March 31, 2016

Beyond the Book - What does it mean to be an Authorpreneur? By Kimberley Payne

I’m an author who is reinventing herself as an 'authorpreneur'. I’ve ventured into sharing my book (Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health) in other formats including online courses, podcasts, webinars, Youtube videos, and teleseminars. If you’re an author with a message you’d like to share beyond the book then consider creating one (or all) of the following:

1)     Online courses

I took my nonfiction book content to create three online courses called The Christian’s Pathway to Holistic Health I split the book into the three main sections: Prayer & Exercise, Bible Study & Healthy Eating, and Journal Writing & Stretching. The video tutorials are designed to watch from anywhere in the world and cater to people’s many different learning styles.

I created each of the seven videos using PowerPoint and Movie Maker – two programs that are part of the Microsoft package on my PC.

2)     Podcasts

I created a podcast called Health Matters – Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit where I interview experts in the field of spiritual and physical health. I personally love to connect with other like-minded people and this podcast keeps me inspired. At the end of each interview, the guest gives one tip for each of 4 disciplines of Bible study, Exercise, Eating Healthy & Prayer – or BEEP. I’ve already interviewed over 20 guests and plan to continue the podcast as long as I can find experts to interview.

I use a free program called FreeConferenceCalling to interview my guests over the phone and then upload the podcast into a paid service called Audello which sends it to iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

Another podcast that I regularly contribute to is HopeStreamRadio where I feature three -minute fit tips. Fit Tips is a program that reports on current thinking in health and fitness to debunk the myths and promote the practices that contribute to healthy living.
If you have a message that you’d like to share through a Christian Internet Radio Station, contact HopeStreamRadio as they are always open to new contributors and provide all the training to help you get your message out to the world.

3)     Webinars

I’ve hosted a few webinars (a live meeting that takes place over the web) and made the replay available to watch from my website. I chose three topics specific to my book:  How to Stop Stress Eating, The Call to Care for our Bodies, and Getting Started with Strength Training . Registration is free and people can choose from 4 daily time slots to watch the webinar.

I created these webinars using a paid program called Easywebinar .

4)     YouTube videos

I created a YouTube channel, Fit4Faith,  where I feature all of the above videos plus a series of 30-second Quick Tips. I’ve uploaded 10 short videos with a tip on each of the four disciplines: Bible study, Exercise, Eating Healthy and Prayer.

These were by far the simplest to create. I used my smartphone to record the short tips and then uploaded the videos to YouTube. I would recommend a selfie-stick if you want to go this route.

5)     Teleseminars

Lastly, I’ve hosted two teleseminars, otherwise called telesummits. The first telesummit featured 5 guest audio interviews. Six months later, I held my second telesummit titled, “Lose Weight & Keep it off Summit” where I featured 5 guest video interviews.

I again used FreeConferenceCalling for the first telesummit of audio interviews. I used Google+ Hangouts on Air to create the video interviews.

Now, this may all seem overwhelming and you may wonder where you could possibly find the time to create these materials. But keep in mind that I did not create them overnight. They’ve been years in the making. And I created them one at a time. Once you learn one of the technologies it becomes easier to use it in another way.

As an author you are inherently creative. Now all you need to do is pick a new way to share your message with the world!

Kimberley Payne


Thank you, Kimberley, for this very informative guest post!

March 30, 2016

Still Learning, Too by Susan Barclay

I'm with Lynn Simpson; I'm also still learning about the business side of writing. I've had modest publishing success to date and have a ways to go in developing my skills as a marketer, etc. One thing I do know is it's important to build a readership if you want to get anywhere.

I blogged about this last year, but this is the perfect time to bring it up again - the A-Z Blogging challenge, which is set every April. The brain child of Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, the challenge is in its seventh year, with well over 1,600 participants. 

During the month you write 26 posts, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. April 1 is A, April 2 is B, etc. No posts on Sundays. You can write to a theme or about whatever comes to mind. You can plan your posts ahead of time or fly by the seat of your pants. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing, to visit other bloggers who are participating, and for new readers to come your way.

For fun, I googled "A-Z Blogging Challenge" along with "Business of Writing," and discovered that at least two authors have used A-Z to address the subject. Start here for the first of Helena Halme's series of posts, and here for the beginning of Carrie Butler's.

And if you'd like to sign up for this year's challenge, it's not too late. Type your details into the Linky you'll find here. 

Godspeed, fellow bloggers! 
Susan's website can be found @ 

March 29, 2016

The Business End Of Writing by Bob Jones

When you write your final sentence for a blog or a book, your work is half done.

