Matthew C. Seufer: Photographer Captures God’s Beauty

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Matthew C. Seufer author of “Windows From Heaven.” All photos provided by the author and appear on his blog http://windowsfromheaven.org/.  Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

I have been an amateur photographer most of my life; the beauty in the world captures me. I hadbook image always been told my photographs were wonderful, and I knew I had a talent. Several years ago, my photographs began to change.

Suddenly, they no longer represented my skill they began to reflect the creator behind the beauty. How Blessed we are that God only need an open heart! He reached out and touch me. He drew me into a remarkable journey to touch others for Him.

The Hand Of God –May 08, 2011 What is written is truth!

The Hand Of God –May 08, 2011 What is written is truth!

I have spent the past several years on this very important and unique project. How could I have known that a walk around the block with my camera would find its way to so many people around the world–that snapshots from my lens would speak to hearts for God? How could I know how this path would change me?

I am a proud native of Williamstown, West Virginia, a beautiful small town along the banks of the Ohio River. I enjoy the simple things in life and making a positive difference to those along my path. God is pouring out his spirit in the year 2015. Are we paying attention? I am very blessed to be able to share 85 incredible color pictures that God is showing us through my photography.

The Lord has taken my passion for photographing the “simple” things in life, and is showing us all his message through my lens! God said “get this book published, I will do the rest.”

Each picture is dated as they were taken. These dates, are very important to certain people who will view the book. The e-book version is presented in the same quality as the original pics. I intentionally kept the e-book costs as low as possible, so it would be affordable to download onto tablets, iPads, iPhones, lab tops and other electronic devices. The e-book is an inspirational 96-page color picture book that the reader can take with them wherever they travel. What better way to show others God’s message!

This incredible book comforts those who are grieving over a lost friend or family member, sometimes

Spirit Of Jesus –December 29,2013 Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him,even those who pierced him; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. –Revelation 1:7

Spirit Of Jesus –December 29,2013 Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him,even those who pierced him; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. –Revelation 1:7

even a pet. A great gift, for any occasion. “Windows From Heave”n is changing peoples lives. Please share this book with others seeking God’s Kingdom. The soft cover version is a coffee table type book, that is perfect for doctor offices, hospitals, cancer centers, hospice, book stores, libraries and churches.

God is truly revealing his truths in these pictures.

Acts 2:17. Most will be stunned by what God is showing us. Enjoy and share! God is Alive and the Heavens are watching!

Yes It Is All True! It is TIME. God is pouring out His spirit using my talent as a photographer to reach those who seek his Kingdom. God doesn’t Photoshop!

Enjoy this unique newly published book with friends, family and co-workers.

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Pete Nikolai: How to do a Book Giveaway on Goodreads

Goodreads is a “social cataloging” site that has become a hub for connecting authors and readers. A popular marketing tool authors and publishers have employed in recent years are Goodreads Giveaways.

Pete Nikolai has nearly 25 years of experience in many facets of publishing.

Pete Nikolai has nearly 25 years of experience in many facets of publishing.

With more than 20 million monthly visitors, Goodreads — which was acquired by Amazon in 2013 — provides a valuable platform to allow unknown or lesser known authors to “level the playing field” when it comes to marketing.

Pete Nikolai, publisher of WestBow Press and director of publishing services for Harper Collins Christian Publishing, has been a part of marketing countless books throughout his two decades in publishing. In this entry to his “Publish Your Book” blog from December 16, 2014, Nikolai shares tips for successfully executing a Goodreads giveaway.

Pete Nikolai: “How to do a Book Giveaway on Goodreads >>

Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.


Mary Alice Kenley: Lessons from Kenley Cove

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Mary Alice Kenley author of  “Lessons from the Porch at Kenley Cove.”
Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

Have you ever wanted to just sit on someone’s porch in a big old teak rocking chair, looking at a beautiful lake, and just pour out your heart?  Have you ever wanted someone who’s been around a while to listen and use personal experiences and lessons learned from years of Bible study to prayerfully guide you, so that when you left, your load was a little lighter?

