WordServe News: April 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

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers (The Writing Sisters) released their novel Shepherd’s 9781501108037_p0_v2_s260x420Song with Howard Publishers, in paperback.

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Cheri Fuller released her nonfiction book, What a Girl Needs from Her Mom with Bethany9780764212246_p0_v2_s260x420 House Publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michael Hidalgo released Changing Faith with Intervarsity Press.9780830836956_p0_v3_s260x420

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Angela Ruth Strong released her third book with Ashberry Lane, The Food Fight 9781941720158_p0_v1_s260x420Professional.

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Tricia Williford released her second book with Waterbrook/Multnomah publishers, Let’s9780307732002_p0_v1_s260x420 Pretend We’re Normal 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Contracts

Barry Corey, President of Biola University signed a contract with Tyndale Publishers for The Receivable Life. Due out Spring 2016. Greg Johnson, agent of record.

Denise George has partnered with Robert Child and Berkley Publishers to write The Wereth Eleven Massacre, due out in Spring 2017. Greg Johnson, agent of record

Rick Johnson signed another contract with Revell publishers for Overcoming Less than Perfect Parenting. Due out Fall 2016. Greg Johnson, agent of record.

What We’re Celebrating!!

Marcus Brotherton’s debut novel, Feast of Theives is a finalist for the 2015 Christy Awards!

Doug Fields’ book, 7 Ways to Be Her Hero is a finalist in the Men’s Nonfiction category of the 2015 Christian Retailing’s Best Awards!

Amanda Jenkins and Tara Reeves’  children’s book, The Knight and the Butterfly is a finalist in the 2015 Christian Retailing’s Best Awards! Also, celebrating the release in paperback and translated into South African!

Adam Makos’ book A Higher Call was released in Polish in hardback!

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Launching Your Book With Power

 

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How do you launch a book with power?

When we neared the launch date for our book, The Shepherd’s Song, we began to become anxious. Pressure built. How could be good stewards of this book that we felt God had place in our hands? What to do? We read, we Googled, we asked our friends but nothing seemed quite right. Then, we remembered.

The basis of the book had been prayer. We had prayed together during the writing of the book. We had prayed for each other and we had enlisted a prayer team to pray. The answer was simple. We would launch the book with prayer. But how?

Forty days out from the release of the book we began a forty day prayer launch. We prayed first for God to give us 40 people who would pray for 40 days. We put the request out on social media and we had 164 people sign up to pray with us. God blessed us abundantly.

This is how we set it up:

We created a list on Mail Chimp with a sign-up form that we posted on Twitter and Facebook and sent out to our newsletter list.  t was a simple request for anyone who wanted to join the prayer launch for the book.

We sent a one-sentence email prayer by Mail Chimp to the 164 people each morning for 40 days. Like these short prayers:

Put this book in the right hands at the right times.

Prepare the hearts of the people in Germany for this book.

Bless the marketing team as they plan for this book.

Bless the readers to accept God as their Shepherd.

For 40 days we all prayed. Then the book went out!

So, how do you evaluate the success of a prayer launch? You can’t measure the results in numbers. But here are some things that happened afterwards.

During an event at a church in South Carolina a woman we did not know came up and introduced herself. She said, “I prayed for this book.” A few tears were shed!

A woman in North Carolina was one of our first reviewers on Amazon. Her life had been changed by the book as she prayed for others to be moved by God’s Word.

Several of the prayer partners wrote to tell how the daily prayers had been used by God in their own lives on a particular day.

Best of all we were reminded daily that the book was God’s and not ours. That He would use His ways to share His words. That we had no need to be anxious.

What do think about a prayer launch? Some of you may have been part of this one. We would love to hear about it from your perspective.

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers

www.WritingSisters.com

 

Shepherd Song

 

 

Rewriting: 7 Simple Tips – Part Two

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A book is made in the rewrite. We take the words and begin to refine and reshape them into the finished book. We compose the first draft quickly, getting the words down on paper as they flow. Then we begin the work of rewriting.

Here are our final four tips on rewriting with examples from The Shepherd’s Song. You can read the first three tips here.

4. Watch out for the word “felt” when describing a character’s feelings.  Remember the old saying: show don’t tell.

FIRST DRAFT: She felt confused and out of control.  

This is okay for a first draft but needs rewriting.

FINAL DRAFT: “What’s your name?”

She tried to focus. Her name?

“Kate . . . McConnell.” She gasped out each word.

“Your birthday?”

She tried to come up with the answer, but it was too confusing. Tears welled up.

