It’s Amazon Prime Day! I love to watch the deals as the day goes by. Please see below for current or upcoming deals. All deals are related to writing in some way. Be it organizing your ideas, being comfortable at your desk or reading books yourself! I will update throughout the day (& 1/2 day tomorrow). Happy shopping!
CHRISTIAN AUTHOR’S JULY GIVEAWAY
You could win!
July 1 – 8
Visit the Christian Author’s July Giveaway to find out about inspirational reads and ENTER TO WIN a variety of prizes, including a $30 Amazon Gift Card and 8 inspirational books from sponsoring authors.
This Giveaway is Sponsored by
Christian Writers Promo – Karen Cogan – J.E. Grace – Marilyn Turk – Crystal Mary Lindsey – S.E. Foster – Paula Rose Michelson – LeeAnn Bonds
Not only is entering a book into a contest a great way to gain recognition, it is also a huge advertising benefit. In addition to that, it doesn’t hurt to have an award sticker on your book to gain more visibility.
Judith Desjardins, a 16-time book award winner, said in Publisher’s Weekly, “Book awards are great for marketing buzz on the awards websites and through the press releases they put out about the winners, all of which is additional publicity for you,” Desjardins said. “And award stickers definitely influence the consumer at the point-of-sale.” Read the article HERE.
With this in mind, I knew there had to be Christian book awards for our niche. Below, please find several Christian & inspirational book award options. Read the guidelines carefully at each site. If this is a marketing strategy you want to endeavor in, add it to your marketing plan and get planning!
The Christian Indie Awards honor outstanding Christian books by independent authors and small publishers and is hosted by the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). There are 18 categories this year.
Submissions are OPEN NOW until Nov. 15, 2018!
Recognizes the highest quality in Christian books and Bibles and is among the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the religious publishing industry. Categories for award include: Bibles, Bible Reference Works, Bible Study, Ministry Resources, Biography & Memoir, Christian living, Faith & Culture, Devotion & Gift, Children, Young’ People’s Literature, New Author.
2019 Call for Submissions: September 1 – 30, 2019
Currently accepting applications for judges!
American Christian Fiction Writers Association (ACFW) recognition for the best Christian fiction from the previous year. There are 11 categories for fiction books only.
2018 has already closed & winners announced on June 30. For 2019, contest usually opens in January and closes in March.
With the motto, “Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books, ”the Illumination Book Awards are designed to honor the year’s best new titles written and published with a Christian worldview. There are 19 categories and an additional 5 for medals.
Currently accepting nominations until December 15, 2018.
“Recognizing the need for a new kind of book award, the INSPYs were created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. ” There are 7 fiction categories.
Submissions re-open in December 2018 for next year.
The CPA Book Awards allows publishers, authors, and book editors to present their work. The awards program helps promote outstanding Catholic material to the general public. CPA members and non-members alike may participate.
Currently closed to submissions. Reopens in January 2019.
A premiere award program for recognizing excellence in Christian fiction. There are 9 fiction categories, and 3 finalists are chosen in each category.
Currently closed to submissions. Submissions are accepted in March, 2019.
Christianity Today honors outstanding books of special interest to the Christian community. In the January/February 2019 issue, CT will feature the best books published between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018, divided into categories according to subject and genre. There are 14 categories.
Nominations for 2019 are open NOW until August 6, 2018!
Book Awards with Christian categories:
Recognizing self & independent publishing excellence. Christian categories include Children’s Inspirational, Children’s Religion, Religious Fiction & Non-fiction.
Submissions open August 1, 2018 and ends on March 31, 2019.
Presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group. Over 70 categories including Christian Fiction, Christian Non-Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-fiction, Religious Fiction.
Accepting NOW! Entries due by February 15, 2019.
“The 10th Annual International Book Awards (IBA 2019) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world.” Christian categories include Religious Fiction, Children’s Religious, Religion – General, Christian Inspirational, Christianity.
$59 per title. Early bird special due June 30 ($20 off)!
“The Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards recognize the best independently published books. Along with two cash prizes, the Foreword INDIES are a way for us to highlight deserving books in over 60 categories to our audience of librarians, booksellers, industry professionals, and book lovers.” Christian categories include Religious and Religion Non-fiction.
Submissions accepted until September 30, 2018.
Writing on other blogs is a great opportunity! You not only share your wisdom, but it’s a great way to network with other writers. Yes, bloggers are writers too! Networking with others, gaining visibility, linking your website or blog, and finding new followers are benefits to guest posting. All writing opportunities below do NOT have a monetary compensation. See this as gaining a readership and joining forces with other writers like you.
All blogs mentioned below have personally been shared with me by the owner/creator/contributor.
For more on benefits of guest blogging, read these articles:
Writing, Book Related
These fellow Christian book bloggers are signed up to help Christian Writers Promo. They welcome your guest posting anytime!
