The Red Stones by Cathy Corley

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 Cathy Corley, author of The Red Stones. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

One day in January, I found myself searching the web for “how to publish a Christian book”. My father had passed away in October, and I felt compelled to tell his story. They say grieving comes in all shapes and sizes. I happened to find solace and feel closer to my father when I could tell others about him. I came across the 1-800 number on the WestBow Press website and decided to take the plunge and call. Phil Yeager, a WestBow publishing consultant, answered as if he was a long-lost friend. Phil validated my father’s story and gave me the confidence to write it down. God was in the center of it all!

red-stonesMy father was born an optimist, he found the good in everything! During his last four years, my father battled lung cancer, lost a leg from diabetes, and suffered a heart attack. However, none of his many ailments ever prompted complaints. He would grin and say, “I feel great!”

How I Got The Idea For My Book

There are so many interesting and funny stories about my dad, but the story I wanted to share was how he spread the gospel. The tangible gift of a small red stone was given to those my father met along his way. Once he placed a red stone in the new friend’s hand, he would tell them of God’s love and ultimate sacrifice. My dad shared the news of Jesus, proclaiming how He died on the cross for our sins and miraculously rose from the dead to live forever. Although my dad knew his time on this earth was coming to an end, he clung to the hope and joy of living forever with Jesus. He wanted others to know this hope as well!

I had the privilege of witnessing my father share the red stones with others, and I did not want to keep this memory to myself. My desire to write The Red Stones began with wanting my great-nieces to know about their great-grandfather. Throughout the writing process, God showed me that this was not only my dad’s story. This story was a challenge for all of us to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Thank You WestBow Press!

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.

– 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. 

 


Terita St. Julian, Author of “Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine”

My name is Terita St. Julian.  My husband and I are blessed to be the parents of two loving children.  They have learned to serve the Lord at early stages of their lives.  I am also the author of a book called Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine which is based on John 15:5 [Jesus states] ‘I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine is about raising godly children and is expected to be released in 2017.  Throughout the process of writing my book, I definitely felt unqualified, but the Holy Spirit taught me how to let Him lead my life and parent according to His will.  I make many mistakes, but I am learning Holy Spirit’s desire to intercede, which now provides a lot of peace for me.  Since God sees all, knows all and has all power, I can rest in His direction.

My 6-year-old daughter, Aleesa St. Julian, is the author of The Day I Met Walt.  When she first mentioned that she wanted to write a book, I thought that she definitely could when she became an adult.  However, God was already demonstrating Himself to her in mighty ways; so, I should have known that He wasn’t about to wait.  We began to journal many of her extraordinary life experiences.  By the time she was 4, she had already been reading for 3 years.  It felt like God spoke to my heart, “She was made to delight people in the Lord.”  I didn’t know what that meant, but I was soon about to find out.  She was persistent about starting her book, and God even led our nephew to send her a kit to get her started.  I later began to see that God was behind the inner workings of her decision.  A year later, God led us to WestBow Press, and we were blessed to have two books published for the price of one!

The true story, The Day I Met Walt, is about a time when Aleesa at the age of 4 accidentally tore tassels off my pillow but denied it.  She wanted to make sure the book used the word “accidentally”.  But, I’m still debating that one.  (Don’t tell her I said that.)  Anyway…Her dad punished her by taking away ALL of her stuffies, which was devastating to our little Aleesa.  Thankfully, she had already learned through life experiences that she needed to ask JESUS for forgiveness and seek Him for guidance.  After she found herself in that “mess” as she stated – She called on JESUS!  The next day, she began her first outreach ministry with the Huntsville Dream Center.  She was still sad from the previous day but chose to serve anyway.  While being a blessing to others, God sent her a new friend and remarkably demonstrated to her that she was forgiven.  You see, this new friend blessed her by singing her favorite song “Amazing Grace “and gave her what her heart was desiring most at the time…a STUFFY!  God is a multi-tasker because her new friend, Mr. Walt, also had a troubled heart.  The book, The Day I Met Walt, tells how God blessed him that day too!