The other half is in making sure people know you wrote something - something that is worth reading.

Writing should be read.

The number of people who view my posts, comment or share what I write is important to me.

The numbers aren’t a validation of my writing, but they do let me know that what I write is read. The comments let me know what is appreciated. The shares tell me that readers are happy to associate my content with their network.

Struggling With The Business End Of Writing?

Writing a book was my hallelujah goal.

When I signed the agreement to publish my first book I knew that marketing was the next step. Marketing was the harder half of hallelujah and surprisingly, it was also the more fulfilling half.

Publishing “Ornament” brought my story to readers.

Promoting “Ornament” brought the readers to me.

My advice to you? Marketing is your business and your blessing. The business end of writing will be a bigger blessing to you than the writing. I met incredible people marketing my book.

Four Unforgetable Encounters

A Nurse

She is an RN at the hospital where Kristen, the young lady my book is about, was cared for in the last days of her life. Nurse Karoline contacted me requesting ten copies of my book. We met at the hospital in ward 7. As I signed each book she told me she was giving them as Christmas presents to the nurses who had cared for Kristen. Kristen’s life and death left a huge impact on the staff. They were impressed by Kristen’s and her family’s faith. As nurses we look after hundreds if not thousands of people through the years, but she is one patient that is not forgotten.”

The Stranger

A woman who had never met Kristen purchased a copy of “Ornament.” She was so taken by the content that she ordered fifty-five more copies to give away to her business associates. She drove two hours to meet me and have me sign the books on the night of my book launch. Wow.

The Six Year Old Superhero

Mabel Tooke is a six year old diagnosed with leukemia. She became Edmonton’s superhero through the Children’s Wish Foundation. When the evil “Mysterio” kidnapped the Edmonton Oilers’ captain, “Spider Mabel” was called upon to save the day. And save the day she did, freeing Captain Ference and delivering Edmonton from evil. 
A few days before Christmas, Spider Mabel was a special guest at the Jubilee Auditorium where I was signing books. Mabel’s smile is her real secret power. She had me at hello. Her parents insisted on purchasing a book because all the proceeds go to a trust fund for Kristen’s sons. Autographing Mabel’s book was my early Christmas present.

The Established Author

Marty Chan is one of Edmonton’s most well known, if not one of the city’s most well loved authors. He made time from his focused schedule to meet with me at a Starbucks and offer some pointers on how to market a book. Marty had recently hosted a book launch on Halloween where he dressed up like “The Cat in the Hat” much to the enjoyment of his readers. It was through Marty that I got the opportunity for a book signing at Audrey’s Books in the historic MacLean Block. I want to be like Marty when I grow up as an author.

God’s Open Doors

God opened numerous doors for me through marketing. He brought me in contact with Sheila Webster of Inscribe Writers. Sheila put me in touch with Tracy Krauss who asked me to guest post on this blog. The blog has connected me with inspiring Alberta authors.

I met the unforgettable Sarah E. Ball through promoting “Ornament.” Sarah introduced me to her readers through a guest post on her blog “Virtuous Woman Exposed.”

Dez Melenka of CTV called me for an interview about “Ornament.” She ended up producing a six-minute prime time News feature that can’t be watched without tearing up. Amanda Anderson of CTV and Moira Brown of 100 Huntley Street also featured “Ornament” on their shows. Each feature caught the attention of people who purchased the book.

On a ministry trip to Toronto I was introduced to a woman who was given the book to read. She heard I was in town and sought me out to autograph her copy. She apologized for being an agnostic, but she loved the story. We talked about Kristen’s faith. A prayer I had written in the book could be her first step to experience the same kind of faith that Kristen had. Could she take that step? Yes.


I employed the following opportunities to market my book:

1. A well publicized, “official” book launch.

2. Book signings in bookstores, our church and public libraries.

3. Book readings in schools.

4. Book reviews in newspapers, on blogsites and online book distributors like Chapters, Amazon, and

5. A Facebook community page where people could post their comments.

6. Public events associated with the content of my book such as the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree and Christmas gift sales.

7. Media interviews.

8. Television features.

9. Newspaper interviews.

10. Book exchanges.

11. Author meet-ups.

12. Book endorsements.

13. Prayer

All of the above helped make “Ornament” the #2 non-fiction best-selling book in Edmonton.

Writing worth reading is worth marketing.

Make marketing your business and it will be your blessing.

Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.

March 28, 2016

Why Be Concerned About Money? Bruce Atchison

It seems as if money is the answer to every problem in this world. Governments especially believe this. Whenever a crisis happens, their answer is to start some sort of program which we have to pay for.

