WordServe News October 2019

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

Congratulations, Jim Karol and St. Martins for the September 24 release of Ultimate Memory Magic.

Improve your memory, sharpen your mind, and change your life―at any age!

As we age, our memories become unreliable; we misplace things and forget details. In Ultimate Memory Magic, memory expert Jim Karol shows that these side effects of aging are not inevitable. His memory-boosting system, called “Cogmental Intelligence,” goes beyond preserving mental acuity and actually enhances memory and mental function through lifestyle changes and mental exercises. Concentration, alertness, and focus can all be strengthened―by anyone, at any age. Karol’s cutting-edge program will show readers how to:

– Sharpen their thinking and regain their mental edge
– Live healthier, mentally and physically
– Clear away negativity and stress
– Become more creative and innovative

A former steel worker who suffered from ill health, Karol used this method to transform his own life. Now he is physically healthy and renowned for his unparalleled memory. His incredible feats of memory and mentalism have been featured on The Tonight Show, The Ellen Show, Today, and more. Karol has used his Cogmental Intelligence method with clients from professional athletes to business leaders and speaks at venues around the world, from MIT to the Pentagon. With a foreword from bestselling author and physician Daniel G. Amen, Ultimate Memory Magic will allow readers of any age to hone their minds, strengthen their memories, and transform their lives.

Congratulations to Lisa Daggs with Margot Starbuck for the release of No Turning Back, Regardless.

In the midst of heartbreak and struggle, how can you remain committed to God regardless of your circumstances?

In No Turning Back, Regardless, award-winning Christian country singer Lisa Daggs shares her story of addiction, conviction, and triumph about learning to trust the God Who loved her regardless of her circumstances.

In 1989, Daggs sat, hopeless, in a jail cell as the women around her picked scabs and spat on the floor. She was facing three to five years of incarceration after a felony charge for cocaine possession with intent to sell. Rather than surrendering to her circumstances, Daggs made a decision: She would follow God regardless.

New Clients

Ashley Beaudin, Kirstin Leigh, Taylor Schumann, Caroline Siegrist, Kate Etue, Bradley Caffee, Dianne Derby, and Ellie Campbell signed with WordServe in October. Welcome!

Contracts

Congratulations to Erik Dorr and Jared Frederick for signing with Post Hill Press for Hang Tough: The Wartime Letters of Major Dick Winters to be released in 2020.

Congratulations to Michaela O’Donnell for signing with Zondervan for Holy Disruption plus an untitled work to be released in 2020 and 2021.

Congratulations to Laurie Polich Short for singing with Harvest House for The Step-Parenting Guide for Moms to be released in 2020.

Congratulations to Tricia Williford for signing a two-book deal with NavPress to be released Summer of 2021 and Summer of 2023 respectfully.

Congratulations to Katie Powner for signing with Bethany for her book The Sowing Season to be released late 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordServe News February 2019

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

The latest title in the 100 Days Devotional Series from Stephen Artburn, 100 Days of Peace Devotional, releases March 1, 2019.

Experience the peace that comes from spending time in God’s presence with this daily devotional! Bound in a beautifully embossed imitation leather and packed with topics from growing in faith to trusting in the Lord, each of the 100 devotions provides a short reflection, a key Bible verse, an inspiring quote, and a prayer that will root your character in God’s Word and show you the importance of building up your character and passing it on to the next generation.

  • Daily devotions on 100 topics that encourage finding peace in God’s care
  • Thought-provoking quotes
  • Powerful prayers inspired by Scripture
  • 5-minute devotions with further study option

Peace can be scarce in these turbulent times. How can you find the genuine peace that Jesus promises us? This daily devotional by beloved author Stephen Arterburn will help you do just that. Each day’s reading encourages you to spend a few minutes thinking about ways that you and God, working together, can overcome your challenges, organize your life, focus your thoughts, and follow the path that your heavenly Father intends for you to take. This devotional contains biblically-based hope for life’s tough times.

Congratulations Kara Powell & Steven Argue on the March 5, 2019 release of Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in their Faith, Family, and Future from Baker Books.

Parenting that changes your kids and changes you.

Many parents of a teenager or young adult feel as though they’re guessing about what to do next–with mixed results. We want to stay connected with our maturing child, but we’re not sure how. And deep down, we fear our child doesn’t want or need us. But growing up doesn’t have to mean growing apart.

Based on brand-new research and interviews with remarkable families, Growing With equips parents to take steps toward their teenagers and young adults in a mutual journey of intentional growth that trusts God to transform them all. By highlighting three groundbreaking family strategies, authors Kara Powell and Steven Argue show parents that it’s never too early or too late to:

– accept the child you have, not the child you wish you had
– work toward solutions rather than only identifying problems
– develop empathy that nudges rather than judges
– fight for your child, not against them
– connect your children with a faith and church big enough to handle their doubts and struggles
– dive into tough discussions about dating, career, and finances
– and unleash your child’s passions and talents to change our world

For any parent who longs for their kids to keep their roots even as they spread their wings, Growing With offers practical help and hope for the days–and years–ahead.

