WestBow Press author Lyn Leahz on Using Social Media to Promote Your Book

WestBow Press author Lyn LeahzIn this day and age, if you want to promote something, it is imperative that you are on social media. Between laptops, tablets and smart phones, social media is easily accessible, even on the go. Different social media sites allow you to find and interact with people who have similar interests as you, helping you hone in on where on social media you should be promoting your book.

As a single mom who works, I have relied heavily on social media to promote my book; it is my lifeline! Taking advantage of all the social media platforms is totally free, and it’s something that anyone can do if they have determination and apply themselves. Social media is available 24/7 and you can use it according to your schedule; it even allows you to schedule your posts in advance. You didn’t write your book for nothing, you want people to read it! But, they’re not going to read your book if you don’t get out there, in front of as many eyes as you can, and promote your book. (more…)


5 Things to Remember when Making Your Media Kit

Creating Your Media KitCreating awareness of your name and book is an essential part of an author’s marketing strategy. A media kit or press kit is the easiest and quickest way to reach anyone from a blogger to a publishing company. It allows you to gather all of your information into one place that can easily be seen and is ready to be distributed when you need it.

There are many ways to build your online media kit. Making it personal to your style is important, but there are some necessities to all media kits.

5 things to include in your media kit:

1.       A Creative Bio:
It’s all about the basics here; keep it short and sweet. Make sure to put in something unique about yourself, such as how you came to be a writer or what influences your writing. Add information about yourself that could possibly be used for any media coverage. Include your contact information and social media links so contacts are able to reach out to you.

2.       A Quality Photo:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but not having a high-resolution photo could make or break your media kit. A blurry photo doesn’t give your media kit the professional look it should project, making the media think you are unprofessional. While hiring a professional photographer for quality images is recommended, it is not necessary. Just make sure that you use decent high-resolutions images in your media kit. In addition to using the images for your media kit, you can use the images on your social media accounts as well.

3.       Your Current Work:
Let people know what you’re working on. Making your writing status known to the public is very important – it’s what a media kit is for. Get people excited for a future project or tell them about your current book on the market. Show your upcoming events, such as book signings, and add links to any recent news coverage about your book.

4.       Links to PDF Files:
Allow the viewers of your media kit to reach it easily. Put links on your social media sites or add it to the bottom of an email. It is also important to have the option of your media kit to be printable. If your media kit is not a digital PDF file, create a link to a PDF file so the viewer has the option to either look over your kit online or have it in a tangible form. 

5.      Your Previous Projects:
If you are building a media kit to show an upcoming book you are writing, add previous work you have already completed. Attach writing samples so viewers can get a sense of your writing style; it’s another way to generate excitement for your new project.

These ideas are some of the basic necessities to an online media kit. Utilizing this form of marketing can only help you get your name out there. But remember to take the time to make it professional, concise and relevant.


Blog Guidelines

  • Post length should generally be between 350-600 words
  • Posts should focus on offering insight to other authors
    • For Example: “5 Ways I’m Using Social Media to Promote My Book” or “Breaking Through Writer’s Block.”
  • We are not accepting entries that purely promote any singular book. However, we will in an editor’s note at the top of each post, include the post author’s name, book title (linked to the book page on the WestBow Press site) as well as Facebook/Twitter and, when appropriate website URL.
  • All content must be original and should not have been published by the blog post author previously.
  • All information from outside sources; for example statistics, quotations, etc; should be appropriately cited within the post.
  • We reserve the right to conduct light editing for grammar, punctuation, and length.

If you’d like to send us some ideas for a post that fits these criteria, before writing it, we’d be happy to give you our feedback. Thanks for your interest.


Gary Savage & His Adventurous Nutrition 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 Gary Savage, author of “Fletcher McKenzie and the passage to Whole.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Book Preview

The protagonist of my book, Fletcher McKenzie is no ordinary 14-year-old boy. He will inherit his family’s food business in Western Maine in less than four years. Before this happens though, Fletcher has to save not only his family’s food business, but also his mother and comatose father.