For Single Christians: One is a Whole Number: Looking for single Christians who are 30+ years of age to write guest posts on anything having to do with “Christian singleness” for the blog.
“The Grace Scripts is an online women’s ministry that focuses on delving into Gospel-Centered, theological truths, is passionate about teaching Bible literacy and shares women’s stories from around the world. We believe that Scripture is the inherent Word of God. We believe that Jesus came to earth, was born to the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, died, was buried and rose again the third day. We believe that He will come back again and we eagerly await that day!
We believe that you are part of a much, much bigger story and we are so excited to join with you as we continue to dig deeper into Scripture to learn ultimately who God is and then, because we know who God is, we can learn who we are.
We always welcome article submissions whether that’s delving into a passage of Scripture or sharing a piece of your story! You can also share your photography by emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through hash tagging #thegracescripts on social media!
We would love to connect with you on Instagram + Twitter (@thegracescripts), via email @ email@example.com. Our website will be launching in mid-July so stay tuned for that!!!
Grace + Peace, Caroline, Founder of The Grace Scripts”
Precious Womb: Mainly interested in Devotional, Christian Living.
Stacy Monson: Author & Speaker: a Christian author and speaker willing to host other Christian authors.
Family, Marriage, Finances Related
Topics include family, faith, food, homemaking, family finances and blogging. Check Family Life Blog’s guidelines for more specific details.
Topics of interest:
Family finance topics including budget and savings tips, debt payoff, retirement, and household expenses.
Household posts including DIY projects for families and children, organization ideas, and décor.
Family-oriented relationship topics including parenting, marriage, extended family, and friendship.
Looking for guest posts on adoption and miscarriages/loss of a child. Posts are written in mostly devotional style, so she would like to find posts that are similar in nature. The posts don’t have to be original/exclusive, so if you’ve already published to your own blog that’s fine. If interested, please check out www.messytiredlove.com to see if you’d be a good fit. Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your post submissions.
Waiting for Your Boaz is specifically looking for blogs about marriage, waiting on God, courtship, faith, devotionals, prayers, and motherhood but will consider all submissions. WfYB has a huge amount of followers, so there will be a lot of visibility. Takes about 2-4 weeks to hear back if your submission is accepted.
Bible Study, Testimony
“We ask that each post includes a personal struggle and some type of encouragement. You can share 3 keys to living on purpose, as long as you open with a struggle you have had, or how God has grown you in this area. This is huge, I reject, or request rewrites, on posts that are not personal / relational in nature, or that are more preachy than encouraging.”
“Topics should be related to Bible study (or other spiritual disciplines) and living out your faith in the real world. Let’s be about what we are for, not what we are against. Try to write with both the believer and the not-yet-believer in mind, and have an attitude of coming alongside our brothers and sisters.”
Eternity Cafe: Bringing an eternal perspective to earthly matters. Guest posts are welcome on susanpanzica.com, as long as the content is relevant to my readers. Topics include: encouragement to women by bringing an eternal perspective to everyday life events and/or observations or highlighting issues of social justice, especially human trafficking awareness.
Testify Grace: Mostly looking for testimonies.
Wholeheartedly Messy: On this page, they are accepting testimonies (your story), poetry, and devotionals. There is also an advice page open for submissions.
No blog post of mine can go live without my research, so I am also listing other blog posts with Christian writing opportunities. These posts have not been personally planned with me and I am in no way affiliated with the blogs below.
Overall, the best way to find guest post openings is to network with other writers. Ask to visit their blog and let them visit yours. Connections are the cornerstone to opportunities.
Are you a Christian blogger willing to host guest bloggers? Please comment below or shoot me an message on the contact page above.
Summer is usually conference season. As I’ve heard and seen different conferences, I knew it was time to research different Christian writers’ conference opportunities. There is a wide spectrum of writing conferences out there. Keep in mind the list below is entirely directed for CHRISTIAN authors. Also, you will basically find conferences in every state, but it is impossible for me to list all of them. I’ve listed the conferences I thought were well-known, with a variety of workshops & opportunities, and geared towards both published & unpublished authors. Basically the conferences I would love to attend myself.
I am aware there are more conferences out there. If you feel like there’s an important conference not mentioned, please list it in the comments for others to see!
Hope you find this helpful!
July 26-28, 2018: Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference
“3 Thursday afternoon early bird learning labs, 5 keynotes, 7 continuing sessions, 35 workshops, panels, and one-on-one appointments and paid critiques. And, of course, you can expect powerful times of worship and rich fellowship with other writers and our faculty.”