That’s what happens almost every day on the huge back porch of our home in rural Alabama, which

photo credit: https://kenleycove.wordpress.com/about/

A retired DC lobbyist, Mary Alice Kenley spends peaceful days writing on her back porch in rural Alabama.

we’ve dubbed Kenley Cove.

In my career as a lobbyist, I traveled almost all the time—Montgomery, Birmingham, Atlanta and Washington, DC.  The days were long with l

ots of meetings, but the evenings were mostly quiet.  I’m not a lover of TV, so I worked on my Bible study and journals.  Because the actual act of writing is restful for me, I hand wrote journal after journal of reflections, revelations and ruminations.  As the reader can imagine, I filled many of the little spiral bound journals (no 8x10s for me—they had to be pretty) with my thoughts and discoveries.

After I retired, I went back to school to become a Christian marriage and family counselor.  The constant, though, was the thoughtful writing in the pretty little books.  One day, one of my sons was visiting and asked what the stack of books was.  Not wanting to be overly serious, I said, “There’s bound to be something in there that you can say over my body when I’m dead!”

Kenley coverHe picked one up and started reading.  It was his suggestion that I start posting on social media.  He’d heard me ranting about bad stuff on the internet, and reminded me that perhaps I could be a force for change, at least in my own little neighborhood of social media friends.  Being the dutiful and obedient mother I try to be, I thought I’d try it.  I am now in my third year of posting on a daily basis Monday through Friday, and I find many are ministered to.  (You can read them, if you like, on the Facebook page that bears the name of the title of the book.)

It was that very venue that led to Lessons from the Porch at Kenley Cove.  At first I had a few printed by a printer for gifts for family and friends.  The week I went to the post office TEN times, the decision was made to seek out a publisher.  The book is now out, the marketing has begun, and my primary prayer is that people will be encouraged by the words between its covers.

Come on over and join me for a big old glass of sweet tea.  We’ll sit on the porch and talk a while!

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

 

 

 


Pete Nikolai: Maximizing Results from Writer’s Conferences & Events

Pete Nikolai, publisher of WestBow Press and director of publishing services for Harper Collins Christian Publishing, is a frequent attendee and presenter at industry events. Last month Nikolai spoke at the Orange County Christian Writers Conference and, in June, he will present at the Southern Christian Writers Conference.

Pete Nikolai has nearly 25 years of experience in many facets of publishing.

Pete Nikolai has nearly 25 years of experience in many facets of publishing.

Nikolai looks forward to these gatherings as “they provide opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and meet authors who have self-published with WestBow or are considering doing so.” It also gives him the opportunity to pick up tips from authors about how they are maximizing the results from these events.

In this entry, which Nikolai originally published on his “Publish Your Book” blog on April 13, 2015, Nikolai offers feedback he’s received from authors in his years of networking at industry events.

Pete Nikolai: “Maximizing Results from Writers Conferences and Events” >>

Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

 


Judy Janowski: Self-Publishing her book helped her recover from illness, relate her love of gardening to spirituality

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Judy Janowski author of “Life is a Garden Party.”
Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

Life Is a Garden Party is a book about gardening, yes, but in actuality it’s a 3-in-1: 1.) a gardening observation 2.) with a spiritual application and supporting scriptures 3.) in rhyme. Each story has two poems so you could say it’s a two-for-the-price-of-one or buy-one-get-one-free. A real bargain in today’s world.

garden

Judy Janowski poses with her book.

One summer I was visiting with a neighbor who was nearing 80 (now he’s looking on 90). He said something that transposed in my mind as from dawn to dusk. That phrase was stuck in my head for a few days. Being the 4th of July and having a bit of sun poisoning, I sat outside to write it down. “From Dawn to Dusk” was the first poem I wrote. I soon had a small, used notebook full of poems.

