Self Publishing The Book Inside Of You

Would You Be Willing To Help Me?

If you are a writer, blogger or a wannabe, I am doing one-on-one Skype calls March  14th, 15th and 18th to help gain insight on writing a course on self publishing your book. I want to learn about you and where you are at right now in your writing/publishing journey. I would love to know how I can help. To schedule your 20 minute Skype call click here.  Also, for anyone wanting to learn how to find their writing voice, download a free copy of my e-Book, Missionary Writing. 

If you are a writer who is unpublished, you might be puzzled as to how do you get your book in front of agents and publishers. After trying to get a book in the hands of traditional publishing experts several years ago, I learned the hard way of what didn’t work to publish a book.

I have stacks of rejection notices from agents and publishers dated back in 2006 and 2007 when I was sending in queries and proposals. I received lots of positive feedback back then from those rejection letters that helped me land an agent in 2015. Without an agent and a publisher I decided to self publish then using an author services company that no longer exists. The book cover was beautiful and the formatting was excellent all the while selling a grand total of 300+ copies. After thinking about the experience during the next several years and becoming a intense reader of publishing books and joining many online writing and publishing communities, I decided I would try this writing/publishing thing again.

I read four books over and over again that electrified my thinking; Platform by Michael Hyatt, The Well Fed Self Publisher by Peter Bowerman, How Do I Decide? by Rachelle Gardner, and Ape:How To Publish A Book by Guy Kawasaki. Each one of these books educated me on the rise of self publishing and the how the publishing paradigm has shifted in the positive to self publishers. What this meant for me was that I was going to have to set up a publishing company, get my own ISBN numbers, hire an editor, a designer for both the cover and the interior layout and figure out how to market this new book.

So, before going the self publishing route again, I decided I would send out some emails to the agents whom I had queried several years earlier to see if there would be any interest in this new updated book I was titling, Uncluttered: When Spiritual Baggage Hinders God’s Vision For Your Life. Over the next several weeks my email began lighting up with agents who were interested in talking to me and finding out more about the book, myself, and other future books I might have in me. I was humbled to have some of the top agents in Christian publishing be interested in my writing. After prayerful consideration, I decided to accept the offer from Literary Management Group and Owner Bruce Barbour. Bruce is a stalwart in the Christian publishing industry. In 1870, his great-grand uncles, Fleming H. Revell and Dwight L. Moody, started publishing Christian books and founded Revell Publishing. You would think that I would have been ecstatic to be one of the lucky ones who lands an agent. But, after much consideration, soul searching, and prayer, I cancelled my literary contract and decided to move forward with self publishing. If you want to learn how I landed a literary agent read this blog post.

All These Reasons For Self-Publishing You Have Heard Are True:

You control all the process of publishing your book. From the design of the cover to the design of the page layout and style.

You retain all the rights of your work.

You keep all the profits, not 10% of what the book sells for minus agents cut minus cost of production and discounts. You are not going to make tons of money this way.

You control the success of your books. I know this might be debatable, but publishing houses are not going to put tens of thousands of dollars into marketing your book.

Your book can be published and hit the market much sooner!

It is easy.  You can make it hard, but there is no reason to.

Self Publishing is fun!  It feels pretty cool to create something and be the one who makes it happen.

You are able to put your own special thumbprint on the project. That is powerful!

Would You Be Willing To Help Me?

If you are a writer, blogger or a wannabe, I am doing one-on-one Skype calls March 14th, 15th, and 18th to help gain insight on writing a course on self publishing your book. I want to learn about you and where you are at right now in your writing/publishing journey. I would love to know how I can help. To schedule your 20 minute Skype call click here. Also, for anyone wanting to learn how to find their writing voice, download a free copy of my e-Book, Missionary Writing.



Someone Is Waiting On You To Start A Movement

Maybe The Fart Smeller Movement?

Back in October 2011, my wife Julie and I were in New York City during the time of the Occupy Wall Street protests to attend a conference on ministering to immigrants that are arriving daily in the United States.  While walking through the area around Wall Street in Manhattan, I came across the guy above and asked if I could snap his photo. Apparently he was wanting to start his own movement (no pun intended). Today, several years later I came upon the photo and began to wonder, “What type of movement could I begin that produces change.” Change for myself, my family, my friends, people I coach and train that are planting churches in Cleveland. I believe that we have the ability and capability to begin movements that create change. Change that is temporal as well as eternal. This has me asking the question, how?

In my thought process, either wrong or right, a movement can take on the nature of a business, a political agenda, or a movement that is spiritual. Some people might call a movement a cause, but I think that is really one dimensional. A movement is more than a cause, it is different. A movement changes me, the individual. It changes others.

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Crafting A Personal Vision Statement

Info Graphics have been gaining in popularity as a simple visual to help communicate ideas. I have created a info graphic that outlines visually how to write a personal vision statement.

vision infographic

Writing things down is so important in life. For us men, how many times has our wives given us a task that we have quickly forgotten about because we failed to actually write it on the honey-do list? Big mistake! Most people think they don’t need to write things down because they have a great memory or it isn’t that important in the first place. I have learned that writing things down makes things a lot easier in life, especially the things that are important to my wife.

