Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 4

Dear Editor,
I have a book. Books are my best friends. I spend my entire day reading and talking to the characters in my head. And my goldfish, Betty. I want to be a best-seller so that someone besides my mom and my twin brother will know my name. What type of television exposure will you offer?
Herman from Hermitville

There’s no getting around it. Publisher’s don’t sell books; authors sell books. The authors are the ones who engage the people around them (whether on the Internet or in person) and interest them in their stories. People read books that they hear about, in person, from their friends much more often than those they see on a general media shout-out.

Best-sellers get to that spot by having people interested in their books. If you never talk to anyone, who will care to buy? It’s like the crowd in the middle of a power failure. They won’t know the person standing next to them has a flashlight if he doesn’t turn it on.

So turn it on! Start a book club. Online is okay, but in person is better. Visit your local library often. Join a readers’ group, an entrepreneurs’ group, a Bible study group, hobby or civic clubs. Writers are notorious for being introverts, but they must break out of their shells to engage folks who might become their biggest fans.

Get online with your passions. Search for blogs, forums, Facebook groups, and Pinterest groups that offer gathering areas for the things you love. Get involved with others, as much to have fun as anything else.

Then when you do have a book that’s ready, you have a variety of people interested in your book if only to support your dream.

My best advice: Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t only mingle with other writers. Engage!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Secret of My Birth by Harriet E. Michael

I had a very different childhood from many of you who. I was born in Nigeria, West Africa in the late 1950’s (yes, I’m that old, and I’m ok with it.) My memories of life in Africa are filled with running barefoot on hot days, the smell of the tropical rains, strange animals, that didn’t seem so strange at the time, and people with an assortment of skin colors pouring their love on me.

Joinkrama, where I was born, is located in what was then the Eastern Region of Nigeria but is today called “Rivers State” in the Niger River delta. Joinkrama is located in the small part of Nigeria that is in the tropical rain forest. It is an area of jungles. There were monkeys swinging in the trees outside of my house, elephants that occasionally tromped close enough to the village to be a danger to the villagers, and crocodiles in the river. The buildings were raised, for the occasions when the river overflowed its banks. It was in this remote part of the African jungle that I was born.

There are two stories about my birth …
One story has it that when my mother went in labor with me, she walked down a little jungle path to the hospital with my brother and sister in tow. According to this story, my father delivered me at the hospital and then sent us back to convalesce at home. My mother was sent home on a stretcher with me in her arms, carried by four men. Seeing us carried like that, the villagers assumed we had both died and began to weep and wail! Realizing what they thought, my mother quickly sat up, smiled, and waved so the people could see she was alive. Then, she lifted me up for them to see as well. The people’s weeping turned into dancing (literally) and they followed us home in a joyful procession! –that’s one story.

But my dad told me the other story when I was a little girl.
Daddy told me that the stork was on his way to London, England—to Buckingham palace—carrying in his beak the newest member of the royal family, a little princess. (Me, of course!) Unfortunately, he developed hiccups, just as he was flying in the airspace above Joinkrama. ... I don’t know where the stork lives, but apparently to get to London, it involves a trip over the Niger River delta. Overcome by one giant hiccup, the stork did something he had never done before—he dropped his bundle!

My father told me that he just happened to be walking home down that little jungle path when a bundle fell from the sky right into his arms! He said he knew immediately what had happened! …Now, my father never explained just how he knew all about the royal family, the stork’s hiccups, and so on, but my father is a man of integrity so I never doubted his story!
“So you see” my father would conclude, “You are really a princess!”

According to the Bible, I really am a princess!! I am a child of the King!
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:16-18

About the Author:

Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet Michael is a writer, gardener, wife of over 35 years, mother of four, and grandmother of one.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she now has over a hundred and fifty published articles and devotions.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. Her book, Prayer: It’s Not About You, a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, is available at Amazon.

Follow her on:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 3

Dear [insert name here],
I have enjoyed many of the books that your company, [insert company name here], has published. Since I’m so familiar with the writing that you love, I can tell that my book is tailor-made for [insert company name here]! I’ve have completed my proposal especially for you and hope to be chosen as the next [insert company name here] author.

You have a great book, you’ve studied your craft and your topic. You even know which publishers will want to see your book. Great. Just copy the letter above with the first chapter of your soon-to-be best seller a dozen times and mail it to those publishers. Done deal!


Every acquisitions editor is different. They want to see different things, and they want to see them in different ways. I know authors believe that the only reason they have different preferences is to make things more complicated, but it isn’t. One editor might prefer synopses while another wants only a short blurb. One company might ask for the dreaded chapter by chapter synopsis while someone else requires a bulleted list of topics and subtopics.

It doesn’t really matter what they request of you. Want to get on their good side? Accommodate them. Want to get a pass? Ignore their requests.

Frankly, your following the desires of the publishing company shows the dedication to your career and your respect for the company for which you’d like to work.

If an author won’t follow simple instructions written in plain English, why would the editor want to work with him or her? And seriously, the editor is choosing more than a book. He or she is choosing with whom they’d like to work.

My best advice: Set up a file for each of the proposals you want to send. Go ahead, make it a dozen, but be sure to make each one exactly as that editor instructs. There is a reason for every piece of information they’ve requested. Bottom line: Give the publisher as many excuses as you can to say, “Yes!” to your manuscript.

Oh, and if you do decide to send your proposal to several editors at once, make sure you note that your proposal is a simultaneous submission.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Chapter for Write Integrity Press

It's been a whirlwind month at Write Integrity Press. Here's our official press release on the beginning of a new chapter for our company.

Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens Publishing announce a change in leadership. Marji Laine Clubine brings a fresh enthusiasm to the publishing companies along with a vision and strategies for growth and maintaining the high quality readers have come to expect. Tracy Ruckman, founder, will remain as Creative Director for WIP and PNP and will continue as publisher of the subsidy press, TMP Books. “It is our expectation and hearts’ desire that God will continue to use these businesses to bring glory to Himself,” says Ruckman.
With strategic planning, Clubine intends to build on the excellent foundation that has already been laid by the Lord and the companies’ founder. With a remarkable team of authors—talented, godly, and committed to prayer and to one another—potential authors will have built-in mentors and prayer warriors alongside them. New authors can also expect step-by-step guidance and encouragement with each book release. Readers will also benefit as outstanding books become available more often.
Write Integrity Press and Pix-n-Pens Publishing already hold high standards among small presses. With the refocused vision of the new leadership and the support system the team has created, the companies will continue to rise in esteem within the Christian publishing market.

The leadership and authors at Write Integrity Press continue their dedication to offering the best of clean and wholesome fiction. Check out our new website - HERE - and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay on top of our news with monthly updates.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 2

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps
Notes on Queries/Proposals/Submissions
Step 2

Dear Publisher I have an outstanding new book about frogs trees and perrywinckles that you’ll love please contact me with a release date. Thank for your tome you’re friend Aspiring.

Non-fiction and fiction published authors have one thing in common—good writing. An inspired idea is only a fantasy until the words are formed on the paper. But if those words are jumbled together in a mass of confusion, the writing does nothing for the inspired idea. The inspiration needs excellent writing skills to back it up.

This goes beyond punctuation, spelling, and verb tense. Writing, after all, is communication. If readers can’t figure out what you’re trying to say, your book has failed.

Already, non-fiction authors must have an expertise on their subject matter, but that should not exempt them from excellence in their writing skills. For fiction authors, that fact is even more obvious.

Authors who are serious about their careers are also in a constant search for ways to improve their writing. The desire to master the craft of writing doesn’t end with publication. A sincere author will continue to strive to become better and better.

My best advice: Join a critique group. Read writing journals. Listen to podcasts from experts. Don’t settle for doing the least (in any situation). Learn and grow and let your best work continue to get better. In fact, someone reading your first book and comparing it to you tenth should see marked improvement.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 1

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps
Notes on Queries/Proposals/Submissions
Step 1

Dear Children’s Picture book editor,
Will you publish my political thriller?

If you were to put a dozen editors in a room and have them discuss receiving and accepting proposals, more than likely the conversations would include one common complaint. The authors who submit to the publishing companies need to do their homework ahead of time.

Sounds like something from third grade.

When inboxes thicken to the hundreds, those authors who haven’t scanned the publisher’s website to at least learn about their accepted genres will often earn a silent pass. Even worse, they might find themselves trying to live down their hasty, uneducated action should they ever attempt to contact the editor again.

It’s actually a matter of respect (and a wise business decision) to inform yourself about a publishing company before you contact one. First, knowledge is power. Second, an editor is more likely to converse with you if you show that you’ve cared enough to learn about his or her company.

My best advice: First, read the submissions page on the company’s website. Make sure they publish your genre or you type of book. Then, read about the acquisitions editors from their blogs, Facebook posts, Pinterest, and conference articles. Submit to one editor at a company—that would mean sending your proposal to only one email address—the one who already prefers your genre. 

Making that wise choice will move your manuscript along the road to publication much quicker.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Today, July 30, is the international World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

What exactly is "Trafficking in Persons"?

"Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability." (Department of Homeland Security)

In other words, the poor, the homeless, the prostitute, children, even those who've suffered from some type of disaster - the most vulnerable in our society - become easy targets for traffickers. We must open our eyes and observe what's happening around us, because this is not a problem that is just overseas in some remote location. Human trafficking is happening right now, right here - in our own cities and towns, in our own neighborhoods.

Here are some common indicators that should help us all recognize human trafficking:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

We just need to be aware. And take action when we spot it.

In her new novel, Imperfect Bonds, Elizabeth Noyes addresses the topic of human trafficking. At the end of the book, she provides a list of resources, and we're providing that list here today.

Learn How to Protect Yourself and Your Children
& How to Fight Against Human Trafficking

U.S. Department of State
Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security
HumanTrafficking: 101          

Human Trafficking Awareness Organization

HOTLINE: 1 (888) 373-7888

Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE)
To get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking, or to connect with local services.


Imperfect Bonds
Book Three of the Imperfect Series
by Elizabeth Noyes

Now available in print and Kindle formats!

Some bonds hold strong despite our efforts to break them.

Cassidy Cameron’s life is in a tailspin. Her estranged twin sister hates her. Her family tiptoes around her. She’s lost her driver’s license and any hope of a new job. Worse, the arrogant town
deputy who stole her heart wants more than she’s willing to give … or is she the one who wants more from him? And now she’s being threatened by a pair of unsavory ruffians.

Deputy Derek Naughton is stumped and aggravated by a series of malicious pranks around the county. Add in a too-smart German shepherd and a too-sexy troublemaker who also happens to be his best friend’s little sister, and he’s ready to cry uncle.

Derek pulls out his guns instead when Cassie stumbles into a maelstrom of illegal arms deals, illicit drugs, and human trafficking.

This sizzling romantic suspense is chock full of nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action.

The Dog Daze of Summer Sale Continues! 

Load up your Kindle with these 99 cent deals!

Visit the blogs of our participating authors:

Peggy Cunningham: Human Trafficking

Elizabeth Noyes: Imagine

Marji Laine: Stop Human Trafficking