A Time to Begin, and a Time to End

In January of this year, I heard very clearly from God that it was time to step away from my involvement with Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). This was not an easy decision for me to make, or an easy step of obedience.

A Time to End

Seventeen years ago, I helped co-found the Association and have been providing leadership and direction ever since. Over the years, I have had the privilege of both educating and encouraging hundreds of Christian authors and publishers. It has been a noble calling and service that I have always known was God’s intent.

As a follower of Jesus, it is my privilege to listen to him and do as he directs. This can be challenging when the path is not clear.

Fortunately, God is faithful. At the NRB Convention in February in Nashville this year, I shared God’s leading and my decision with Susan Neal, a CIPA Member. That night, God woke her up and told her that he was calling her to lead Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). I obeyed and God provided a new director.

Numerous people have asked me what I will be doing next. To be honest, I do not know for sure. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

That is where I am. I am taking the next step, but I don’t have a clear picture, yet, of where this new path will ultimately take me.

In 2008, I started this blog and have faithfully shared articles twice weekly on publishing and marketing books for the past 12 years. If you have benefited from the information that has been freely shared and want to give something back, I invite you to join me on my next step.Cross for Chapel

God has called me to help build a chapel on the grounds of a Spiritual Retreat Center that has been a blessing to me in my spiritual journey. Funds are needed for this chapel. Donations are tax deductible. If God is leading you to help, please make a donation on The Quiet Place NC’s website at https://www.thequietplacenc.org/the-chapel.

Finally, thank you reader for your support over the years. I have enjoyed sharing with you and I pray that God will bless you in His calling on your life!

Wishing You Heavenly Grace this Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

I recently came across this old Christmas hymn that I was not familiar with. It is titled “Creator of the Stars of Night”. I love the line that says “didst come to save our fallen race by healing gifts of heavenly grace.”

Creator of the starry height,
thy people’s everlasting light,
Jesu, redeemer of us all,
hear thou thy servants when they call.

 Thou, sorrowing at the helpless cry
of all creation doomed to die,
didst come to save our fallen race
by healing gifts of heavenly grace.

 When earth was near its evening hour,
thou didst, in love’s redeeming power,
like bridegroom from his chamber, come
forth from a virgin-mother’s womb.

At thy great name, exalted now,
all knees in lowly homage bow;
all things in heaven and earth adore,
and own thee King for evermore.

To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
praise, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you today and each day forward. May you be blessed with all spiritual blessings from heaven as you proclaim His saving grace.

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Are You Following the Rules?

Authors hate negative reviews of their books. Criticism is hard to swallow, especially when we feel it is not deserved.

authors hate negative reviews

Since reviews are simply opinions, some authors choose to not read reviews. What they don’t read can’t hurt their feelings.

Other authors tend to get their undies in a bunch over negative reviews. They want reviewers to change their opinions. These authors tend to be concerned that a few negative reviews will ruin their sales.

In an effort to get their book to “look better” these authors will ask readers to make their review nicer. Whether the author does this in a polite or rude manner, reviewers can end up feeling threatened.

I recently stumbled across this tweet on Twitter:

tweet on book review

This reader was seriously concerned. In fact, she was so worried, that she ended up deleting her review.

Authors, do not forget that you are influential simply because you have penned a book. This influence is a sacred privilege. Don’t abuse it.

In fact, Goodreads recognizes that authors wield a tremendous amount of influence. The community’s Author Guidelines state:

 

  • Don’t engage with people who negatively rate or review your books.We cannot stress this enough. Goodreads is a community for all readers to express their honest opinions about the books they choose to read and shelve. Engaging with people who don’t like your book will not win you any new readers. Remember that Goodreads is a public space; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted.
    • If you feel a review is in violation of our Review Guidelines, please flag it to our team’s attention rather than responding. To flag, click the gray flag icon next to the content in question and follow the prompts.
    • Remember that not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too.

Goodreads also posts the following note on their website:

Goodreads policy

If you are an author who gets upset over negative reviews, I suggest that you follow Goodreads guidelines for authors—not just for reviews on Goodreads—but also for reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores that sell your book.

Christian authors, I urge you to never forget who is in charge of your book reaching the people who need its message the most. If God has called you to write and publish your book, then He is responsible for helping those individuals who need your book’s message to buy it in spite of a few negative reviews mixed in with the positive ones.

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Photo courtesy of Sebastian Herrmann.

A Christmas Blessing

Merry Christmas!

As you celebrate the birth of the Savior this year, may you be blessed as this Irish Christmas blessing states.

“May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season, which is peace,
The gladness of the season, which is hope,
And the heart of the season, which is love.”

 

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Giving Thanks to God!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I invite you to join me in giving thanks today (and everyday) through the words of the hymn “Give Thanks to God, For Good is He” based on Psalm 136.

Give thanks to God, for good is he:
his love abides forever.
To him all praise and glory be:
his mercy lasts forever.

His wondrous works with praise record:
his love abides forever.
The only God, the sovereign Lord:
his mercy lasts forever.

His wisdom made the heavens to be:
his love abides forever.
He spread the earth upon the sea:
his mercy lasts forever.

Praise him whose sun awakes the day:
his love abides forever.
The moon and stars his might display:
his mercy lasts forever.

He helped us in our deepest woes:
his love abides forever.
He ransomed us from all our foes:
his mercy lasts forever.

Each creature’s need he will supply:
his love abides forever.
Give thanks to God, enthroned on high:
his mercy lasts forever.

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