Even so, money is a convenient way to exchange labour for goods. As Solomon wrote, (Ecclesiastes 10:19 KJV) "A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh  merry: but money answereth all things."

It would be nice if we could exchange our writing for material goods or services but then we'd have to find something our bartering partners have that we can use. Currency makes it easier to agree on the value of our work and we can always use it to pay for something we want.

The reason I mention all this is because we shouldn't be ashamed of asking for payment for our work. Some Christians assume that money is the root of all evil. It's in fact the love of monetary gain which that is.

For me, I need to prove to my disability case worker that I'm looking for gainful employment. Being almost blind and living in a tiny rural hamlet makes it hard to find regular work. The fact that more than seventy percent of sight-impaired adults are unemployed magnifies the difficulty of finding employment which pays a decent wage.

The only skill I possess is writing. Therefore I strive to sell my books and freelance articles to whomever will buy them.

I have about five and a half years to go until I'm retired. Please pray for me that either I can stay on my pension until then or find a paying writing niche. Whatever happens, my trust is in the Lord.

March 27, 2016

WorDshops! Words of PEACE

There are several exciting opportunities for writers to connect this spring at local 'WorDshops'. What are WorDshops? They are like mini-conferences and are a wonderful time to get inspired and connect with other writers. This year's theme is: WORDS OF PEACE. Here is a list of the WorDshops currently available:

Saskatoon Wordshop – April 2, 2016
Keynote – Bonnie Grove
Workshops: Arthur Slade, Nina Morey, Tracy Krauss, Sheila Webster

Edmonton Wordshop – April 16, 2016
Keynote – Dayna Mazzuca
Workshops:  Liam Connelly, Jane Wheeler, Connie Inglis

Blackfalds Wordshop – April 23, 2016
Keynote – Marcia Laycock
Workshops: Ruth Snyder, Linda Siebenga

Airdre Wordshop – April 30, 2016
Keynote – Sheila Webster
Workshops: Tandy Balson, Kim Clarke, Linda Hopkins

Peace Region Wordshop – May 14, 2016
Keynote – Tracy Krauss –
Workshops: TBA

 Need more information? Registration is online at the Inscribe Website

March 26, 2016

The Penny, The Pause, The Purpose by Marnie Pohlmann

The Penny

I like to reconcile my bank accounts. To the penny. Every month. I also like to keep lists. A list of deadlines. A list of articles I have submitted for publication. A list of what was accepted for publication. A list of published pieces.

I realize this talent for counting, checking, and balancing may be unusual for a creative soul, but I believe I am a better writer because I enjoy reports and math almost as much as words.
Balancing to the penny causes me to pay attention to detail, which helps in editing. Lists keep me on track toward a goal. Math itself provides the rhythm and flow of my words. Like music, poetry is based on the counting cadence of smooth transitions. Prose, too, needs tempo to move a story forward.

The base notes of putting words on paper are developing a rhythm in my life. Perhaps it holds a little reggae, or country, or even a soulful tune, which gathers volume as I hum along. While I count the cost of writing, I also list the rewards. Rewards like networking with other writer-souls, and communing with God in special writing times.

I am a writer. I don’t know at what point I need to say writing is my business. My financial balance sheet still shows I spend more on ink, conferences, and contests than I generate as income with my words. But I am making progress.

God has been training me for a long time – perhaps I am a slow learner, or perhaps it has all been for such a time as this. Over the years I have learned to run a home business, do my own taxes, speak in public, and now I am learning to share my writing. Through it all, I write. Because after all, there is no business of writing if there is no writing.

The Pause

Much like in writing, my penchant for math is helpful in my spiritual walk.

Today is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We remember how the body of Christ is enclosed in the tomb. The cross is empty. Yet the stone has not yet rolled away. So we pause. Today is the day of waiting.

For such a time as this, Jesus had counted the cost, and his life balanced the need for a perfect sacrifice so we could be set free of the consequences of sin. Today, in the waiting and the contemplation, I can count the cost of my belief. I can check the sin in my life to keep short accounts. I can balance my doing and my worship to become Christ-like in my walk.  I pause. Selah.

Christ died so I could be fully reconciled to God. To the penny. Always and forever.

The Purpose

“I’m Evelyn the Goat Lady,” she introduced herself when we came to pastor the small town church she attended. She wore a jaunty fedora-type hat and a big smile. She was a tough old bird, who had lived an adventurous life.

