About Greg Johnson

I’m the president of WordServe Literary in Centennial, Colo. and founder and president of FaithHappenings.com. More importantly, I’m married to Becky, and together we share six adult children, and are grandparents to seven. In previous years, I've been a Campus Life leader (10 years), Breakaway magazine editor (5 years), author or coauthor of 21 books. But for the last 22 years, I've been a literary agent privileged to work with a great family of authors and staff trying to make a dent for the Kingdom.

WordServe News June 2017

Exciting things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

Agency News

Anita Agers-Brooks launched a new project this month, BookInfluencers.com. Created to help authors expand the reach of their books, Book Influencers connects writers to thousands of book reviewers, book clubs, book sellers, and dozens of influencers in other categories. She’s offering a special discount to WordServe authors of 10% off all services for a limited time. Please check out the site at http://bookinfluencers.com, and email Anita at bookinfluencers@gmail.com with any questions!

New Releases

Tricia Williford released You Can Do This with NavPress. Tricia explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith, and offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Jan Drexler pre-released An Amish Courtship with Love Inspired. Samuel Lapp all but accepts his estrangement from the Amish community—until Mary Hochstetter moves in next door to. She sees Samuel differently than his neighbors do. If he can earn her respect while helping with her aunt’s chores, perhaps the rest of the community will follow. But as their delicate friendship grows deeper, they both must overcome their painful pasts before they can build a home together.

Amanda Jenkins and Tara McClary Reeves’ books, The Knight and the Firefly and The Pirate and the Fireflyare now available in paperback! These creative and inspirational tales guide children through God’s Word with the help of Phineas the firefly, imparting important lessons about courage, confidence, friendship, and more.

Anne Love’s novella “The Gardener’s Daughter” was published as part of the Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection by Barbour. Nine stories of poverty and opulence during the Gilded Age will thrill readers as couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build an incredible future together.

New Clients

Amanda Anderson, Drew Clark, Cynthia McGovern, Bill Nester, and Kerri Pomarolli joined WordServe Literary this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Tricia Lott Williford’s book, You Can Do Thisis being featured on the main table at 64 Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. It also hit #1 for new titles on Amazon in Women’s Issues. Congrats, Tricia!

Leslie Leyland Fields’ latest book, Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas, will be translated into the Slovak language. Additionally, RightNow Media is heading to the Alaskan island where Leslie lives to film a video study of Crossing the Waters, one of just 20 books a year RightNow chooses for their video study series!

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WordServe News: March 2017

Exciting things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

Mary Davis’s novella, “An Unlikely Hero,” was published as part of The Pony Express Romance Collection from Barbour. Nine adventure-filled novellas revive the period between April 1860 and November 1861 when riders faced daily urgency and danger to get mail across the country via the Pony Express.

Stephen Kuhn released 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ with FaithWords. Once you accept Jesus, your identity is now “in Christ” — but what exactly does that mean? Stephen helps you fully understand your true identity based on God’s love, enable you to walk in His power rather than your own.

Tracie Miles released Unsinkable Faith with David C Cook. Offering hope for women who struggle with negativity, each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don’t sink.

Joe Wheeler released My Favorite Life-Changing Stories with Pacific Press. The fourth book in his My Favorite Stories Collection, this volume looks at stories having to do with pivotal moments or powerful experiences in a person’s life.

New Contracts 

Dr. Daniel Amen signed with Tyndale for the publication of Stones of Remembrance, a collection of Scriptures for memorization and meditation as well as tips on using Scriptures for meditation, improving memory capacity, and incorporating Scripture memory into one’s life.

Mark Atteberry and Many Harvey signed with Howard to publish Sensing the Rhythm, Mandy’s story of becoming profoundly deaf at the age of 19 and how she learns new ways to “hear” and sing music, as well as her spiritual journey along the way, for publication in 2018.

Kent Hunter signed with FaithWords for the publication of his book, Who Broke My Church?, in early 2018. Based on a survey of 75,000 churchgoers of all denominations and 1-on-1 interviews, the book offers practical directions for Christians to experience the breakthrough impact every church could make on society.

Andy Savage signed a 2-book deal with Bethany House for his books Making Marriage Make Sense, which considers how good marriage can be when we dare to deal with the one thing that erodes perfection: selfishness; and Making Parenting Make Sense, which will speak to the biblical, practical, and sometimes radical high calling of parenting–equipping moms and dads to navigate the journey without the pressure of perfection.

