Please understand that the publishing landscape has changed dramatically over the years, so even though it is easier now than in the past to get a book published and out for sale, the full process is now more complex in many ways than ever before. Over the course of time, I will try to detail some of the
things you need to learn about self-publishing in regard to the old print-run method I used for my first books and the new print-on-demand (POD) method I am presently using. I actually used both methods for two of my books; I did a print-run by a regular printer for the hardcover versions, but later used the POD method for the softcovers. Obviously, either option can be used to self-publish your book, but you will need information about both before you decide what to do. In regard to self-publishing the POD method, please remember that I am still in the process of learning myself.
If you feel called to write a Christian book, you need to remember that it really isn't that difficult. If you possess some basic English skills, can write a good story or opinion, can think logically, and can organized your tasks into small chunks, you can write a book! All you have to do is concentrate on one chunk at a time and compose that part to the best of your ability. Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, you will need to stay on task as you compose your outline and then follow through on one small section at a time. If you spend time on your book each day or at least each week, before you know it you will have one individual part done, then as you complete more parts, you will eventually have a chapter done, and before you know it you will have your entire book composed. The secret is to just stick with it through thick and thin! Of course, after you complete your first draft, you will probably need input from others about your writing. Another Christian writer read my first manuscript and advised me to "just keep revising until you get it right." Revise, revise and revise!
In this blog I will concentrate on facets of writing/publishing Christian non-fiction since that is what my own writing is about. However, some of the recommendations provided in my blogs can be applied to fiction as well. To begin writing non-fiction, I recommend starting with a field you know well, doing further research on the subject, taking notes on the most important elements, and organizing the material. It is best to write your book about something you know or have experienced yourself because your own personal experience on the subject will make your book much more credible to readers.
In my own case, I went through the terrible experience of losing my teenage daughter Karen in a tragic motorcycle/truck accident. I was devastated by the loss and struggled not only with my grief, but also with life/faith questions I faced because of her death. After my ordeal, I felt driven to help other parents who have also suffered the loss of a child, so I wrote my first book and then three others after that. I have poured my heart into the writing of my books, because I really care about
those who have gone through similar suffering. In the same way, you will need to write on a subject are passionate about or that you have experienced. A book on something you care about will be much, much better than a book on a subject for which you have no interest.
You may also need to begin a study on writing/publishing or get additional education, but it will be well worth it. If you use your knowledge to write and publish a Christian book you will have a result that can prove timeless, because hopefully the lives of others can be affected and enriched by what you write. To provide myself with more authority for writing my Christian books, I took courses and received a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. I'm glad I did because my studies not only prepared me for my future writing, but also gave me a better understanding of the reasons for my faith, so I am better able to share my faith with others.
One benefit of publishing your own book is saving yourself the frustration of working with a commercial publisher who will probably have a different outlook on your writing from yours. One of my books was published by a medium sized secular publisher who only let me include minimal references to my faith. The book rights came back to me, so in July of this year, I revised and self-published the book with a new cover and with a different Bible quotation beginning each chapter and some references to my faith. Remember, you probably know what is better for your book than a distant publishing company would.
This takes us to the subject of next weeks blog which will be posted on September 13, "What Are Your Publishing Choices?" The blog will take a look at the choices you have for publishing your book and the pros and cons of each. You have the choice of being published by a big commercial publisher, medium sized publisher, niche publisher, subsidy publisher (a bad choice), or by publishing yourself. We will take a look at some of the many factors involved when it comes to deciding how you will
publish your Christian book. This is my first blog on this subject, or any subject, so I would certainly appreciate hearing from you with any insights or questions. Please add comments, good or bad, because I need encouragement to keep this blog going. Thank you!
So, what has your own experience been in regard to getting a book published?