Thank you to CAN member and contributor Michelle Medlock Adams for today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays!
I had just finished signing my latest children’s book at the Guideposts Booth at the largest Christian Book Show. To celebrate my signing, my mom and my sister took me to lunch at a beautiful restaurant in downtown Atlanta. As we studied the menu, I couldn’t help but notice a group of women sitting at a nearby table. You know why I noticed them? Because they were all staring at me.
I tried to ignore them, but their staring turned to pointing and whispering. I started feeling a little self-conscious. Just as the waitress brought our food, I watched as one of the ladies slowly walked toward our table.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said, “but I just had to meet you. Your book literally changed my life.”
Join us by watching this video of the CAN Crown Awards. Our winners share their success tips for book and brand marketing in the Christian publishing arena.
Great for readers to get to know these wonderful people and the books they write, authors to learn from successful marketing campaigns, and we all get to celebrate with them!
Congratulations to these winners:
Outstanding Broadcasting Gold: Susan Neal for her book series— The Healthy Living Series Silver: Bethany Jett and Michelle Medlock Adams for their book/brand—Platinum Faith Bronze: Dr. Craig von Buseck for his book — I Am Cyrus
Outstanding Web Presence: Gold: Carla Hoch for her brand— FightWrite.net Silver: Cynthia L. Simmons for her brand—Cynthia L. Simmons (clsimmons.com)
Outstanding Visual Media: Gold: Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett for their book—They Call Me Mom Silver Tie: Laine Craft for her book—Enjoy Today Own Tomorrow Silver Tie: Andrew Huff for his book—A Cross to Kill Bronze: Lynn Austin for her book—If I Were You Finalist with Distinction: Janice Hanna Thompson for her book launch of— Just Roll With It
We hope you’ll enjoy coming to the online Facebook Live event as we “crown” our winners. It’s always fun to know the results and share in the joy. Be sure to dress up (at least from the waist up!) And bring your notebooks! You’ll be getting a bird’s-eye view of the winning campaigns!
On the notification calls on Monday night, one of our finalists suggested the idea of holding a watch party. We strongly support that idea. Invite friends and family to share the event with you. Be sure to have fun snacks on hand to celebrate and enjoy the evening. Feel free to share the link below with anyone you think that might enjoy the CAN Crown Awards Gala.
Congratulations to our 2020 CAN Crown Award Finalists:
Michelle Medlock Adams
Craig von Buseck
Cynthia L. Simmons
To join the CAN Crown Awards Gala, please follow the link and information here:
Topic: 2020 CAN Crown Awards Gala
Date: Nov 7, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Mountain/6PM Central/7PM Eastern (US and Canada)
We’re excited to see you on Nov. 7th to share special recognition and education about author marketing. New this year, all 3 categories will have special speakers, the winners, telling us about their marketing campaigns with the focus on how other authors can duplicate the concepts in their marketing efforts.
We expect quite a variety in short presentations, though our finalists have no idea yet whether they’ve placed. They have all been told of the possibility of a short sharing/teaching time on the successful elements of their campaigns.
Physical awards (certificates, trophies) will be mailed to winners and finalists after the event. The prize package of interviews and features will be forwarded to the winners and finalists throughout the year as we place them with media.
The Christian Products Expo (CPE) managed to go on with the show during the Covid-19 pandemic, with fifty-two stores in attendance. CAN author and CAN Board Treasurer Karen Whiting represented the Christian Authors Network at their booth and gave retailers gift bags filled with bookmarks to give out to their customers. CAN also held a drawing for Dragon Raid and Moon Raid, a guided family game set from CAN member and fantasy author James R. Hannibal. Tim Wegner of JOY Bookstore, Schaefferstown, PA won the set. At the author meet- and-greet, CAN members Michelle Lazurek and Karen Whiting spoke, offering encouragement and sharing information with authors. Michelle Lazurek, and CAN Author/Board Member Karen Whiting recognized the bookstore winners of $950 in CAN author books: Charlene Wiggs from bookstore On The Third Day, Pottstown PA, Karen Doerflin from book store Inner Blessings in Cincinnati Ohio, and Joan Cloud from the bookstore, Gospel Shop, in Princess Anne, Maryland. The books were divided among the three winners.