Joe Wheeler signed with PZZ to publish a Polish edition of My Favorite Angel Stories. 

New Clients

Judy Thompson, Christy Johnson, Jared Frederick, Lionel Hollins, Remy Maaddi, Andrea Gurney, and Matt Rogers joined WordServe this month.

What We’re Celebrating

Outreach Magazine named two WordServe books as Resources of the Year! Adam S. McHugh’s The Listening Life was named the Christian Living Resource of the Year, and Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin’s Growing Young was named Church Resource of the Year. Congratulations to our authors!

Additionally, we are pleased to announce that Joe L. Wheeler’s entire backlist is now available digitally as ebooks! Many out of print titles have also been restored to print with paperback editions. You can find them all on Amazon.com, and find out more on Joe’s website: http://joewheelerbooks.com/.

WordServe News: February 2017

Exciting things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

61ic0zrs0sl-_sx353_bo1204203200_Christian T. George released The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon with B&H. For almost 160 years, Charles Spurgeon’s earliest sermons were lost to history. Now, these rediscovered sermons can finally be enjoyed by the millions around the world who admire Spurgeon’s spiritual insights and literary grace. This multi-volume set includes full-color facsimiles of Spurgeon’s original handwriting, transcriptions of his outlines and sermons, and editorial commentary.

jpg_coverLaurie Polich Short published The College Pocket Guide to Dating, Mating, and Waiting with FaithHappenings Publishers. This short, smart guide is packed with answers to questions that many college kids have–but are too afraid to ask. Offering solid truth and experienced insights, it will help every reader make thoughtful decisions in their relationships.

9780800727550_p0_v2_s192x300Dr. David Stoop and Dr. Jan Stoop released Smart Love with Revell. What would happen if you applied the game-changing principles of emotional intelligence to your most important relationship? Drs. Stoop help readers improve their love IQ and transform their marriages with practical action steps and wise counsel.

51fsc40ezgl-_sx314_bo1204203200_Jan Drexler’s A Mother for His Children was re-released as a mass market paperback along with Hannah’s Courtship by Emma Miller, from Love Inspired. Now two heartwarming Amish stories about second chances and the courage to make room for love are available in a single volume!

51p65rwysl-_sy346_Angela Ruth Strong released Presumed Dead with Love Inspired Suspense. Framed for a sabotaged military operation, Preston Tyler has allowed everyone to believe he’s dead—until he witnesses someone planting a bomb in his childhood sweetheart’s cabin. To save Holly Fontaine’s life, he must blow his cover. The two are reunited… but will the ultimate betrayal tear them apart for good?

51l1em4ei8lSarah Varland released Perilous Homecoming with Love Inspired Suspense. When former Treasure Point police officer Kelsey Jackson witnesses a murder while back in her hometown, the killer is dead set on silencing her. This riveting inspirational romance involves a murdered museum curator, modern-day pirates, and a handsome marine biologist determined to make up for his past.

New Contracts 

Bonnie Kristian signed a contract with FaithWords for her book 200 Million Ways to Follow Jesus, a readable exploration of the lively theological diversity that stretches back through church history and across the spectrum of Christianity today.

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers signed with Gerth Medien for a German edition of their book Love Never Ends, for publication next year.

Suzanne Norquist signed with Barbour for her novella “A Song for Rose,” and Mary Davis signed for “Holly and Ivy,” both which will be included in the Bouquet of Brides Collection.

New Clients

U.S. Senator Tim Scott, U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, Nigel Dixon, and Jamie Sumner joined WordServe Literary this month. Welcome!

WordServe News: January 2017

It’s a new year, and exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

51kizchtjul-_sx355_bo1204203200_Debora M. Coty released Too Blessed to be Stressed … Inspiration for Every Day with Barbour. This 365-day devotional features just-right-sized, truth-filled readings (gift-wrapped in humor) for your heart. The Too Blessed to be Stressed daily devotional touches on everyday life topics like relationships, love, boundaries, hope, brokenness, and praise, while helping you to arrive at healing, refreshment, and revitalization of spirit, body, and faith.

cover-imageDena Dyer re-released the e-book version of her book Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms with FaithHappenings Publishers. In this collection of short devotionals—perfect for those few stolen moments you can find in a given day—Dyer uses real-life stories, scripture, and gentle humor to encourage moms and assure them that they are not alone.