The Day I Met Walt will remind people how much God loves us all.  If He cares about what some may consider the smallest most insignificant things in life, don’t you believe that He cares for your big problems as well?  Never underestimate His love for you and build bridges of hope for others, even while you may be waiting for your prayers to be answered.  We hope you purchase and enjoy reading The Day I Met Walt!  Be blessed!

– 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. 


Debra Rosen’s Tips on Hosting a Successful Book Signing

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 Rosen, author of Inspiration for Autism, A Pathway to Hope and Resources. For info about Debra visit her websites debrosen.com and inspirationforautism.com. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Inspiration for Autism, A Pathway to Hope and Resources was born from my personal experience as the mother of an autistic child.  An educator and school administrator for over two decades, yet clueless on raising a son with such severe special needs, I found myself writing my story in hopes of helping others find inspiration, behavioral management ideas, and resources. sku-001082040

Once the typing was complete and the editing was flawless, the publisher was secured and the layout and design were polished.  Once the printing was complete, the selling of my beloved book was underway.  As a new author, it was important to keep in mind why I wrote the book in the first place.  I wrote this bestseller to be just that…a bestseller.  I wanted to reach the widest audience as possible to help as many people as I could.

I have had to put all apprehensions and fears aside to sell my book.  I began to market myself as well as Inspiration for Autism.  You may be asking by now, how did I do that?  My first step was to prepare a one-page synopsis of my work as well as the qualifications that allowed me to offer advice and benefit others in the world of special needs.  After preparing my literary resume, I researched my local Barnes and Noble retailers to find out who the community representative was in charge of local book signings.  I emailed her my literary summary and my connections in the community.  My focus was to show her that I could indeed bring in a large volume of customers to her retail establishment.

I followed up my email with a personal visit shortly thereafter.  It was immediate, once she saw my enthusiasm and passion for my product that we calendared a date for my first signing.  Passion combined with connections goes a long way in the literary world.  She sent the images of both my book cover and picture that I provided her to the printer and viola I was on the upcoming author book signing poster, B & N social media sites, and her marketing kit.  I immediately requested the marketing materials and blasted all of my social media outlets so I could spread the advertising across a wider audience.  I also sent a personal email blast to every person in my contact list using Constant Contact as to avoid any spam or junk mail issues.  Lastly, I contacted the local newspaper and asked them to publish the event two weeks prior to the signing.  They happily obliged.

auThe day prior to the signing, I made sure a table and my marketing posters were prepared. I brought in extra copies of my book in case we sold out.  Good thing I prepared for that…we sold out!  Barnes and Noble bought them on consignment from me.  The day of the signing, I made sure I had extra pens on hand, business cards for future questions and contacts. I spoke with every person I could as they entered the store.  I shared with them the latest statistics of children being diagnosed with ASD, autism spectrum disorder.  If they knew anybody on the spectrum, I encouraged them to take a look at my book. I sold many copies and the experience was a success.

I followed up my book signing with a personal thank you card and a small gift to the customer service representative who helped calendar my event.

Be passionate. Be prepared. Be grateful.

– 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. 


The Day I Met Walt by Aleesa St. Julian

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 about Aleesa St. Julian’s book, “The Day I Met Walt.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your freeWestBow Press publishing guide today!

Hello, I’m the mother of Aleesa St. Julian.  The six-year-old author of “The Day I Met Walt.”  I was writing a book called, “Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine”, which is based on verse John 16:5 [Jesus states] ‘I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  As you likely noticed, the book is about raising godly children.  While I began working on my book, my daughter, who was four at the time, decided that she wanted to write a book.  I told her that she could definitely write a book someday…thinking when she became an adult.  However, God blessed her with an ability to read by the time she was one.  So along with my help, she began to write her true story about a day that God demonstrated His love and forgiveness to her.  As she worked on her story, she also drew her own pictures on paper.  The images were scanned with the computer and before we knew it, her simple but heartfelt book was ready for publishing.  Before mine, I may add…

All I could do was laugh and watch God fulfill His plans for her through this book.  I remembered speaking with a representative at WestBow Press, named Eric Schroeder, when I was previously checking on pricing for my book’s publication.  He was very knowledgeable and took the time to answer all my questions; so, I called him back to inquire about my daughter’s book.  It just so happened that WestBow Press was offering discounted services that month; so, I was able to get two books published for the price of one.  Though my book wasn’t complete, I decided to prepay for the services.

