WordServe News May 2018

As usual, some great 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

New Release from Barbara J. Scott and Mountain Brook Ink  Dreams of My Heart, The Reluctant Brides Book 1. Can a reluctant bride and her new husband fall in love despite their wounded hearts? Plucky Irish immigrant Kate O’Brien struggles to hang on to her brother’s homestead after his death in a suspicious cattle stampede. If she’s unable to pay off the loan that paid for her ticket to America, she will be forced to marry the banker’s rogue son, Rafe Hamilton. Texas cattleman and total stranger Buck McKean comes on the scene as her rescuer, his act of kindness poses a profound threat to her reputation, and the two marry to prevent the impending consequences but both come to marriage with broken hearts. Can God mend their hearts and save their love?

Congratulations to Amy Sorrells on her new release from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Before I Saw You.

Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who is new to town and to the local diner where she works.

Dividing her time between the diner and Sudie’s place, Jaycee nurses her broken heart among a collection of unlikely friends who are the closest thing to family that she has. Eventually, she realizes she can’t hide her pregnancy any longer―not even from the baby’s abusive father, who is furious when he finds out. The choices she must make for the safety of her unborn child threaten to derail any chance she ever had for hope and redemption. Ultimately, Jaycee must decide whether the truest form of love means hanging on or letting go.

Congratulations to Angela Hunt, Bill Myers and Salem Books for the release of When God Happens: True Stories of Modern Day Miracles.

A car flips over on the highway and bursts into flames. A father hears devastating news about his unborn child. A teenage girl follows a friend to a dangerous party. Then God happens. If you have ever doubted the miraculous power of God, prepare to be astonished. Here, real people share true stories of modern-day miracles–moments of divine intervention when the hand of God was briefly and beautifully revealed.

Congratulations Chloe Howard with Margot Starbuck and Zondervan for the release of Stand Beautiful: A Story of Brokenness, Beauty & Embracing it All. 

In Stand Beautiful, international speaker and TEDx presenter Chloe Howard shares her story of overcoming injustice, battling self-doubt, and rising up to speak out, fueled by a powerful encounter with Bono from the band U2. Chloe’s story shows that even through brokenness and shame, we can venture toward hope, accept our unique selves, and share in our human experiences. Chloe boldly addresses the unlikely hero in each of us. Readers will be inspired to be brave, to speak up against injustice, and redefine beauty as more than what the eye can see. Chloe shares how faith enabled her to endure physical and emotional pain, spurring readers to delve into authenticity and stand beautiful.

Contracts

Barry Corey signed with Tyndale House Publishers for My Hope for You to be released early 2020.

Anthony Thompson and Denise George (collaborator) signed with Bethany/Baker Publishing Group for his book The Healing Power of Forgiveness to be released October 2019.

Larry Dugger signed with Worthy for his book He Calls Me Friend: 60 Devotionals for Men, due to publish in early 2019.

David and Karin Holder with Larry Dugger for the book Living at Full Draw signed with Harvest House Publishers, Inc., due to publish fall 2019.

Marcus Brotherton signed with Passion Publishing to collaborate with Louie Giglio on his next book.

Laurie Myers and Betsy Duffy signed with a Slovvakian publisher for their novel, The Father’s Prayer.

Walter L. Larimore signed with Harvest House Publisher’s Inc. for his book 60 Ways to Healthy & Fit After 50.

New Clients

Cindi Martin joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

Welcome to WordServe, Chris Corning, Olympian and World Champion snow boarder (check him out on YouTube!)

Colonel Arthur Shaw (ret), now age 96, he was the first soldier to set foot on Okinawa during WWII. His book will follow that pivotal battle, as well as his life (to be written by Robert Wise).

What We’re Celebrating

And the winner is…Congratulations to Randol Hammer and Phillip Robinson (with Margot Starbuck) for Forgiveness in the First Degree. Winner of the 2018 Selah Award for Best Memoir!

 

 

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Unified by Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott Hits NY Times Best Seller List!

We are Celebrating, Unified by Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott hitting the NY Times Best Seller List!

Unified by Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott  hits the NY Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list at #14 and a combined hardcover nonfiction/ebook list of #12! Congratulations Congressman Gowdy, Senator Scott and Tyndale House Publishers.

