This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match

who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

 

 

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

 

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

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BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

 

I write today, Lord.
I will be using words, and some of them will be verbs.

Inspire them all, God, but especially the verbs.
Hover over them.
Speak them into existence.
Breathe into them the breath of life.

All my verbs come from you.
You are my “is.”
My “am.”
My “see,” my “know.”
You are my “laugh” and “cry,”
my “wake” and “sleep,”
“shiver” and “sweat,”
“think” and “speak,”
“jump” and “skip” and “dance” and “bounce.”

There is not an action in my day,
a movement of my bones,
a breath in my breast
or a word on my tongue
that does not come from you.

Let it be consciously so in my writing today.
And at the end of my day, with the final word on the page,
pronounce it good, in Jesus’ name, amen.

TRLPLBob’s latest book is The Red Letter Prayer Life, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere. He is also the author of “31 Ways to Pray for Your Children,” an iPhone and iPad app available via iTunes.

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Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Greetings from Ava Pennington in sunny Florida. I’ve always been a curious person, and today I’d like to start with a question or two…

Why do we write?
Why do we market our books?

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Pic for website 2012     Hello, again! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly blogpost about the craft of writing. Today, I'm going to focus on techniques to employ to find and write distinctive voices for each of your characters or individuals in fiction or non-fiction.

    I began my professional writing career as a playwright, earning my Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts with a concentration in playwriting from UCLA and later having a number of plays produced. Unlike writing for the movies, playwriting "runs" on dialogue. A professional script for live theater contains very little, if any, description except to set the scene, and actor's notes should be non-existent. (Once a play has been published, which assumes it's been produced, these notes are usually inserted as guidelines for subsequent productions, however, original scripts do not include them.) So, it's vital that a playwright master the art of dialogue, crafting lines that contain meaning, emphasis, and character without "indicating" these in the script.

Example: "Mary: He did what? How? I don't believe it" instead of: "Mary (raising her voice and her eyebrows): He did what? (She sits down on the sofa) How? (She sighs) I don't believe it."

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