Feel the Spirit Move You With These 6 Writing Tips For Your Next Christian or Spiritual Book!

Once upon a time, an American schoolgirl wrote to eminent Christian scholar C.S. Lewis. The year was 1959, and she wanted to know if he had any suggestions for her on the art of writing. He sent her a list of eight rules, including admonitions to turn off the radio and dial out the white noise of daily life, write with the ear and not the eye, write about the things which interest you, and know the meaning of every word you use. His most revealing point of advice, however, was to be clear, and to remember that readers can’t know your mind. “Don’t forget to tell them exactly what they need to know to understand you,” he wrote. And if you’re the author of a Christian or Spiritual book, this advice resonates with a special power. After all, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to misunderstanding our place in the world and in relationship to the divine.

How can you go about writing in a way that helps readers understand you? Here are six recommendations for getting started:

  1. Do your due diligence. Research, research, research. Knowing your readers, what they’re reading, and how they find their books is key to engaging your ideal readers, in Christian and Spiritual subjects more than most. Reader behavior in these groups is radically different from reader behavior in other genres, such as mainstream science fiction or romance.
  2. Know thy reader. Building upon the previous point, it’s really important to not just know your reader but be able to articulate the anticipated audience for your book. Who might actually pluck your book off of a bookstore shelf and spend money with your writing persona in order to truly understand what you have to say? The more specific you can be, the better, because this will help you refine your text before publication and market your book after publication.
  3. Polish those rough edges. Writing well and ensuring that your manuscript reads well before submitting it for publication are vital processes, as there’s nothing which will turn off readers so quickly as a poorly edited text. Don’t just depend on your own eyes, either, and expand your beta readers to include a professional who edits for a living. An expert will know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and will save you time (which is, ultimately, money).
  4. Know and love your material. If you don’t already believe that you are the best person to write this particular book, and that the world needs this book, then take some more time to spend with the material. Full immersion is often the only way to truly feel like an expert, and your book will most definitely benefit if you have the conviction that you and it are a match made in the stars, or Heaven.
  5. Write what’s next. It doesn’t take long to notice that there are a lot of books out there in the world; all it takes is a five-minute visit to your local public library or indie bookstore. There are practical as well as personal reasons to write something new rather than something which has already been written in twenty or a hundred other books: a book which dares to do what hasn’t been done will sell. Readers want the next new thing in their hands, not a threadbare trope or ten. And you, as an author, know when you’re departing from the “has-been-dones,” and it’s a rewarding feeling, isn’t it?
  6. Think big, and think ahead. You’re an author, which makes you a visionary. You’re able to imagine not just the outline for a book, but a world in which the book already exists, and you’re willing to make it happen. Some writers get hung up on the fact that one writing prompt or strategy which used to work for them doesn’t anymore, and fall into the black hole of the dreaded Writer’s Block as a result. Don’t linger on the past; think of what will work for you in the here and now, and don’t hesitate to experiment with form, style, and voice as you forge ahead in writing your manuscript. If you find yourself struggling, try something new … or try taking a moment to breathe. The most stifling of pressures are the ones we impose on ourselves!

And there you have it: six fresh ways to hone your craft as you draft your next book! Still not sure what you need to get started publishing your next Spiritual or Christian manuscript? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.

To see our staff picks of amazing Christian books from many of our published authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here. We keep a separate Pinterest page for Spiritual books, which you can find here.

Take Action During National Library Month

April is National Library Month, and National Library Week is April 7-13. Let’s face it, if there’s one place we go to find out information about books, it’s our public library. The act of browsing is not a lost art; readers and book buyers do it regularly. As a writer, you probably do it yourself, and if you don’t, take this month as a symbol to start. Feel free to study the shelving arrangement, the genres, the popular nooks and crannies, the competition, and the various ways and means librarians “sell” their collections to the public. In fact, if you’re “caught” browsing in a library and the librarians find out you’re a local author, you’re likely to get hooked into offering an author reading or signing or other such public session. You know what that means? More book reviews and more book sales! Local libraries LOVE local authors!

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) holds a national book fair that attracts librarians from all levels of management, from all types of libraries, from all across the country. It serves as a meeting place for leadership, a place to learn, a place to network and as a forum to exchange ideas on the multitude of issues affecting libraries. And, most importantly, it serves as an avenue to introduce your book to this super-important marketplace.

Outskirts Press can handle all the details of representing your book at the ALA Book Fair this year if you reserve one of the limited spots before April 19th at https://outskirtspress.com/p/ala.

