I Am a Writer!
This was the first thing the director of the Southern California Christian Writers Conference at BIOLA University, had the entire group of attendees proclaim the first night of the event. This was done for the more timid of participants that have trouble vocalizing their feelings. Empowerment, that’s the word.
This was my first writer’s conference. I have recently finished my third book and am looking to see what I must do in order to get traditionally published by a publishing house. The cast of characters or the (faculty) was aplenty. I have no idea if they are credible as I am new to the industry, but the people that I met, except one, were very nice and wanted to help me on my journey.
What did I learn? Mainly, the Christian book market is no different than the regular. While talking up front about wanting a manuscript that’s “all about the story”, you’d very hard pressed to even get your book read if you didn’t have the magic word, “platform”. For you uncouth media sorts, a platform is the presence you carry on the internet. Measured by books sold, Twitter followers, and Facebook followers; they are your credibility to people in charge of the kingdom. It’s a business. I don’t have any illusions after the weekend about if my story is strong enough. You could have a dynamite story, but publishers are really interested if can make them money? Which I get. It’s a business. Just don’t pretend you do care about the story.
But I was reminded, as a Christian, to not worry about that. My focus should be on knowing God is with me, no matter what. Published, not published. Read or not read. If you felt He was with you, and this work is of Him, then that’s all I’m responsible for, the ending is all up to Him. It was refreshing to hear that. It made the conference worth going to.
My highlight was taking a man by the name of Allen Arnold to In-N-Out for a double-double. If you don’t know what In-N-Out or a double-double is, I’m praying for you. Arnold wrote the bestseller, The Story of With, an allegory about working WITH God, not just for him. He self-published the book, and it has done very well. Prior his current job, Allen spent 20 years at Thomas Nelson Publishing, a very well-known publishing house. He broke down the business for me and regaled me with the story of This Present Darkness by Frank Perretti. He did this for me because my story is similar, angels, good vs evil. It was a good time, and it was pleasant finding a good soul to relate to.
So what to do next? First, I’ve worked on a Children’s Book, and have sent that off to a couple of places. Second, I’ll be on a webcast every week with Parker Cole, a spit-fire, hilarious young lady with a larger than life personality. We hit it off immediately. I’ll be visiting with her weekly to share with her my experiences about being a young author and my ups and downs in the business. I need to get my manuscript professionally edited. $3,000. So, that will be awhile. Work on my writing. Work on the craft. I find it comes easy but to be great, it takes practice. No illusions there.
So, I’m back. After nine months of writing. It was the hardest thing I’ve done. I say it’s like trying to put together a 3D crossword puzzle. Yes, that hard. Thanks for stopping by, leave a note if you would like.