Fletcher’s adventure starts when he discovers a mysterious ancient portrait of Mollyockett, a Pequawket Indian who lived in the 1700s. Mollyockett’s painted eyes seem to come to life and stare into Fletcher. After finding a poem on the back of the painting of Mollyockett, Fletcher’s Uncle lets him in on a family secret, warning; “What I tell you, you mustn’t tell a soul.”

When Fletcher discovers a passage that has been a McKenzie Family secret for generations, the fast-paced, page-turning adventure begins in earnest. The passage leads to another world called Whole, where Fletcher unlocks a secret power and battles an ancient enemy of the McKenzie family. The novel is so adventurous, that you’ll never know you’re reading a nutrition book!

Book Inspiration

  1. Tell us a little bit about your book and what inspired you to write it?

I’ve been involved with health, fitness and nutrition my entire life. Young readers and young adults are not likely to sit down and read a nutrition book. Most nutrition books are tiresome9781512754872_p0_v1_s192x300. It was my goal to make nutrition interesting and exciting.

  1. Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

I find inspiration for my characters in people that I’ve associated with most of my life. Many of my characters are based on true life people who were a part of my early childhood. The main characters in the book are actual historical figures from Maine history.

  1. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

I’m fortunate enough to have been published even before this book. Fletcher McKenzie and The Passage to the Whole is actually my first self publishing endeavor. 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.

Writing and Marketing

4. What are you writing goals for next year?

I’m working on a sequel to this book. That in and of itself is a major task. There aeeabd586-a668-47b5-9bb9-21f60be91846re many colorful characters and unexpected twists and turns in this book. The sequel will build on those. It’s a lot of work!

5. What’s your favorite social media outlet for marketing and promotions?

I would have to say my favorite social media outlets are Facebook and Instagram. They both reach different market segments and are hugely popular.

6. What are some of your favorite reviews you’ve gotten of your work?

My favorite reviews are always from my family and friends. They know me and find laughter in the characters.

7.What advice do you have for aspiring author’s?

My advice to aspiring authors is to just do it. I know hundreds of people who tell me they want to write a book. Most of these people do not. Take the plunge and enjoy it.

 

– 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. 

 


Interview with Jeffrey Donley

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 Jeffrey Donley, author of The Counterfeit Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About the Birth of Jesus. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

  1. Tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired you to write it?

My book is titled The Counterfeit Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About the Birth of Jesus.  We all enjoy the Christmas season but lose sight of Jesus among the commercialization of His birth. God wants us to know the real historical truth about Mary, Joseph, and the Virgin conception of Jesus—for our salvation depends upon it.

jeff-donley-official-headshot-2016In my book I deal with three Counterfeit Christmases: the supernatural Santa Claus, a fabricated Jesus and virgin birth story to cover for an adulterous Mary, and lastly the counterfeit Christmas of nativity scenes that have a donkey, an inn or hotel, a mean innkeeper, a blue or white blanket, a warm manger crib with fresh straw, shepherds, angels, and three wise men who were kings. Do these sound familiar?

What’s real? What’s true? How do you know? In my book, I unwrap the real historical birth of Jesus.

  1. What are 5 things you’ve learned about self-publishing?

The first thing I learned about self-publishing is to make sure that you have thoroughly researched your topic. Secondly, make sure that you complete your manuscript before contacting the publishing company. Thirdly, you must find the best picture for your front cover. People do judge books by their covers! A fourth thing I learned, is to make sure that numerous people have read your manuscript for errors. And finally, I learned to be patient during the different stages of production.

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  1. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

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

  1. What’s your favorite social media outlet for marketing/promotions?

Amazon has great exposure, but I prefer television and radio to promote my book.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring authors is to write about what YOU know. Do not write about topics that you have no knowledge of, or experience in. When you write about what you know or have experienced not only is your mind in the process, but your heart is there too.

– 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. 


Joseph Chukwujekwu: The Road to “Never Lose the Faith”

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 Joseph Chukwujekwu; author of  “Never Lose the Faith.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

The road to “Never Lose the Faith” was everything I never thought of or probably ever did hope for and in my collections of superlative amusing dreams. “Never Lose the Faith” was not there.