I have learned a great deal through the publishing process of my daughter’s book which should make the process of publishing mine even easier.  The team at WestBow Press has been professional and organized.  God has opened doors like you wouldn’t believe for my daughter.  Less than a month after releasing The Day I Met Walt, my daughter received two television interviews and has another TV station requesting an interview with her soon.  I truly believe in prayer and allowing God to order our steps.  One of the interviews came about because I saw a lady standing alone in the heat one day.  It felt as though God was leading me to approach her.  I thought maybe she didn’t know Jesus but needed to know Him.  It turned out that she knew Jesus, but she also knew a very persuasive executive at a local television channel!  She gave me his cell phone number, and God continued to work it all out from there.  We don’t know what all God has in store for these books, but we just want to serve Him along this journey as we have fun through the process.  Thank you WestBow Press, and may God continue to bless all of you!

– 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. 


Making Sense of Our Senses – Sight and Sound

The majority of people connect most strongly with visual stimuli. As a self-publishing writer, it is our job to make sure we cater to all our readers’ senses to fully immerse them in the world we are creating for them on the page. But how to best do that?

It’s All in the Details

During your pre-writing phase, consider your five main senses and then decide which ones will best help you set each scene. Try and think of at least one detail for each of the five senses—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste—that will best place your reader in the story. Then write the scene, including as many specific details as possible. You may decide you don’t need all those details when you edit your work later on, but it’s always better to have too much than too little to start with.

Here are some of the ways you can use each sense to enhance your writing:

Sight

As we’ve already said, most people tend to be visual learners; thus, the majority of your story will be told using visual descriptions. We then use our other senses to add further details, fleshing out the environment. Think of your words as your readers’ eyes that allow them to look through the page and into the world you have created.

Simon de Vos – Allegory of the Five Senses

Here are a few sight words you might find helpful for creating the right atmosphere (but the list is near endless, of course):

• Craggy
• Billowy
• Crystalline
• Globular
• Obtuse
• Translucent

Remember, the use of color also creates atmosphere through emotional triggers and associations.

Sound

Sometimes we are deprived of visual cues. This is probably the scariest situation we can find ourselves in: alone in the dark. So what do you rely on? Your other senses, particularly any sound you can hear to help you piece together some sort of mental image about your surroundings. What am I hearing? Where is it coming from? How far away is it? Is there someone else in here with me? All the elements of a horror story are coming together.

Remember, you can always invent new words to create sounds on paper. Words like whizzing, hoot, and BOO! are called onomatopoeia.

Try to use action words to help convey the intensity or volume of the sound. Are the waves crashing against the rocks or gently lapping at the shore?

– 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. 


Five Tips to Help You Get Your Manuscript Finished

You were inspired. You started out strong, but you’re starting to run out of gas before the finish line. Not to worry! Here are five surefire tips to help you complete your manuscript and self-publish it. Put them into practice and you’ll holding your first book signing before you know it.

Calendar1. Set a target date when you want to hold a finished copy

Imagine what it will feel like to hold the first copy of your book. Having that goal in mind can be a key motivator to keep you writing. It might be a specific day like your birthday, wedding anniversary, or a date that coincides with an upcoming event (a speaking engagement, conference or convention).

2. Pay attention to your best time/place for writing productively

Most people are more productive at certain times of day than others. When you write, keep track of the time and location when you’re most effective, and try to set aside that time each day for writing. You might be at your most creative in the morning, for example, or at night after the kids have gone to bed.

