On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Monday, March 7, 2011

wRiter's woRld

At every crossroad, follow your dream.
It is courageous to let your heart lead the way.

I've had a busy week. Last Saturday I hosted a "Book Launch Party" in my home for a friend who flew in from California. I love being a part of my fellow writer's journey. And believe me, everyone has a different journey.

Note: A book launch party is a great marketing tool; I'll give more details if you're interested.

Although this particular blog is for upcoming authors, you can apply it to all walks of life. I have followers who are artists, chefs, caterers, nurses, life coaches, radio producers...the list goes on.

Disclaimer: I have no professional experience; I'm just speaking from my heart and from years of research and observations.

I have a wonderful, exciting book that is ready for publishing. I have done hours of research and wringing sweaty hands (when I'm reading the latest articles on the economy's slam on the publishing world), and of course, praying. The traditional publishing world has drastically changed over the years, but not as much as it has lately. Borders, a major bookstore, is closing 200 of its 600 stores, causing publishers and authors to lose millions of dollars. This is making it even harder for traditional publishers to consider first-time unknowns unless you have the money to hire a good agent to represent you, which will help you get your foot in the door.

Then there is the new and wondrous world of e-books. Okay, I can hear all of you out there who are avid readers giving out a big huff, stating that you will always be faithful to turning real pages of the written word of your favorite books. I'm one of you (touchy-feely). But I have talked to many faithful real-page turners who received an e-book (Kindle, iPad, etc) as a gift, and guess what? They LOVE them! Yes, I know its hard to teach old dogs new tricks--arf, arf! But as time goes by, lets keep an open mind to this new area of publishing.

Another area of publishing that used to be poo-pooed by aspiring authors is self-publishing (co-publishing, print-on-demand, etc). I was one of them. But after much research, I must say: If we believe in our writing, then we should consider investing in our books. Why? Because we are worth it! And don't we want our books to get in the hands of readers who will be blessed and encouraged by our words? I can't speak for you, but that is why I wrote Lady and the Sea.

Note to aspiring authors: Don't compare your journey. Stay on the path that has been chosen just for you. Trusting God and following Him will give you peace that passes all human understanding.

Whatever we decide to do as the next generation of authors, let's move forward in joy and peace. As we continue to seek God, He will direct our paths. In this day and age, self-publishing is not the worst thing that can happen to you. And who knows? It might just be the BEST thing that can happen!

I'll have more to say next time, but I would love your input thus far. Together we can find a way to make our books happen!

Oceans of blessings, and I'll see you on the radio!

The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
Psalm 19:7-8 The Message


Elaine Cooper said...

Sharon, thank you for your honest and encouraging words. When I started researching my novel over 3 years ago, I never imagined the coming upheaval in the publishing world. When my manuscript was complete, there was nothing but discouragement expressed by those in the industry. Without so much as sending out one cold query, I sent my edited manuscript to an independent publisher. I hired my own cover artist. The publisher did final edits and produced what many consider to be a Christian Historical novel that can compete with traditionally published volumes in any bookstore. My book, "The Road to Deer Run" recently won two awards, one an Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival. I do not regret this path that I took. And I pray that the Lord will continue to guide this journey in my writing, in whatever way He wants me to. Thank you for your post.

Sharon Leaf said...

Elaine, thank you for your encouraging comments. This is to show aspiring authors that there is life after all the traditional publishers' rejections! Yay!
Oceans of blessings to you, Elaine!

Nancy said...

I am not an author or an aspiring one but even I can see all the changes in the publishing world.....I love books and collect books but I also love the convenience of my Kendle. Traveling with a Kendle is wonderful because you can have many books at your disposal but it will never replace touching the pages and making notes in a book.

I have a friend who self published her book and has been pleased with the process.....I guess each person's answer is in the guidance of our heavenly Father......

Hugs and blessings

Sharon Leaf said...

Nancy, thank you for your input. I believe Kendle and e-books do have their place, just as self-publishing does. In this changing world, we must be flexible.
Thanks again, Nancy, and have a blessed week.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I'm so glad you're in my life:)

Sharon Leaf said...

Forever, Jen. xoxox

K.M. Weiland said...

Lovely post. I agree that it's imperative for us not to compare our journeys. No matter how good we are, no matter how many books we've sold, there's always going to be someone who's just a smidge better. We'll be much happier and much more productive if we can focus on what God wants *us* to do, rather than fussing about what others are doing.

Sharon Leaf said...

You are so right, K.M. As we continue on our personal journey, God will open doors that look impossible. That's another thing I love about God...He's full of surprises!
Thanks K.M., for your wise words.