*There was a mistake in the publication that posted to the WordServe Water Cooler in the April 2018 news. Under “What We’re Celebrating” Killing the Deep State by Jerome C. Corsi, Ph. D. was mentioned as a book hitting the NY Times Best Seller List. Although it is true and he is to be congratulated, WordServe Literary Group DOES NOT represent this author/book.

WordServe News April 2018

As usual, some great 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

Three new releases from The Arterburn Wellness Series and David C. Cook Publishers:

Stephen Arterburn and Becky Johnson, Understanding and Loving a Person with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Biblical and Practical Wisdom to Build Empathy, Preserve Boundaries, and Show Compassion.

This book is a compassionate companion to those who love someone who has experienced severe trauma that left his or her brain changed by PTSD. As someone who suffered from PTSD herself, Becky Johnson knows what is most helpful on the path to recovery. Becky teams up with Stephen Arterburn to offer:

•    Insight into what is happening in the brain
•    Background on treatments such as EMDR
•    Ideas on what to say and what not to say
•    Suggestions for calming a loved one during a PTSD episode

A personal coach and a compassionate companion, this book helps readers become a healing presence in their loved one’s life while practicing self-care as well.

Stephen Arterburn with Jason and Shelley Martinkus, Understanding and Loving a Person with Sexual Addiction: Biblical and Practical Wisdom to Build Empathy, Preserve Boundaries, and Show Compassion. 

This practical guide helps spouses to understand what drives sexual addiction and how to find healing after betrayal.

When Jason Martinkus confessed his infidelity to his wife, Shelley, she wasn’t sure she could ever trust him again. Together they began a difficult but redemptive journey of understanding sexual addiction. In this book, Jason and Shelley join Stephen Arterburn to address the following:

•    What sexual addiction is and how to know if someone is addicted
•    How to understand the roller coaster of post betrayal emotions
•    Guidance in developing boundaries
•    What to do if a spouse doesn’t want to recover

This is a valuable resource for anyone who loves someone addicted to sex or pornography.

Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop, Understanding and Loving a Person with Alcohol or Drug Addiction: Biblical and Practical Wisdom to Build Empathy, Preserve Boundaries, and Show Compassion.

This compassionate and helpful book educates both the mind and heart in the power of addiction and the way to help others find healing.

When a family member or friend is addicted to drugs or alcohol the situation can feel hopeless and confusing. In this book, David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn help readers develop a plan of action by offering:

•    Insight into brain chemistry and addiction
•    Real-life ideas for encouraging healthy choices
•    Guidance in how to help without enabling
•    The connection between depression, ADD, and trauma

Stoop and Arterburn have helped thousands of people around the country understand chemical addiction and how to love someone well in the midst of this gripping disease.

April is National Sexual Assault and Abuse Awareness Month. How Sweet the Sound by Amy Sorrells is a heart-cry story for survivors searching for more than a movement or a march and who need to find hope. For only $2.99, share the hope of How Sweet the Sound with someone who needs it, on ebook format throughout the month of April thanks to Tyndale House Publishers. Learn more about Sexual Assault/Abuse Awareness Month by clicking HERE.

Contracts

Rob Maaddi signed with Zondervan for Fly Eagles Fly to be released September 2018.

Kathryn Graves signed with BroadStreet Publishers for Fashioned by God to be released July 2019.

Sara Varland signed with Harlequinn Books S.A. for Moose Haven Book 3 & 4 to be released June and November 2019.

New Clients

Emily Hutchinson, John Sterge and Brent Chapman joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Congratulations Jamie Sumner! Jamie’s UNBOUND was selected as a Mother’s Day pick by Publisher’s Weekly! https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/religion/article/76316-publishers-get-ready-for-mother-s-day.html

 

Killing the Deep State by Jerome C. Corsi, Ph. D. hits the NY Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list at #14 and a combined hardcover nonfiction/ebook list of #12! Congratulations Dr. Corsi and Tyndale House Publishers.

 

2018 Christian Book Awards

Congratulations to Marcus Brotherton for being named a finalist for the 2018 Christian Book Awards in the Christian Living Category for his collaborative work on Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants with author Louie Giglio

 

 

Congratulations to Christian T. George for The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon Volume 1 for being named a finalist in the 2018 Christian Book Awards Ministry Resources category.