“It’s all right. Just stay with me.”

“What hap…?” She wanted to finish the sentence but could not.

5. Eliminate prepositional phrases that tell us about the character or action.

FIRST DRAFT:  Without hesitation the nurses joined Dr. Belding in pushing the stretcher toward the elevators.

Instead of telling the reader “without hesitation,” why not put the scene in play and show them?

FINAL DRAFT:  Dr. Belding grabbed the end of the stretcher. “Okay, people. Let’s get her down to the OR.” He turned to the nurse. “Has the family been called?”

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6. Watch out for the word “saw.” Show us what the character is seeing instead.

FIRST DRAFT: He slipped the phone out of his pocket and saw the text message from his dad.

We don’t need to explain that the character saw something.  Show it from the character’s POV.

FINAL DRAFT:  Matt slipped the phone out of his pocket.

‘Emergency. Call me.’

A text from his dad. That was unusual.

7. Evaluate each adverb. Is there a better way to show the reader what is happening?

FIRST DRAFT: John McConnell looked up in irritation at his secretary.  

“I said hold all calls,” he said impatiently.  

Telling reminds the reader that it is not real. Staying in the character’s head means we show through the character’s actions what is happening, and how they are feeling. We had to rewrite to show his impatience.

FINAL DRAFT: “Mr. McConnell. A phone call, line three.” His secretary spoke from the doorway.

“I said to hold all calls.” He continued scanning the document in front of him.

“I know, but.”

“I am well aware that we all need to get out of here.”

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These simple tips help us with our writing. Do you have others to share?

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

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Rewriting: 7 Simple Tips – Part One

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When we started The Shepherd’s Song, the ideas came fast and the words flowed.  We didn’t stop that precious flow by asking ourselves questions. Our mother had taught us that. Get the words down, then you can shape them and refine the writing.

Here are some tips for rewriting, and some examples from the first chapter of The Shepherd’s Song.

1. Stick to what the character is personally experiencing.

FIRST DRAFT:  The ambulance doors opened and Kate’s stretcher was pulled out of the back. The wheels hit the ground and they were inside within seconds. Doctors and nurses surrounded her, each performing a different task, all with the goal of saving her life.

This first draft tells us what is happening. We hear the voice of a narrator. But if the scene is from Kate’s POV, we want to show the reader only what she is experiencing. Here’s the rewrite:

FINAL DRAFT:  She felt jarred as the stretcher was pulled forward, then lights and swirls of snow. The wheels hit the ground and they were inside within seconds. Masked faces in white and green hovered over her. Gloved hands touched her.

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2. Do a search for the word “thought.” See if you need it.

FIRST DRAFT:  A brief memory of her car plowing into another vehicle flashed across her mind. ‘A car accident,’ she thought. ‘I’ve been in a car accident.’

Extra words take the reader out of the character’s head. There’s no need to tell the reader that the character is thinking. Just say it.

FINAL DRAFT:  A brief memory came – her car sliding on the slick road, the sound of breaking glass and crunching metal. A car accident.

3.  Limit speech tags

FIRST DRAFT: “What happened?” the young man doing the CT scan asked.

“Car accident,” the nurse said. “A big pile-up on I-95.”

“No kidding. She doesn’t look so good. Is she going to make it?” he asked, helping them roll Kate into the room.

“Too early to tell,” Dr. Belding said.

The nurse shrugged. “You never know with these trauma patients. I’ve seen ones in worse shape make it, but not many. If I were the kind to bet, I’d bet ‘no’ for this woman.”

“Too bad,” the young man said.

Can you see how awkward this is? The tags (he said, she said), are slowing down the action and are reminding us that it is a written story.

FINAL DRAFT: She heard the voices back and forth over her stretcher.

“What happened?”

“A big pile-up on I-95. Twenty-five cars, six semis and one bus.”

“No kidding. She doesn’t look so good. Is she going to make it?”

“You never know with these trauma patients. I’ve seen ones in worse shape make it … but not many.”

Kate closed her eyes again. I might die.

Here’s another place we rewrote, removing the tag.

FIRST DRAFT:  He picked up the receiver and said, “This is John McConnell.”

FINAL DRAFT:  He fumbled for a moment with the receiver, then got it to his mouth with shaking hands. “This is John McConnell.”

Having a checklist for rewrites is helpful and a quick way to review a manuscript. Using search features allows us to quickly find and replace words like “thought” or “said.”

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We’ll share four more tips next time. Do you have tips that you use for rewriting?

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

Grunge ornamental cover for an album with photos

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!