Reminiscing about that faithful morning, that was when everything started. The day I lost my mum and everything I never did fathom was now in reality. It was totally a new turn around for everything around me and my life in general. That moment when I saw my mother kicked the bucket; it was as if the clock stood still, tension walked through my abode, terror I saw in every eye, everyone became suspects.Joseph Chu

So in quest to run away from the dark cloud hovering over my home, I made that faithful journey from Lagos to Umuahia to Umudike. It was in those cold nights in school campus, writing under deemed lights that one A4 paper became 2,3,4,5,6,7……… and then the thought of publishing came to heart.

Also, the discouraging words from peers and colleagues did follow. Really glad that I did not give in to their advice that I wasn’t good enough to be an author;  words like: “you are wasting your time.’’, ‘”You’d be better off if you face your studies’’ , ‘’you’re starting what you can’t finish’’ , ‘’you are not as smart as those who have done the same’’, ‘’ you are not Achebe’’, ‘’you are either not Soyinka’’, ‘’you not  Adiiche’’, “you better wake from your slumber.”

It’s safe to say I nearly gave in until I made that call to Westbow Press. On the other end of the line, Jon Lowell Lineback reassured me publishing my book was possible. He totally sold every package that comes with publishing with the way he narrated every steps that I needed to know. He was brilliant.

JosephChuWe just have to keep trying in the circle of life for what we believe in. “Never Lose the Faith” is an example of what you can do if only you try. You just have stand up and beat our chest and don’t let anybody tell you to settle for less, because if I did I wouldn’t be writing on this blog. “Never Lose the Faith” made me realize if you don’t try you won’t get, if you don’t fall you don’t learn to stand and if you don’t jump you can’t fly, that pain is teacher, time is a healer and faith in Christ conquers all.

The staff and publishing team at westbow press really made the publishing of my book an experience I did want to go over again. I simply just want to say they are top notch at what they do and am so glad it was them who made never lose faith all possible.

I warmly invite you to ‘’ you will “Never Lose the Faith”’’ motivational network on whatsapp with +2348162192145. You can also connect with me on social media on twitter; @sommyjoseph, facebook; Chukwujekwu Somtochukwu Joseph, Instagram; THEJOSEPH.S._CHUKWUJEKWU, email;sommyjoseph54@gmail.com.

– 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. 


Chibuike E. Wogu: Being an Inspiration

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 Chibuike E. Wogu; author of “Treasure: Personal Guide to an Inspired Life.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

In the middle of 2013, I started what I called my weekly WhatsApp inspirational messaging. At the time, I had created a WhatsApp messaging broadcast group, where I sent out weekly inspirational messages to my WhatsApp contacts that included my friends, associates and family.

C. E. WoguI thought to myself, that in a world we live in where the media is known to propagate and promote more bad news than good and which leaves people continually living in despair. I thought I could be the light that broadcasts the messages of hope, upliftment, encouragement, victory and motivation. This was and has been my inspiration. Basically I write to inspire.

I continued my weekly inspirational WhatsApp messaging for a year, owing to the positive feedback I received from all who got the messages and re-broadcast it as well. My friends, associates and family kept telling me that the words of encouragement I sent were having such positive impact on their lives. I was truly inspired by their words.

One evening, after a year of running my WhatsApp inspirational messaging campaigns, I was reflecting on the impact I had had on people so far and a thought came to me that I could reach a larger audience with these words, and it was that evening that my inspirational blog, CE Inspired was born. That was in 2014. I knew by sharing my motivation on my blog, I could reach more people and be a blessing to them than I could through my WhatsApp inspirational messaging campaigns and the result of the positive impact CE Inspired has had on the lives of people all across the world who read from it has been amazingly tremendous. I almost can’t believe it that what started as a little selfless initiative through a commitment to being blessing can have such high and growing positive impact.
Wogu Cover
I continued to nurture my writing skills through my work on my inspirational blog, CE Inspired and in 2015, I received a thought to write a book that
will lift people from obscurity and help them realize their dreams, no what it is they had ever dared to dream of becoming.

I’m a believer in turning the seemingly impossible to possible. I didn’t second guess and I obeyed this thought and my book, Treasure: Personal Guide to an Inspired Life, was born. Believe when I say that situations, events and circumstances moved in my favour and the Almighty led me to my publishers at WestBow Press.