Want to increase your chances for success with librarians? Register for the ALA Book Fair using the link above, and then submit your first chapter into the 1st Chapter Library Preview. With 1st Chapter Preview Library Distribution, your book cover, synopsis, pricing information and ordering details will run for three consecutive months in a quarter page ad in First Chapter Plus, a monthly catalog where viewers/customers/librarians can download and preview the first chapter of your book. Those who are interested in buying copies will have all the ordering details right there in the catalog for their convenience, and your benefit. If you order today by clicking here, you’ll immediately receive a 10% discount if you use promotion code: Save10FCP.

 

Write, Finish, Edit: A Writer’s Guide to Moving Forward and Finishing

We’ve all pictured the cloistered writer hunched in solitude over a notepad or laptop, furiously scratching out word after glorious word well into the wee hours. The brilliance flows faster than he can capture it on paper until the day he triumphantly types “The End” …

Well, that’s how we imagine it, but it rarely goes so smoothly! Writing a book is a big project and a long process, and the direction is not always obvious or easy. It’s common — even normal — for an author to hit roadblocks. Call it writer’s block, brain cramps or something else, but it gets us all at one time or another.

Let’s face it: We need more than an imagination and determination to get to the finish line. Sometimes we need outside intervention, and it comes in many forms. Here are some writer’s block-breakers you can seek out next time the creative juice stop flowing:

  • Inspiration. It can be as simple as a walk or a favorite song, or as stimulating as a brainstorming session with another writer. Enlist someone you trust to motivate you to think about your story in a different light.
  • Advice. Sometimes the inspiration is there but you just need specific, practical guidance to iron out the wrinkles in your plot, character development or story arc.
  • Unbiased feedback. Enthusiastic cheerleading feels good, but it’s not always what you need. If you’re relying on friends and family for feedback, you’re better off with brutal honesty … but how many people you know are willing to provide it?
  • Editing. Leave this one to a professional. While it’s fine to lean on friends, family and fans for the final proofread for typos, hire or trade services with a professional editor to do the heavy lifting. They’ll not only whip your grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling into shape, but will also make sure your story is organized optimally for clarity and enjoyment.
  • Help finishing. There’s no shame in handing off your “baby” to another writer. Ghostwriters are a poorly kept secret in the literary world and extremely common. Odds are some of your favorite bestsellers were penned — either wholly or in part — by a ghostwriter. A talented ghostwriter is adept at adapting to your voice and creating a finished work that is everything you envisioned, or even better than you pictured!

When writer’s get stuck, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Writing consultants, editors, Publishing Consultants, proofreaders and ghostwriters all fulfill different needs, so figure out how extensive your manuscript issues are before deciding on a path to getting it back on track.

Not sure what you need to get over that writing hump? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.

 

Boost Your Sales With 10% Off Our Promotional Materials Bundle!

Have you ever promoted your book at a local fair? What about at the library? At the movie theatre or a local restaurant? This is a season of promotions, book fairs, and festivals–making it the perfect time of year around which to build your marketing plan! And the perfect event requires, even demands, the perfect complementary takeaway for attendees to remember you and your book by.

I’m talking about promotional materials! This month, we’re offering our Promotional Materials Bundle for 10% off the already bundled price. You get great savings on the design and printing of five different types of materials, all of which adds up to a fantastically useful and affordable range of over 1,525 custom promotional items featuring your book’s beautiful cover! More specifically, this package provides:

  • 500 bookmarks
  • 500 business cards
  • 500 postcards
  • 25 small posters

This bundle normally sells for $599 but order today and you can receive all 1,525 items for just $539.10. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, simply enter promo code Save10PromoPack at checkout!

But … what do you do with these items? Where does an author get started? We’ve put together a list of our top five tips for getting the most out of your promotional events and materials!

  • Use the 500 bookmarks included in this package to stock the counters of local businesses, libraries, and bookstores; anywhere that people read, or have to take a pause while reading, is perfect
  • Hand out the 500 business cards at public readings, book signings, and other events where you’ll meet potential future readers
  • Mail the 500 postcards to distant friends or to those likely to purchase copies of your book, or recruit friends and family to use them in place of regular correspondence! Two birds with one stone, right?
  • Use the 25 small posters to paper the town! Inquire at local businesses, including grocers, movie theaters, and restaurants, if they wouldn’t mind you putting up a poster on their public bulletin boards or paste it in their shop front windows!
  • Whatever else you do, make sure it’s portable! You literally want your promotional materials to walk out the door, so make it easy! Stock materials that will really move, tucked away neatly in a wallet or pocket or book, and stock them in places or at events where people won’t hesitate to grab one and take it home!

For more information on marketing your book, log into your Publishing Center and click on the Marketing Solutions menu or chat with a Publishing Consultant via the live chat feature on our website.

