WordServe News: May 2015

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Mary Davis released Winning Olivia’s Heart with Heartsong Presents, the third book in9780373487837_p0_v2_s260x420 her series with Heartsong.

Robert Morris, with agency client Marcus Brotherton released Truly Free with Thomas 9780718011109_p0_v3_s260x420Nelson publishers.









Joe L. Wheeler released My Favorite Miracle Stories with Pacific Press.download








New WordServe Clients

Jared Boyd and Karon Phillips signed with Wordserve Literary!

What We’re Celebrating!!

Cheri Fuller was interviewed on the Focus on the Family Radio Broadcast. Listen here. 

Lauren Scruggs and Lisa Velthouse’s book Your Beautiful Heart came in at #1 on the NYT Bestseller list for Fashion, Manners, Customs. See the full list here!

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers (The Writing Sisters) are a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for The Shepherd’s Song in Women’s Contemporary Fiction.

Margot Starbuck is a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for Not Who I Imagined in Nonfiction Christian Living.

Shellie Tomlinson is a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for Heart Wide Open in general nonfiction!

It’s a Heart Wide Open Christmas, and You’re Invited!

Raise your hand if you’re ready to experience Christmas instead of trying to survive it.

Awesome! Me, too.

And yet, I’m acutely aware of how the over-hyped commercialism of the season will threaten to obscure the sacred story, once again.

Immanuel, God with us.

Christmas, God help us.

I want to do it differently this year, don’t you? I want to ignore the madness and listen for the holy. Have you said that as often as I have in years past?

We can, you know. We can dismiss the marketing, the magazines, and the endless social media pins urging us to do it bigger and better. For the love of Jesus, we really can quit doing Christmas long enough to live it– just not on the steam of our own good intentions. We’re tried that, haven’t we?

If we’re going to worship Jesus well this Advent season, we’ll need His strength and His grace. We’ll need His abiding Presence.

This is not a challenge. That would defeat us before we begin. This is an invitation to walk through the twenty-five days of Advent together. Our goal will be to keep our eyes on Jesus—and if we start getting steamrolled by our gift list and party schedule, we won’t berate ourselves. We’ll simply train our grateful gaze back on Jesus and begin again for the joy set before us. Immanuel, God with us.

HWO_ChristmasHeader_postcardI’ve prepared twenty-five prompts, one for each day of Advent, beginning on Sunday, November 30 and taking us through Wednesday, December 24. Each day has a Scripture passage, a brief thought, and a suggested action.

It gets better! I’m super excited to have four awesome author friends joining us for this sweet journey, Tricia Goyer, Dr. Joneal Kirby (The Heart Mom), Mary Snyder, and Marybeth Whalen. I’ll be kicking off Day One on my own blog and then my buddies will each take a turn hosting five days of A Heart Wide Open Christmas in a lovely blog hop that will culminate back at my blog!

For consistency, the day’s image will always be found on my blog, and I’ll be shooting it out first thing each morning via my social media platforms to remind those who are participating. That image will be conveniently linked to the week’s hostess where you can engage with the full content however best suits your schedule.

Whether you choose to read your brief devotion, print out your ornament, enjoy community conversation, or all of the above, you are cordially invited to join us for A Heart Wide Open Christmas!

Hugs, Shellie

It’s totally not necessary for you to let us know that you’re participating but, for the sake of community, we would sure love it if you did!

Top 3 Ways Launching a Book is Like Birthing a Baby!

As you may have deduced from the heading, I’ve recently given birth to a new book baby. This is a little list I put together to celebrate the arrival of Heart Wide Open. It will bring you smack dab into my world.

It hit me when I was heavy with this last literary child. Launching a book feels a lot like birthing a baby. I’ve done both. Granted, it’s been a while since I birthed my human offspring but that’s not something a girl forgets. Drawing on those delightful memories, I give you:



Number 3. When it comes time to have a book/baby, you will be thrilled because you have made it to the big day without inflicting pain on the people who use their outside voices inside to inquire, “When on earth is that book/baby of yours coming out anyway?” (The temptation to use violence will be strongest when the question is asked as if you don’t want to share your little bundle of joy with the world but are keeping him/her/it all to yourself in a fit of spite.)