The CPE winter show is set for February 14-16, 2021 and is already generating interest. According to Christy Dollins, The Munce Group, “The Winter show is moving to North Carolina this year, bringing a new opportunity for more stores in this area to attend that have never before attended a CPE show.”
The Christian Authors Network is comprised of a large network of traditionally published authors who work together to grow the industry, their careers, and Christ. Learn more about the Christian Authors Network at http://ChristianAuthorsNetwork.com.
2020 SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference is next week!
If you’re longing for the benefits of a writers’ conference this year, I hope you’ll check out the virtualSoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. It’s happening next week, July 8–11.
In this live, interactive conference, you can learn from and meet with agents, acquisitions editors, and established authors through morning continuing sessions, afternoon workshops, and one-on-one appointments.
Three-day morning Continuing Sessions include Fiction, Nonfiction, Writing for Children, Screenwriting, Speaking, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writing.
Afternoon Workshops include a full schedule of sessions in screenwriting, fiction writing, and publishing, plus classes on Marketing, The Writing Life, and specialty topics such as poetry, Scrivener, taxes, writing for the general market, and how to make money writing.
Publishers Jennifer Crosswhite (Tandem Services), Kate Jameson (Focus on the Family), Marji Laine (Write Integrity Press), and Beckie Lindsey (Southern California Christian Voice)
Multi-published authors Frank Ball, Joseph Bentz, Tamara Clymer, Valerie Coulman, Mike Duran, Aaron Gansky, Kelly Harrel, Janeen Ippolito, Linda Kozar, Bill Myers, Tim Riter, Janice Hanna Thompson, and Liz Tolsma
Screenwriting professionals Bob Saenz, Jeff Willis, and Ted Baehr (MovieGuide)
Professional speaker Tammy Whitehurst
Freelanceeditor Erin Brown
CPA Chris Morris
KeynoterMolly Jebber is a best-selling and award-winning Amish historical romance author.
As if that’s not enough, there areAdded Bonuses:
Pre-conference Book Proposal Critique with Stephanie Alton
Tier 1: General Sessions with Molly Jebber – FREE!
Tier 2: All live sessions, Facebook Registrants Group, and access to Added Bonuses – $99
Tier 3: All of Tier 2 plus recordings of all sessions available till 7/31/20, Q&A with faculty, and two Meet-the-Pro Appointments – $199
Tier 4: All of Tier 2 plus lifetime access to recordings of all sessions, Q&A with faculty, and five Meet-the-Pro Appointments – $299
We’re using a professional platform similar to Zoom but with full-time technical support throughout the conference. So if you don’t feel tech-savvy enough for a virtual writers’ conference, don’t let that stop you. You’ll be personally walked through any issues you may have.
The roll out of each new year brings with it a sense of anticipation that the upcoming year will be as good or better than last year. Here are a few SIMPLE things that can help move your life, relationships and business or ministry forward in 2019. If you lay a strong foundation in your personal life it will reflect positive results into your professional life. In addition to what we share in our 7 Simple Skills for Every Man or Woman books, there are a few traditions and tools that help Bill and I make forward movement each year:
Pray for God’s Heart: In January, we completed a “seek week” where we step out of our “normal” schedule and take a little more time to pray, worship and explore scripture.
I have found ANY week of the year that you create more space for God can be your “seek week” and God will grant you wisdom and insight from heaven’s view point. My goal at the end of seek week is to have a verse for the year that I can hang my heart on. This year, God lead me to my Word of the Year:Adventure, because the road ahead is bringing a lot of change. We are currently packing to place our home on the market. We will then downsize and move our home (and our Love-Wise ministry) nearer Bill’s aging parents. (Read the details on how and why I selected My Word of the Year and the powerful results that can happen by using a Word of the Year to focus your energy.)
I am a woman who loves the outdoors and I have learned on these adventures that a positive attitude, an inspired heart, a determined spirit and a flexible plan can help you overcome ANY challenge turning OBSTACLES into ADVENTURES.
