Kentucky Christian Writers Conference 2012 had its share of challenges. Last week, I told you about things that didn’t go as planned—like the featured speaker who had to cancel at the last minute. But, as Twila Belk said, “God showed up and showed off,” so things worked out well.
This week, I’ll share info I picked up at the sessions.
Faculty Panel: The Q & A session for faculty yielded some interesting points. Questions from unpublished writers about how to get published morphed into a discussion of self-publishing. Here’s a summary of the points I gleaned from that session.
- If you decide to self-publish, get a genuine professional to edit your book. Not a local teacher or writing compadre. Punctuation, usage, grammar, and styles change. You need an editor who has kept up with changes in the publishing industry. Check The Christian PEN member list if you’re looking for and editor.
- Thoroughly vet the publisher. Get recommendations from others. Search online for consumer reviews. Read the fine print so that you will know what’s expected of you once the book is published.
- And perhaps the most salient point: maybe you’re better off not spending your money on self-publishing. Consider investing that money in learning about the publishing industry, networking, and honing your writing skills. Attend conferences. Take online courses. Network online and in person.
- If you want your words to reach the world, consider writing for magazines. Jesse Florea said, “Books may reach hundreds of people, but magazines reach thousands.”
Blogging: Pastor-author-speaker Daniel Darling taught a session on building a platform with a blog. He uses a self-hosted WordPress blog-site featuring sermon podcasts, published book promos, tip sheets, pastor interviews, and a media page. He recommended Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. See resource material on using WordPress online: Blogger’s Essential WordPress Guide.
Writing Devotionals: I attended a two-part workshop, “Sharing Your Faith: Writing Daily Devotionals,” led by Jim Stafford of The Upper Room devotional magazine. For information on devotional writing, go to The Upper Room’s website. Read about their mission here. For detailed guidelines click here.
Writing Scripts: Ann Knowles taught a workshop on writing scripts for radio and drama drawn from her experience writing for Christ to the World. Writing for radio sounds old-fashioned, but it still reaches many people. And, the drama market has increased in recent years as some churches have drama ministries. Kathy Ide’s book about writing drama is a resource for this. Here’s an online tutorial on writing for radio.
Grant Writing: Dr. Amy Smith shared her expertise on applying for “free money,” government or private grants. Her website is under construction, but it should be completed soon. Bookmark it to visit later: http://immeasurablymore.org.
Do you have expertise in any of the above-mentioned subjects? If yes, comment on this post and link to your site. Also, I’m open to guest posts on these topics. Guidelines here.
Further Information on Blog4Writers:
- Writing Devotionals
- Free Site with WordPress
- Build Your Brand with Articles
- Should You Publish Your Own Book?