6 Reasons to Publish a Spanish Version of Your Book

6 Reasons to Publish a Spanish Version of Your BookAre you really reaching out to your largest reading audience as possible? Our country is filled with a diverse group of readers, so you may be limiting your reach if you only published your book in English. Most authors have never even thought about translating their book into a foreign language; however, it’s a smart decision if you want to effectively spread your book’s message.  Communicating in another language breaks a barrier and allows you to connect with a previously untouched audience.

Six reasons why you should consider translating your book into Spanish:

1.)    Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, after English and Chinese, with more than 48 million Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. alone.

2.)    More than half of the growth in the total population of the U.S. between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.*

3.)    The Hispanic population has surpassed 50 million and accounts for more than 50 percent of the U.S. population growth since 2000.*

4.)    Become familiar with the unfamiliar: “Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that kind of understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable.” – Edith Grossman, translator of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Living to Tell the Tale

5.)    There are roughly 338,000 Christian congregations** in the U.S., with 16 percent*** of U.S. Christians a part of churches that had services in either only Spanish or both Spanish and English.

6.)    The potential reach from a market made of 500 million Spanish speakers in the world should not be overlooked.

WestBow Press makes it easy to publish in both English and Spanish through our translation service. Have you ever considered publishing your book in a foreign language?

 

*According to U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs

**According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research

*** Calculated by Duke University sociology professor Mark Chaves in the National Congregations Study (page 31).


3 Tips on Writing a Children’s Book

How to Write a Children's BookDid you know that the National Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country with the 94th annual celebration this week? We’re excited to honor those children’s authors and books that have made a lasting impact on a child’s life. And, if you’ve ever tried to write a children’s book, you know that it’s not as easy as it may seem. Children can be fickle in what they like, and some adult authors struggle to reach an audience with different interests and on a lower reading level.

How can you write a Christian children’s book with a positive message that children want to read? No matter where you are at in the process of writing your children’s book, we can help you with a few writing tips:

  • Determine your motives and message. With thousands of children’s titles published each year, you must figure out how to make yours stand out. Do you have a specific message you want to share with children? Perhaps you have noticed a certain type of book lacking in the children’s department, and you think you can write a book to fill that gap. Before you do anything else, spend time thinking about why you want to write a children’s book, then determine what message you want to communicate.
  • Get on their level. Children are a unique group of readers. Their attention span is short, their interests vary from moment to moment and their view of the world is different than adults. So, spend time with children to learn what they like, what they are curious about and what scares them. Keep these children in mind when you start writing. It is also important that you know exactly what age group your book is aimed at. A book for a toddler would be written differently than a book for a five-year-old.
  • Utilize pictures. Not only should the words in your book connect with the children in your target age range, but the pictures should as well. Since most young children cannot read on their own, illustrations and pictures help them understand a story. Your pictures should be age appropriate, bright and colorful and match the plotline of your story. If you are not an illustrator you can hire a freelance illustrator or choose from one or more of the interior illustrations services WestBow Press offers.

Writing a children’s book is not always easy and can become an exercise in being concise and communicating a big message on a child’s level. But, seeing a child’s eyes light up when they read your book is worth all the hard work.

What were your favorite books as a child?


Finding Your Voice as a Writer

Finding Your Voice as a WriterIt’s important for writers to find their voice and apply it to their stories. But first, what is a writer’s voice? It’s a combination of things – syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc. – that make your writing unique. Your voice when writing books differs from when speaking at engagements.  No one else can offer what you can – your unique perspective and storytelling will keep your readers coming back for more if you stay true to yourself and your voice. So, it’s essential for you to unlock your creative potential and find your writing voice.

Here are a few tips on how to find and develop your voice:

1.)    Visualize someone you want to talk to. Pretend you’re writing a self-help book for teens, and you have a fourteen-year-old niece. Visualize your niece sitting next to you as you write. This makes it easier for you to tell the information with words of encouragement from a concerned loved one rather than simply instructive words coming from a figure of authority.

