoped. Goals keep us on track, moving in the direction we want to go. As an author, I suggest that you make New Year’s resolutions about writing and publishing. Here are five that every author can benefit from making.

1. Write More

There is always room to write more. Whether you are writing to publish more books or writing more content for your blog or other publications to promote your books, writing more is a good aspiration. Make it a resolution to write more in 2020 than you did in 2019.

2. Publish More

People buy books from authors they are familiar with. This means that they have had some type of contact with the author. Often, this contact comes from reading a book by the author. Studies show that people tend to read more than one book by a given author. Many authors report seeing a bump in sales of their older books every time they publish a new book.

Christian Indie Publishing Association

Make it your aim this year to publish more. If you are an independent author or small publisher, you can have access to print-on-demand sales distribution through Membership in Christian Indie Publishers Association (CIPA). CIPA Members receive free title setup with both IngramSpark and Lightning Source. You can join CIPA today at www.christianpublishers.net.

3. Promote More

There is no such thing as too much marketing. Every effort you put into promoting your book(s) means that more people are exposed to you and your books. Studies show that people need seven to twelve exposures before they make a purchase. Thus, the more you promote, the more sales you will reap.

If the idea of spending more time on social media to promote your book does not excite you, then I suggest you read my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books. This book is full of book promotion and marketing ideas that go way beyond social media and the Internet.

4. Learn More

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” There is always more to learn. Technology is bringing rapid changes to every area of life—including the publishing industry. In publishing, if you stop learning, then you become out-of-date and out-of-sync with the standards and protocols involved in publishing and promoting books.

Henry Ford Quote

Make it your ambition this year to keep learning. Learn to be a better writer. Learn to be a better book promoter. Step into all the roles associated with publishing a book with confidence and grace. Stay abreast of industry changes and trends by joining an author or publishing association and by attending Christian writers conferences.

5. Read More

Reading is good for you. Studies show that reading reduces stress and increases life expectancy. So read more this year. In fact, reading more is one of the top ten New Year’s resolutions the people make!

As an author, your fans look to you for book recommendations. You can provide more book recommendations to your readers by reading more. This year, read for free. Sign up to be a BookCrash reviewer and you can get free books in exchange for a fair review. Learn more at www.bookcrash.com.

Related Posts:
Goals: Guideposts on Your Journey
New Year’s Resolutions for Every Author
Book Publishing Trends You Need to Know for 2020

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

The Benefit of Thanksgiving

Psychology has come to understand what God has always known and told us in His word—that giving thanks is good for our mental health.

In Psalm 42:5, King David says “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Thanksgiving is a form of praise and it lifts our spirits.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, on our national day of Thanksgiving, I invite you to give thanks to God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon you. You can ponder some of those blessings through the words of this hymn “O Give Thanks to Him Who Made” by Josiah Conder.

O give thanks to Him who made
Morning light and evening shade;
Source and Giver of all good,
Nightly sleep and daily food;
Quickener of our wearied powers,
Guard of our unconscious hours.

O give thanks to nature’s king,
Who made every breathing thing;
His, our warm and sentient frame,
His, the mind’s immortal flame.
O how close the ties that bind
Spirits to the Eternal Mind!

O give thanks with heart and lip,
For we are His workmanship;
And all creatures are His care:
Not a bird that cleaves the air
Falls unnoticed; but who can
Speak the Father’s love to man?

O give thanks to Him who came
In a mortal, suffering frame—
Temple of the Deity—
Came for rebel man to die;
In the path Himself hath trod
Leading back His saints to God.

Related Posts:
Counting Blessings
Giving Thanks to God
Thanking God

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Do You Need Inspiration?

A woman I know was charged with the task of writing a formal, yet difficult, letter to a government entity. She, along with a group of other parents, are making a formal complaint hoping to change the way a certain demographic of students is treated in public schools.

Writing inspiration

This woman was not sure how best to phrase and format the official complaint. She told me that in this advocacy process, she was learning to wait on God to guide her. So, unsure how to proceed, she waited and prayed.