Number 2. When it comes time to have a book/baby you may find yourself in a phenomena called “nesting”. It’s a sudden urge to tidy up the place before you hit the road. If you are a southern belle, this can probably be attributed to the indoctrination you received from your southern mama. She who has likely spent years warning that if you should die in a traffic accident or, heaven forbid, be knocked in the back of the head by someone up to no good while you’re walking into your hotel room, knows the whole world would then find your house in disarray. (If you are a well-raised southern girl, you will not mention to her that should you die, you would never know if someone found your dust-bunnies or not.)

And the Number 1 way launching a book is like birthing a baby–

When it comes time to have a book/baby, you may have all sorts of well-laid plans about the launch and you may have made all sorts of vows to yourself as to how you’re going to handle the details/promotion/heavy labor with grace and aplomb. Warning: These intentions might fall like a house of cards and you will wonder if and when you can have anesthesia.

I thought of more earlier, but the baby is here and she and I need our rest. I will be asleep in .02 seconds but do leave me a note. I’ll be sure and get back to you because your comments are very important to us. (Sounding like an automated recording is yet another sign that the details are getting to you.)

Happy Writing, friends.

Hugs, Shellie

Now tell me, what similarities have I missed?

WordServe News: April 2014

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Sandra Bricker released her second contemporary fairy tale with Moody, Rise and Shine.9780802406309_p0_v2_s260x420


Roberta Kells Dorr with River North released a repackaged edition of The9780802409591_p0_v1_s260x420 Sons of Isaac.


9781624169908_p0_v2_s260x420Jonathan McKee released Guy’s Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone inYour Pocket with Barbour publishing.


Lynn Morris released The Baron’s Honourable Daughter with FaithWords.9781455575596_p0_v1_s260x420


HeartWideOpenShellie Rushing Tomlinson with Waterbrook/Multnomah released a companion DVD to the nonfiction title Heart Wide Open.


Susie Shellenberger with Kristin Weber 9781624167607_p0_v2_s260x420released Smart Girl’s Guide to God, Guys and the Galaxy with Barbour publishing.








Chuck Tatum with Tantor Media released an audio version of his book Red Blood, Black 532b40be79a3e.imageSand. 


MaryLu Tyndall with Barbour publishing, released a compilation of her Surrender to 9781624167560_p0_v2_s260x420Destiny series in a book by the same name.


Joe Wheeler released two titles with eChristian: Only God Can Make a Dad and A 9781618433381_p0_v1_s260x420 9781618433435_p0_v1_s260x420Mother’s Face is Her Child’s First Heaven







Mike Yorkey’s recent title with Ben & Julianna Zobrist, Double Play, was released on 9781433683312_p0_v3_s260x420audio book.










New WordServe Clients

Pam Cable, fiction author, signed with agent Sarah Freese.

New Contracts

Marcus Brotherton signed a deal with Thomas Nelson publishers as a collaborator with Robert Morris for the forthcoming title Free Indeed. Greg Johnson, agent of record.

Michelle Griep signed a contract with Barbour publishers for her novel, Brentwood’s Ward. Sarah Freese, agent of record.

Robert Wise signed a contract with Barbour publishers for his book Bible Lands: An Illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places. Greg Johnson, agent of record.

What We’re Celebrating!!

Long-time client Robert Wise was granted a private audience with Pope Francis in Rome. Read the full post here.

WD2014The Wordserve Water Cooler was named, once again, as one of Writer’s Digest’s BEST 101 Websites for writers!!

WordServe News: February 2014

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

RoadUnknownBarbara Cameron released A Road Unknown (part of the Amish Road Series) with Abingdon.


Shepherd SongBetsy Duffey and Laurie Myers release The Shepherd’s Song, their debut novel with Howard Publishers.


UnlostMichael Hidalgo released Unlost: Being Found by the ONE We Are Looking For, with IVP.


TransformedCaesar Kalinowski released Transformed: A New Way of Being a Christian with Zondervan Publishing House.


How SweetAmy Sorrells released How Sweet the Sound, her debut novel, with David C. Cook.


NotWhoIImaginedMargot Starbuck released Not Who I Imagined: Surprised by a Loving God with Baker Books.