That July was too hot and humid to work in the yard so I sat in front of the fan transferring what was handwritten to the computer where it morphed into an observation with an application without any forethought. My brain would not shut off. I got up early, stayed up late, wrote in the middle of the night but then couldn’t read what I had written in the morning. The title came to me one day when I was coming in from the garden.

I told a friend I was writing. She gave me her second-hand computer giving me the ability to have internet access, etc. I looked into publishing. Another friend gave me a book about print-on-demand publishing. God provided the resources to publish one Christmas and the next day a print-on-demand publishing company called. God’s perfect timing – one step at a time.

gardenThe entire writing experience has been a gift from God. I had been diagnosed with an illness in 1990 that left me with brain fog, making it difficult to form a sentence. When I started writing, it came out in rhyme. Being a writer/author wasn’t something planned. Writing has been healing, taking all my broken pieces and making a whole. Romans 8:28

I had researched publishers for a writer friend. At that time WestBow caught my attention. I wrote the information on a little scrap piece of paper which was stored under the keyboard for a few years. When I needed another print-on-demand publisher, WestBow was contacted first. WestBow is very expedient and favorably priced. I do recommend to future authors that it’s advantageous to purchase a package that contains marketing, providing greater sales opportunities.

Life Is a Garden Party is a family read. Many of the stories are written as a riddle. An example of one of my gardening observations/spiritual applications pertains to my compost pile. As the compost pile will consume any vegetation, I call it “garbage mouth”. The spiritual application is “let your conversation be filled with grace” vs. garbage. One goal is to teach others to see God’s principles taught in the Bible through their surroundings.

Through this journey I have learned that many people believe in the Creator but not in the Savior. My prayer is that spiritual children result. The blog states which countries have accessed my blog. Countries I have never heard of. May Jesus Christ be praised. I have also “met” people with like faith who are now spiritual mentors. Thank you, Lord. Love hearing from my readers. Their inflection is usually deeper than what I’m able to convey. As all of life is a learning experience, Life Is a Garden Party is growing my faith as well, often calling to mind God’s faithfulness.

Blessings,

Judy Janowski

http://lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Maggie Jalufka Sova: “His Precious Jewels”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Maggie Jalufka Sova: “Precious Jewels.”
Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

Maggie Jalufka Sova signs copies of "Precious Jewels " at a recent book signing.

Maggie Jalufka Sova signs copies of “Precious Jewels ” at a recent book signing.

As I began to write “Precious Jewels” a devotional book; the Lord began to show me how precious we each are.  As an owner in the diamond jewelry industry, I have had the privilege to observe and assist clients in selecting that perfect diamond for their engagement or choosing another precious jewel for another special occasion.  The experience of each person or couple is mesmerizing.  In that particular period, that precious jewel symbolizes a sentimental moment and signifies a commitment and special treasure.

In choosing the unique and precious jewel you take into consideration many factors, the price, the quality, the look, and most importantly knowing that the precious jewel chosen signifies a lifetime of commitment!   As I recall in my own personal life, those were very special moments when I had the pleasure to select some of my own precious jewels and cherish them especially the ones that were given to me.

In my writings the Lord began to show me the process, purity and beauty of precious jewels and how we as His children are similarly made in His eyes.  We are His chosen precious and treasured jewels.

Yes, jewels and crowns are the adorning of a beauty queens, which we see as royalty.  But, our flaws in character, the trials we endure mold us into His likeness.  In the final process we, too,  will sparkle and receive our crowns in eternity.  As you journey, put the King first, pray for a serving heart to help a hurting world and make a difference.