3. Set a schedule that will allow you to hit your target date

Now that you have a target date for completion, work backwards to establish a schedule to reach your goal. Let’s say you want to have a book signing in six months, but it will likely take you two months to get your book designed, printed and distributed. You need to submit your manuscript for production four months from now. Do you intend to have it copy edited? If so, you’ll probably need to allow another 60 days, leaving you only two months to get your manuscript ready to go.

4. Make yourself accountable to someone for finishing your book

Designate someone who will hold you accountable for sticking to your schedule. It can be a friend, family member, or someone familiar with the process. For example, publishing consultants at AuthorHouse have served in this role for thousands of authors. A firm but gentle hand can be all the encouragement you need to stay on track.

5. Plan an event to celebrate the book’s completion

For many authors, writing and publishing a book is one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives. Celebrate this feat! Throw a launch party at your home for friends and family. Give out copies of your book to those who’ve inspired you. This is more than a book, it’s part of your legacy. Take a few moments to pat yourself on the back and enjoy your achievement.

Millions of people have an idea for a book, but only the disciplined few earn the title of published author. You can be one of them!

– 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. 


Using Research to Craft a Better Book

Research is a must for self-published authors because it shows that you are informed and knowledgeable on a topic, and it gives you instant credibility with potential readers. Don’t think that research is only necessary for nonfiction authors; fiction writers can benefit from doing their homework, too!

The good news is that when you are writing about a subject that you’re passionate about, researching can be fun and rewarding. Today we present WestBow’s six-step guide to getting that research done!

1. Read

Magnifying glassIt’s a cliché that good readers make good writers, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Immersing yourself in your topic (or genre) will inspire you to write your own book. Plus, surveying what books are out there can help you write a book that fills (not falls into) the gaps in the marketplace.

2. Let the Research Lead You

As you’re delving into your topic, the information you find might surprise you. Don’t ignore this; take advantage of the opportunity, and follow the research to its natural conclusion. Keeping your mind open will help you produce a more well-rounded book, even if it’s not the book you originally envisioned writing.

3. Make Notes

Write down anything and everything (including the source and location) that you may want to include in your book. This will save you time as you write, and help you cite the information accurately. Remember to always credit the original source when using another author’s ideas or information, whether a statistic, theory, song lyric or quote.

4. Walk a Mile…

…in someone else’s shoes. Arrange to spend time with people who fit the profile of your characters so that you have a better idea of how they talk and work, their mannerisms, what their environment is like, and so on. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and use all of your senses to record information. This will help you create believable characters and establish authentic settings in your book.

5. Ask the Experts

Don’t merely rely on books and journals for your research. Journalists talk directly with experts to get the information they need for news articles, and an author’s approach should be no different. Not sure where to find an expert on your topic? Start with a library or university. Whatever you do, don’t rely solely on unverified Internet research.

6. Know Your Audience

Decide for whom you are writing your book and find out as much as you can about this group of people. Immerse yourself in the communities and activities of your potential readers, either in person and on the web (online forums, for example), in order to get a clear picture of the people you are writing for.

– 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. 


Looking Back: Amy Sorrells and Canary Song

It’s easy to lose track when you’re writing a book, or when you’re working toward publishing it. Self-publishing is a journey. Sometimes you feel like you’re getting lost on that journey. We often find, when that happens, it helps to look at good examples of people who, whether they got lost along the way or not, found their way to their destination.

In 2013 we asked Amy Sorrells to write a blog post for us about the traditional publishing experience.

“To be honest,” she said then, “the editing process (which is finally winding down) has been the most difficult work my brain has ever done. Not awful, just difficult.”

Isn’t it when things get difficult that we find it’s easiest to get lost?

I thought I had a pretty good start, and I did – sort of. Then I had my first conversation with my editor (a very young, brilliant and cosmopolitan New Yorker) and learned the truth: my manuscript stank (stunk? Stinks!). It would require a near complete rewrite.

Wouldn’t that make you want to get lost? Doesn’t that sound terrible?

It does.