It was indeed very beautiful working with my publishing team at WestBow Press. It was a breath of fresh air. They extended such incredible and warm communication, assistance and professionalism to ensure the best outcome of my first real book. I’m super excited!

Writing a book or undertaking any other initiative is truly an act of faith. When you move confidently in total obedience, doors will open up for you where there were only walls.

I warmly invite you to visit my blog, CE Inspired www.ceinspired.com; and connect with me on social media, Twitter: @ce_wogu;  Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChibuikeEWogu; or Email me.

– 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.


5 Questions with Tracey Casciano, author of “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press  features guest posts and brief interviews with our authors about some aspect of their publishing journey. This week, we present 5 Questions with Tracey Casciano, author of “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light,” — her memoir of overcoming an abusive childhood to live an inspiring life of Faith. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

  • Tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired you to write it?

Tracey Casciano: My book is a memoir about my journey to faith and forgiveness after being abused as a child. I was inspired to write it after I began sharing my story and receiving positive feedback. I realized that it could raise awareness for the prevalence of child abuse as well as help others who have suffered a similar past.

  • What are 5 things you’ve learned about self-publishing?

TC:

  1. I learned to ask for help. I reached out to other published authors and found that they were eager to help a fellow writer.Casciano mug
  2. The other thing I learned was that being self- published means that you must do all the marketing yourself. The only way that people are going to know about your book is if you do the leg work.
  3. I’m also learning that self publishing can be expensive since you must do all the promoting yourself.
  4. Unfortunately, being self published does have some limitations regarding where your book will be placed as many distributors want a traditional publisher.
  5. Lastly, self publishing allows you the freedom to get your book out as you imagine it, not as someone else does.
  • What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

TC: The part I love the most about self publishing is that you get to make all the decisions regarding your book.  I also love the fact that I didn’t have to wait to release my book based on someone else’s deadlines or timeline. When I was ready to press “submit,” I did!
Casciano cover

  • What’s your favorite social media outlet for marketing/promotions?

TC: I use Twitter and a Facebook author page to promote my book and have met lots of great people along the way!

 

  • What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

TC: If you feel called to write a book, do it. Don’t let the impossibility of getting an agent or a traditional publisher get in the way of getting your words into the hands of others. There are lots of books on the market today that are self published and are very successful!

– WBP –

Tracey shared more about her journey in a recent interview on the CWA Radio Network. A replay of that interview is available below.

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, 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, punctuation and length.


Dan Salerno: Why Blog? Why Tweet?

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press  publishes articles written by our authors in which they share tips and pointers for other authors. The following are the words of Dan Salerno; author of “20 Short Ones.”  Dan, who previously shared the story of his personal publishing journey last July, returns to contribute his perspectives on the importance of authors use social media and blogging to promote their books. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

Chances are you have already heard opinions about blogging and Twitter. I’m not going to give mine, but I am going to offer five solid reasons why you should consider both, coming from my own experience.

20ShortOnes

  1. Writers write.

It’s what we do. And it’s about the only thing we have in common. We write about different subjects in different ways using our unique style. Blogging gives you a wide open opportunity to practice your craft. It also provides a framework and a discipline to motivate you to write. I typically re-post my blog 3-4 different times during the day to draw more readers. Each time before posting, I edit my blog to make the post stronger. It’s second nature to me now to consider whatever I write a first draft, in need of revision.

  1. Blogging will help you define your audience.

Nobody writes to everyone. It’s impossible to be successful (build an audience) by trying to appeal to all readers. In the beginning, my blog
(www.lifesomethings.blogspot.com), had no target audience. I wrote about everything from snowfall to butterflies to shooting hoops (basketball). But after a year or more of blogging I realized that what I wanted to write about was faith and spirituality. I had discovered my target audience! And once I discovered that, the number of people who actually read my blogs has vastly improved.

  1. You will discover a community.

My blog is linked to a Twitter account that I set up about six months ago.salerno pic

At a writers’ get-together in May, 2015, one of the attending authors mentioned that she had learned a lot about writing via Twitter. Linking my blog to Twitter (www.twitter.com/dan_salerno_) in conjunction with defining my audience, has helped get more people to actually read what I’m writing. And it has provided a community of like-minded writers who use Twitter. We encourage each other. Yes, it’s true that Twitter confines you to 120 characters. That’s a great way to practice getting to the point.  (I mostly use Twitter to link my blog, to send along quotes that speak to me, and to “like” and “re-tweet” other stuff that writers Tweet. I am also exposed to a lot of good writing by reading what others Tweet (especially links to other blogs).

