Friday, October 5, 2018

Cover Reveal!

My friend, Shirley Crowder and I have another book coming out next month and today we are so excited to reveal its cover. The book is titled, "Prayer Warrior Confessions". It is a nonfiction anthology full of true stories about prayer that will make readers, laugh, cry, smile, sigh, and stand amazed. I am so excited about this book! Shirley and I wrote many of the stories but we also had numerous contributors who share their experiences with prayer too. After each story, the writer gives a "confession" which is really just something he or she has learned through the experience in prayer that they shared in their story.

Without further adieu, here's the cover:

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Inside Story

I thought I'd share some information that mostly only book authors know. I'll give you an inside look at general things an author deals with and my writing life, specifically.

Author Central: If a person has books listed for sale on Amazon, he or she has access to a web page called Author Central. This page lists all books by the author and shows sales of the books (both paperback and ebook) via a graph. The author has some responsibility on setting this page up. For instance, she links all of her books to the page when she adds them to her public Amazon author page.

There are options on this page as to some books, such as anthologies to which  the author has contributed. I have contributed to three Chicken Soup for the Soul books but I do not choose to link them to my page. I have seen where other authors have. I have several reasons for not linking them: 1) their sales do not generate any additional revenue to me. (I was paid a one-time fee of $200 by Chicken Soup for the use of my story.) 2) I am one of 101 other writers in the books, and 3) I have a growing number of other books that I have either fully written or co-written with only one other author and I would rather direct traffic.

The Author Central page shows individual sales ranks of the various books, information that is also posted on the books themselves when people search for them on Amazon but it has an author rank, too, which only the author can see. For the past year I have averaged around the 200,000 rank out of millions of authors on Amazon. This rank goes up and down daily with sales or the lack of them. The highest I have ever hit was close to 15,000.

Reviews: Book Reviews posted on Amazon are so important to authors! The more reviews a book has the more exposure Amazon will give it. This is especially true if the book has 50 or more. I am always begging people to leave reviews of my books. It is such a simple thing to do but people seem to have a real resistance to it. There are ways to get reviews. Amazon does not allow a person to pay for a review but they do allow an author to pay for a blog tour where the bloggers signed up to participate agree to review the book. I have never participated in a blog tour but am scheduled for my first one in December after the prayer anthology is released. This is a book I am super excited about and am willing to pay for the blog tour in exchange for the exposure the tour will give it.

Social Media: There are numerous social media outlits that authors can participate in to help get exposure for their books. At this time, I have only a Facebook author page. My page currently has 387 "likes" but every one is what is known as an organic like, which means, again, I did not pay to get new likes on my page. Everyone who has liked it has chosen to like it. I probably will not pay to gain new likes because though it might look better to the public (as though my page is more popular than it really is) the people who really notice anything I put on that page will likely only be the organic "likes" anyway and the purpose of my page is not to impress, but to share with my readers.

And finally …
There are so many other writing related things I could share and may overtime, but to keep the blog post from being too long, I will stop with these except to tell you my best-selling book so far, a question I am often asked. Drum roll please …
My best-selling book, so far, is my first book, "Prayer: It's Not About You." This book has been sold in groups many times, however, when church groups and community groups choose to study it in their group Bible studies and I'm sure that helps in the over-all number that has been sold to date. My other books are also selling well, for which I am glad. Here's a link to my author page where my books can be found: Harriet;s Amazon Page

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Release Day!!!


\ couldn't be more excited!               Glimpses of the Savior: 50 Meditations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year by [Crowder, Shirley, Michael, Harriet E.]

It's release day for the 2nd edition of "Glimpses of Prayer" and I couldn't be more excited!

The book is an updated version of the first devotional my childhood friend, Shirley Crowder and I ever collaborated on. The original had 30 meditations in it and the updated on has 50 along with some new illustrations by my very talented daughter, Kristin Michael. It is a holiday devotional that centers around the fall and winter holidays of Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. To use the old, worn-out cliché: it's new and improved, The cliché may be old and worn-out but the truth of it still stands. I know you will enjoy this book!

Here's the link where you can purchase Glimpses of the Savior.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Change of Plans

Well, things don't always work out the way we think. That has proven to be true with the book, "A Stand for Truth" that my husband and I co-wrote.

We did receive that long-awaited contract from Founders Press but it differed from what he had discussed on the phone, several weeks earlier, in ways that we simply could not agree with. We had discussed a royalty percentage but the contract offered an honorarium instead. Though it was significant, it was less than we would have received in a royalty percentage if all the books in the first printing sold. We preferred the royalty, but this was not a deal breaker. The deal breaker came in the way the contract dealt with the book's copyright.