HeartWideOpenShellie Tomlinson released Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus, with WaterBrook Press.


TenaciousJeremy and Jennifer Williams released the DVD and audio of their book Tenacious through Brilliance Audio.


New WordServe Clients

Bill Myers, longtime CBA novelist and filmmaker.

Kathy Carlton Willis, platform coach, editor, and member/trainer with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and CLASSeminars, signed with Alice Crider.

Cassandra Soars, narrative non-fiction writer and cofounder of iheartus, a new social media website for couples, signed with Alice Crider.

New Contracts

Robert Wise signed with Barbour to write Bible Lands: An Illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places.

Back to the Bible signed a 13 book agreement with Barbour Publishers to write short, felt-need books that will be distributed directly to churches through a back of the church spinner rack (as well as in all other outlets).

Sarah Varland signed with Love Inspired to write Tundra Threat, a romantic suspense novel.

Bryan Bishop signed with Baker Books to publish Boundless Jesus: Radical Faith from a Hidden Global Trend.

Kelli Gotthardt signed with Kregel to write her memoir, Unlikely Rebel.

Kate Hurley signed with Harvest House to publish a memoir about making sense of the unexpected single life.

Sarah Parshall Perry signed a two-book contract with Revell for her projects tentatively titled Sand in My Sandwich and Mommy Wants a Raise.

What We’re Celebrating!!

YouFoundMeKeith Robinson’s book, You Found Me, landed on three bestseller lists this month!

How to Market Your Work Without Running Screaming into the Streets

timeline_heartwideopenRaise you hand if you just love marketing and you can’t wait to get started promoting that book, blog post, or magazine article you’ve written?

I see.

Well, raise your hand if you would like that book, blog post, or magazine article you’ve worked so hard on to find its way in front of real life readers?

What a conundrum.

Or an opportunity.

It’s that perspective thing again.

Like so many of my author friends, I dislike the “look at me” aspect of marketing my own work. I feel like the youngest of three little girls vying for my parent’s attention at the annual elementary school open house.

“Look at me!”

“This is my desk!”

“That’s my drawing on the bulletin board!”pleasingus_heartwideopen

That may have been TMI–too much information. Y’all probably don’t say that anymore, do you? Forgive my outdated references. I’m never using the cool phrases at the right time. Ask my kids.

But we were talking about our love/hate relationship with marketing and I wanted to let you in on one of my game plans.

I read an article recently that gave some startling statistics on comparative “face time” our messages are given on the various social media platforms. Of course, I can’t find that piece again because I had fallen down an Internet rabbit hole and have no idea how I got there or how I climbed out. You’ll have to trust me: The amount of time a reader’s eyes “paused” on an image (and shared it!) just slayed the time the same reader spent on mere text.

Poor little words. (I love you, words!) Words are my life, too, y’all, but we need to be wise about using other media to get them some face time, which we hope will translate into sales, shares, and retweets, right? Right.

A few simple apps on our smart phones will help. I’ve used InstaQuote to show you Heart Wide Open_n1a few examples of what I’ll be doing when my next book releases. I would stop here and tell you about Heart Wide Open and how it will be in a store near you March 18th, 2014, but this is not the time or the place.

Along with InstaQuote, I used PhotoMarkr to add a copyright to my images before posting them on Instagram. Now, seeing as my Instagram is connected to my Twitter, which is connected to my Facebook, which is connected to my hip bone…wait, too far, again. The point–one share hits all of my platforms.

And since I composed the text so it just happens to fall into Twitter’s 140-character count (Oh, the intimacy_heartwideopenthinks we can think!) I can post the full text in Instagram’s status box and Twitter will get the quote. Then, if interested, Twitter friends can hit the link and see the Instagram image.

My intention is to create a file folder of these tweetables and the images in my spare time. (Insert maniacal laughter at the mention of spare time.) Seriously, it only takes a moment to make these images. I made these three in about ten minutes. As the release nears, I’ll share these with the publicity team at my publishing house and with anyone else who has agreed to act as an influencer.

We’re done here! I hope I’ve given you a marketing idea that you can build on without running into the streets crying. I’ve tried that, y’all, and it doesn’t do a thing for sales.

Hugs, Shellie

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