Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 10/11/13

The Christian Inspirational genre is certainly one of the hottest markets for self-publishing authors.  When someone’s faith mixes with experience writers communicate with their readers in a unique and extremely uplifting way—a way that enriches mind and heart to see possibilities beyond their circumstances.

Although many of the books in this genre are written (or ghostwritten) by well-known people, many more are written by people like you.  Their “real life” topics cross over faith denominations into the “real world” with subject matter such as: liberation from life’s burdens; healing wounded hearts; the gift of beauty for ashes; and eternal security.  No one—literally no one—can tell these experiences better than the person who has lived through them.  However, there are a few unique methods to remember when developing the manuscripts, and they begin with preparing yourself to “tell the truth” to the best of your ability.

Whether you are creating your manuscript yourself, or you’re working with a self-publishing team (publishing consultant, author representative, production supervisor, designers, and production managers), and/or a ghostwriter, here are a few things to remember:

  1. Build the timeline.  Most inspiring stories come from finally seeing a positive—even miraculous—result from some not-so-pleasant experiences.  The timeline (for this one book) is most easily built backwards.  Starting with the conclusion of events will allow you to see all the pieces leading up to that more clearly.
  2. List the people.  Make a list of the people who were connected to this process.  There will be the quickly-remembered ones; there will also be the ones who are only recalled as you work on the next guideline—the “scenes.”  Depending on your decision whether or not to use their real names is not a concern at this beginning level.  What is important is that the roles they played are identified.
  3. Picture the scenes.  Use your wonderfully developed imagination to “see” the scenes (as in a movie).  Such as: When I tell the story of my Mother’s last days on this earth, I can see the CNA—a gentle giant of a gentleman—lifting her ever so carefully from a gurney to her bed.  Any movement—even her hand raising to motion for water—caused intense pain.  However, when he moved her, she experienced NO pain.

When inspirational writers begin their creative process with these three foundational exercises, it is remarkable how quickly their true story is developed.  Filling in the details becomes easy.  Then, once the first draft is complete, the other decisions—such as using the names of the real places and people—are also much simpler.  My suggestions for those choices are twofold:  If there are more than three people (other than you) in the story, consider using fictitious names.  Tracking people down to get permission to use their name can be time consuming and slows down the production of the book.  Also, if the place where the majority of the scenes are centered is too well-known—and would overshadow the impact of the story—then consider “setting” those scenes in a more generic place.

Final thought: NEVER hesitate to tell your story!  There are many hands and hearts out here in the self-publishing world to help you through the process.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 10/04/13

Inspiration; Encouragement; Hope; These are the topics that have the non-fiction shelves of the local bookstores overflowing and home libraries expanding.  This is also one of the areas of self-publishing that is a true gift to writers; the place where folks—ordinary folks—are finally able to tell their stories to those who wonder how they will ever survive their current circumstance.

Consider these examples:  The newly released book Oh What A Beautiful Mourning by Roderick G. Peters inspires and comforts our nation as he writes about the events of September 11, 2001—his story of life, history, horror, spiritual growth and development since that day.  Encouragement and inspiration ooze from the pages of Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom by Chris Bowen—each chapter a lesson learned “from our children,” not just the lesson being taught.  And the true story/memoir of Terry Wadsworth Warne, TERRY: The Inspiring Story of a Little Girl’s Survival as a POW in WWII, that details those experiences with heart-rending accuracy while inspiring readers with the hope that they, too, can survive horrific things and live a happy life.

Are you one of those “folks” who has a story to tell?  Early in my ghostwriting efforts, a young man talked with me about an idea for a book that had been bugging him for a long time.  He had grown up on a pinto-bean farm experiencing many hardships and had an “I-almost-died” experience that made me consider the reality of Guardian Angels.  He was “going to” send me some of the handwritten pages he’d collected.  It’s been almost 20 years since then and even though I still recall his vivid descriptions and inspiring outcome—and we still keep in touch at Christmas—I doubt his story will see print.  Sad for him and for the reading public.  He made the assumption that publishing his story would be “next to impossible” and everything stopped there.

I love working with writers who are ready and willing to TELL their true stories.  Authors such as those listed from the book examples above write from the heart to touch the hurting hearts of other ordinary people—just like them.  These books become “helping hands” that reach out to lift up their neighbors, bring comfort and hope.  I applaud them, each and every one!

Then there are the writers who have been inspired by someone in history.  They have researched that person’s life, considered the results of that life-well-lived and want to hold them up as an example of excellence and success.  These stories become the Historical Novels—fictionalize, yet true—that show us the past, while engaging us with inspirational scenarios that can be carried into the present.

Are you the next author of one of these books?  I hope so!  Doing the writing work can take a bit of time, but there are lots of folks ready and able to help you along the way.  The self-publishing industry is growing—and offering more specific assistance—so do your homework when seeking writing and publishing support.  Listen for their passion to help you write and publish what is in your heart.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: My Journey to Know the Truth

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

My Journey to Know the Truth

Tony Kent

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 1598000845

Finding the truth in one’s life can always be quite the endeavor. “My Journey to Know the Truth” is a spiritual memoir of Tony Kent as he presents his own tale of coming back from a broken life. Through faith, he put it all together again and shares his tale in hopes it will also inspire others to find their own faith to spur their life forward. “My Journey to Know the Truth” is worth considering for those seeking an inspirational memoir.