|Deb and Chuck making new friends|
Monday, August 18, 2014
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 9:15 AM
Saturday, August 9, 2014
I'll space them out over my next few posts so you don't feel like a tree fell on your head.
Feel free to contact me with questions or comments - I'd love to hear from you! Here goes:
- Quite a few mergers occurred within the inspirational publishing industry this year, which resulted in the loss of many good editors and jobs. These include the alliance formed by Tyndale and NavPress, closed fiction divisions by B & H, Summerside, and Moody, merger of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, and Baker acquired Regal.
- These changes, of course, shrink the market for Christian authors to shop their manuscripts. Yucko.
- Because of the evaporating larger house market, it behooves new authors to consider small presses more than ever. (Deb's note: I've been advocating small presses for years. It's where I got my start - many produce great quality books at no cost to the author, and most don't requite agents but will deal directly with the author.)
- Self-publishing is still ironing out its kinks. Self-pub books tend to get fewer than 10 reviews on Amazon and most successful self-pub books are by already big name authors with large platforms. The few exceptions who get big press with highly successful first e-books or print books make it look easier than it is.
- Hybrid authors (who do both self-publishing and traditional publishing) are on the rise; many are publishing their older traditionally published books after they're out of print and the rights revert to the author. (Note: rights reverting to the author MUST appear in the contract; check your fine print.)
More next post. Any thoughts you'd like to share about the above?
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 5:00 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Summer 2014: Baby Blessings Shower
The Babies Are Arriving!As you may have heard, my book Too Blessed to be Stressed has been busy birthing offspring; I call them my Baby Blessings. So far, the bouncing bundles of joy include:
Too Blessed to be Stressed 2014 Planner
Too Blessed to be Stressed Perpetual Calendar
Muy Bendecida Para Estar Estresada (Spanish translation)
The Bible Promise Book: Too Blessed to be Stressed Edition
Due next in July is the Too Blessed to be Stressed 2015 Planner and in September, the Too Blessed to be Stressed Journal, which is a hard cover version of the original paperback with additional space for answering “Let’s Decom-Stress” reflection questions and journaling. I’m planning cool contests to give away copies of each one to celebrate their birthdays, so be sure to subscribe to my blog to find out about all the freebies as the news breaks!
In the meantime, I’m throwing a baby shower in reverse! That means I give YOU gifts to celebrate! Keep reading …
A Baby Shower Like No Other
In celebration of my Baby Blessings, I want to see yours! Just shoot me an e-photo of your cherished baby (human, 4-legged or even 4-wheeled) on my CONTACT page by August 8th and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win the Baby Blessing (listed above) of your choice. Winning photos will be posted on my blog in mid-August.
If you haven't already subscribed to my personal blog, please do so that you won't miss a thing (this is my writer's blog; my personal blog is www.deboracoty.blogspot.com).
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 6:12 AM
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
As I'm often asked for advice from young writers on how to get your feet wet in the sea of publication, I thought I'd reprint my response to her here. Much of it is my personal story. I hope you find something in my tale helpful for your own writing journey. Here was my reply:
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 7:45 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
|My new book covers!|
|What do you think?|
These are the new covers for my two historical novels, The Distant Shore and Billowing Sails.
My publisher felt it was time for an update and I think they give Emma-Lee, the main character of both books, a fresh new look.
I actually resisted at first - accepting change has never been my forte. But I'm glad I relented now that I've seen what a very talented cover artist can do ... not really altering my perception of who Emma-Lee is, but enhancing the possibilities and engaging the imagination in all that she could be.
It was my desire to keep the distant storm clouds and dark edges on the horizon of The Distant Shore to symbolize the tragedy and mystery that Emma-Lee was thrust into on the island through no fault of her own. Not unlike many of the problems we face every day - problems not of our own making, but problems we must wade through nonetheless.
And the cover artist (whom I've never met or even spoken to) came up with the beautiful brightness and glorious sunbeams (if you read my books, you know how much I absolutely ADORE those symbolic fingers of our Creator reaching down to us in the form of sunbeams!) portraying Emma-Lee's emerging faith and hope in Papa God for Billowing Sails.
The use of sunbeams is just another marvelously cool coincidence that isn't.
It's a grace note. An amazing grace note that proves to me yet again that Papa God is involved in every single detail of our lives. Even book cover radical makeovers!
P.S. If you've never read these delightful novels inspired by a true story, good news! They're on sale for $1.99 each for a limited time in e-reader version for both Kindle and Nook. And of course they're also available in print from www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com as well as anywhere books are sold.
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 10:21 AM
Thursday, May 29, 2014
|My Promo Mentor: Jo-Jo the Sand Hill Crane|
I was enjoying my early morning prayer walk through a nearby patch of woods when my thoughts were interrupted by a loud honk/squawk/clicking racket from overhead.