 

Be King of the Hill! FREE publishing package upgrade today

Is that New Year’s Resolution to publish your book nipping at your neck? Start publishing with Outskirts Press today we’ll upgrade your publishing package for FREE! It’s the perfect way to stay within your budget and get that book into readers’ hands!

It’s simple, really: When you purchase a package now we will automatically bump you up to a better package at no charge. Interested in Full-Color Publishing? Pay for the Ultimate instead and get everything that comes with the Full-Color package for no extra cost. Did you only budget for Basic Black & White? Buy it today and you can claim all the extras that come with the more inclusive Ultimate Black & White Publishing Package!

Here’s how it works: Buy a package, enter UpgradeNow into the promotion code field in your shopping cart – and get the next package-up for FREE! In short, you’ll receive hundreds of dollars worth of extras that aren’t normally included in the package you purchased, including:

  • additional options for book formatting
  • more professional cover design choices
  • additional author copies
  • greater profit margins
  • other optional products and services

There’s no better time to self-publish.

Need help deciding on the right publishing package? Call a Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS), or chat with us using the live chat option on our website for help selecting the best package for you.

 

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


Penalty Flag on Life

by LaWayne Williams

(5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)

Price: $14.95

LaWayne Williams’s “Penalty Flag on Life.” Number one draft pick Noah Boss is granted seven days by his newly acquired NFL team to settle the affairs of his murdered brother, but finding out who killed him makes returning to assured fame and wealth a difficult decision. A teenage oath he made to his deceased father has Noah struggling against the desire to seek revenge.

 Learn More 

 

Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

Would you like your book featured here? Buy Now

 

Art Fairy by Floras Athena

Technology has created a wide variety of ways to reach audiences all over the world. It takes is a little thinking outside the box and you can market a self-published book in creative, affordable and impactful ways. Consider book tours! Tours are a great way to connect with your readers and technology has made them easier and more cost effective than ever!

Author Floras Athena is taking her latest book Art Fairy, on tour — a Virtual Book Tour with Outskirts Press. This will allow Floras to take her book into the far corners of the globe, all from the comfort of her own home! Keep an eye out for Floras’s book as she will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead!


Luckily for us, Flora was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of Art Fairy.

OP: Tell us a little bit about Art Fairy. What is it about?

Floras: My book is about music, art, family, school, education, and school violence. It’s infused with the experiences of Mozart, Beethoven, Joe Hisaishi, Da Vinci, and my own practice and discipline on the road of music and art. The story is about a young boy who loves music and art and how he creates happiness for the world. My book is based in reality but with new, fantastic, fairyland language. This book is full of funny, fantastic, and heartbreaking stories, as well as touching moments and a bright happy ending.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Floras: My road in the world of art was very hard and miserable, so I hope my book Art Fairy will inspire and encourage children to embrace happiness and follow their dreams. I think our educational concept has many absurd aspects, especially the methods of cultivating talent. In our education, a lot of valuable time and energy is used to force us to cram and practice every day. Measuring children by the standards of commodities is ridiculous and this is a problem that exists in almost all the of world’s educational methods. So, in my book Art Fairy, there are three important theories: one is “The reason why no great is born, it is we neglect the process of forming the great soul.” Another is, “All beings are created equal! All beings’ talents are created equal!” And the most important one looks into the methods of cultivating talent, “Read Practice Think”. The amount of reading, practicing, thinking, is also equivalent to the promotion of talent. It comes from my many years of research on the geniuses and greats of various fields. Painting, music, literature, philosophy, science, film, martial arts, politics, and military. Different fields have different proportions and contents. This requires us to look closely at the lives of the greats spanning both history and all fields of study. In my theory, the only way to measure the value of talent is by their contribution to the world. In other words, the value of a talent lies in our devotion; just as how much we read, practice, think, our talents are put to the best use when we create happiness for the world. Above of all, we must remember that all beings are created equal! All beings’ talents are created equal!

OP: How did you get your book published?

Floras: Last year, I went to Penguin Random House in New York, they gave me some information about publication. Then I found Outskirts Press, and they allowed me to publish in the most productive way. My book is very different from others, so I wanted the method of publication to be more efficient, flexible, while still giving me full control over my book.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

Floras: If you like the movies X-Men and Spider-Man, you will like my book. They have some common themes. This book, is for the whole world, for everyone who is suffering, anyone who loves art, anyone who has a dream. Art Fairy is for everyone!

OP: What is special about your book?

Floras: The thoughts, stories, and language are singular to my book. Take a look at the excerpt below!

