Believe in Your Dream of Writing Your First Book

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Pedro Luis Adames Valdez, author of “ Times of Victory.” To learn more about this author visit his website, Facebook page or Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Follow Your Dream to Publish

WestBow Press gave me the ability to publish my first book. My initial thought was that it would be almost impossible for me to publish my story. I started communicating with John Limba and he encouraged me to take a leap of faith and embark on my self-publishing journey. I came to learn that there are many obstacles in the road to publishing your book. Not too long ago, only famous writers were able to publish their books. However, thanks to WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, everyone is able to publish their books. It doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak, you can follow your publishing dreams.

Embrace Your Story

Times of VictoryI was going through a hard time in life and on top of that I was struggling with the feeling of emptiness that was lingering from not having a father to mentor me while growing up. This resentment and lack of forgiveness made my life a mess. Soon, I started to search for healing inside myself and accepting the new life that Jesus provided me through his death and resurrection.

I began my writing journey and shared some of my thoughts with a few fellow ministry partners from Minnesota. When they read my work, they encouraged me to look into publishing my ideas. They believed somebody would be blessed by reading it. So I wrote Times of Victory to hopefully help others understand that they can live a victorious life. My wish is that they will rise above any hardships and struggles they will encounter.

I have come to realize that people often struggle to forgive and miss the opportunity to live life to the fullest and embrace God’s blessings. There is a story behind every obstacle you face. Once you accept yourself and start gaining the freedom that comes from a life where you forgive, you can begin again.

I Googled book publishers for awhile until I stumbled upon WestBow Press. I was impressed by WestBow Press and it definitely caught my attention that they are a division of Thomas Nelson. Readers know about Thomas Nelson because of the thousands of successful titles that have been published by them. I then asked myself why not to give it a try and see what God can do?

After Publishing with WestBow Press

I have received e-mails from readers all around the United States, some were housewives, bus drivers, bloggers, as well as others who have purchased my book and enjoyed reading it. There is no better feeling than receiving a note from somebody who just read your book. A school teacher from Texas sent me the following note:

Finished your book, Times of Victory. Thank you. God blessed me and challenged me greatly through your words. I am definitely recommending it to others.

 

Publish with WestBow Press

A dream that began while I was attending to bible seminary was then embraced by WestBow Press.  I truly believe WestBow Press is a gift from God. They are there to help aspiring authors to inspire the lives of people everywhere through the art of writing. A dream starts with a profound desire to achieve something. My dream was to write a book and my desire was to motivate people to become better and victorious. I encourage every aspiring author to allow WestBow Press to help you discover your dreams and let us all make an impact in peoples lives.

I hope you to write your story, share your thoughts and words of wisdom because you don’t know who you will bless with your book. It is not about how much money you can make but how many lives you can touch. Do not underestimate the power of your story, there are people waiting for your message. Your dream can become a reality through WestBow Press.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length


Why Authors Choose WestBow Press

We at WestBow Press are always thrilled to hear feedback from our authors and receive great reviews for our services. Check out some of our author testimonials below!

 

Sandy Hurst, 52 Quick Lessons on the Bible

I look back on my publishing journey and think WOW! I am thankful for this opportunity and proud of the accomplishment God has allowed in my life.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/cant-never-could/

 

Andrew and Stephanie Downing, Marriage and Schizophrenia

I’m so grateful I took the leap of faith and filled out the free publishing guide. Hundreds now know that schizophrenia is not bigger than God, and I have a growing platform to share a Christian point of view in the world of mental health. I highly recommend WestBow Press.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/marriage-and-schizophrenia/

 

Kathleen Beining, The Story of Mrs. Bumbleberry

Publishing with Westbow Press was wonderful. They walked me through the process and always responded when I had questions. I am not the most computer savvy person, but everyone there was patient and friendly.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/story-of-mrs-bumbleberry/

 

Debra Irene, Reflections

Although I did not win the writer’s contest; I did receive a discount on a publishing package with WestBow Press for entering and was able to purchase that package with an unexpected bonus in January. I watched the dream unfold, month by month, just like Brenda encouraged; and in April of 2011, I held my first copy of Reflections.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/a-dream-and-a-miracle-part-ii/

 