As I prayed over a few verses I thought might help me “Embrace Adventure”, my friend, Vicki Heath, the President of First Place 4 Health, and author of Don’t Quit, Get Fit, recommended one I had already been pondering:
“…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things God has in store for those who love Him.” (1 Cor 2:9)
Paint the Promise: Last year I began Bible art journaling. One day in a quiet time, I read Psalms 55:22 and then dug into my Logos Bible software to study deeper meaning. What I discovered is when we “hurl” or throw our “burden” God sustains us. It is interesting that the word burden can also be translated gift, assignment or allotment. So things that we think are heavy burdens, God sees as a gift to our life! And the word “sustain” means God will “nourish” or “nurture” us so we can achieve that heaven-sent assignment. In SIMPLE terms, this verse is a promise that God will uphold both us and our ministry or calling. God will uphold YOU and YOUR ASSIGNMENT! That is Good News for a New Year!
Plan Specifically:, I will have the joy of leading a workshops on my new book 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together. One of the activities I enjoy most is leading woman through the process of creating her own personal plan of success. Part of that plan will be to help her identify her word, verse and theme for the year. We will then put feet to the dreams by setting some goals so she can make progress in her life. You can download the goal setting YOUR BEST YEAR YET worksheets Bill and I use to help you set some key goals for 2016. (for couples / for women)
Project Success: Next, work your goals into your daily life. One way we do this is by sharing breakfast together, pray over our days and once a week we use a worksheet to talk through what we believe God wants us to accomplish that week. (Click here to download Weekly Meeting: Marriage Unity worksheet) We often go to a Christian bookstore and buy other items with our word or verse of the year on them (mugs, journals, art or plaques).
Prepare a Team. Each day at 3:20, we pray Ephesians 3:20 over our life, our family and those I might be with. We have recruited a team who also pray Eph. 3:20 over our life and ministry too. So as I close this business minded blog, I am praying God’s blessings and vision over your ministry:
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us
Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author (or co-author) of 44 books including her newest, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success In Keeping It All Together . Pam and her husband, Bill, are co-Directors of Love-wise.com and in 2016, after they reach their goal of relocating, want to begin traveling and speaking in the countries that represent the 15 languages their books have been translated into.
When I worked as a church secretary, the church sat on the edge of the city, surrounded mostly by ranches. You had to be looking for it to find it. At the end of my work day, the pastor and I were the only ones on the property when we heard sirens. Then more sirens…then even more sirens. We stood at front portico and watched as cop cruisers zipped by, one after another, toward the highway. Pastor crossed his arms over his chest. “You better take the back road home. Sounds like a huge wreck.”
We prayed for whoever needed the police and I headed out, only to be flagged down a quarter of a mile away by a road block of seven cop cars. Two officers armed with rifles yelled as I lowered my window. “Go back, go back. Dangerous shooter on the loose.”
The man had shot a policeman who stopped him for outstanding warrants and decided to run instead of being arrested by the backup partners. Over 200 officers from the city, county, and surrounding towns descended on the area. We offered the church building as their command center for the manhunt.
Five hours later they caught him cowering behind a barn. Then, I could go home! Boy, were my cats glad to see me. I have the thumb to open their can of food.
So what does a writer do when the adrenaline ebbs? Include it in her WIP – a cozy mystery of course… All experiences have a positive angle if you look for it.
Julie B Cosgrove is an award-winning, traditionally published author of fifteen books and a digital editor and writer with Cru Canada’s Power to Change internet ministry with a readership of over 6000,000 a month. Check out her books and ministry at www.juliebcosgrove.com
The word on the street about Captive Brides Collection with Christian Authors Network members Angela Breidenbach and Darlene Franklin is great reviews for this Barbour Publishing book with 9 historical romance stories releasing tomorrow, Oct. 1st!
Review: The Captive Brides Collection is a wonderful selection of nine tales dealing with captivity. Captivity may be physical, mental or spiritual. It is anything that binds us against our will. The reader travels from America to Australia, from 1655 to the late nineteenth century. The stories have similar themes of injustice, prejudice, trust, redemption, new beginnings and second chances, and fighting for freedom.
Down the ages women (and men and children) have been exploited by the greedy and the grasping. However there are good men who will fight this injustice. Good old fashioned knights in shining armour.
A perfectly delightful collection. I have my favourite. Pick up a copy today and see which one you like best. — UK reader, Julia Wilson (Read theFull review)
Word on the Street about Linda Kozar:
Congratulations to Linda Kozar for her new contract with DaySpring to write a 90-day devotional titled, “Sweet Tea For The Soul.” She completed the book in July. The gift-book quality devotional releases in January 8th, 2018 and will be sold wherever DaySpring items are sold, online as well.