Congratulations to Jim Burns and Zondervan for the March 26, 2019 release of the paperback version of: Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out.

If you have an adult child, you know that parenting doesn’t stop when a child reaches the age of eighteen. In many ways, it gets more complicated. Both your heart and your head are as involved as ever, whether your child lives under your roof or rarely stays in contact.

In Doing Life with Your Adult Children, parenting expert Jim Burns helps you navigate the toughest and the most rewarding parts of parenting your grown kids. Speaking from his own personal and professional experience, Burns offers practical answers to questions such as these:

  • Is it OK to give advice to my grown child?
  • What’s the difference between enabling and helping?
  • What boundaries should I have if my child moves back home?
  • What do I do when my child doesn’t seem to be maturing into adulthood?
  • How do I relate to my grown child’s significant other?
  • What does it mean to have healthy financial boundaries?
  • How can I support my grown children when I don’t support their values?

Including positive principles on bringing kids back to faith, ideas on how to leave a legacy as a grandparent, and encouragement for every changing season, Doing Life with Your Adult Children is a unique book on your changing role in a calling that never ends.

Congratulations to author Kathryn Graves and BroadStreet Publishing on the April 2, 2019 release of the new devotional, Fashioned By God

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 NKJV

True beauty lies within, but no one wants to look like a hot mess!

Fashioned by God is a 30-day devotional that mixes fashion and faith to help you look and feel your best. Each day offers a Bible verse, spiritual lesson, prayer, questions for your heart, actions for your wardrobe, and an inspirational quote from a style icon.

Learn to:
– recognize the difference between fads and fashion,
– honor God with your personal style,
– declutter your closet and your heart,
– outfit your wardrobe with flattering essentials
– combine pieces you already own for new, chic outfits.

You don’t have to dread opening your closet every morning. Master the elements of style and be encouraged to deepen your walk with Christ.

Contracts

Margot Starbuck signed with Thomas Nelson for A Grown Woman’s Guide to Online Dating, due for release early summer 2020.

Shellie Thomlinson signed with Rengery for her book, Regardless, to be released in 2020.

Congratulations to Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs for their contract with Optimism Entertainment, LLC for exclusive motion picture and television rights for I Do Again.

Jamie Sumner signed a two-book deal with Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) for her next two middle-grade novels. They are due to be published in 2020 and 2021.

Anita Agers-Brooks, Kathy Graves, and Karen Jordan signed with Bold Vision Books for their book Woven. Intended to help women untangle difficult emotions and find the confidence, rest, and focus they were created for, it will publish in 2020.

New Clients

TullianTchividjian, Ron Hutchcraft signed with WordServe in February.  Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Congratulations to Jamie Erickson  on her new podcast, Mom to Mom – A Podcast for Every Mom For Every Season with Kate Battistelli and September McCarthy. Subscribe today!

WordServe News July 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

Jared Boyd released Imaginative Prayer with InterVarsity Press. When we lead our children through guided times of imaginative prayer, they can experience a connection with God that transcends mere Bible knowledge or doctrinal content. This book provides six units of weekly guided imaginative prayer on themes such as God’s love, loving others, forgiveness, God as king, and the mission of God; providing a yearlong experience of spiritual formation for children ages 5-13.

Jim Burns and Doug Fields published The First Few Years of Marriage: 8 Ways to Strengthen Your “I Do” with David C Cook. In this follow-up to Getting Ready for Marriage, Burns and  Fields offer a practical guide designed to help newlyweds build a strong foundation for a marriage that will last a lifetime. Along with explaining the traits of a healthy marriage, it helps couples rekindle romance, fight fair, and deal with stress, the challenges of the first baby, and much more.

Patricia Lee released An Anchor on Her Heart with Mountain Brook Ink. McKenna Nichols, a young wife abandoned by her husband in favor of his work, is left alone to raise their autistic child. She promised to love him until death parted them. But when circumstances drive a wedge into their marriage and Dane chooses to escape what life has dealt them, how long can she be strong?

Craig Selness released Living with Pain without Becoming One with Worthy Publishing. With his own chronic pain ailing him, pastor Craig Selness writes about pain using a Biblical perspective on living well. The good news of the gospel is that we can continue to do good — to be kind and gracious and loving and hopeful — despite physical struggle. This book will encourage anyone who hurts or loves someone who does.