WordServe News March 2018

As usual, some great 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

New from Mountain Brook Ink and Patricia Lee, Love Calls Her Home, Book 2 in the Mended Hearts Series. Can a hurting boy help two broken people find their way back to love? Lissa Frye returns home from the Navy hoping to find a different future—one which includes a husband, marriage, and a family, until news from her sister impacts Lissa’s personal life and derails her plans.

Congratulations to Kathi Lipp on her re-release from Harvest House Publishers, The Mom Project: 21 Days to a More Connected Family. Do you want to connect with your children outside your regular routine and find ways to understand, enjoy, and learn more about them? This handy guide offers a straightforward, workable plan to do just that! Kathi’s warm, funny, and thought-provoking expertise will give you the tools and confidence you need to connect with your kids. Small efforts can make a big difference in the life of a child…and in the life of a mom!

New from Joe L. Wheeler and Pacific Press, My Favorite Courage Stories the fifth book in Joe L. Wheeler’s Favorite Stories Collection. Desmond remained on top of the cliff until he had lowered every wounded man to safety. During this five-hour ordeal, again and again, Doss prayed, “Just one more, Lord.” The official record would go on to state that 75 men had been save by Desmond Doss, although it was likely closer to 100. Read this incredible story of courage and more in Joe L. Wheeler’s latest collection.

Congratulations Jamie Sumner on her new release from FaithWords, Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood.  Unbound gives hope and encouragement to all women whose picture of motherhood is strained by disillusionment, otherness, and even despair. With honesty and vulnerability, Jamie Sumner walks readers through each stage of her own journey to motherhood through infertility and special needs parenting. She pairs her story with those of women in the Bible, offering readers comfort, hope, and companionship rooted in biblical truths.

Debora M. Coty released her companion journal to the Too Blessed to be Stressed series. In the My Prayer Journal, Coty invites readers to spend some quite time in the comforting presence of our heavenly Father, who cares about anything and everything the day may bring our way. This inspiring journal features a collection of prayer starters plus scripture selections and room to record your own personal thoughts and prayers…the perfect complement to our daily routine.

Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Trey Gowdy release Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives U Hope for a Divided Country from Tyndale. Our nation is hungry for unity. Most Americans  would rather celebrate what we have in common than focus on our differences. But the feelings of division are real. In recent years, the very foundation of our melting-pot society has been shaken—ironically, by our differences. We long for a story that will give us a glimpse of how to once again find harmony with our diversity. This is that story.

Also released this month by Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Trey Gowdy in conjunction with Tyndale is The Friendship Challenge: A Six-Week Guide to True Reconciliation — One Friendship at a Time. Do you want to transform your community? Take the Friendship Challenge. In 2016, Scott and Gowdy began hosting a series of community roundtables, bringing together pastors, law enforcement officers, and administrators to discuss community relations. In The Friendship Challenge, they apply the lessons they learned to help promote reconciliation in their communities.

Congratulations to Leslie Leyland Fields and Kregel Publications on her new release The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over 40 On Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength. Start embracing the wonder of life after 40. We’re all getting older. How do we make the second half of our lives the best half? Forty incredible women of faith from 40 to 85 tackle aging anxieties head on—and upend them with compelling first-person stories full of humor, sass, and spiritual wisdom.

Contracts

Rick Lawrence signed with Harvest House Publishers for Finding Freedom to be released early 2019.

Cynthia Herron signed a three-book deal with Mountain Brook Ink with a possible book four. The three books will be part of the Welcome to Ruby series. First book in the series, Her Hope Discovered, due for release July 2019.

Kim Kimberling signed with Faith Words for his book Avoiding The Train Wreck Marriage: Keys to Making the Right Connections for a Lifetime, due to publish in early 2019.

Casey Diaz with Mike Yorkey signed with Emanate, an imprint of the Thomas Nelson division of Harper Collins Publishing for The Shot Caller due out Spring 2019.

Laurie Short signed with Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group for Hidden Wisdom to be released early 2019.

Jamie Erickson signed with Moody Press for The Unlikely Homeschooler due for release mid 2019.