Rodney Hunt, Out of Control

I wanted to give up many times during the process of writing and publishing. One of the reasons I invested in the publishing package with WestBow Press was because I knew it would help hold me accountable to finishing my goal of becoming a published author.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/keep-writing-when-you-feel-like-quitting/ 

 

Eva Schmidt, Grace for Tomorrow

My experience with WestBow Press has been nothing short of amazing. I knew nothing about publishing but their friendly staff has guided me each step of the way.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/gods-hand-in-my-publishing-journey/

 

Gary Savage, Fletcher McKenzie

Self-publishing gives me the control I had previously been looking for. I have a major say in the layout of the book, the cover, and the final product. I would absolutely recommend self-publishing to other aspiring authors.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/gary-savage-adventurous-nutrition-book/

 

Jeffrey Donley, The Counterfeit Christmas

I like the fact that my work will be published to the world. I would recommend WestBow Press’s self-publishing to other authors.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/jeffrey-donley-interview/

 

 

Cathy Corley, The Red Stones

I am so appreciative for WestBow Press. They gently guided me from my initial call last January to the final proofs. Each representative was patient, kind and helpful through every stage. I would encourage anyone that has a story on their heart to take the time and write it down. God has blessed me through this journey.

http://blog.westbowpress.com/red-stones-cathy-corley/

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Can’t Never Could – Overcoming Fear

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Sandy Hurst, author of “52 Quick Lessons on the Bible.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Writing With Purpose 

My writing journey began with a focus on students who have yet to learn the basics of scripture or its relevance to their lives.  I have been in the ministry of teaching students for twenty-five years and have never seen a time like this.  Many students do not know the basics of Scripture.  Students are coming to church with no biblical background and no understanding of what the Bible is really about. My heart broke over this disturbing trend.

 

Listening to the Call

I began my summer vacation two years ago writing lessons with simple truths about the Bible with basic life verses added. I wanted this project to be finished and ready for our students when we started Wednesday night Bible club again in August. Thus, my writing journey began. When August came, I piloted the lessons as our curriculum on Wednesday nights. It went better than I could have ever imagined. Our leaders loved my lessons and thought they were perfect for our elementary students. Many leaders with various teaching styles loved the simplicity of my lessons. The cool thing was that my study leaders varied from retirees to young teachers; everyone was able to use my lessons based on student needs.

One Wednesday evening after our Bible club, the leaders approached me saying that I needed to publish the lessons for other churches to use as a resource. I thought there was no way that could happen. God has a sense of humor because I am not a writer by any means. Since that conversation, it seemed that God continued to impress on me to publish. I researched self-publishing companies and always returned to WestBow. It seemed that each time that I attempted to move forward, I would hesitate due to fear. I was at the point that I would call WestBow and hang up before anyone would answer.

 

Letting Go Of Fear

“Cain’t never could,” was a quote my mother said many times. This saying always came to mind when deciding whether or I would publishing a book.  I had to start somewhere and that is what I did.  My favorite verse, 2 Timothy 1:7 came to my thoughts consistently. With this verse in mind, I picked up the phone to finally contact WestBow Press. The verse says, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Fear of “can’t,” and “ain’t” will not allow you to try. God showed me that He gives power, love, and a sound mind. This was the confidence I needed to say I could by trusting Him and using WestBow to complete this project.

 

Reflection of Thankfulness

I look back on my publishing journey and think WOW! I am thankful for this opportunity and proud of the accomplishment God has allowed in my life. My hope is that if one church uses this as a resource to share God’s word then my work is done. The take away from this experience is to release the spirit of fear and let God’s power, love, and sound mind lead you on a writing journey that could possibly change lives with your obedience.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Labor of Love

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Paul J. Murphy, author of “Leading Well.” You can learn more about Paul by visiting his author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Something to Say

“I want to write a book.”  I was a young pastor in my late 20’s when I first voiced my author dream.  Ray, a seasoned friend and mentor, smiled and placed his hand on my shoulder, responding, “But you don’t have anything to say yet.

Thirty-five years later, I finally felt I had something worth saying, specifically, about living as a Christian leader. Leading Well is about the Purpose, Power, Personalities and Practice of Christian leadership. It is intentionally practical while also being theological. It is experiential, not merely idealistic. It is about inner development and outer skills.

But, how would I get Leading Well published? I enlisted my network, searching for publishers. This lead to direct contact with several major publishers. After reviewing my manuscript, they all politely declined, citing other big name authors who already have published books on Christian leadership.