$230 (2days), $135 (1day)
July 27-28, 2018: She Speaks Conference
“She Speaks is an annual conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries that trains women to write, speak and lead. This two-day conference (along with the optional pre-conference day) from July 26-28, 2018, encourages and equips women as they learn specific, fresh techniques to enhance their ability to communicate God’s Word through writing, speaking or leadership skills. “
Main conference $725
August 20 – 23, 2018: Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference, “Opening Doors” Portland, Oregon
“Start planning now for this rich time of fellowship, learning, and worship—a time to study the craft, meet editors and agents, get feedback, receive next-step advice from mentors, and refresh your writing goals. “
$550 members, $595 nonmembers
September 20 – 23, 2018: American Christian Fiction Writers Conference
Nashville, Tennessee; “Each year, hundreds of veteran authors and those just learning the craft of Christian fiction gather in a setting like this to hear skilled instructors, inspiring keynoters”
$585 (Members), $685 (Nonmembers). There are also daily rates.
October 12-13, 2018: Breathe Christian Writers Conference (Grand Rapids, Michigan).
For writers by writers who care about words and relationships. Includes 36 workshops at all levels of writing career.
$175 (Both days), $95 (1 day).
February 14-16, 2019: West Coast Christian Writers Conference
“West Coast Christian Writers (WCCW), aims to equip and encourage writers of all levels in the craft and business of writing for publication through an annual conference offering quality instruction, industry updates, community, and personal inspiration.”
Tickets on sale Nov. 26, 2018.
February 22 – 24, 2019: Asheville Christian Writers Conference (Asheville, NC)
“We are called together to focus our hearts on the task Christ assigned us . . . to strengthen our ties with one another and hone our craft of writing so we might effectively spread the Word of God through fiction and non-fiction books, screenplays, scripts, articles and blogs.” At the Billy Graham Training Center.
Starting rate is $305 (off campus.) Scholarships available.
March 27 – 30, 2019: Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat Blue Lake Camp, Andalusia, AL
“At Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat, you’ll experience the benefits of a large writers’ conference, but on a more personal level. Whether you’re a beginning or experienced writer, interested in fiction or nonfiction, our faculty of seasoned professionals can teach you how to improve your writing skills, market your work, and get published.”
Varying prices for commuters to campers. $80-$485
May 15-18, 2019: Colorado Christian Writers Conference
Inspiring keynotes, writing & marketing workshops, appointments & critiques, and forming friendships.
Based on 2018 costs – $395 (3 days), $320 (2 days), $180 (1 day). Scholarships available.
May 19 – 23, 2019: Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Conference
“This event allows participants the ideal opportunity to interact with editors, agents, professional writers and readers, offering outstanding workshops and continuing classes in a wide array of creative categories. Whether you are a professional writer expanding your skills and networking contacts, or a brand new writer just beginning to chase your dream, this Christian Writers Conference is the ideal opportunity to take your creative goals to a higher level.” $350 per person
What is crowdspeaking?
Crowdspeaking is a marketing platform that allows people to rally together and share information about a cause, events, projects, products, or in our case, books, on social media. With crowdspeaking, users sign up to spread a specific message on chosen social media outlets, at a specific time.
What are the most known crowdspeaking platforms?
How do you set up a campaign on one of the platforms?
Each website has its own special characteristics, but there are commonalities among them. You will decide how many supporters you will start with (most sites have a minimum amount you must meet). Additionally, you will set a deadline for the campaign. If you meet the number of supporters by the deadline, all the messages will go out to each supporters chosen social media outlets. The three platforms above are FREE, so there is no cost. Each site has easy-t0-follow instructions.
Tips for Making Your Best Campaign
Image: Your image must be simple and easy to read. This is the image that will be shared across supporters social media outlets. So, choose a good picture! If you need to create a picture, use Picmonkey or Canva.
Title: Choose a catchy title so that it grabs interest right away!
Hashtag: Include hashtags in your message. Hashtags give readers on social media the ability to view your message, even if they do not follow/like you. You also could benefit from having a hashtag that is entirely book related. Wouldn’t it be cool to have your hashtag go viral?
Deadline: Plan the deadline time very carefully! Look at your Facebook/Twitter insights. When do you get most of your views? This is the best time to post, so the deadline should match.
I’ve set up my campaign, now what?
Now it’s time to share your campaign link so your supporters can sign up to help. Email your friends and family. Share your campaign on your social media. Join a crowdspeaking Facebook group like Thunderclap & Headtalker Support Group (this is not Christian specific. There are so many out there; it just takes a little searching.) or join Christian Writers Promo group and ask for support! We’d love to do it for you!
On your deadline day and post time, check out social media to see your message go live to thousands of people!
Do you have experience with Crowdspeaking? Have any additional advice? Please share below!
You’ve found a newsletter source…now what?
Here is a list of what you could include:
Title your newsletter is a fun & unique way. What title would make you open up the email?
Share about a NEW RELEASE, BOOK SALE or UPCOMING EVENT.