Lydia Harris signed with Harvest House for her Grandma and Me Cookbook due for release mid 2019.

Sara Varland signed with Love Inspired for books 3 and 4 of the Moose Haven Series, due for release mid and late 2019.

New Clients

Sarah Jackson and Ryan Hendrickson joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Congratulations agent Sarah Joy (Freese) Oaklief and family! Welcome to the world sweet Sadie Jayne Anne Oaklief, born March 15. At 6.9 lbs and 19 inches, Sadie Jayne (and mama) are home and doing great!

 

Congratulations to Donald Stratton whose work All the Gallant Men with Ken Gire helped inspire a commercial on PBS which has been nominated for an Emmy! See the commercial here: https://www.facebook.com/ussarizonasurvivor/posts/438281903295828

3 Questions to find your “value added”

Value-added describes the enhancement a company gives its product or service before offering the product to customers. Value-added applies to instances where a firm takes a product that may be considered a homogeneous product, with few differences (if any) from that of a competitor, and provides potential customers with a feature or add-on that gives it a greater sense of value….Investopedia.com

There you have it, folks – a clear definition of “value added,” a key concept in today’s marketing strategies. If you’re a hotel, your “value added” may be a free breakfast, or bonus loyalty points. If you’re a tire dealership, your “value added” may be a discounted  fourth tire after the purchase of three. If you’re a writer…..ah….if you’re a writer….what if you’re a writer?

I’ve been grappling for years with the idea of my “added value,” and I’ve finally come up with a few guidelines that might help you work on your own. As the definition above points out, we writers offer a fairly homogeneous product – writing – so our challenge is to distinguish ourselves from other writers by offering readers something in our work that makes it stand out as having more ‘value’ than other similar products of writing. To identify your “added value”, consider these questions:

  1. What do my readers want from me that they won’t get from someone else? In the case of my murder mysteries, I relied on detailed accurate information about birds to appeal to my readers, so that reading my novels was like a virtual birding trip. Readers often told me they knew the restaurants where my characters ate, or that they had actually visited the real locations named in my books. That familiarity made the books personal for readers, and even inspired a few vacations for readers who wanted to add bird sightings to their life lists. That’s added value.
  2. Do I provide unique extras along with my book? A common extra is a Reader’s Guide at the end of your book for book club discussion. If you are tech-savvy, you can even offer to “attend” book clubs via Skype or other online meeting platforms. That’s a valuable benefit for many readers! Other extras include links to online journaling or videos that supplement your text. Even questions for personal reflection (and the space to answer them) is a nice extra used by many nonfiction writers in their books.
  3. What does my reader need? Ultimately, “value added” is about giving your readers more of what they value. To do that, you have to know your audience and consider what they would regard as additional benefit from reading your work. When I wrote my memoir about overcoming anxiety thanks to our adopted rescue dog, I included endnotes to refer readers to research into depression and anxiety; I’d found those resources helpful in my own recovery and wanted to share that with readers. I also invited readers to email me about their own healing experiences with adopted pets to broaden the conversation about the therapeutic effects of animals (and three years after the book’s publication, I still get wonderful emails from readers about it).

Have you identified your “value added” yet?

 

Marketing Beyond Your Book Launch

Now that I’ve submitted my latest book to my publisher, marketing is on my mind. I know from past experience with my other titles, the book launch will arrive sooner than I’ll ever feel ready for.

Some authors seem to think marketing fits in a neat little window of time, however, this limited view can inhibit opportunities to move more books for a longer period. Like a “new to you” car, if your title is new to book reviewers, book clubs, libraries, organizations and associations, churches, or book sellers, you have an untapped market potential.

For almost four years now, I’ve researched, accumulated, and culled lists of those who can influence more book sales. Many nights, I’ve stayed up an extra hour or two, so I could add to my lists. To date, I have over 1,200 relevant reviewers, book clubs, libraries, associations, churches, and book sellers organized by genres and specific interests. (I ultimately invested money into training and paying people who could help me organize my lists faster.) I’m now developing relationships with many of these reviewers.

You can do this for yourself, but it does require a lot of dedication and persistence. And there are some important things I’ve learned a long the way. Maybe by sharing, I can save you a few expectation headaches.