Then, I received an email from Matt, a young man in his mid-twenties. Matt attended a church in Hollywood where I had served as an intentional interim pastor the previous twelve months. He mentioned that a man who had been his youth pastor had transitioned to work for a publisher, though Matt did not know much more than that. This information lead to several phone calls with Keith Ogorek, who usually began the conversation by saying, “Paul I am getting into a taxi in New York so I have a few minutes to talk now.”

Keith connected me to WestBow Press.  I now had a publisher!

 

Labor Pains

When my wife was in labor with our first child the attending nurse told us that 1 out of 100 women in labor “quit”. She explained that the woman would be far along in labor, but mentally hit the wall. These women literally got up off the bed and began walking to the hospital elevators saying, “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.”

Labor, including labor pain, was what I felt during the publishing process. It took longer than I expected. Along the way, I felt frustration, anger, weariness, then finally peace and satisfaction.

I knew what I wanted to say, but in what order I was not always sure. Moving sections and then moving them again was wearying. Eventually, I had lost all objectivity about my own manuscript.

I sent the manuscript to twelve of my closest friends and colleagues, inviting their honest feedback. Eleven responded with varying versions of “good for you Paul”.  The twelfth, Dave, emailed me two pages of critiques saying “I suppose that perhaps there might be a good book in there somewhere, maybe….”.

For two days I nursed the sting of his critiques, and tried not to be defensive.  I asked another good friend what he thought of Dave’s critiques.  He felt Dave had valid, useful feedback.

So it was back to work, more ‘labor pains’ as I revised what I had already labored to write. In the Acknowledgements section of Leading Well you will find this sentence, “A number of friends invested time to read the draft version of this book, offering their compliments and constructive critiques.  The end result is better than what I would have produced on my own.”  That is my thank you sentence to Dave.

 

The Final Push

Finally I was ready to email my revised and improved manuscript to WestBow Press. WestBow reviewed portions of the manuscript and sent it back marked up with various change notes.  They insisted on a “release” (to avoid any invasion of privacy) from my deceased mother (tough getting her to sign a release, so they excused me) and from my elderly incapacitated father who could not walk, talk, chew or write. I felt like I had been pushing for months, years, yet still no baby – no birth. This was taking longer than I expected. Wasn’t my publisher supposed to HELP, rather than frustrate me?

After venting my anger and frustration, I took a cleansing breath and went back to pushing. I was actually closer to birth than I realized. I once again sent off my latest revised version of the manuscript. Instead of more change notes, WestBow sent me proofs to approve for publication. Several (uneventfully peaceful) weeks later, my newborn arrived: triplets – a hard back, paperback, and  e-book stub versions.

I will not tell you that Leading Well is perfect, but it is what I wanted to communicate. All the pain of writing, rewriting, revising, negotiating WestBow’s edits, and enduring Dave’s critiques was worth it. Leading Well is a better book for the struggle. Here is what I wrote in the introduction:

This book is for Christian leaders, whether in the ministry or in the marketplace.”

 

God’s Fingerprints

How do we experience the fingerprints of God upon us and upon the ministry He has given us? Leading Well is arranged by sections – the Purpose, Power, Personalities, and Practice of “leading well” as a Christ-like servant leader.

I have written this book to spark renewal in your own life, while equipping you to lead well in ministry.  I hope you will experience a caring arm around your shoulder and a firm hand in the middle of your back as we discover what it means for leaders to help Christian ministries meet the challenge of their calling.  Our calling is worth it.  The world for which Jesus gave His life needs the body of Christ to be who it is, because “if it is who it ain’t, then it ain’t who it is.

Who knows. Yet now, writing a second book does not seem so hard.

 

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


God Speaks Through Dreams

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Wendy Westerfield , author of “Adventures with Piggy.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

A Stirring Soul

In September 2015, I headed to Nashville for the DotMOM Conference. As a mom of 3 kiddos, I was ready to be recharged, encouraged, and with Jesus. I remember listening to Karen Kingsbury speak there. She was reading one of her children’s books, Let Me Hold You Longer. Karen had all the moms crying and wanting to go home to love their children better and show them Jesus.  At that moment, I felt a stirring in my spirit: God had more for me to be doing. I want to encourage moms and families, I want to share God’s love. I want to help build character in kids and let them know that with God they can do anything. My desire is that people are moved to see Jesus.