  1. No one writes in a vacuum.

This point is an off-shoot of #3, but it bears separate consideration.

If you define success as a writer as having others read your stuff, then, by necessity, you’ve just signed up to be part of a community. It can be a scary thing to share what you’ve written with a public audience. Especially if you’re an introvert. But, there is no getting around the inevitable decision to send out what you’ve written and see the response. That’s how writers develop and grow. In community.

In addition, both my blog host and Twitter track readership. That means you can take a look at how many folks read what you’ve written. You can go deeper and notice trends. You can find out which blogs attract more readers?  You can experiment with different headers (headlines) that attract reads. What works, what doesn’t?

  1. You will learn to deal with rejection.

No one writes without receiving criticism. Facebook friends can unfriend you. Twitter followers can decide to stop following. None of that means you are a “bad” writer. One of the most helpful reviews I ever received of my book, 20 Short Ones, was written by a guy who didn’t like the book. But within his review he gave some wonderful, constructive input!

For the longest time, one thing that kept me from publishing a book was the fear of rejection. I had grown up having articles I’d written published and worked as a freelance writer for a while, but that was completely different than book publication. I suspect that many other would-be writers also face this fear.

Blogging and Twitter have both helped me further overcome this fear.

So, what are you waiting for? Why not make a resolution that in 2016 you’ll begin to blog!

-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, 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, punctuation and length.


John A. Mapp Jr.: “Fulfillment of a Thirty Year Dream”

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 John A. Mapp Jr.; author of “Decoding Bible Messages”  To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Thirty years ago, when I was a young adult, the Christian faith of my childhood was in crisis.  Providentially, I stumbled upon an old book, published around 1900, about the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament.  I had never been taught about that subject before, and was absolutely astonished.  My faith was greatly strengthened as a result.
Mapp Cover
I felt called to write a fresh, contemporary presentation of this neglected material, so I researched further, and started writing.  I wanted to present the subject in a way that practically anyone could understand.  I persevered, even though I didn’t know how, or even if, the manuscript would ever be published.

After finally finishing the first draft, I married and started a family.  I had to lay the manuscript aside due to the pressures of career and family, but I occasionally returned to it as a resource for teaching classes and Bible studies.  When I finally retired in early 2015, the dream was still alive.  I updated the work with some additional information I had collected over the years, and started searching for a publisher.

John shares his love of reading with his grandson.

John shares his love of reading with his grandson.

Providentially (again), the publishing landscape had changed radically over the preceding thirty years, with self-publishing now a viable and respectable option.  After I researched the alternatives, I chose WestBow Press.

WestBow’s wide selection of packages enabled me to select one that harmonized with my budget and objectives.  There was still work to be done, but WestBow provided a robust, structured template, changing the publication process from a conundrum into a methodical step-by-step operation.  WestBow often exceeded my expectations.

For example, I submitted a cover idea consisting of a hidden cross nested among four Old Testament images.  The WestBow cover design team took that idea and absolutely knocked it out of the park!  I was delighted with the result.

The book was published in September 2015, fulfilling a thirty year dream.  When I shared the culmination of my publishing journey with my family and friends, I was very heartened and encouraged to see them take a genuine interest in the book.  It was a great feeling.  My most basic goal of leaving a legacy for family and friends had been met.

Then began the daunting task of promoting my book to the general public.  There are many books out there, with new ones being added all the time, so book sales are not automatic,  especially for new authors.

Fortunately, WestBow offers a good selection of marketing services to lend a hand.  Since I had used WestBow’s professional editing service, I knew I had a good book; it was just a matter of promoting it effectively.  After discussions with a WestBow marketing consultant, I put together a combination of WestBow-sponsored marketing services and some initiatives of my own, including the use of social media, blogging, book reviews, and giving away some free copies.  Speaking engagements will likely follow.  I believe I am off to a good start.

The planting is complete, the watering is underway, and I am trusting God to provide the increase.

– 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, 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. 


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