Important things to remember about influencers:

  1. It takes time — getting your book noticed by influencers is not a microwave process; it requires crock pot patience. But the good news is, you can put your ingredients in place and let them simmer while you attend to other things. Come back and stir on occasion, and eventually, your efforts can reach a rolling boil if you have quality content. (No matter what you try, if the content is not of interest to readers, marketing will not get you very far.)
  2. There are a lot of reviewers and other influencers out there, but not all are still actively writing reviews, many are not a good fit for your title, and some with smaller followings are actually more effective in their reader reach. Literary matchmaking is one part art and one part due diligence.
  3. Many influencers have a back log of commitments, so it can take months before they are able to get to yours. But just because you don’t hear anything right away, does not mean they are not interested. I recently got this great review from a query I sent over a year and a half ago.

My years of hard work have widened the sphere of influence for my latest book, and my sales definitely reflect it. The foundation and process for generating interest are now in place, and something I can easily duplicate.

Connecting Authors and ReadersRecently, I also realized this was something I could duplicate for others. From my desire to help fellow authors and the publishing industry at large, bookinfluencers.com was born. It bugs me that the closure of book stores has left many readers challenged to discover “new to them” great books. So I’ve created an online community to bring authors, publishers, influencers, and readers together. We put our clients’ books in front of those who can reach more people on their behalf.

I’m not trying to sell you a service, frankly you can do this on your own. But if you are an author who wants to save time and energy while widening your reach, help is available. Check out bookinfluencers.com to find out more.

The important point here is not so much how you connect with influencers, but that you do. Long after that 30-90 day book launch window closes, there are many readers who won’t have heard of you or your title. So don’t give up. Keep at it. Get your book in front of influencers who can help market your book beyond the launch. You never know what one person with a spotlight can do a year and a half later.

Have you had success in getting book reviewers and other influencers to help spread the word about your book?

People’s Stories Belong To Them

I remember the day I had to apologize to my daughter. I broke one of my personal rules as a writer and a leader:

People’s stories belong to them.

This is especially true in regard to pastor’s children who already feel like everyone knows their business.

My husband and I have been on staff at the same church for thirty-two years. Many of the members have known my children since the day they were born. When our children were little, it was not an issue to talk about my struggles with discipline or potty training or bad grades in math, but now our children are adults living grown-up lives and to their dismay, their mom, who is still a pastor’s wife, is now a writer! A writer who one day forgot the rule:

People’s stories belong to them.

When I was going through cancer treatment, along with both of my parents, the lines became blurred about whose story belonged to whom. Although my parents had given me carte blanche to talk about their stories, this permission did not trickle down to include our children. One daughter was struggling with difficult circumstances at the time and I shared some of my concerns with friends in church. Okay, okay, it was over the microphone. In front of the entire congregation.

Major stepping across the line. In army boots. Stomping through the mud.

The writer and pastor’s wife in me didn’t show up in church that Sunday. The mom inside me did. The mom who was overwhelmed.

But that didn’t give me any “get out of jail free” cards. I still screwed up.

I had to apologize, even though in my mind I wanted to justify it, saying “how can people pray if they don’t know?”

Let me ask you–do you want to be known as a prayer project?

Earlier that year I had been chatting in a circle of people, a mix of friends and strangers. A friend had started asking me pointed questions about my cancer treatment, questions I wouldn’t have minded sharing with her personally, but suddenly I felt I had a spotlight on the personal details of my life.

You know that saying, that if you are nervous in giving a speech, that you should picture the audience in their underwear and you won’t be nervous anymore?  That’s fine when you are the speech-giver, but in this situation I was the audience and all eyes were on me and I didn’t like feeling exposed. Vulnerable.

In regard to my daughter, it was a lesson I had forgotten and needed to remember–as a mom, as a pastor’s wife, and as a writer.

Have you ever felt exposed when someone shared parts of your personal story? Have you ever shared someone else’s story and regretted it?

(And yes, I had my daughter’s permission to post this story. In case you were wondering.)

 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke writes stories of courage, beauty and belonging–belonging to family, to community and to a loving God. Her book, Under a Desert Sky, was released in May 2017 with Revell/Baker Publishing. She blogs at www.lynnehartke.com. You can find Lynne on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.