2.)    Play games. Create lists of words in order to discover ideas you’ve kept hidden from yourself.  Make sure these words mean something to you; don’t just search for synonyms. Really think about them.  Make a list of words that you find creepy, then a list of things that you find inspirational. Make a list of foods you enjoy, then a list of places you want to visit. Make a list of movies you enjoyed as a child, then a list of gifts you’d give yourself and family if you won the lottery.

3.)    Free write. Write whatever comes to mind without editing. Take a few words from the lists you created from step two and simply begin writing. After a few sessions, review your work and see if you would publish something similar. Your most honest work is usually revealed when you’re comfortable and without stress or deadlines.

Your voice is created from persistent hard work, and when you challenge yourself. So, keep writing – and reading – in order to develop your voice once you discover it. You’ll stand out among other authors by showing the world you have something to say and have a unique way of saying it.

How did you find your writing voice?


PR Tips, Part 1: How to Land an Interview

How to Land an InterviewMarketing is sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it. But, it can be tough to find your niche. Follow these five tips on how to land an interview, and you just might find marketing isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

  • Don’t always think bigger is better.  Sometimes what God wants you to do is not “big” in the ways we tend to measure success.  Sometimes He doesn’t want you to be on Good Morning America; maybe he’s calling you to reach out with your book’s message to your community or a suffering neighbor. Pray and think about what God is calling you to do with your book. Land an interview with your church bulletin, your local radio station, your archdiocese’s newspaper or with the forums or blogs you frequent. Also, try a local university that might be searching for speakers for a class lecture or guest speaker at an event.
  • Send out press releases.  TV stations and radio shows are always looking for fresh content. Send out your press release to targeted journalists, and you could gain attention.
  • Build your contact list now. Even if your book isn’t published quite yet, send a synopsis of your book to the media. You know what your book is about, so you can still talk about it and promote it before its release date. This relates to my next tip…
  • Build your author platform before your book is published. This is a crucial point many authors overlook for various reasons. In order to gain credibility, you should build a blog, set up your social media accounts and print out business cards before your book is available for sale. That way you already have a community of contacts who consider you an expert in your field. Plus, you have tangible evidence for TV, radio and newspapers that you know what you’re talking about.  
  • Set up your own online podcast. You don’t have the time or experience to do that? Hire an intern who has experience with setting up, recording and editing podcasts. Make it just a weekly, hour-long podcast, and place it on your author website. Have guests for the first 30 minutes then talk about recent events and tie in your book or read a few excerpts of your book.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. WestBow Press can help you with your radio interview, press release, author website and publicity campaigns. How did you land your first author interview? Share your advice in the comments below.

 


Q&A with Dr. Cregg Chandler, WestBow Press Author and Retired Air Force Chaplain

Dr. Cregg Chandler is a retired Air Force chaplain who has done extensive research on what he refers to as an ethical epidemic in the military: fidelity. Chandler recently published his book, A Separation Survival Guide for Military Couples, on said topic and was featured on CBS This Morning in mid November.

Here we dive a little deeper into his book, what inspired him to research such a sensitive subject and how he successfully markets his work in the competitive book industry.

WestBow Press: What made you interested in learning more about the infidelity issues and concerns many military couples face?

Cregg Chandler: While completing my doctoral research, “Addressing the Issues of Family Separation,” I considered the many concerns that couples were dealing with.  I wanted to understand how well the military was addressing and assisting couples in those areas. In my research, the military was addressing and assisting in the areas of re-integration, finances, communication, parenting, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, marriage enrichment, relationship issues and other areas. 

While interviewing professionals, these concerns were discussed, however infidelity surfaced as a major concern for military couples. I’d observed and was aware that infidelity existed, however it appeared that it had escalated over the past 10 years.  This is when I began to focus my attention more on the issue of infidelity.  I saw it as an area that was not fully addressed extensively.

WBP: You did some extensive research for your book. How did you stay motivated to reach your goal of seeing your book published?

CC: I stayed motivated by continually asking God for His guidance in the process. When I felt like giving up, I would receive encouragement through a dream, vision, scripture or written inspirations to inspire me to keep going. I also utilized the advice and encouragement from my academic advisors, family and friends. I continued to see marriages fail due to the demise of the issues written about in my book.  I saw it happening to people nationally, locally and most notably to people that I knew. I saw it as a major problem to be solved.