New Contracts 

Dianne Christner signed with Barbour to publish The Marmalade Belle, part of the Southern Belle Brides collection, for publication in 2018.

Christian George signed with B&H Publishing to publish The Lost Poems of C.H. Spurgeon in 2019. Taken from some of Spurgeon’s earliest writings, which were lost to history for nearly 160 years, these poems are now revealed to the public for the first time.

Fred Sievert signed with BroadStreet to publish Grace in any Crisis, featuring inspiring, real-life stories of how people have sought, and found, God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, often resulting in miraculous relief from their pain and suffering and a driving passion to return that grace in Christian service to others.

New Clients

Sharon MacArthur and Nicole Phillips joined WordServe Literary this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Martha Bolton received a Golden Scroll Merit Award for Fiction for The Home Game (FaithHappenings Publishers). The award was announced at the annual Golden Scroll Banquet, sponsored by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and held at the Hilton Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 27, 2017.

Margot Starbuck also received an AWSA Golden Scroll Merit Award for He Knows Your Name. Her book with David King, Overplayed, received a Silver Scroll Merit Award. And He Knows Your Name was honored again by the National Indie Book Awards as an Excellence Award Finalist. Congrats, Margot!

Want to Get Published? A Publisher Needs to See an Author Who Can Write and Promote

Note: This is the last post in a series of four posts: 3 Things a Publisher Must See.

3 things

Let’s say your proposal has convinced an editor that your project has a wildly unique premise. You’ve even demonstrated a viable audience with a felt need.

There’s just one more thing…

You.

The questions a publisher is asking about you, very possibly in this order:

  • Does she have a platform?
  • Can she write?

A publisher needs both.

And this is the difficult bind of many editors—who love great writing, and want to publish great writing—today. It’s not to say that editors don’t ever stick out their necks for someone nobody’s ever heard of who can write really well. They do sometimes.

I’m saying that a publisher’s decision is always a complex one, and the more you can convince them that you have a platform to influence others, the more consideration your proposal will receive.

If you can write compelling sentences that make people laugh and cry, and string those together into a fabulous manuscript, and if your platform is so big that Oprah, Donald Trump and Diane Sawyer want to be your bestie, congratulations.

If one or both of these is not the case, then…

  1. Improve Your Writing
  • Read great books
  • Write every single day, and then write some more
  • Join a manuscript critique group, locally or online
  • Attend a writer’s conference (See one you like from 2015? Google it!)
  1. Build Your Platform
  • Pitch articles to the publications your target reader is reading
  • Develop an audience for your blog by writing consistently and meeting readers’ needs
  • Pursue speaking opportunities—at church, MOPs groups, etc.—in the community
  • Be a great friend on social media by celebrating others’ work

And…be patient.

Very few writers have fairytale stories of wild success with little effort. (Honestly, that was my plan when I started writing. It didn’t work out that way.) Most writers invest time and energy to improve their writing and build an audience.

Cheering you on,

Margot

 

 

WordServe News: March 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

Jacket JPGBruce Main re-released Why Jesus Crossed the Road with FaithHappenings Publishers. Tracing the life of Jesus, Main challenges readers to become “road-crossing Christians”—people who see border-crossing as a spiritual discipline essential for authentic transformation, both in their own lives and in the lives of those they meet along the way.

simple moneyTim Maurer published Simple Money with Baker Books. This no-nonsense guide to personal finance distills complex financial concepts into understandable, doable actions to help readers simplify their money decisions, budget major expenses, craft a workable retirement plan, reduce and eliminate debt, and more.


51XRemJ98JL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Margot Starbuck and David King released Overplayed: A Parent’s Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports with Herald Press. Starbuck and King offer good news for Christian parents stressed out and stretched thin by the demands of competitive youth sports, with practical advice on how to set good boundaries and help kids gain healthy identities as beloved children of God, both on and off the field.

584492Robert L. Wise released Bible Lands with Barbour Books. This beautifully illustrated guide to the history, culture, geography, and key sites of the Bible transports readers to the land of Abraham and Sarah up through the founding of Israel, the coming of Jesus, and the journeys of Paul. Wise helps readers use geography to gain a better understanding of the places and events that form the greatest story ever told.

51bAjzombTL._SX436_BO1,204,203,200_Joe Wheeler released My Favorite Prayer Stories with Pacific Press. This third book in Dr. Wheeler’s Favorite Stories Collection affirms that prayers are not meant merely to supply our wants–although God does grant a surprisingly large number of such prayers– but, rather, they are meant to deepen our friendship and companionship with our Maker.

New Contracts

Jared Patrick Boyd signed with InterVarsity Press for the publication of his book, tentatively titled “Spiritual Formation of Children,” offering parents practical tools for engaging with their child in practices designed to nurture the experience of God in prayer.