On October 26, I woke up from a dream feeling such an urgency from the Lord. I had an inexplicable feeling that God was up to something.  I wrote in my prayer journal because I knew I had heard Him and didn’t want to miss or forget anything.

My Prayer

Lord,   

I want so much to do something extraordinary for you. God give Matt and I a fresh new vision of how our family can serve you. How we can use our talents, gifts and experiences to lead people to You. We want to see them excited about you.  Give them the desire to live for You, not out of obligation but a longing to want to be more like You. Show us what that looks like.  Place people into our lives that can speak and encourage us.  Open doors for ministry. Open a new door for our family. God I feel like You said to write a book. Give me guidance and direction.

May this dream and desire come to fruition. Give me favor. Guide me in the right direction. May I feel Your presence always. Fill our house with Your presence. Touch our kids. Use them for Your glory. May they turn to You and love You. God my desire is to see our family serving together and ministering together. Give us a clear vision.

God Speaks

Soon after my prayer, God spoke to me for the first time about writing a book. I found it quite strange that He would want me to write. I am not the best writer. I never know where to put the correct punctuation and I am not a woman of fancy, big words. As time passed, almost a year, I continued to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom.  I still didn’t know exactly what He wanted me to write.

And then it happened…another dream. I woke up with the main character, as well as the title of my first book. I knew this was God. So I wrote, and that was the day Adventures with Piggy became a reality.

My whole life I have always been encouraged and told I could do anything. When it comes to things I’m not naturally good at, I tend to doubt myself or shrink back in fear. What I’ve learned through this whole process though, is that God would not put a dream in my heart if He hadn’t already given me everything I needed to fulfill it. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. If God has spoken to you, I encourage you not to let fear keep you from trusting Him and Dreaming Big.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Managing Family Wealth

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kip Kolson, author of “The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and ‘Holy Coach.'” You can learn more about Kip by visiting his author website. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

An Inside Perspective

If your job involves helping people, you may feel limited to working only with those whom you interact directly. This was my situation. My work and message of hope was confined to four office walls.

I am the owner and president of Family Wealth Leadership, a wealth management and registered investment advisory firm. Working with business owners and their families, I’ve learned that wealth does not always bring happiness or peace. Unfortunately, more often than not, wealth creates complexity, discontent, and even relational conflicts.

Managing Wealth

Our company works to successfully build and preserve families’ financial wealth. After working with many families, we realized that wealth was often a catalyst for problems. Because of this, we decided to expand our services to include family coaching. There are hosts of people who do a good job of addressing the financial side of wealth management, but that is where it stops. Relationship counselors, therapists, and psychologist are necessary to work on the “people” issues. The problem is, most don’t understand that money and people are a toxic combination.

Money and people are intertwined: impossible to separate. Whether money causes people problems, or vice versa; they must be addressed simultaneously for progress to be long-term. We are one of the few firms that works on the four Ts of True Wealth; Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures. We believe the family, and everyone in it, has a desire to be significant. Significance can only be achieved through serving others and being a good steward of the four Ts of True Wealth. This is what family coaching is all about.

Family Coaching

Family coaching is a time-intensive activity. We only are able to work with a few families a year. Yet, we still wanted to help more people. We wanted to alert families of the historical statistic that 70% of their wealth will be lost each time it passes to the next generation and completely gone in three generations. Worse, often families will be in disarray and antagonistic. How could we help more people through the trial of wealth management? The answer was writing a book, thus The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and “Holy Coach” was birthed. This book describes the symptoms of what we call “affluenza” and the preventative treatments every family can use to unite their family and build a legacy. The “Holy Coach” was my metaphor for backing up the recommended treatments with truth and solid principles that have proven successful for thousands of years.

Fuel Your Passions

I am a first-time author and I have a passion for families because I believe as the family goes, so goes our society and world. Like all authors who write these types of books, I would like to think I might be able to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Whatever your passion is, I encourage you to devote some amount of time every day to following through. I wrote a 300-page book on my smartphone which is always with me. I could write a little whenever I had a thought and some quiet time: like lunch, a waiting room, or airport. No matter how busy you are, you have enough time to achieve your significance. Just do it! Serve others rather than yourself, and be a good steward of your Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


From Writing to Purpose

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Ifonia Jean, author of “Strength for the Journey.” You can learn more about Ifonia by visiting her author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Follow Your Passion

Follow your passions and you will discover the path of your purpose.  That’s what I learned when I finally published my book earlier this year. I still remember all the hours spent brainstorming, reading, researching and writing. I worked on my book for five long years.