Don’t forget a newsletter sneak peak at new covers! A cover reveal is always fun!
Have you recently released a published article? Read an interesting article? Share!
Include a fun section for readers, such as a Q&A.
Readers always enjoy a newsletter-only giveaway!
Include pictures to make it more personal, for example a picture of you at a book signing, a conference or holding your book.
You could work with another author on a newsletter swap. Include information about the other author’s book and he/she does the same in his/her newsletter. This is a great cross promotional tool!
Use high-impact visuals and do not forget to include links to your books as many times as possible. Link your pictures, add a link button, link at the bottom. Make it easy for the reader to find your books.
Interview other authors in your genre, and hopefully the author can interview you in his/her newsletter. (See my cross-promo enthusiasm?)
Reader’s reviews can be shared.
Did you go on a recent trip? Share your vacation, a funny story, an enlightening experience or a trip recommendation.
Write fun facts about yourself.
Recipes are always a great diversion, especially if it’s related to a scene in your book.
Free content is a strategic way to gain readers. “Sign up for my newsletter and you get a free short story!”
Share writing milestones. For example, you’ve written your tenth book, you’ve signed with an agent, or you’re taking part of a book bundle.
You could also include life milestones, such as having a baby, a marriage, a child’s graduation.
Did you have to delete a favorite scene during the editing process? How about sharing it in your newsletter?
Ask your readers questions. Need a character’s pet name? Ask what they’re reading. Ask anything!
Include photos of how you visualize your book characters.
Do you blog? Include links to your blog posts.
Do you have a book trailer? Include it!
Discuss social themes from your book.
Talk about your life as a writer.
Don’t forget your social media links!
When an author writes a book, it usually is done with a target in mind. Your readers. But ask yourself this … do you really know your readers? What do you know about them?
With the amount of books out there, it is an author’s job to connect with readers in any way possible. With this in mind, Christian Writers Promo will be writing blog posts on different ways to connect with readers.
Today’s feature is AUTHOR NEWSLETTERS.
What’s so special about an author newsletter? First and foremost, if a reader is signed up to your newsletter, you know they are interested in you as an author. They are already bought in. This is your primary target market!
Secondly, a newsletter allows you to make a personal connection with your readers, in essence, becoming “friends.” Friends can be reached. Friends buy your books.
Additionally, the newsletter is yours. Yours to create. Yours to manage. You can include anything you want and send it anytime you want. You are in control.
Even better, once you’ve sent your author newsletter, it is in your reader’s possession, sitting in their inbox. Gone are the social media posts being covered by other social media posts, long forgotten. This time the email sits there until the reader takes action.
Another great tool is that you can get feedback from your readers. Ask for reviews, see if the readers like a book cover, find a beta reader, or ask a general question for the book you are writing. This engages your readers and makes them feel like family. You are gaining readership and won’t lose their interest.
So where do you start? Below you will find a few email newsletter sources that are easy to use, free and even kind-of fun!
Create marketing campaigns, mailing lists, newsletters, and other advertising options.
Free up to 2,000 followers
Integrates with social media
App integrations ability
Create marketing campaigns, mailing lists, newsletters, and other advertising options.
Free up to 1,000 followers
Easy-to-use drag and drop features
App integrations ability
User-friendly/more open rates
Free trial for 60 days
Easy-to-load email lists
Real time tracking reports
App integration ability
6,000 emails a month free
Pay as you grow
Advanced email editor
Full API access
Now before you go check these sources out, here are a few tips:
Don’t stress out! Take it easy and learn as you go.
Only send to readers who signed up themselves. In other words, don’t sign up someone without their consent.
The purpose of the newsletter is CONNECTIon, so don’t just advertise your book. Post stories from your blog, tell stories about your writing adventures, show pictures of events you’ve attended. A good rule of thumb is to advertise every third newsletter.
Send at least monthly so that you’re in the readers mind. On that note, don’t send too often, as it can be seen as spam and you’ll get unsubscribers quickly.
The ultimate goal of author newsletter is to gain dedicated readership and to sell books! Take your time in the learning process and remember it takes time to grow. You can do it!
Stay tuned! Next week I will give ideas about what to put in your newsletter!
You've written a manuscript, now what do you do?
It’s time to research Christian publishers. You’re in luck! I’ve done some of the work for you. Below you will find a list of publishers based off my own personal internet research. There are very few who I have direct contact with via work experience or personal reading. You’ll have to do intensive research on your own once you see a publisher that is a good fit for you and your manuscript.
On a side note, I do not condone vanity publishers or publishers that require authors to pay for services. This list includes traditional, digital and small publishers who take unsolicited manuscripts. The bigger publishers only take solicited manuscripts through an agent. As with any publisher, please review manuscript submission policies carefully as they are different for every publisher.