Contrary to what we had agreed upon on the phone, the contract stated that we would assign the copyright over to them "completely and forever". We just could not agree to this, no matter how nice the honorarium offer. So, we declined it and are now back to square one.

We are pursuing other publishers and waiting to see what doors God opens.

In the meantime, I'm staying quite busy. My friend and co-writer in the devotional books and I have completed the 2nd manuscript of the 5-book contract and sent it off to Pix-N-Pens, our publisher. Now, on to writing the 3rd! My summer has also been filled with editing, editing, and editing. We have so many books in various stages of publishing and they all require several rounds of edits. We are mostly caught up until next spring but still have galley edits on the anthology to go.

We have two books releasing this fall. "Glimpses of the Savior" is set to be re-released Sept 4. It has been updated and will have 50 devotions instead of 30. And the anthology, "Prayer Warrior Confessions" is set to be released in late fall, probably early November.

School has started up again, so my work as a substitute will resume and my youngest child will be heading off to college again. I have enjoyed the happy summer days but am about ready for the temperatures to move down and the leaves to start showing off their fall colors.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sitting on Go

I have been waiting to write another post because my husband and I are expecting a contract on our book, "A Stand for Truth" any day. I had thought I would just wait and post signing pictures. But since that contract has not arrived in our inbox yet, I will go ahead and bring everyone up to speed on things in my writing world.

Founders Press has picked up "A Stand for Truth" and will be sending that publishing contract any time now. They called us a few weeks ago and let us know of their decision to publish it and said they will send that (long-awaited / so happy to finally have coming) contract in a few weeks. I will post those pictures when it happens. We are excited and happy this book has found a home! They said they are hoping for a spring 2019 release. In the meantime, we are working on some edits to it and on gathering endorsements for it, so that when they are ready to receive our final manuscript, we will have it in the best shape we can. (It will still go through several rounds of edits by them, though.)

So, with regards to that book, we are sitting on go, ready and waiting to sign that contract. Meanwhile, the rest of my writing world is hopping as always. My PNP co-writer and I just finished reading and approving 1st edits on two books that will release soon, one in early fall, and the other in late fall. We have a 3rd manuscript almost ready to send to our publisher and things look good for meeting that late Aug deadline, and we have started writing on the 4th manuscript which is due to our publisher next February. This leaves us two that are not even started yet, but we have plenty of time and are actually ahead of the game right now.

And I keep busy in other adventures too … maybe too busy. I am teaching a breakout session on missions next week at Women's Advance, a large, local women's conference, and staying as busy as ever freelancing, currently under a deadline for a few articles for SEEK and have some ideas floating around in my head for a couple other magazines. And I keep mentoring, something that brings me great joy! I just had the joy of reading and tweaking a delightful short book that a friend is self-publishing through Lulu.

Who said summer was a slow time of year?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Had a Great Time!

I just got back from the KY Christian Writers Conference last night. As a friend of mine used to say, "And once again, a good time was had by all."

My class on freelancing was well attended with eager writers who seemed appreciative to learn the things I was able to share. I told them that freelancing was like fishing and I as going to teach them how to fish, and tell them where some great fishing holes were.

I have included a picture of two writers who also write for the publishing company I am contracted with. The woman on the left is Shirley Crowder, my childhood friend and co-writer on many books, and the woman in the middle is Betty Thomason Owens who writes fiction with Write Integrity Press. (Pix-N-Pens is the nonfiction arm of Write Integrity.)

The man in the back is Carlton Hughes, a humor writer, who has photobombed our pictures at this conference so many years that it is now a tradition to have a "Carlton-photobombed pic".

I'm back home, now, and looking ahead again. My husband and I have a phone call appointment with the publishing company that is currently considering our book later this week. I hope to be able to share more on that soon.

I'm still working on book #3 of our 5-book contract, and will soon start edits on book #2. But I am also just enjoying some summer days. My grandson is visiting this week and going with me and one of my kids to my parents next week. So, I'm going to enjoy some pool time and family time.  

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Kentycky Writers Confernece

The Kentucky Christian Writers Conference is just two weeks away!

I love this conference. It is the first writers conference I ever attended and the one that gave me the tools to set out on my writing journey. At my first meeting, in June of 2009, I took a workshop on freelancing small pieces such as articles, devotions, short stories, etc. I came home inspired and hopeful with new information as to how to go about doing it. I sent my first submission in July of 2009, and received my first paying contract (for an article) in November of the same year.

I now have several hundred published short pieces and will be teaching the workshop on it this year! I would love to have you join me. You can get more information about it at this link: KCWC

Hope to see you there!