Jul

4

2012

Jul

4

2012

A Deep Appreciation

by Karen Ball


I have a soul-deep appreciation for those in the military. My grandfather and two uncles served in the Army. My dad in the Navy. My older brother in the Marines. But even without these family ties, I would find there’s just something wondrous about those who place their lives in harm’s way for the rest of us. These are the warriors who have made America a land of liberty. A land based on deep faith and strong morals and the unending drive to lift those who have fallen, free those who are oppressed, and stand as a beacon in a dark and weary world. America has it’s challenges, especially in recent years. But friends, this is an amazing country we live in. I’m proud to be an American. And I’m honored to support our warriors, whatever branch of the service they’re in. May God touch each of you, keep you safe, and bless you for all you’ve given to your country.

Thank you for your service.

And now I want to share with you all a remarkable singing group. If you haven’t discovered 4Troops and the story behind this group, check them out. And be sure to watch this video “for Freedom.” I guarantee, you’ll be moved.

A blessed 4th to you all!

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Jul

3

2012

News You Can Use – July 3, 2012

What Retailers Know that Publishers Need to Know – Mike Shatzkin analyzes the importance of data in what is truly the “Science of Bookselling.”

Your Hotel Bible is now a Kindle – This is a new one. Kindles in the nightstand in your hotel room with the Bible pre-loaded. Fascinating.

Using Evernote for Screenwriting – Brilliant adaptation of the Evernote software by Héctor Cabello Reyes.

The Incredible Resilience of Books – Peter Onos wrote a great article that the naysayers quickly skewered. Which side of the debate do you land on?

Thou Shalt Not Steal Shaun Groves Music – The artist makes a statement “If everyone stops paying for music, then music will stop being made.” Do you agree? Does it apply to books as well?

Solve Mysterious Bible Passages like Sherlock Holmes - Eric McKiddie writes a very clever article. Well done!

Be Your Agent’s Dream Client – Agent Greg Johnson tells it straight. (from the ACFW blog)

Bacon for Calvinists! (Thank you Kevin DeYoung)- see below:

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Jul

2

2012

A Little Less Shade, A Little More Light

by Steve Laube

There could not be a better argument for the need for good Christian romantic fiction than the recent sales phenomenon of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. In case you aren’t aware, this trilogy has sold ten million copies in the last three months. Ten million copies. The content of these novels should be x-rated and yet sit atop every bestseller list in the country. The media labeled the novels “mommy-porn” which is an apt description considering the book’s advocacy for aberrant sexual behavior. It has sold over one million e-book copies for the Kindle suggesting that some buy it for their e-reader because they can hide what they are reading by not showing the cover.

Of course there has always been salacious fiction on the market, so this is nothing new. Many saucy and erotic novels are readily available with the click of a mouse. But none, with such unapologetic deviance, have achieved such extraordinary success in such a short time.

Christian novelists? You were born for such a time as this. The message of love and romance in the confines of a loving God-centered relationship is diametrically opposed to that found in these bestsellers. Write stories that show relationships with all their ethos, anguish, strife, redemption, honesty, and romance. Therefore, let this phenomenon be a clarion call for you to dig deep and improve your storytelling, hone your craft, and shout it from the mountaintops that there are great novels that can be read as an alternative to what the general market offers.

If you aren’t aware of what is available, go to Fiction Finder and search by genre. Our agency represents over 110  of those great novelists.

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Jun

29

2012

Fun Fridays – June 29, 2012

Over 1,000 heat records set this week across the U.S. It can be kind of hot in Phoenix this time of year (112 degrees today), but this weather forecast for Baltimore takes the prize for hottest day EVER!

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Jun

28

2012

Who Am I? – About the Author

by Tamela Hancock Murray

The author biography section in a book proposal seems to be one of the least anxiety-provoking sections, yet I often see areas that could be improved. Here are a few ideas on how to make your author bio section the best it can be.

Include a portrait

When I was an intern on Capitol Hill, one of my duties was to open the mail. On one occasion, we received a resume that included a portrait, which was not the common practice at that time. The portrait wasn’t large, and if you looked like this man, you would put your picture on everything, too. But the office manager said, “I would never hire him. He’s an egomaniac.” Now, maybe my office manager was jealous. (And no, I don’t think he’s reading this). But I thought including a picture was a great idea. On proposals, Steve Laube recommends including a portrait in the author bio. And no, no one will think you are an egomaniac. I have put together many proposals under our banner, and I can tell you that including the visual is helpful. We like portraits that are about the size of a postage stamp.

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Jun

27

2012

The Tell-All You Can’t Live Without

Karen Ball

Okay, okay, I admit it, the title of this blog is hyperbolic. Kind of. But let me explain why it’s not that far off the mark to say you really can’t—or at the very least, shouldn’t–live without it. Also, let me explain why I’m addressing something that Tamela addressed a mere 3 months ago.

So far this week, I’ve had no fewer than seven conversations with writers, agents, and editors, all of which hit on the same topic: finding out important information long after they should have. The conversations covered a broad range of information:

  • An author calling to say s/he was going to miss a deadline—a week before the deadline.
  • A client receiving an extension on a deadline from an editor
  • A publishing house moving a pub date without letting the author know
  • A book arriving with a cover that was completely different from what the author approved

My response in every case was utterly profound:

“Are you KIDDING me??”

So though Tamela addressed the following in March, let’s talk about it again. Because friends, this is important stuff. (And because you know who will address it next: Mr. Steve. And he won’t be as nice as Tamela and I are! <insert evil grin here>)

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Jun

26

2012

News You Can Use – June 26, 2012

What Successful People do Before Breakfast – Reading this made me want to take a nap.

Free Tools for the Frugal Writer - Bob Evenhouse provides some good advice.

The Noisier it is, the Better You Work? – An argument to head to a coffee shop to do your work.

Do You Own Your Kid’s Domain Name? – Good advice in today’s world. I am glad I had the foresight to grab my name as a domain in the mid-90s.

Learn about Amazon’s Algorithm – Put on your thinking cap and read this with interest!

The Book Industry Wants (Needs) Better Medadata – A key component to today’s marketing efforts.

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Jun

22

2012

Jun

21

2012

Will You Vouch for Me?

by Tamela Hancock Murray

As part of my continuing series on proposals, today I’ll talk about endorsements. This element can cause anxiety, so I hope this post will ease your mind.

When to Ask for Endorsement

Some writers tell me, “I’ll get back to you on that list as soon as I talk to the authors.” Or even, “I’ll let you know as soon as the authors read my manuscript and get back to me.” In reality, neither time is right to ask an established author to endorse your book. The time to ask is when you already have a contract and the publisher is almost ready to send advance copies to potential endorsers. Then the publisher can offer a deadline for the endorsement and the endorser can verify whether or not he has time to read and endorse the book.

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