A couple days later, she opened her Bible and happened to read the beginning chapters of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes, in the land of Persia. Nehemiah had received a report that the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair.  As a Jewish man, this news saddened him. The King noticed his demeanor and asked him what was troubling him.

Nehemiah told the King what was troubling him and made a serious request of King Artaxerxes. He asked the King to allow him to return to Jerusalem to oversee the repairing of the walls of that city. The woman charged with writing a formal complaint to the government, told me that as soon as she read this passage, she knew how she was to phrase and format her letter. She knew she needed to follow the same outline that Nehemiah had used to make his request to King Artaxerxes.

Often, as writers, we face this same issue. We wrestle with the best way to present an idea, frame a conversation, or illustrate a point as we write. We also struggle with the next actions we should take to take to move our works to publication. Sometimes, we lack direction for the next steps in promoting our books.

As I listened to this woman’s story, the words from a song I learned as a teenager played in my mind. The lyrics go:

I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord.
I must wait, wait, wait on the Lord.
And learn my lesson well.
In his timing, he will tell me where to go,
What to do, what to say.

Are you following this advice? When you struggle with the best way to write or present something or the next action to take with your book, do you pray and ask God for guidance—and then wait for his response?

A regular discipline of writing or marketing activities is an important practice. However, this practice should never replace waiting on God for inspiration and guidance. Putting something aside for a time as you wait to hear from God can bring better results than pushing through in your own strength.

If God has called you to write or publish something, give yourself the time and space to allow God to direct with divine inspiration. When you allow God to inspire and direct, your writing and marketing activities have more impact and produce more fruit.

Related Posts:
Are You Stuck? Here’s the Antidote
Are You Lacking Motivation?
Author: Do You Believe?

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Photo courtesy of John-Mark Smith.

Your Christian Book Is Crucial

The United States is steadily becoming less Christian and less religiously observant, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Only 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian today. This represents a 12-point decrease in the past decade. In 2009, 77% of American adults identified as Christian.

65% of Americans are Chrisitan

In this same period, those who describe themselves as having no religion, referred to as “nones” in the United States have grown. Currently about 17% of the American adult population identifies as “nothing in particular” when asked about their religion. This is up five points from 12% in 2009.

The Pew Research Center data shows a wide gap between older Americans and younger generations. More than eight out of ten members (84%) of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians, as do three-quarters (76%) of Baby Boomers. In contrast, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians, while four out of ten are religious “nones”.

The need for Christian witness in the United States in great. Christian books are needed today as much—if not more—then they ever have been.

Christian books are lights—shining beacons that accomplish two important purposes:

1. Christian books point people to God.

Studies show that Millennials read. In fact, adults aged 18 to 35 purchase and read more books each year than those in other age groups. Your Christian books can be a tool in proclaiming the Gospel and drawing people to God.

2. Christian books strengthen believers.

Christian books reveal truth about God’s Word to believers. Your Christian book serves to encourage and strengthen Christ followers so that they can shine the light of Jesus to the dark world around them.

Christian author, don’t give up. Your Christian book is needed in America today. Our country (and the whole world) needs to know God and his son Jesus.

My prayer is that your Christian books would touch people’s lives. I pray the Caleb Prayer for our country. I invite you to pray it with me.

O High King of heaven,
Have mercy on our land.
Revive your church;
Send the Holy Spirit
For the sake of the children.
May your kingdom come to our nation.
In Jesus’ might name.
Amen.

P.S. If you live in or around the Capital of our country, I invite you to join me at the Capital Christian Writers Fellowship Conference on January 25, 2020. I will be presenting a keynote talk on “What Makes a Book Christian?”

Related Posts:
Hope: The Vital Message
The Law of Unity
Bible Reading in America

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Ways to Avoid Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block:

  • No author likes to experience it.
  • Every author wants to avoid it.

Writer’s block is defined as a condition where an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.

To avoid this paralyzing experience, watch this video on 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

Related Posts:
Write Up, Speak Up, and Change the World
Are You Lacking Motivation?
Do You Have This Habit?

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.