517huchsljlTom DeLay and Wallace Henley released Revival! Revolution! Rebirth! with WND Books. America is at a strategic moment in history.Will the qualities that have made the nation exceptional be consigned to the grave like other historic civilizations, or will they spring up with new vitality? DeLay and former congressional aide Wallace Henley draw from their rich experience to show the powerful reasons for hope!

61dkx5py71l-_sx328_bo1204203200_Denise George and Robert Child released The Lost Eleven with Berkley. Nearly forgotten by history, this is the story of the Wereth Eleven, African-American soldiers who fought courageously for freedom in WWII—only to be ruthlessly executed by Nazi troops during the Battle of the Bulge. It’s a story of unheralded patriotism that should be read by all.

51x0oo6bql-_sx322_bo1204203200_Jonathan McKee released If I Had a Parenting Do-Over with Barbour. McKee offers real, practical help to parents who would rather learn from someone else’s firsthand experiences. . . in hopes of circumventing their own parenting flubs. The real-world application will equip readers with solid, helpful practices you can actually use in your own home.

New Contracts 

Dr. Daniel Amen signed a two-book deal with Tyndale. Memory Restore 360 will teach readers how to optimize memory through an intentionally healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and spiritual practices. Raising Brain-Healthy Kids and Teens will teach parents how to care for and develop their child’s brain to optimize performance, physical and spiritual health, and emotional resilience.

Steve Arterburn and Marcus Brotherton signed with Tyndale to publish Jesus Kid, in which kid narrator Kirby McCook retells old and New Testament stories, helping readers see that Jesus has had an important place in God’s plan for redemption from the beginning of time.

Debora Coty signed with Barbour for the next book in her Too Blessed to be Stressed series, this one specifically for moms! Look for Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms in 2018.

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson signed with Barbour for the publication of Devotions for the Hungry Heart, a one-year devotional drawing on Shellie’s personal experience and identifying six attitudes of the heart that position the Jesus-hungry follower closer to God’s gracious table.

New Clients

Bob Izumi, Ronaldo Archer, Nigel Dixon, Kathryn Graves, and Walt Larimore joined WordServe Literary this month. Welcome!

WordServe News: December 2016

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It’s the last month of 2016, and exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

heart-and-soul-coverJan Dunlap published Heart and Soul, Book 2 in the Archangels series, with FaithHappenings Publishers. When Raphael Greene, a medic with an extraordinary gift for healing, is thrown into the role of guardian angel for cardiologist Ami Kim, he finds they share more than a mutual attraction: Ami is a gifted medical intuitive. Even more astounding is his discovery that Ami is conducting clinical trials of a therapy for heart disease that harnesses the power of prayer. Now Ami’s research has been stolen and a horrific plan to use the cure as a weapon of mass murder is underway. Can they stop it in time–and regain their faith in a merciful God?

51hvrbtxhnl-_sx300_bo1204203200_Deb Coty released the Too Blessed to be Stressed 2017 Day Planner. Get organized—and transform your heart—every day of the year with this 15-month planner, featuring a refreshing blend of inspiring monthly readings laced with encouragement and gift-wrapped in humor. Featuring monthly and weekly calendars, a year-at-a-glance section, pages for frequent contacts, and more, this planner offers an important reminder: God’s grace is enough for the ups, downs, and all the in-betweens of life.

New Contracts 

Curt Steinhorst signed with Wiley Publishers for his new book, Your People Aren’t Working, for publication in early 2018.

New Clients

Jewell Johnson joined WordServe Literary this month. Welcome!

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What We’re Celebrating

All the Gallant Men hit the New York Times bestseller list for four consecutive weeks this month–first at #16, then #12, and finally #8! It was also the #1 book on both Amazon and B&N.com.

We had two winners in Christianity Today‘s 2017 Book Awards: Leslie Leyland Fields for Crossing the Waters, and Adam McHugh for The Listening Life. Congratulations!

And finally, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our Water Cooler readers. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 from all of us at WordServe!

WordServe News: November 2016

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary this month!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

overachieving-your-platform-coverThe second book in the Best of the WordServe Water Cooler series released this month! Overachieving Your Platform: 95 Ideas to Embrace Your Inner Sales Marketing Genius offers advice on how to break out and build a platform that really works–with proven advice from more than 30 WordServe authors. This is one no author can afford to miss!

51iimzzhitl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Debora Coty released the Too Blessed to Be Stressed 5-Year Journal with Barbour. Overflowing with encouragement, inspiration, scripture selections, and humor just for your beautiful heart, this journal offers a special place to record your innermost thoughts and feelings, life’s lovely blessings, and anything else that might be on your mind.