Malachi 3:17 says, “And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.” (Amplified Version)

You are a special treasure. The King has chosen you. May you experience His unconditional love and allow Him to embrace you in His loving arms to comfort you always.  Discover these precious jewels of truth as you experience peace and joy.  Never forget that you are unique and wonderfully made in His image. God makes no mistakes!Precious

Use your talents and gifts to add brilliance in your journey of faith.  Be radiant and let nothing hinder you.  We begin as a gem in the rough until we are purified. We are being polished and smoothed into godly character. God is the master diamond and gem cutter. He refines us to become the following:

  1. Jewels for their sparkling quality
  2. Jewels for their price
  3. Jewels for their beauty

We must see our royalty in God as we go through life, especially in our trials.  Be an influence, leading other Diamonds2Destiny!

“The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown” (Zech. 9:16).

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

 


Julie Federico: “The Bad Guys and Students Can Help Keep Schools Safe”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Julie Federico, author of “The Bad Guys and Students Can Help Keep Schools Safe
Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with WestBow Press.

9781449799496_COVER.inddI am children’s services author. I write about prevention issues for young children. I have written about child abuse prevention, domestic violence prevention, friendship and school violence prevention.

The two books I published on school violence prevention were published through West Bow PressThe Bad Guys and Students Can Help Keep Schools Safe are a must read for every school age child. These books have the potential to save many lives and belong in every private and public school.

I chose to write these books as an intervention to the Sandy Hook shootings in December 2012. Both of these books were written two weeks after the deadly shootings. I thought there must be a way to stop all of the violence? I believe there is. But it does not 1 A Students Can Help Keep Schools Safeinvolve more metal detectors or formal security procedures. These books teach higher-level security measures by training students to notice who is in their school building and notice changes in classmates’ behavior. Each student has a responsibility to become educated about violence prevention and report information that they believe is dangerous.

Children understand how to keep their schools safe, “They tell.” Tell a teacher, and principal, call the police or tell your parents. Just tell. Getting children to report suspicious behavior goes a long way to protecting schools. I believe that educating children can save lives and deflect further school violence.

I hope to make a significant dent in the school violence epidemic sweeping our nation. Will you join me?
Julie Federico

www.juliefederico.com

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Tim King: Book Written Out of Frustration

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Tim King, author of “Blueprint for Growth”

Self published, who would have thought it? In hindsight I have found it one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. It has given me a sense of achievement and satisfaction, more so than climbing any mountain. However, at first, my own journey to self-publishing was one borne out of frustration, rather than a burning desire to see my name and ideas in print.ResizeImageHandler

I had for a number of years taught at a Bible College in New Zealand on the subject of Christian Leadership development. Later I conducted leadership seminars both in New Zealand and the UK. Pastors were great; they would lap up what was being taught and give excellent feedback. Until, that is, I came to the sticky question of growth and why their particular churches were not growing. I was given lots of reasons.

We are full. I want quality. What’s wrong with having a small congregation? Our town is too small for a large church. These are all valid answers. There is nothing wrong with having a small church full of great people. Is this really what Jesus wanted? Is it really what he envisaged when he said “go into all the world”? Do our worlds get smaller? Is that why our churches stay small?

Hence my frustration. If the denomination puts on a leadership seminar with a consultant they will go. But Pastors as individuals do not like asking for help for themselves’, seeing where they are going wrong or where they could improve things to get their churches to grow. If they did this then it would be admitting they are ill equipped or they don’t really know what they are doing. Anyway, it would cost money.

10291778_10152137298707005_2042600121513042291_n“Write a book” my wife said. “Write it down. You have the expertise and some very valid answers,” said a friend and colleague. Now, just over 12 months later, I am working on my second book. Why? Not because of frustration, but because It gives me a feeling that the ideas and concepts that I write, while not being entirely new, are my own and are relevant and needed born out of observation and practice. The message of the cross stays the same. It has for 2,000 years and is not negotiable. But the method by which we convey the message has changed. When we learn these things, it is then that we have a “BLUEPRINT for GROWTH”.

