I would like to start out by apologizing to you. I have told you I would be releasing three articles per week, and I have not done so for a long time. I thought about posting and letting you know what was going on, and realized I never did. So what’s this about being ‘under construction’?
What’s under construction? This website. I decided to leave it up so you can take advantage of the resources already here. Soon I will have a new website for you with an entire new look. It would be out first, but I put you first. I am not only working on my website, but will also soon be releasing a website design for a customer and friend that’s focus is helping women with their relationship with God. I will be sure to post again and let you know.
Some of you may also know about my book. Being A Light For God is a book that teaches you to do just that, shine bright for God, and fulfill your purpose in life. As a whole (within the U.S.) Christians have grown spiritually dim. We are afraid to live in a way that broadcasts our faith like a light in the darkness, because we fear what people think about us. This is wrong though, because we are told many times throughout Scripture not to fear. While I’m here I will tell you something God laid on my heart.
In our lives, our relationship is constantly ‘under construction’ just like this website, my book, and many other things in life. It is a never ending cycle, and you can never be close enough to God. There’s always room to draw closer. If you fall, or make a mistake, that is understandable. God will not hold that against you. He knows how our nature has become since The Fall, and that is why He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. In our lives, we are constantly under construction in many ways, and especially spiritually. So remember that daily. It is a daily process to grow closer to God.
We are constantly under construction, and we will make mistakes, but God is there to help us to overcome those mistakes, so take comfort in that fact. When you mess up, simply look to God and He will help you to recover.
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on this below!
This is a special guest post by Karen Baney. In this post, she speaks of using affiliate programs to benefit us.
Why should authors sign up for affiliate programs with their distributors? After all, we get a royalty on the sales.
Well, many of the distributors, like Amazon and most recently Barnes & Noble, encourage authors and publishers to sign up for an affiliate account. Once signed up, authors can change all of the links for their books to the special affiliate link. This allows authors to receive a small commission for each book sold, which is above and beyond the royalty an author receives on the sale.
For example, I signed up as an Amazon affiliate. Since I changed all of my links to affiliate links, I get a small percentage for any of my books that are purchased when a user clicks on the link from my website, Twitter, or Facebook. Also, if a customer purchases other items on the same order or within a certain time frame, I get a small percentage of the sales for those items as well. All I had to do was sign up on Amazon, post a disclaimer at the bottom of my site that I’m an affiliate, and change all my links.
Do I make a ton of money this way? No, but it is nice to get a little back for my marketing efforts.
Amazon isn’t the only book distributor that uses an affiliate program. Smashwords has one. Also, I just recently received an email from Barnes & Noble that they have an affiliate program available through Link Share. When I signed up for Barnes & Noble’s, I found that Kobo has an affiliate program through Link Share too.
Here’s the links for more information about these affiliate programs:
- Amazon - https://affiliate-program.
- Barnes & Noble - http://affiliates.
- Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/
- Kobo - http://www.kobobooks.com/
Each affiliate program works differently and has different requirements, so please be sure to read the terms and conditions for any program you sign up for.
Regardless, changing out links in your author marketing efforts to affiliate links is a great way to generate some additional income. Just remember not to go overboard on your author website. It’s about promoting your books, not becoming a huge advertising board for everyone else.
Have you signed up for an affiliate program? Share your experience or ask questions in the comments below.
Self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years. She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels. For more information about Karen or her books, visit http://www.karenbaney.com or her Amazon Page.
Have you signed up for an affiliate program? Any other questions or comments? Share your experience or ask questions in the comments below.
This is a special guest post by Ada Brownell. After reading this post, please show support for Ada by visiting her through the links found at the end.
Patience And Publishing
WHAT DOES PATIENCE HAVE TO DO WITH PUBLISHING?
How often does the Lord need to show me patience pays off?
I thought of telling you writing is the most likely career where a person needs patience, but since writing is about the only thing I’ve ever been paid to do, perhaps I have no idea of what other people go through.
I do know that in the process of publishing my book I’ve felt the Lord’s hand among the leaves in my spirit searching for patience fruits, and he didn’t find much. Patience seems to always be missing in me.
Getting my new book published was the easy part. The editor and the cover designers were exceptional. Proofing the book, I found only a few corrections that needed to be made. The trouble began with two of the changes. They resulted in two more errors. Yet, I missed the five words left out of a scripture when one of those errors was corrected.
That was the beginning of frustration. Then came time to fill out forms for the Kindle version, author pages, changes on my website. Internet Explorer opened the necessary sites but refused to open the pages for me to download information. Or if my browser let me fill out the necessary information, it wouldn’t accept it.
Today I’ve had some success by using a different browser, and I’m ecstatic, even though I haven’t completed the process. I’ve heard of people who refuse to pray for patience because they’re afraid the Lord will answer with an experience where they’ll need it. I’ve been desperate lately and prayed, “Help!”
Paul wrote, “Tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope (Romans 5:4).