Evelyn showed us pictures of a beautiful younger self in a bathing suit, on a champion jumper horse, and by a bush plane. She had been striking, like a young Katherine Hepburn. In later years, she had unofficially taken in foster kids, teaching them to trust God for their needs. She was an independent, strong-willed, pioneering woman.

When we met her, she was raising goats, living off the land, and dying of cancer.  As we visited her at the farm, we found she was also writing a book, and was working with Trafford Publishing to have it printed. It was important to her to leave a message about how much God loved us, so she wrote a fiction tale, “A Glimpse Into Heaven: creation to the cross from Heaven’s point of view”. I had the privilege of reading her first draft, and perhaps buying the first print-on-demand copy after her death. I checked, and it can be found on or the Trafford Publishing site.

Why do I tell you of Evelyn Yocum? Because even though she knew her time was limited, she wrote and published a book. Her goal was not to make money or build a business, but to share a message. Evelyn’s life and death reminds me the message is more important than the business. She inspires me to do the math, to remember my purpose.

The penny, the pause, the purpose – do the math.

Photos - teddy bear coins & cross - CCO Licence courtesy of

Marnie blogs at Phosphorescent

March 25, 2016

Living the Dream! By Vickie Stam

Yes, I have been asked over and over "Have you started that book yet?" My answer has always been, "Not yet." But that's not entirely true. I have penned a number of stories/chapters of my own life's journey and I dream about writing a memoir.     

Getting published is the next step. Possibly a challenge. I have to be honest and say that I don't have a clue how to go about it. I'm not business savvy. I don't know the right people. I don't have any connections right now. There's some definite hurdles. But I can do the homework, the research. I can surf the 'google master' for answers to some of those mind boggling questions. "Where do I find a publisher? Who do I submit my manuscript to? Should I self-publish?" 

I would need to craft a query letter; something I know the publisher would view as my first sample of writing. I would have to brush up on that skill for sure. Cover letters have not been part of my writing experience so far. Having a mentor might even prove a valuable asset! There is much to think about. 

As for earning a living as a writer, the few short articles I've submitted to a magazine have netted me less than the average person would earn in a day. Still, I have entered some writing competitions that would net me something a little more substantial if I were to take home the first prize. Another dream! But I'd still be living like a pauper. The tax man can't count on me yet.

Even something like a contest demands a large amount of my time. I have to research potential sources who are accepting submissions. I have to read their guidelines and write the story. Sometimes just submitting my work is a challenge because I'm not computer savvy either. Another learning curve.

Still, I enjoy the competitions. Keeping my word count to a smaller scale helps me stay focused and on track. The conclusion comes much quicker than that of a book. When I'm finished writing, I submit my short story and let it go. Being able to let go is huge for me. Once it's gone, I can no longer edit it to death. Part of my dream has come to fruition and now all that's left to do is wait. In three to six months I'll have my answer. Win or lose success comes when I keep writing. 

I feel a freedom in writing on a smaller scale. It most certainly will not net that big paycheck -- if any at all. For me, that's okay. I'm not writing for the money. So you could say that I haven't really put much thought into the business side of writing, nor have I had to claim any income or expenses from it. 

At this point it's a simply a form of healing as well as pleasure. The fact that God breathed this wonderful gift into my life tells me He has a plan for me. There's more to come.        

Everything begins with a dream. Whether it's too win that writing competition or to write that book. I'm living the dream!  

March 24, 2016

Passion, Business or Both? by Tandy Balson

I believe the words God has placed in my heart are his gift to me.  When I write them down to share with others they become my gift of obedience back to him.  For me this is the fulfillment of a passion he’s given me.  The intention was not for it to become a business.

The questions I struggle with are, “Can my passion also be a business?” and if so, “How do I turn this into a business that is honouring to him?”

To figure this out, I turned to the “experts” online.  Before long my inbox was cluttered with course offerings and information on how to create catchy headlines, increase my tribe and make stacks of money.  Is this really what I need to do?

My focus has always been to share messages of hope and encouragement that would point readers to God. So much of the expert help I received was about self promotion.  Do I have to promote me in order to promote him?  

Currently I am a member of a “Women in Business” group and a “Christian Women Entrepreneurs” group.  When I attend meetings or join online discussions I feel like a fraud.  It doesn’t seem like I’m in business and I’m far from an entrepreneur.  

As a writer, where do I fit in?  To be perfectly honest, I still haven’t figured that out.  I’m afraid I’ll lose my passion for writing if it becomes a business.  For now it’s an either/or situation.  Maybe it’s possible to have both.  I’m not sure how to do this but am open to suggestions.