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Alec Zacaroli: Take Five Minutes to Change Your Life

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Alec Zacaroli, author of “Obey: The Power of Love and Surrender.”

Oswald Chambers once wrote “one reads tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when five minutes of drastic obedience would make things as clear as a sunbeam.”  How profoundly on point he was.  What I find remarkable, however, is not so much the clarity that five minutes of obedience produces, but rather the outcomes.  When we take the opportunity to obey Jesus, if only for five minutes, the experience can be life changing.Alec Zacaroli

It took Simon Peter, James and John less than five minutes to leave the single greatest fishing haul of their lives, and everything else, to follow Jesus. Luke 5:11. Likewise, when Jesus called Levi with a simple “follow me”, it took less than five minutes for the tax collector to, again, leave everything and simply obey. Luke 5:28.  The Bible is full of examples of lives forever altered by just a moment of obedience to God.  History is replete with such stories.

Among these, one is mine; a story of convergence.  It is the convergence of my childhood experience in Africa, my wife Amy’s childhood experience in foster care, and our learning about the plight of some AIDS orphans in Cape Town.  My heart has always been for Africa and Amy’s has always been for the orphaned and vulnerable.  One evening, through an old friend, the Holy Spirit shared with us a short film about AIDS orphans taken in by Nazareth House, a convalescent home in Cape Town.  Our hearts were broken by what breaks His. It took only a matter of minutes for us to decide on obedience and follow the call.

It was an act of obedience borne not of our will, but of the Holy Spirit.  This was confirmed for me only days later, when I came across the verse Matthew 25:40 and immediately realized the significance of this ministry would only come if it was an act of Jesus, for Jesus, by Jesus.  We were a second thought.  I shared with Amy that the name of our ministry should be 25:40.

25:40, our ministry for orphaned and vulnerable children, was born of a moment of obedience to a very clear command from Christ.  Those five minutes represent a tiny fraction of a percent of my entire life. But it took just those five minutes to forever alter the course of my life.  To them, I trace nearly everything significant that has happened to me in the last 10 years – with the only possible exception being the conception and birth of my last daughter, Rebecca.  It led to life-changing experiences, life-long friendships, beautiful partnerships, seminary, and a book.

SKU-000726583I started to write Obey while on a mission in South Africa, after reflecting on what it truly meant to believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6. If we really believe this, we will have one certain response, which is to obey Him.  In one sense, this led me to explore what He commands of us.  But in another, it also led me to explore what happens when we do it.  Jesus said “if you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15.  I love Him.  And in His own amazing way, through the arc of life and experience, He commanded me to love some of the poorest, most neglected children on our planet in the same way I love Him.  When I followed His command, I came to fully understand why He commanded it.  It wasn’t to save others – Jesus can do that well enough on His own.  It was to bless me.  I have yet to know what it will be like to stare in the eyes of my Savior,  but looking in the eyes of a beautiful child has to be about as close as we will get on earth.  Christ doesn’t call us to obedience for His benefit.  He does it for ours.

 

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Betty Deniston: My Experiences of Divine Interventions While Writing My Story

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Betty Deniston, author of “Divine Interventions in an Ordinary Life: A Book of Remembrance.”

I recently had my very first book published by WestBow Press, titled “Divine Interventions in an Ordinary Life: A Book of Remembrance.”  I’d like to share my experiences of Divine interventions while in the process of writing my story.

DenistonAs a first attempt at writing, I had no clue how to go about it.  What spurred me on was itself Divine intervention.  I’d been attending our church’s ‘lunch bunch’ where we’d share something special God had done in areas of our everyday lives.   One day while having my quiet time with God, I thought of all the things I wanted to share, but there wasn’t enough time at our lunches.   The thought of writing a book spoke into my mind.   Though I tossed it aside, it came back.

