Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
If we've been watching others and learning from them our whole lives, it's only natural to begin comparisons at some point. We compare where we are to where we want to be--like where Mr. Smith or Mrs. Green's accomplishments have taken them, and we decide we want to go there, too.
Learning by example is good, until we begin making comparisons and start to lose sight of the accomplishments we've already made, or begin to grow depressed or discouraged that we'll never make it because we aren't good enough. Another drawback is developing an obsessive compulsive behavior toward achieving one's goal in trying to keep up with others.
The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. You're perception of someone else's accomplishments could be a far cry from the reality they are living. Don't forget that as individuals, your journey isn't the same as others. God has called YOU on a specific journey that will mold and shape you to be who He wants you to be in the grand scheme of His creation, will, and purpose for your life.
What does this have to do with your marketing efforts?
When you look at your colleagues and see that they are promotion kings and queens, drawing followers and fans like magnets, you assume that you must be doing something wrong, that you need a bigger marketing budget, that you need to arm yourself with more education, your publicist isn't as good as their publicist, or their publisher does so much more for them than yours. The other response could be that you get depressed, crave another pint of ice cream, assume you'll never be as good a writer, no one likes your work, you've wasted all this time in the wrong field, God is blessing them and not you, or worse, you've let God down because He called you to a writing ministry and you just can't make it work.
Here's the truth, some of us will never sell millions of copies of our books or have our stories transformed into blockbuster movies. Comparing ourselves to these authors would be pointless, and we know it, so why are we tempted to compare ourselves to other mid-list authors who might be closer to our level of production with similar platforms? Their journey is not ours to make, nor is ours theirs. You aren't in the same season as they, and vice-versa.
When you spend so much time and energy comparing yourself, your marketing efforts, and platform to everyone else, you miss out on the opportunity to put that creative energy into something more productive for your own path. You may be missing God's voice, because you're too busy listening to your colleagues promote themselves. Don't compare yourself into destructive patterns.
Pray about your goals and when you set them, make sure they are realistic to your life and plan. Set stepping-stone goals for your promotion to long-term goals. Celebrate each milestone and don't compare. If you want to compare, then compare where you started to how far you've come. That is how you will begin to see yourself as a success!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Welcome to our Wednesday edition of Would You Read On?. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to stop by our blog. Kindly comment if you would read on or not. Last week’s contributing author is revealed below this first page.
This weeks contribution is a nonfiction title:
Would you read on?
A big thanks to last weeks author, Kristen Joy Wilks. Kristen lives with her Camp Director husband, three fierce little boys(4,6,and 8), and an enormous slobbery dog at beautiful Camas Meadows Bible Camp in the Cascade Mts. Stop by and visit her blog and introduce yourself.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This past week I got a reminder of what editing was like in the good old days, and I sure didn't like it.
At the end of the book I was editing, the author had thirteen pages of Scripture references—easily 250 verses to check. As I began the task, I remembered my approach to Scripture checking when I started work for Moody magazine in the mid-1980s.
I'd place the paper manuscript in the middle of my desk (this was before the magazine bought its first computer), with the needed Bible versions spread around it. Then for each Scripture reference, it would be “sword drill” time. (I'd sometimes cheat by putting paper bookmarks in frequently cited chapters.)
When the words of the verse didn't quite line up, I'd have to check other translations one by one, looking for the one the writer had used. And when the cited verse reference was completely wrong, I'd have to scan the chapter and hope I wouldn't have to drag out the concordance. Remember how heavy concordances were? There's a reason one was called Strong's.
But thanks to BibleGateway.com, those good old days were only a memory. Until last Thursday and my massive Scripture checking project.
Whether it was my internet service provider or a problem with the website, something was wrong. I'd type in the verse reference, click “enter,” and wait—and wait—and wait. Sometimes the verse would appear. Sometimes I'd get an “address not found” error notice and have to try again.
And so it went—for nearly 200 verses. I finally dug out an ink-on-paper Bible for the most commonly used version, but for a couple others I was stuck. She was citing ones I didn't keep on my shelf.
I wrapped up work a little early that day. Friday morning everything was working again and I breezed through the final four pages of references—much more grateful for a resource I'd taken for granted.
What is she rambling about this time—you ask? It’s time for some very important contest results to be out; it’s time for some tears; it’s time to take stock in ourselves. Each day, as an agent, we are faced with answering queries from folks, many like those who send their submissions to contests, who are anxious to have someone say “Yes! I love it. I want it. How soon can I sign you?” I talk about this each year when many folks—I’ve been one of them—are discouraged when their names don’t make the semi-finalists’ list. We’ve all been there in some form or another.
Contest from 1-100. Three scores: 100, 98, and…57. What???
We all want someone to say, “What a wonderful novel. No-no. You don’t need to change a thing. This is perfect. You’re amazing. Here’s a win, a contract, a great deal.” Whatever you’ve been hoping for, but reality says, You can’t handle the truth. Not many of us can. We want to make the grade right away. We don’t want to work harder, rewrite, or “hone our craft.” But reality teaches us that while a contest or an agent’s response is just one opinion, we might want to take a hard look at our work and decide whether or not their comments have any merit. Some will, some won’t.
CONGRATS to all the Genesis semi-finalists. To all who did not make it this far, take heart. You’ve written a novel. Not everyone can say that. CONGRATS to you as well!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Cora Allen - Contemporary Romance - Andy's client
Dawn Crandell - Historical Romance - Joyce's client
Normandie Fischer - Romantic Suspense - Terry's client
Katherine Hyde - Young Adult - Diana's client
Rachael Neal - Historical - Diana's client
Regina Smeltzer - Speculative - Terry's client
Our sincere congratulations to all of the other semi-finalists not represented by Hartline as well.
Pictured is Ethan with the new mom, our granddaughter Kasey. He was born Sunday, Aptil 15th, and arrived just in time for lunch. We rushed down to Dallas from Amarillo but arrived just minutes too late. (I forgot my phone and had to turn around and get it since I use it to connect my computer when we are on the road) Those extra minutes would have made the difference. No problem, I figure Saundra will forgive me in a year or two. I've been doing penance by dog-sitting our two dogs and their four dogs (and working) while Saundra is next door with the baby and young family. Maybe that will help.
About time for us to return home, but first to drive into town to have lunch with our other great grand Micah (now one) and his parents at my favorite place to eat, Papadeaux Restaurant. Ah yes.
If you think it is not appropriate to use this type blog in this manner . . . well . . . get over it. It's what grandpa's do.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult that eventually morphs into Historical YA
My dad slipped a brittle manila envelope into my hands as he turned to smile at a slim woman with close-cropped gray hair, impeccable posture, and a uniform from airport security. At that moment, Grandma Orshina’s demand to see the oh-so-mysterious family relic seemed like sound evidence of debilitating dementia. Of course Dad was oblivious to the obvious. His mother’s insistence on stepping straight off the plane from Iraq and immediately snatching up the envelope was a surefire passport to a pair of cold handcuffs and a humiliating search if anyone saw our questionable package.
I stood in the company of a tall dark Assyrian man (my father) whose not-even-mildly-American name (Abrohom Yaqub Dayan) was sure to draw unnecessary attention. And although Emma sounds like an innocent enough moniker, Emma Nirari Dayan most certainly does not. Add to that the most annoying infant in the history of all Chicago, cooing with deceptive good humor from his stroller, and an enormous basket of walnut kifile, and we were not the most inconspicuous family picking up relatives at O’Hare that day.