New year party, Oris played the piano and violin on the stage, and the solo of bel canto.
“I dedicate my solo and singing for Cynthia!” Instant springbok sensation below the stage! In the Madagascar rainforest, the lemurs on the deer’ eyes trees was screaming! Leaves left and flowers danced! Melody was on the alpine cypress, Flora danced as flowering sakura sea. Singing was dreamed sun as a cloud butterflies in the flowers sea of Poland forest. After playing and singing, a deep bow, applause instantly exploded galaxy! Cheers volcano rained all dawn! After a long long time, when cheers destroyed as stars, Cynthia said loudly to Oris that laughing as a whale on the stage, “Idiot! Hideous! Poor! Only big howling monkeys and dog raccoons in cloud forest would like you this only can play the piano and sing but poor and hideous, and grades are bad as tiger cats’ hind legs of Caribbean! You unicorn whale big idiot!!!” Instantly! The auditorium died like Lyra stars……

An ancient Roman scholar made such a request to literary and art workers, “Think of bee as model, very widely reading, practice our own inventive mind, melt all the flowers into our own nectar. All has the origin, but all has new hue.” This sentence can fully explain the language of my book, which is the hardest work. Because I often read a lot of books and imagined for a long time just for creating a new, beautiful and fantastic fairy world in a few words. Fortunately, everyone who had seen this book all praised it, so I believe more and more readers would enjoy the reading with this book.

And the cover is my own painting. I painted it 5 years ago. I have spent a great deal of time on the road of art, striving to create a perfect fairyland for readers.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

Floras: This book was inspired by the difficulties I experienced on the art road; all of my tears, sweat, blood. Every word comes from my art and my soul.

OP: Have you published any other books?

Floras: This is my first published book.

OP: Do you plan to publish more?

Floras: Yes, this is the first book, and I will publish Art Fairy 2 in about a year. The second book will be funnier and more beautiful. I also plan to paint hundreds of paintings for two painting books. The cover of Art Fairy is my own painting. At the very beginning, I began writing to express my dreams for painting and piano. For the past 15 years, I refused give up on my art dreams; although they are different fields, they have many common principles. I know Da Vinci very well, his biographies, his Note Book of Leonardo da Vinci… and Art Fairy has many stories based on the real experience of Da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci proved that one can achieve in many fields, as long as the method is correct, and the time is used efficiently. So, everything and every dream is possible and achievable. You can buy the Art Fairy from the publisher on my author website: https://outskirtspress.com/ArtFairy or on Amazon, just search the words “Art Fairy Floras Athena” or “Floras Athena” and you will find it.

OP: Thanks for your time, Floras! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Art Fairy, is about music, art, family, school, education, and school violence. It fuses some of the experiences of Mozart, Beethoven, Joe Hasashi, Da Vinci and my own practice and discipline on the road of music and art. The story is about a young boy who loved music and art and how he created happiness for the world. This book has two different parts, one is “The old miserable world”, in this world everything is miserable, and the other is “The new gorgeous world given by great nature and Art Fairy“, in this world everything is beautiful and happy. At the very beginning, the boy went through all kinds of oppressive tribulations in his cruel family and school, then was frozen to death, and saved by the Art Fairy. In this world he has a happy family, realized his art dream, the teachers, schools, and the whole world had become more and more bright and beautiful. Finally, the boy and a deaf-mute girl who loved playing the violin dedicate themselves to creating happiness for the world. This book also incorporates a lot of real events and seeks the truth from facts. The language of this book is fantastic and funny. This book is full of funny, fantastic, heartbreaking, and touching stories, with a bright happy ending. There is also a beautiful myth in the middle and end of the book.

Tolstoy said, “A good literary work should show the right direction for the world.” The second half of this book is the essence of my 15 years of exploration and my thoughts regarding the right direction of the world. The first thought in this book is about education, in one nutshell, “The reason why no great is born, it is we neglect the process of forming the great soul.” The second thought in this book, is “The value of man lies in his devotion, and only by dedicating for the world can he receive the world’s reward, but only greater ability can make the greater contribution.” The extension and development in culture and art of this theory. There are many theories about art, talent, culture and education. Part of the plot is based on the real experience of Mozart, Beethoven, Da Vinci, and Joe Hasashi. The portions of the plot involving music and piano are based on my own experience of practicing and being a piano teacher. I used to teach three 5-year-old little girls to play the piano, and I’m going to study composition and play the piano in Hollywood.

Everyone who has seen this book has praised it, so I believe more and more readers will enjoy reading this book.
By the way, if you like the movies X-Men, you will like my book, as they have some common themes.

For more information or to contact the author, visit https://www.outskirtspress.com/ArtFairy

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road.” Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?

Learn More