Word on the Street about Julie B. Cosgrove:
Congratulations Julie B. Cosgrove for winning with her short story, “The Highway Chair”, a tie for first place, in the Inspirational category for a Texas statewide contest of short stories. Her story is included in the collection of 2017 first place winners. $2 of each sale goes toward state funded literacy programs in Texas. http://books.txauthors.com/product-p/tass3.htm
Word on the Street about Sarah Sundin’s latest World War II novel, When Tides Turn, was named to Booklist’s “Top 10 Romance Fiction” of 2017!
Booklist said,“Sundin’s latest inspiring tale of forbidden love, intrigue, and faith in the U.S. Navy during WWII pairs steely Dan Avery of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit with Tess Beaumont, a Boston shopgirl who joins the cause.”
Word on the Street is Grace Fox will speak at two weekend-long women’s retreats in British Columbia this month. In November, she’ll lead a women’s volunteer team to minister among HIV-infected orphans, abused women, and abandoned grannies in Romania.
Important Questions for Seasoned Authors
by Judith Couchman
In the early stages of a writing life, every publishing opportunity thrills us. We accept almost anything we can authentically create, and hope for much more. We’re excited to exercise our writing gift, and sense we’re stepping in the impressions of God’s footsteps. Anything seems possible.
A decade or so later, if we’re still writing, we can effuse these same joys. Or not.
As circumstances morph, we do, too. When we explore and transform spiritually, we might uncover fresh ways of thinking and serving. Or we could lose enthusiasm for our publishing persona, subjects, and audience. At the same time, we keep trodding the same publishing path, although our interest might have waned or even flatlined. We don’t know how to change, muster the courage to change, or even realize we need to change.
However we feel about our publishing place, periodic checkups–maybe every five or ten years–can clarify purpose, direction, and enthusiasm. We could discover we’re satisfied with our writing path. Or we might pinpoint a few tweaks or major alterations for the future.
To evaluate, it helps to get away, get with God, and look with physical and spiritual eyes. These topics can help with this analysis. There are no right or wrong answers.
Purpose. What was your original call from God and purpose for writing? Do you still resonate with this purpose? Why, or why not? Does your purpose need to change?
Audience. Who was your original audience? Do you still serve that group? Why, or why not? Do you want to keep serving that readership? Why, or why not?
Brand. What is your brand as a writer? Are you comfortable with this, or could it shift? In other words, are you comfortable in your skin as a writer? Your public image? Why, or why not?
Success. How have you succeeded in fulfilling your publishing purpose? How do you feel about this?
Failure. How have your writing endeavors failed in your eyes? How do you feel about that?
God. Have you sensed God speaking to you about a new direction, topics, or audience for your writing? If so, what do you think He’s saying? Do you pray about your writing?
Questions. Do you harbor nagging questions or disappointments about your writing life? What are they? How can you find answers and healing?
Feeling. At a gut level and feeling–without input from anyone else–where do you want to take your writing? Why? What would this require?
Improvement. Do you consciously work to improve your writing? How so, or why not? How can you commit to becoming a better writer, and not rely on past techniques?
Marketing. Are you spending more time social networking and marketing than actually writing? How can you better balance these two?
Fears. What fears emerge about your writing and publishing? How can you address and move through them?
Direction. What new direction do you want to pursue for your writing, if any? How can you prepare?
Scripture. Can you identify a Bible verse to express your call as a writer now? If so, write it out. How do you identify with it?
More. What other questions can you pursue?
Best wishes as you move ahead!
Judith Couchman is an author with 42 traditionally published works, including articles, books, Bible studies, and compilations. She is also a university professor who sets aside time for missions work. Currently, she’s on sabbatical from coaching writers.
Davalynn Spencer here, from Colorado, happy to welcome author Vickie McDonough to today’s blog.
Vickie, tell us a little about your featured book, Long Trail Home.
When a weary soldier returns from the War Between the States to discover his parents dead, his family farm in shambles, and his fiancée married, a pretty, blind woman reaches through his scarred walls, but will the secret she holds ruin all chances for a future filled with love, faith, and family? End of the Trail is the sequel to Long Trail Home.
I love the way you connected your titles. What is the primary focus of this book?
The hero’s story is about a soldier returning home after the Civil War to find all he knew has been destroyed. How does a man rebuild his life when all is gone?