Glancing up, I saw the same Sand Hill Crane I'd seen every morning at precisely 8:30 a.m. for the previous three days. He flew at the same height, in the same route - toward the south, banking off eastward at the intersection of the pond and strawberry field - all the while announcing his presence to the world in the same unmistakable, unmissable, unforgettable fashion. Honking/squawking/clicking at the top of his lungs. (Sorry for the clunky description but I double-dog dare you to try to put the call of a Sand Hill Crane into English!)
The key word here? Same.
He did the same thing at the same time everyday. And he made sure the rest of the world was aware of it.
I assumed he was off a'courting some nice ladybird since it's spring and love is in the air. Incidentally, Sand Hill Cranes, like most birds, mate for life and take their marriage vows very, very seriously. We could learn something from them.
And as an author, it occurred to me that I could learn something from this guy. He's an expert at self-promotion.
The first day I saw him, he was simply of mild passing interest. Hmm. There goes a big noisy bird.
The second day, he made more of an impression. Hey, I wonder if that's the same bird I saw yesterday. He looks the same. Wonder where he's going. Wonder why he's going. Maybe I'll watch him a while.
The third day, he burrowed under my skin. Oh my gosh, that IS the same bird. How cool is that? I'm going to follow him and see what he's up to.
And that dadgum bird stayed in my mind all morning. I even named him Jo-Jo and went home and Googled Sand Hill Cranes to learn more about my new friend. And to me, suddenly he was.
My new friend.
I cared about him. I told others about him. I actually looked forward to the next morning when I could hurry out to see him again.
Just the way we writers want people to view us.
And how do we get to the point of burrowing under people's skin so that they care about us, tell others about us, and look forward to our next book? The same way Jo-Jo did: Stay vocal and visible.
Let me say that again because it's important: Stay vocal and visible.
What does that mean to you? Pursue speaking opportunities? Guest blog? Write online articles? Show up and comment on websites and blogs frequented by your targeted audience regularly? Tweet ten times a day? Blog daily? Snag all the media interviews you can? Maybe all of the above.
Promotional guru Michael Hyatt has his accounts set up so that he feeds a template in the morning and tweets automatically appear 13 times a day and mini-blogs twice daily while he's busy elsewhere. He constantly shares good stuff he finds on other people's blogs, giving them full credit of course - an excellent way to foster networking so that they'll return the favor and eventually their readers become your readers.
Sure, I know. You aren't Michael Hyatt with all his experience, funds and techy resources. But I'll bet there's still something you can add to your current self-promotional arsenal to make you more vocal and visible.
Go ahead. Give it some thought. Prepare to do some serious skin-burrowing. Become a Jo-Jo.
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 8:16 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The words every author longs to hear but seldom does.
But wait! There's more reason to hope than you might think. Don't give up yet on penning "award-winning author" after your name.There are quite a few writing contests and literary awards out there that someone will win. It might just be you!
Here is a partial list of some of the more prominent annual Christian book awards. Bear in mind that there are even more than what you see here; all it takes is a little elbow grease and research to turn them up so you can pop your entry in the mail (or online for e-books).
- EPCA Awards (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association): Gold Medallion Book Awards are given in five categories including Bibles, Fiction, NF, Inspirational, and Bible Reference.
- Christianity Today Book Awards: Ten categories plus Book of the Year.
- Christy Award: Fiction only, nine categories including contemporary romance, historical romance, contemporary series, suspense, contemporary stand alone, visionary, first novel, historical, and YA.
- Rita Award: Romance Fiction only (named for Rita Clay Estrada, the first president of RWA, Romance Writers of America). Ten novels are proclaimed winners from the 2000 applicants each year.
- Selah Awards: Blue Ridge Conference Writing Contest; winners in each of eleven categories including romance novel, contemporary/women novel, historical novel, suspense novel, speculative fiction, novella, inspirational/gift, YA, Bible studies, children, Christian Life, plus Book of the Year.
- Golden Scroll Awards: sponsored by AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) in conjunction with the CBA's International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) award Fiction Book of the Year, NF Book of the Year, and Author of the Year among others.
- Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year
- Illumination Awards: eighteen categories including Bible study, Christian Living, devotional, theology, self-help, children's YA, romance fiction, Ebook NF, Ebook Fiction, and more.
- Enduring Light Medals: rewarding exemplary Christian-themed books published since the year 2000. Categories include Christian Thought, Devotional, Inspirational, Christian Fiction, and Christian Children's Book.
Most of these contests require less than $100 fee per entry (per category) and usually two copies of your book for the judges. All have deadline submission dates. Most are accessible to authors (as opposed to the publisher being required to submit the book) but it's a MUST to read the application instructions thoroughly so you don't defeat yourself before you're even in the running.
The Christian Writers Market Guide is a good reference for writing contests and awards and I always recommend that you Google the entrance requirements for newest developments/changes.
Go get 'em!
Posted by Debora M. Coty at 7:49 AM