But Amy didn’t stop. She finished her edits and turned in her book and, so far, traditional publisher David C. Cook has released two of her books, Then Sings my Soul and How Sweet the Sound.

Your goals may be completely different from Amy’s goals, and your experience may never be like hers. But you reach the end of your publishing journey without staying on course.

Don’t give up.

– 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. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 


L.L. Martin: Positively Powerless

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 Laura Martin (L.L. Martin), author of “Positively Powerless.” For more info about Laura, check out her blog at “Enough Light.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

I’ve been an avid informal writer most of my life. I enjoy the old-fashioned hobby of postal letter writing, and I self-published a print newsletter. In recent years, I blog about Christianity. Several individuals encouraged me to write a Christian non-fiction book, but I was uncertain about the topic. Subjects that interested me had already been extensively published on, and SKU-001037112I did not have anything new or unique to add to the conversation.

However, I had long observed a number of weaknesses in modern American Christianity, which seemed connected by an underlying false optimism. I stumbled upon a book about the history of “positive thinking” in America and the idea for my own book was born. It is entitled: Positively Powerless, How a Forgotten Movement Undermined Christianity.

Some aspiring authors are certain about their book’s topic, but if you are uncertain, don’t despair. Pray about it, and keep writing informally. If it is meant to be, the idea will eventually present itself. Meanwhile, just keep writing and find your voice: journal, write letters, start a blog, leave thoughtful comments on the blog posts of others.

It is my opinion that writing a book is something you build up too. If you can’t write brief and informal things, how will you suddenly write something lengthy and formal? My informal writing paved the way. It turned out that I had already blogged about some of the topics that became a part of my book, and the puzzle pieces fit together nicely when I began to write it.

Informal writing will also hone your skills. Be open to critique about your writing ability. I consider writing both a natural talent and a learned skill. If you have been out of school for years, you may need a refresher course on grammar and syntax. IMG_0385Choppy writing can be a problem, and learning to form better sentences can help your ideas flow smoothly and appeal to the reader. Through informal writing, you can practice and perfect your skills before plunging into a book project.

Have you contemplated the idea of success for a distinctly Christian book? While we naturally want to sell books, numbers are not everything. I’d rather have my book get into the “right” hands – that is, those who will be spiritually helped and challenged by its message. As I researched my book, I was intrigued by how a forgotten movement from the late nineteenth century impacts us to this very day. Unfortunately, its influence weakened Christianity, and I hope to help Christians break free from hidden chains and be re-established in a God-centered life.

– 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. 


Limestone Walls and Telephone Calls   

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 Joyce Rachelle, author of “The Language of Angels.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

I knew at the age of 6 that I wanted to become an author. And unlike many other things I knew at the age of 6, this didn’t change.

I was probably not going to put together something good enough for people to read until I was forty or even older, so right after finishing college and just before looking for a job, I decided I’d try to make money writing. I became freelance writer, picking out jobs and writing content online anonymously. One of my assignments was about the difference between traditional publishing and self publishing. A quick Google search led me to download WestBow Press’s publishing guide – which helped a ton – and then I wrote the article, got my paycheck, picked another assignment, and forgot about it.

SKU-001040087Fast forward three years. I’m standing in front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Taking out the slip of paper I had prepared the night before, I start praying. “Please, God, help me become a published author. I may never write for Zondervan or WestBow or any of those other big publishers and I may even have to wait a decade before I come up with anything noteworthy but please, if I was meant to do something else I wouldn’t still be dreaming of this.” I find a gap between the limestone wall and stick my prayer along with the others that had claimed the spot before me.

A month later something awful happened and it shook my faith and began a spiritual crisis that would go on for years. I avoided my friends and withdrew into myself, and when I couldn’t run to God, I went to the only way I knew to vent my thoughts – I wrote them down.

It’s nine months later and I’m sitting in front of my computer screen with a finished manuscript of a first novel. Not having planned anything beyond this point, I stare blankly into space and wonder how on earth I would get a publisher to notice me. Publishing wasn’t a big business in the Philippines – not Christian fiction anyway. I let weeks pass by without incident until one evening my phone rings – an unknown caller – and I pick it up.