I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences during my adult life, in both the business world and also as a pastor. Nearly every one I’ve attended has dealt with vision, goals, etc., and all have made it a point that one of the keys to knowing where you are going is to write out your life/church vision or mission statement. In May of 2004, I attended Ken Davis’s “Dynamic Communication Workshop” in Colorado. There, I met Cheryl Dick, the director of operations for Chick-fil-A restaurants. As we exchanged business cards, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement on their business cards: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It didn’t impress me that much that the fast food chain had a purpose statement printed on their business cards, as this is rather common. What did impress me, though, was that they had the audacity to start their statement with their purpose, “to glorify God,” Followed by their vision, “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The vision statement is what God wants you to do. What you are going to do next is work on the reasons for the vision to begin to take shape.

How Do I Start Writing?

This is where your calling to write can be hard. It is not easy to get out of bed everyday knowing you have to write. Knowing that this is your passion will give you motivation and sense of purpose to write. After all, that is the question of the ages – “What is my purpose?” Knowing your purpose in writing is fulfilling yet can be frightening as well. That is why it necessary to see what you are doing as a calling. You are writing to help make someone’s life better spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally, and eternally. While I write, my call is not to be a writer, but to be a missionary writer. Basically I am a missionary that writes!

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Blog Posts That Are Worth Reading

I consider myself a Missionary Writer.

I began writing in 2004 with a blog titled, “The Southern Scribe.” Even though I was an early adopter in the Christian blogging world, as time went on, I doubted that blogging was here to stay. Due to my time constraints, I gave up blogging. On occasion I would blog about something that interested me or blog about an issue that excited me or annoyed me. I can stand before you today and say I was wrong, in a big way. Blogs in many circles are just as pertinent as print and network and cable news outlets when it comes to breaking news or editorials.

Anyone can get an account on Blogger or setup a WordPress blog, but how do we write blog posts that are effective in delivering a message?

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Your Core Values

Let’s be honest, everyone has different values they believe to be correct and true. What I am going to address is your core values – the things that define what we believe and hold dear to our hearts. These are the values that not only define what we believe, but also define who we are in the eyes of others. These values again, are vast in numbers and time and space does not allow for me to cover all of them. I do want to go over a few that I believe have a role in the crafting of your personal vision statement.

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Why I Hand Write Letters To My Wife

Some of you are waiting to the last minute to go out and buy that perfect card for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Wait no longer for I have the perfect card for you, it’s called a hand written note. No, I am not talking about being cheap or really waiting to the last minute and not having time to go  out and pick up a card. I believe the perfect card for your sweetheart is a handwritten letter from you.

For the past several years I gave up on the Hallmarks, American Greetings (a great Cleveland company BTW), and other card makers because the content was not mine. I began to write letters to my wife Julie for major celebrations in our lives such as first date anniversary, Valentine’s Day, her birthday, and our anniversary. Ever so often, I will write a letter randomly just because I love her.  I have also done this with my daughters on special occasions as well.

Read below to find out why I really write letters to Julie.



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The Amateur Guide To Writing

Writing is one of those professions or hobbies that most people believe they can do and be good at. Most adults in America believe they have a book within them that needs to be written, but they just never have the time or inclination to do so. You know what? They are probably correct in part of that statement, they probably do have book inside them that could be written, but they might not be the best one to write it. Writing is one of those tricky professions that has in the traditional realm, gatekeepers who are called agents, editors, and publishers. If you are not willing to face rejection and lots of hard work to get your book out there traditionally, then you probably should keep to blogging where you are the only gatekeeper. You also may want to consider self-publishing or becoming your own independent publisher. While self-publishing and indie publishing is becoming more acceptable (that is a very good thing), there is still the need for writers to have the skills necessary to write well. This applies whether they are traditionally represented or go the self-publishing/indie route.

I will admit when it comes to writing, in my mind I am an amateur.  Even though, I would be considered a professional writer due to the fact I have received money for writing, I still consider myself an amateur. My journey and story is not unlike yours. An aspiring writer who believes I have a story to share that can actually change someone’s life. My writing focuses on how a person can have vision and leadership in their life and actually put wheels on that vision to get it rolling to its destiny. In doing so, I have written three books, VisionalLife (out of print), Missionary Writing (eBook) and the last one, Uncluttered which is currently being represented by Alice Crider of WordServe Literary. The content of each book is similar, but the direction is much different. I have also written for print magazines, online magazines and blogs as well as a contributing author to another book.

All of this just kind of happened slowly over time and sometimes when I wasn’t looking for it to happen, it just did. I struggled with the questions, “If I write to help people, will anyone read what I have written and why should they?” And then the really big question we all ask ourselves, “Am I really a writer?” I have learned that I do not write to please other people, but to help other people. If my writing does not inspire or help other people, then I should not be putting it out there publicly.

Over the next few days I will be cover the topics below that I believe make for a great writer and for stories that need to be told. I hope you tune in and join me in becoming a better writer.

The Need For Inspiration

The Need For Passion

The Need For An Advocate

The Need For Tools

The Need For A Platform

By the way, the title of this blog post will be the title of a future book I will be writing.