WBP: Can you share a few tips from your book for military couples struggling to overcome concern about infidelity? 

CC: For the first tip, I encourage couples not to create undue stress concerning whether their spouse is being unfaithful if there is no obvious evidence, because they are already facing the many challenges that military couples experience.

Another tip is to take careful measures to insure that they are not participating in activities that would jeopardize their relationship. This would include disassociation with relationships, environments or social media connections that would come between them. 

The third tip would be to seek out books, principles, marriage enrichment activities and experiences that would bolster their relationship. 

The fourth would be to take time to understand themselves and to understand their spouse in the areas of their needs and their commitment to each other.

WBP: Why did you decide to publish your book?

CC: Actually, I was thrilled to have completed my doctoral work.  I was ready for a break and then return to full-time ministry. After a couple of months, I had a dream regarding my notebook calendar, a black notebook and my research compilation sitting on a table. In the dream, my professor said, “Now what are you going to do with the work that you’ve accomplished?” When I awoke, I knew the answer.

After all the research and findings that I’d accomplished, I understood the following concept:  What good would it be to have my work sit in the reference library at the University, online at the dissertation libraries, at home on my bookshelf and not be made available to assist couples in circumventing pain and becoming successful in their marriage. I understood that God wanted me to pursue with publishing the book.

WBP: You were recently featured on CBS This Morning. Do you have any advice for new authors struggling to garner media attention for their book’s message?

CC: Utilize the resources available through WestBow Press and their affiliates. Make use of one’s profession, career, organization or affiliations as a platform to attract media attention.  Another way is by networking through individuals or sources that are connected to media. If one has the skills and ability, connect directly to the media sources.  I don’t see how I would have made the connection with CBS This Morning without the assistance of WestBow Press.  Divine intervention, timing and guidance would also be a major factor. It certainly was for me.

WBP: Do you plan on writing and publishing another book?

CC: Yes, I do. I believe that God has charged me to write. I’ve had other book ideas in my heart for many years now. Some of which, I believe are divinely inspired.  The books that I am considering will solve problems, provide instructions, and/or inspire contemplation for life application or future implications.

 


Book Signing Tips – What I Learned from the Miami Book Fair

We just got back from one of the largest book fairs we attend each year: the Miami Book Fair International from Nov. 16 – 18. It’s an exciting event filled with hundreds of booths offering everything from the world’s smallest books to a vibrant children’s section.

WestBow Press helps authors host their own book signing every year at this popular event. And, every year we learn something new.

 

Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your next book signing:

1.)    Keep your conversation brief. Sure, it’s great to connect with potential fans of your book, but you also have others waiting to meet you. Brush up on your elevator pitch the night before your signing to ensure you are mindful of time.

2.)    Wear something snazzy. In festivals like Miami, it’s a challenge to stand out from the book characters walking around on stilts and the festive music playing throughout the day. So, make sure you look polished, yet add something that will grab attendees’ attention as they walk by your booth, such as a bright colored jacket, an eclectic hat or some fun glasses.

3.)    Make sure the fair environment is right for your book. Miami is an excellent option for children’s book authors or Hispanic authors. Many children attend the fair on Friday because schools bring their students since the fair is free to all. Research your fairs and make sure your title fits well into the general audience in order to guarantee a warm reception of your title.

4.)    Give readers a reason to come to your booth. If you’re trying to sell your book or are attending an event on your own without professional support, bring along some free pens with your website printed on the sides, bags with your book’s cover or even candy. Anything to help draw in a crowd. Once you get a few people interested, crowds naturally attract crowds.

If this all sounds daunting to you, WestBow Press can help you through our Book Signing services. Or, if you’re unable to travel to an upcoming event, put your book on display in a Book Gallery – it’s an easy, effective and cost efficient way to get your name outside of your book’s niche.

What did you learn after your first book signing?


A Solemn Day of Remembrance

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22

Today we remember the lives of those who were tragically lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Although 11 years have passed since this catastrophic event occurred that changed America, the legacies of those souls who perished still live on.

Take a moment today to say a prayer for those families who were affected by this event and remember our heroes who lost their lives trying to save others. WestBow Press honors a few memories through select books. (more…)


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