“Good evening ma’am,” says a male voice on the other line, “I’m an agent from WestBow Press. Would you like to avail of our services for publishing your book?”

Words fail me. My head fills with questions that I stammer as they each crowd their way out of my mouth.

“How did you get my number?” I ask.

“You downloaded our publishing guide four years ago and — ”

“But why call now?”

“We’re just doing a follow up on our subscribers.”

“But why didn’t you call me four years ago?”

But deep down I knew why he hadn’t called four years ago. Because four years ago, I would have turned him down. Four years ago, I would have told him to remove me from his list. Four years ago, I didn’t believe I could write anything big. Four years ago, I did not yet have a finished book.

Looking back to my prayer at the Wall, all I did was tell the Lord what I probably could not do. I probably could not put together something worth an ISBN. I probably could not be an author at the age of 26. I probably could not get published by WestBow Press. And all He did, in his amazing glory, was prove me wrong on all counts. And the rest, they say, is history.

– 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. 


The Fulfillment of a Dream

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 Jennifer Elig; author of “Cincy the Flying Pig.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

For years I have dreamed of writing books for children. As a previous educator, I would work into my lesson plans time for my students and I to write classroom books about a topic we were discussing in class. Instilling a love of reading and writing in each and every child was a major goal of mine. I truly enjoy every step of the writing process and love seeing the joy on children’s faces when they pick up one of my books to read for the first time. Seeing books I have written fly off of library shelves and needing to donate more of them, simply to fill the demand for the rate they are being checked out, is also a dream come true.

SKU-001045558When the Lord first planted this dream in me, I was a young adult. I received a mailing inviting me to take a children’s writing aptitude test. After writing a short story and being reviewed by an instructor, they were very complementary of my writing skills and invited me to work one on one with an instructor to get me on a path as a professional published author. At that point in time, I had an infant and couldn’t afford that option, so I just put the idea on the back burner. Over the years I revisited the idea several times, but there were always more pressing items that needed to be taken care of first.

As my child grew and began to start his toddler years, I began looking for Bible-based counting books to assist me in teaching my son how to count, but with a Christ-centered base. As I scoured the books stores and internet, I found there were none of those resources that existed, so I decided to write my own. After completing the counting book, I naively began submitting my rough copy to big name publishing companies, not aware of the actual process and difficulty involved in getting a publisher to accept a manuscript. Time and time again, my manuscript was rejected for various reasons. With my bubble burst and feeling dejected about the whole process, I put my manuscript in a dresser drawer and left it there for several years. It was not until four years ago that a flicker of hope would re-emerge.

A6300149My husband, who has always been very supportive of my pursuits, came to me one day four years ago and said, “It’s time.”  Time for what, I thought. He then explained to me that he felt it was time for me to try to get my book published again. He encouraged me to look into publishers and pricing information and told me he would support me in whatever decision I made. It was in that same time period that a friend of mine picked up a coffee side table picture book I had created with the title “A Cat’s Life,” that included photos of my cat with a story line from the cat’s perspective.  She told me it was really cute and that I should look into getting it published. At this point, I really started to take the publishing process idea to heart. Enter Westbow.

After a couple of weeks of research, it soon became apparent to me that there was a vast difference in publishers. From pricing to support, to the way each business was run, I ultimately chose Westbow because of the Christian-based guideline they operate under. As a self-publish company, Westbow Press is also tied to Thomas Nelson Publishers, which opens another world of opportunities to me as an author.  When I began the publishing process with Westbow, it was very clear to me that I had made the right choice. Each person I worked with was encouraging and helpful every step of the way. With payment plans that are available, I was able to not only publish “A Cat’s Life,” but also now had the ability to publish my counting book “One Lord, Two People.”  When it came time to put my third book, (”Cincy the Flying Pig”) into production, I knew exactly where to go. Thanks to Westbow Press, what was once only a dream, is now the fulfillment of a dream!

– 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. 


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