As church librarian, my passion has always been reading and sharing books.   During a lull at the library, I thought to google one of its publishers, Thomas Nelson, and immediately found on the home page:  Are you a new author?  Would you like to know how to go about writing and publishing a book?   I typed in my e-mail address and when I got home, the information was there and not long after that, I signed up with WestBow.

What’s so great about the process, is that God would bring people into my life who would supplement the help I was getting from WestBow.   In the writing process, I found a retired pastor at my church who was also writing a book.   He read my manuscript and gave me constructive criticism which greatly helped the way my book started coming together.   In my Community Bible Study group, I met a woman who’s written many books and was a help, plus a retired elementary school principal who read my story and gave me a wonderful review.  Also in Community Bible Study, we studied Israel’s return to Jerusalem and to God.  Then they wrote a book of remembrance – that stuck with me and prompted me to sub-title my story just that!

I also believe that God sometimes wrote a line or two, because I never remembered writing those words.  Another Divine intervention was that God was accomplishing an inner healing in me as I wrote my deepest feelings when my Mom and then my Dad went to heaven.   Each time I re-read my story, I might weep or laugh – and yes, I have enjoyed my story all through the process.  And yes, it is hard work!

A huge intervention from God was when I attended a book signing of a well-known author at our local Christian bookstore.   While in line, the woman behind me told me that she was writing a book also, and invited me to an authors’ club at a local church.   I’ve attended these meetings ever since, and they have been very helpful in sharing their writing and publishing experiences.   My new friend read my story and helped me rewrite a paragraph about a sensitive situation.

My church has been very supportive, and we held a book fair there.   I’m planning on participating at one tomorrow evening at another church.  My greatest desire is to draw people closer to the Lord.
The greatest thrill of all to me is when some folks will contact me, saying how God blessed them.  A Sunday School teacher brought his 4th graders into the Library and had me read to them from my book.   Things like that make all the time and effort so worthwhile!  And thanks to WestBow for such a beautiful finished product!

Betty J. Deniston

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Madison Kroeker: “Toward a Better Way”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Madison Kroeker, author of Toward a Better Way.”

ResizeImageHandler (1)What started out as a purely self-centered endeavor quickly changed to include the scope of the rest of society. When I first started writing Toward a Better Way, it was, in a way, a documentation of my own recovery from bulimia nervosa. Not only that, but I would write bits and pieces looking into the future of my recovery—temptation battles waged and won, situations and conversations I was struggling with played out on a page, planned and executed after I’d hashed them out on my laptop keyboard in my room. In many ways, writing this book helped save my life. It wasn’t only looking back on what I’d been through, but looking forward also, motivating my journey toward a better way of living.

In the hallway outside the eating disorder clinic I used to go for treatment and counseling, there was a mural on the wall, a collection of short pieces of writing from the girls and boys, men and women, who were a part of treatment at the hospital the clinic was a part of. I found my title in one of the pieces. I can’t remember now what the piece said, but that was where I found the inspiration.

I’ve found that, since writing my book, I’ve opened up an avenue for other people to share with me. Mostly it’s about people who’ve struggled with the same thing, but I think that many people can find something in common with my book. Gwen Singer is not just a girl recovering from bulimia; she is finding her identity in the world, making a mold for herself instead of trying to fit into society’s perception of beauty and acceptance. It is for moms and grandmothers—not only of girls and guys who struggle, but for girls and guys who don’t know what beauty looks like, or where they fit into the world. It is for teenagers and college students.

I find my book like a bridge, closing the gap between the taboo subject of eating disorders and the other side. This is something we need to be open about—self-esteem and body image and dieting and our relationship with food—because not only is the struggle far too common in today’s society, it can be life-altering, and that is something that definitely needs to be addressed and changed for the better.

I want people to understand that my book is saying, “You belong. You are loved and cherished and so amazingly beautiful to Jesus Christ. God has created you in His own image, you are His poem , His masterpiece, His most treasured creation. Do something with that, and go forward in the power of knowing how truly special you are.”

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and 


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