Initially, I had my mind set on writing a novel—a romance to be exact. Yet, I was not as passionate about writing this romance novel as I was thinking about it. I didn’t believe a tale of falling in love was going to give people the hope and strength they needed to survive the tests and trials of life.

There was (and is) just too much going on in the world, so much brokenness. I used to work for my local newspaper. The newsroom was always buzzing with bad news and filled with tension. Every time I looked up at one of the flat panel TVs on the walls, there was “breaking news.” Headlines were popping up on my computer screen through the company’s dashboard.  My co-workers were constantly expressing their anger, fears, sadness and doubt about something they read or watched.

Embrace New Opportunities

The negative news was a lot for me to take in sometimes, but I always felt moved to counterattack the national tragedies through writing. I had been writing an education column for about a year, until one day, my boss proposed that I write about my faith. She knew how zealous I was about my relationship with God. I thought it was a great idea and jumped on the opportunity for God to use me.

To my astonishment, the readers were responding to my faith columns. I was receiving hand-written letters and emails on a weekly basis from men and women in the community who were encouraged by my personal experiences and understanding of the Bible. I thought, surely this is a move of God.

One day, I had an epiphany—I would write a book about my faith, combining my personal experiences with biblical accounts of God’s power and faithfulness. If I could encourage my community, then I could encourage my country—not by my strength, but by the Spirit.

I was excited and empowered by this revelation. I knew I would need the strength of God to start and finish my book amidst all the challenges going on in my personal life. I was dealing with debt, infertility, challenges at work, family drama, etc. I was also having a hard time balancing my role as a wife and a student.

God Gives Us Purpose

Through it all, I thought about how God used Paul to encourage the early church in their faith. God also encouraged Paul, enabling him to survive the worst and best parts of his journey. Paul did not have a church to fund his missionary trips or a private jet to get him to different parts of the world. He relied on God to meet his physical and spiritual needs.

I decided that would be my resolve. I depended on the power of God to endure the grueling process of writing and editing. When I lost my job, I thought it was a sign for me to quit working on the book. For a while, I did. I could not deal with the stress of life and write simultaneously.

Thankfully, God put people on my path to cheer me on. He also opened doors for me to meet the financial obligations of publishing my book.  It’s refreshing to know that the God, who is fully aware of our shortcomings, empowers us to overcome any obstacle.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Marriage and Schizophrenia

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Andrew and Stephanie Downing, authors of “Marriage and Schizophrenia.” You can learn more about the Downings by visiting their website, blog, or Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today

In Sickness & Health

My wife and I started writing our book titled, Marriage and Schizophrenia: Eyes on the Prize, as a creative outlet mainly for fun.  We enjoyed spending quality time together crafting the story.  However, our story is anything but easy to talk about.  As we continued with the writing process, we experienced a wealth of healing and began the process of reclaiming our voice.

Writing has a unique power in allowing healing to take place.  We found healing in our marriage through open communication and forgiveness. Slowly, we began to understand that everyone suffers on a relative level.  We came to the conclusion that suffering is suffering.  There is no way to measure suffering, no way to rank sorrow.  Schizophrenia, and the horrors associated with the devastating illness, are perceivable high on a “misery scale.” I have lived with schizophrenia for nearly twenty years now, almost losing my life several times from illness-related complications. Healing poured into our marriage when I realized that my suffering was no worse than my spouses, or anyone’s for that matter.  We both have an equal share in the miseries of earth.

Spreading Our Testimony

We decided to publish our book mainly because we felt our voice had been compromised. We felt many people had a misconception of our situation: not understanding why we were having success amidst mental illness.  God is the key to our success over schizophrenia and mental health issues. God is also the reason why we have survived as a married couple. WestBow has helped us begin the journey of sharing our testimony.