We all need patience to help us keep writing and trying when success is elusive. If we hold on, believe on, work on, we have hope.
The Good News: Finally, I got the kinks out. The Kindle version of my new book, Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, was released on Amazon. You can order the paperback or the Kindle at Amazon.com, and the paperback at Barnesandnoble.com. The titles will come up if you put use my name instead of the title on the websites. Besides carrying a unique, encouraging message, the book gives a good example of the professionalism put out by Amazon’s CreateSpace, probably one of the least expensive print-on-demand publishers.
Ada Brownell is a retired medical reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and the author of the book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Swallowed by Life
Do you know you are more than a physical body? Evidence shows our body is constantly dying and being renewed cell by cell and about every seven years is totally rebuilt – even our bones. We start as an egg about the size of a dust mite, yet we were the same person in the womb we are today. We may lose limbs, gain and lose weight, have vital organs removed and mechanical or transplanted parts inserted and we’re still the same person. Inside us is life, and a soul and spirit which were designed by God to live forever.
Swallowed by LIFE is subtitled “Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal.” The book speaks about this mystery; how you know what to believe; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; brain death, and other mysteries of the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; a glimpse at what we will do in heaven; God’s mercy after man’s rebellion when He promised a Redeemer way back in Genesis to deliver us from death; and leaving a legacy here.
Questions and answers are included for study groups.
Ada’s Blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com
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In the previous post (Learning To Write: Writing Well), we looked at improving our writing by writing daily. That is a fantastic way to improve your writing, but there are also others. Another way of improving your writing is to first find a subject you are passionate about and want to write within, then read people who are very popular in that subject.
Say you want to write in the subject of fantasy, but make it Christian. If you want to enter into that field, then you must read Christian Fantasy books to help you in that subject. The more you read a certain subject, the better you will understand it. If you understand it better, then you will be able to convey it to others through writing with a higher quality than you would otherwise.
If you truly want to become good at writing, then you don’t need to stop at just writing daily and reading your subject. As Rik said in a comment on the previous post:
Too many people do not want to put time into learning a skill, and writing is a learned skill. If you want to do it properly, you need to study. If you don’t study the craft at an institute of learning, then you have to self study. Your library must include texts on the craft as well as the best examples of the craft itself.
He is correct. What Rik mentioned happens all the time. People want to learn to do something, but don’t invest time in learning how to do it. Then when they try to do it they become aggravated when they don’t succeed. You must invest time learning to do something, or you will not succeed.
One thing Rik also mentioned in his comment was a list of books that every writer should read in order to advance their skill in writing. The list is as follows:
- The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. (available in book form or free online)
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King
- Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell
- Telling Lies for Fun & Profit, by Lawrence Block with an introduction by Sue Grafton
- On Writing Well, by William Zinsser – An informal guide to writing nonfiction
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on the Writing Life by Anne Lamott
So I encourage you to first find what you want to write about. Second, become familiar in that subject by reading it often. I also want to remind you to go to your local library and check for that list of books provided for us by Rik.
Please subscribe for future updates, and leave a comment below. Do you know of a book aspiring writers should read? Do you have your own way or example of reading to write better? I appreciate feedback!
There are many people who learn to write. Whether it is books, devotions, news articles, health articles, or just writing in a journal or diary, writing is enjoyed by many. The question is, “Am I good enough for people to want to read what I write?”
Let’s look at how I started writing. It all started in the summer of 2011. I wanted to learn web design, but I had nothing to put on the website I was making. That is when I started to write devotions. I thought, “I should write devotions. That way I could both help people grow stronger in their walk with God, and also learn to build websites.” This website turned into what is now 1LightforGod.net. In the months following that summer, I started to write more and more frequently. Now I am expecting to release my book this summer.
The key to writing, and writing well, comes in two forms. First, find something you are both knowledgeable and passionate about, and start writing. Second, write daily. Whether you publish it on a blog, in a book, or just write it on a sheet of paper, write every day, and make it part of your routine. Not everything you write has to be made public. Also, do not throw away the paper, or delete the file with your work on it. This will help you to see how much you are advancing in your writing when you go back a few weeks or months later and review some of your first work. It is encouraging!
So I say this: If you enjoy writing, and want to be able to write so people will enjoy it and benefit from it, then write daily. I do not know where you are at. You may need to challenge yourself for 200 words per day to start out, or you may need 2,000 words to further advance. Some people don’t set a minimum word count, but instead think of whatever their passion is and write until they have nothing left to say. Writing daily does not mean you have to write on the same subject, for it will help you even more to take a day or two a week and write in a different genre! The main point is to find something you know very well, something you are passionate about, and commit to write every day. This is how you advance your writing skills.
I will be releasing a post Friday about learning to write well by reading good writers. Please subscribe so you know about future updates!
If you are a writer, what are some ways you use to advance your writing skills? If you are not a writer, but would like to become a good one, don’t be afraid to join in and ask questions below as we engage on this subject. Please leave a comment below.