New Clients

P. K. Hallinan, Bob Hedenstrom, and Christopher deVinck signed with WordServe this month.

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What We’re Celebrating!

Julie Cantrell’s The Feathered Bone was named a 2016 Winter Okra pick, an honor given by SIBA for “Great Southern Books, Fresh Off the Vine.”

Deb Coty’s Too Blessed to Be Stressed Cookbook received the 2016 SIBA Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize!

Want to Get Published? A Publisher Needs to See a Viable Audience

Note: This is the third post in a series of four posts: 3 Things a Publisher Must See.

3 things

Let’s say you do find yourself on an elevator face to face with an acquisitions editor from your dream publisher. She’s heard your pitch, is interested and asks you who will buy your book.

Do you know the very worst answer you can give her?

“Everyone.”

While you think it might be what she wants to hear, it isn’t. It really isn’t.

Jonathan Merritt, a savvy friend of Margot’s, explains, “If you aim to write a book for everyone, you’ll write a book for no one. But if you write a book for someone, then you’ve written a book for everyone.” Your book will be most effective if, as you write, you are imagining one person—Reading Rita or Literary Lou—and write to the heart and mind, questions and concerns, of that one person.

Know your audience. Editors want to see that you know who is reading your book and are writing to them. So you need to be able to describe your audience demographic: How old are they? Male or female? Education? Married Parents? Church attenders? Listen to Christian Radio? Etc.

Most often, people don’t buy books they think they should read. ($16 to learn that the best way to lose weight is exercising more and eating less? No thanks.) Books that sell are ones that meet a reader’s felt need. ($16 to learn that the best way to lose weight is by eating pizza every hour on the hour. LOL. Just kidding. But not really. #bestseller.)

In your proposal, you demonstrate that there is an audience for your book by letting a publisher know that it is meeting a real need for readers.

There are all kinds of creative ways to communicate readers’ felt needs to a publisher:

  • Description, “In the last month, five of my friends have had this problem…”
  • Statistics show that….
  • The top-selling books of 2015 were…
  • Etc.

In the writing, of course, your book must actually meet the readers’ felt needs. There needs to be a benefit to the reader who reads your book. (This is what makes readers rave to their friends about your book over coffee and on GoodReads!)

Here’s how: On every page, be asking, “What is the reader feeling? What is the reader thinking? How can I serve the reader with this story, page, chapter?”

To convince a publisher that there’s an audience for your book, you must communicate clearly that it offers value by meeting a need readers really have.

Exercise: Draft a character sketch of your book’s target reader, Reading Rita or Literary Lou. What keeps this reader up at night? What does this reader care about? What concerns does this reader have? Tape this list to your computer screen so that you remember to write every page with Rita or Lou in mind.

Cheering you on,

Margot

 

Want to Get Published? A Publisher Needs to See a Compelling Project

Note: This is the second post in a series of 4 posts: 3 Things a Publisher Must See.

3 thingsYou’re heard of the fabled “elevator pitch”? You’re in an elevator and are suddenly given the opportunity to pitch your idea to someone who could make it a reality. You have a few sentences to communicate clearly the nature of your project.

Pressure’s on.

And this really is a Goldilocks and the 3 Bears situation:

  1. If you say too little—either the number of words or the impact of those words—you lose.
  2. If you say too much—either the number of words or the impact of those words—you lose.
  3. The way you present your project needs to be “just right”

You could say….

  • “I’m writing a book.” (yawn, check phone) Four words is probably not enough.
  • Or you might spit out, “I’m writing a book on marriage” (There’s no impact, nothing memorable, nothing distinctive.)
  • Or you might go with, “I’m writing an in-depth treatise on the common misperceptions about the mating rituals of married white American evangelical females between the ages of twenty-eight and twenty-nine occurring in suburbs within twelve miles of six major U.S. cities after nine pm…” (Just wrong on so many levels.)

Nothing about any of those makes a publisher want to know more.

  • But what about: “The Singular Secret To a Vibrant Marriage”?

Now the editor is curious to know more. What is it?!

A book proposal is really just an expanded elevator pitch. You need to communicate very clearly and efficiently what your book is about so that publisher will want to know more. Don’t make them work hard to figure it out.

Exercise: Right now, give the two-sentence pitch for the book that’s in your heart. Out loud. To the walls. Write it down. Then, when there’s a human within range, give them the pitch. Then ask them:

  1. Do you feel like you know what the book is about? Could you communicate it to someone else?
  2. Is it unique? Are there other books like it?
  3. Based just on the hook/pitch, does it engage you to want to know more? Do you want to buy and read it? Why or why not?

With this feedback, work further to articulate what is unique and compelling about your book.

Cheering you on,

Margot