We had a hard time editing and finishing our book.  When we finally had a product that we were comfortable with, we had no idea where to turn.  Neither my wife nor I had ever considered ourselves committed writers, and we certainly didn’t know anything about the publishing world.  I remember breaking down one day due to the fact that my wife’s story needed to be heard.  Her patience, fearlessness, and compassion is incredible.  That same evening I was reading the Word of God on my Bible Gateway app, and an add popped up: “Fulfill God’s calling to publish your book…WestBow Press.”

A Christian View

Totally uneducated and in a naive state of mind, I filled out the questionnaire.  Several months later, and I’m now riding the waves of having our story available to the world.  Numerous people have found healing in our story, and I’m loving the lifestyle of writing.  I’m so grateful I took the leap of faith and filled out the free publishing guide. Hundreds now know that schizophrenia is not bigger than God, and I have a growing platform to share a Christian point of view in the world of mental health.  I highly recommend WestBow Press!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


A Dream and a Miracle Part II

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Debra Irene, author of “Helen’s Heritage: Life Stories of Helen Herbert Gillham.” You can learn more about Debra by visiting her websiteFacebook, and Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

It Began with a Contest

In September of 2010, I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, from Kansas City for a writers’ seminar and walked into a room full of extroverts and upbeat people who wanted to live their dreams. My goodness, all I wanted to do was figure out how to finish a little book. Mostly, I just listened to everyone else and the outstanding speakers.

I learned I needed to start a blog (something I told Brenda I would never do). I didn’t have time to print and publish my own book like some planned to do, I barely had time to write it! Also, I knew that I could wait forever for a traditional publisher. Lucky for me, an executive from Thomas Nelson spoke at the convention and mentioned that their new self-publishing division had teamed with Women of Faith for a writing contest where the winner would receive a free publishing package. That sparked my interest and I felt was the meant-to-be part of the program for me.

Realizing a Dream

I returned home to Kansas City, wrote my first blog (with Brenda’s encouragement), and contemplated how I was going to finish my manuscript by the contest deadline – just three months away. Brenda pointed out that my book was the style that didn’t have a specific ending and that I should stop writing when I reached the minimum number of words (10,000). I could write a sequel later. What a tremendous piece of advice that was. After all, I wasn’t writing a novel. So that December, I took a week’s vacation from my career job and devoted nine hours each day to reaching 10,000 words. I continued to work my supplemental night job; and by December 31, I was ready to push the button for the contest.

An Unexpected Prize

Reflections by Debra IreneAlthough I did not win the contest; I did receive a discount on a publishing package with WestBow Press for entering the contest and was able to purchase that package with an unexpected bonus in January. I watched the dream unfold, month by month, just like Brenda encouraged; and in April of 2011, I held my first copy of Reflections.

This was a very big deal to me, my own personal miracle. My mind was flooded with other book ideas. But the idea that took front and center was a project for my mother. She wanted to tell her life story and had no idea what to do. She didn’t have a concept, or a format in mind. Neither did I at first, but we started writing it down little by little. Meanwhile, I kept blogging: telling my own stories. Around that time, a few of my stories were published by Farm & Ranch Living, Country, and The Missouri Golf Post.

Five Years Later

I continued with my career job but dreamed that someday writing could be my career. Five years later, I held my second book published by WestBow Press, Helen’s Heritage: my mother’s story, her dream. This was a project very near and dear to me. Not only is it my mother’s life story; but it is a family documentation, a forty-thousand-word family history filled with short stories and vignettes. The book merges in seventy-five narratives from about 1880 through today. In addition to this latest work, I have enough blog material for another book when I am ready to compile it.

Someday, I will retire from my day job, but I can’t imagine ever retiring from my dream of writing. There are more stories to tell and more projects to complete. A dream, a miracle, and a Brenda in my life – those were the keys!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


A Dream and a Miracle Part I

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Debra Irene, author of “Helen’s Heritage: Life Stories of Helen Herbert Gillham.” You can learn more about Debra by visiting her websiteFacebook, and Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

How It All Began

A storyteller of real-life adventures and everyday life – that’s what I call myself. So how did this all begin?

The year was 2010. I was working through the financial repercussions of a devastating divorce a few years earlier. I had two very good-paying jobs, one a career job, and three sons in college. Even though I worked about 70 hours a week, I managed to find a little time to devote myself to a lifelong dream of writing. I started one of my project ideas – a small book of vignettes reflecting on people in my life.