51yps1r2krl-_sx337_bo1204203200_Cyndy Feasel, with Mike Yorkey, released After the Cheering Stops with Thomas Nelson. Cyndy, wife of the former NFL player Grant Feasel, tells the tragic story of her family’s journey into chaos and darkness resulting from the damage her husband suffered due to football-related concussions and head trauma—and the faith that saved her.

61prwmw9bul-_sx385_bo1204203200_April Knight released ScriptureDoodle: God’s Promises with David C. Cook. This six-week devotional experience refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in the interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art.

51uak9vgbsl-_sx373_bo1204203200_Donald Stratton and Ken Gire released All the Gallant Men with William Morrow. The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, this is a gripping and intimate account of Donald Stratton’s experience at Pearl Harbor, where a million pounds of explosives were donated beneath his battle station aboard the Arizona; his year-long recovery from burns to most of his body; and his re-enlistment with the Navy to serve in several additional naval battles.

New Contracts 

Craig Chapman signed with Regnery Publishing for his book, Battle Hardened, the story of his father’s combat journey across Europe from D-Day to VE Day.

New Clients

Kevin Keating and Bonnie Kristian signed with WordServe Literary this month.

Overachieving Your Platform: Best of the Water Cooler Series Book #2!

overachieving-your-platform-coverMany years ago, a good friend went into a coma after giving birth. She was on life support for nearly four months. We all prayed and wondered if she would pull through to see her baby girl and live a full life.

By her side was her husband. Every day he was at the hospital talking with doctors and nurses, making sure medication was properly being administered, asking questions . . . basically, being every doctor’s worst nightmare when it came to patient care. But you know, on several occasions, he insisted on something that actually saved his wife’s life. The third leading cause of death in America is medical care accidents and misdiagnoses. He needed to care for his wife because if he didn’t, the worst could happen.

I mention this story because I think it can be illustrative of some of the realities of book publishing today. Sometimes, your book is the one on life support, often from the moment of publication. Standing by are publishers and PR folks who are tasked and paid to keep your book alive. They’re busy, they have other patients (authors), and are generally overworked and understaffed.

The point is you cannot leave your book’s marketing and PR ONLY in the hands of publishers. They’ll do their best (usually), but they’re not perfect. And sadly, they have the 80/20 principle that is always screaming at them from the higher-ups. In publishing, it’s true: 80 percent of the money goes to 20 percent of the books. It’s a reality that won’t change, so we have to learn to deal with it.

So what should you do, then, as the author standing by your baby, trying to keep it alive?

You’ve got to tend to it diligently.

With your publisher: ask questions, say thank you a lot (gift cards and flowers are nice) when they do a job well done, give them ideas, don’t mention a problem unless you have a solution, tell them what you’ll do to help, keep track of everyone who helps (radio stations, bloggers, author friends). Work WITH them as much as they will let you.

What else can you do?

Well, we at the Water Cooler have just released a book that will help answer that question. Overachieving Your Platform: 95 Ideas to Embrace Your Inner Sales Marketing Genius is now available from FaithHappenings Publishers, and it offers the tools you need to break out and connect with large audiences. Adapted from the best writing of the WordServe Water Cooler, these doable, practical and affordable ideas will transform your platform and expand your audience if you put them into practice. No, you can’t do them all. But you can certainly go through this book with your highlighter and mark everything you actually could do. Then make a plan. What will you do during your first month from publication, second month, third? Write the plan out . . . and then work it.

Publishers, agents, and retailers agree: you’re only as good as your last book. So if your last book flops in the marketplace, it may very well indeed be your last book!

Don’t let that happen. Stay on guard by your book for the first six months to a year after launch, and you’re far more likely to get that second book contract. You may even get a royalty check.

I’m so proud of all of the authors who contributed to Overachieving Your Platform. They’ve done the hard work in the trenches and have learned from their successes and failures. All they know they’ve shared with you.

Grab a copy today—and take that first step toward creating a platform and brand that will serve you for the rest of your writing career.

Excelling-at-the-Craft-of-Writing-CoverAnd if you haven’t checked out the first book in the series, Excelling at the Craft of Writing: 101 Ways to Move Your Prose to the Next Level, make sure to do that as well. Craft and marketing go hand in hand when it comes to a writing career—you won’t find success unless you’ve got both!

This post was adapted from the Introduction of Overachieving Your Platform: 95 Ideas to Embrace Your Inner Sales Marketing Genius (available now!).