Determined to complete the project despite my busy schedule, I got to work. I had heard about self-publishing; and, as I gazed out my condo window at a traditional publishing company in downtown Kansas City, I wondered about the best way to break into this world of publishing. So I called my friend Brenda for advice, who confessed that she wasn’t sure but she knew someone who would know. She said I needed to attend his two-day writing seminar in Franklin, Tennessee. This was, of course, impossible. Remember – I worked two jobs; was in a financial crisis, and this suburb of Nashville was 575 miles away.

Brenda said, “At least think about it.”

I looked into airfare and hotel possibilities for two to three nights and knew that I would have to come up with the registration fee, which I believe was between $200-$300. I remember feeling overwhelmed with it all. Then another friend offered to drive for a little getaway if I was able to take the time off. I tucked that away in my memory bank as I pondered how to come up with all of the necessary funds.

Miracles Happen

One evening, I attended a business social event at a local Marriott hotel. The grand prize giveaway for the evening was 60,000 Marriott reward points. As I signed my name on the strip of paper, I told our hostess that I needed to win the grand prize and jokingly asked if there was a Marriott in Franklin, Tennessee. She assured me there were a couple nearby and throughout the evening told everyone I needed to win to go to Franklin, Tennessee. People laughed and wondered why anyone “needed” to go to – where? Yes, Franklin, Tennessee. At the end of the evening when the names were drawn, I watched as the third and second place winners claimed their prizes. Then when the name was drawn for the grand prize, the hostess laughed and said, “She’s going to Franklin, Tennessee!” (By the way, my name really was legitimately drawn.)

Have Faith

My friend, Brenda, smiled when I told her the Marriott story and encouraged me to just wait and see if something else fell into place. Then a week later, I was on a call with the administrator of my 401(k) plan at work. One of my sons needed an additional $3,000 for school that semester, and I investigated the possibility of withdrawing some of the money for educational purposes.

After answering many questions and jumping through all the hoops, I found out our situation didn’t qualify for that withdrawal. But the administrator said, “You do have a small amount from a previous rollover that you can withdraw without question.” I was shocked to learn the amount was almost the exact amount needed to cover the registration fee for the writing seminar. That was the final piece. We had to find another avenue for the funds for my son, and I had to arrange for time away with my two employers; but I was going to Franklin, Tennessee!!!

To Be Continued…

What happens next when I get to Franklin, Tennessee? Find out in the next installment of my blog coming soon!

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Tips for Beating Writer’s Block, Part One

Today we’d like to begin discussing something that affects all writers, self-published or otherwise. Yeah, you know what it is already: writer’s block.

Why are there so many articles on writer’s block? Probably because writer’s block is to authors what a pulled muscle is to an athlete: one of the common denominators of the trade, something every participant can identify with. And like that pulled muscle, it’s one of the most frustrating.

Remember what writer’s block is, and isn’t.

In search of inspiration.

“Writer’s block.” It sounds so impenetrable, doesn’t it? And that’s part of the problem. But it’s not a wall or a force field or a dead-end street. It’s just a temporary inability for a writer to decide on the best direction for their story. Realize that there IS a best direction; you just haven’t figured it out yet. Relax!

Remember, you’re in good company!

Charles Dickens has had it. Ditto for Stephen King, John Grisham, J. K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, Stephanie Meyer, and James Patterson. You name the author, and it’s guaranteed that (s)he has stared at the monitor, blank sheet of paper, or piece of parchment and thought, “I have no idea what to write.”

And you know what? They went on to write classics and bestsellers. A problem doesn’t seem so insurmountable when you see other people solve it, does it? Well, every writer in the history of the craft has solved it; you will too.

Lower your standards.

Poet William Stafford perhaps said it best: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” He wasn’t promoting substandard writing, of course. The point is, it’s common for writers to set unreasonably high standards that aren’t achievable on a consistent basis. Remember, a lot of your story is going to manifest itself in the rewrite, not the first draft. The important thing is to just keep moving forward; you can always come back and fix that “clunky” scene later!

Just skip it!

So you’ve already written “A,” “B,” and “C,” and you have “F” and “G” plotted out. But you’re stuck on “D” and “E,” and have no idea what to do with them. Sure, you can pound your head on the desk until you figure it out, or you can just skip ahead for now! Jump to the next place in your story where you’re on “sure footing,” and start writing from there. You can always figure out the gaps later–and you will!

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


« Previous Entries

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes