now is the perfect place and time to get your copy of Unclaimed Legacy.
Unclaimed Legacy is only 99 cents for Kindle (for the month of September
only). And because buying it enters you in a giveaway of
the complete Time and Again trilogy (personally
signed by the author) AND a pretty mug for your morning coffee. Hint:
You might want to keep the mug and Kindle book for yourself and give the signed
copies of the trilogy as a gift.
The Rafflecopter giveaway entry form is below, but first
let me tell you about Unclaimed Legacy.
Those who have read Time and Again
know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with
11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had
expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John
Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful
House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of
course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house.
I recently met James Scott Bell at a writer's conference and share this interview with him about his indy book Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books. LORILYN ROBERTS: You made the statement in your bookSelf-Publishing Attack! The 5
Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own
Books, “And, you are going to face those who want to criticize you as
having ‘taken the easy route’ without submitting your work to traditional
publishers and agents for their concurrence that you have what it takes.”
I have found that many who are
traditionally published are very judgmental and condemning of those who POD or
self-publish, even to the point of not reviewing books by indy authors, not
recognizing them as “real” authors, casting dispersions on their books sight
unseen, and not promoting their books on blogs and websites.
My philosophy has always been, “Does God
really care how books are published?” We have a world full of souls that are
literally going to hell if they don’t hear the truth of God’s Word. We have the
opportunity to publish and spread a Christian worldview in a way never seen in
history. God’s prophets wrote the Bible by hand on parchment and clay tablets
and walls and papyrus. My question to you is, how can we change the
consciousness of publishing, particularly in the Christian community, and
embrace the idea of “one in the spirit” when it comes to marketing and publishing
JAMES SCOTT BELL: I think it’s going to change on
its own. The die is cast. We are in a new era and books will come in different
forms, from the traditional side and the self-publishing side. Eventually,
there will be no room for judging, except on the merits of a work. Which is how
it should be.
LORILYN ROBERTS: You made the statement in your
The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your
Own Books, “And you are free to write about any subject that interests you,
that you think you can sell.” In the John 3:16 Marketing Network, we have lay
authors writing on Biblical topics that are selling very well in ebooks. I used
to think I would love to tackle some deeper subjects in the Bible, but I am not
a pastor nor do I have a seminary degree or a scholarly platform. But it seems
that ebooks allow anyone to write on anything that interests them and make
money? Why do you think that is?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: Well, to “make money” requires providing
a product that has value. This is the way markets work. With self-publishing,
that can be put to the test. For writers, it means putting out the best quality
book possible (Law #2 in my book). And then repeating that, over and over.
A writer certainly ought to write what
interests him, that’s where the passion is. But you should also expand your
interests! Writing can be just as much about growth as it is making lettuce.
LORILYN ROBERTS: I have found in the John 3:16
Marketing Network that the single most challenging issue for writers is
technology – how to set up and manage Twitter and Facebook, how to create a
landing page for book launches, how to resize jpegs and format files into
ebooks, just to name a few. Writers quickly get discouraged, daunted by
the amount of time it takes to learn it all, not counting the actual process
once you master the basics. Do you have any practical ideas on how to tackle
the seemingly endless changing landscape of I.T. and balancing that with the
creative side of writing?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: The nice thing is that these
functions can be farmed out at a reasonable price. Simply pay for those things
you are not comfortable doing. Especially when it comes to editing, cover
design and formatting. You can find an almost unlimited number of freelancers
in each area. Get recommendations, check portfolios and client comments. Do a
LORILYN ROBERTS: A follow up question to the previous
one is this: I find it difficult to switch back and forth from marketing to
writing. Once I am in one mode, I tend to get stuck there emotionally and
mentally. Do you have anything you do to help you switch gears and maintain
that sense of balance on a daily basis?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: I put both my marketing and my
writing on “automatic.” For my writing, I have a quota of words to complete
each week. I break that down into days, and then I schedule my time. As for
marketing, I make plans and then work the plan. This, again, can be scheduled.
Dedicate part of your week to studying
marketing. Even if it’s just one hour. Read books and blogs and take notes.
Eventually, you can put together a plan. I go into more detail about strategy
in my book.
LORILYN ROBERTS: You write both fiction and
nonfiction. Do you have any thoughts on which sells better—if you are capable
and enjoy writing both, which would you recommend a new author write to “break
into the e-market”?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: There is no rule here. Fiction and
non-fiction can both sell, if done with excellence. Regarding non-fiction, I
always start by recommending William Zinsser’s classic,On Writing Well.Study the heck out of that book before
you write anything.
For fiction, I spend a lot of time
teaching writers, including 2 day seminars. I have two more scheduled for this
LORILYN ROBERTS: I took a peek at your ebook on
Amazon,The Year of Eating
Dangerously (Mallory Caine, Zombie at law)that
you publish under the name K. Bennett. I couldn’t find a link to your name
James Scott Bell anywhere. Why did you use a pen name for this series? It seems
contradictory to use a pen name when you are trying to build a reputation and
following as a writer. Would you recommend less well-known authors use a pen
name for divergent content?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: My agent and I decided to use a
pen name simply to distinguish the content. In the books themselves the author
bio states that K. Bennett is a pseudonym for James Scott Bell. This was for
traditional, print-world purposes. I’m not sure a pen name is necessary in the
digital world. You don’t have to worry about bookstore buyers and self space.
But I like having the K. Bennett brand for paranormal. I will probably do other
stories in that genre, and use this name for them.
LORILYN ROBERTS: Under the heading “What About Paid
Positioning,” I appreciate your comment: “Don’t go into debt.” One of the
reasons I started the John 3:16 Marketing Network was I believed with the
combined knowledge of many authors, we would be better informed and protected
from expensive marketing techniques that produce few sales. Do you have any
thoughts on how much an author should set aside to promote a newly published
JAMES SCOTT BELL: Just use discretionary funds and be
wise about it. In that section of my book I talk about what seems to work best,
and most of the time it’s not something that you pay for. That’s the good news.
The challenge is to write great books and gain attention. It can be done, but
it takes time.
LORILYN ROBERTS:To be quite honest, you are on the cutting
edge of thought in your bookSelf-Publishing
Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing
Your Own Books.Given what
you have written, what would you tell a new writer to do—go the traditional
route or indy and why?
JAMES SCOTT BELL: It’s no longer either/or. I was just
at ThrillerFest in New York, where I had the honor of being the first writer to
have a self-published story up for the ITW award. There will be more of this.
And while I was there I met an author who
has just signed a multiple book contract with a traditional house, after having
his self-published novel come to the attention of an editor there.
The world is now the writer’s oyster.
Follow the 5 Laws. The last one being to repeat the strategy I lay out, over
and over, for the rest of your life. Why not? We’re writers. It’s what we’ll do
until we drop.
had a tough time getting into this book—couldn’t find anything to enjoy about
it. I came to the conclusion abut midway through The Power and the Glory that this wasn’t a book to be enjoyed. It
was a book to ponder deeper meanings of faith, politics, humility, commitment,
sin, and consequences.
protagonist, the priest, who is never named, is the only priest left in a
certain state of Mexico
where priests have been outlawed. He has spent the last eight years running
from the police to evade capture. He is an imperfect archetype of a
savior/martyr, haunted by his past failures and yet still struggling to remain
committed to the priesthood. The priest is a conflicted individual, but his
character grows; in the beginning of the story he tries to escape on a boat,
but at the conclusion, he goes back to the state where priests have all been
shot. Knowing he will be caught and killed, he returns to hear the confessions
of a dying murderer.
many characters in this book representing “types,” such as the antagonist, the
lieutenant who hated the clergy; and the mestizo, a type of Judas. The many
children represented hope, as poignantly shown in the final few pages when the
young boy lets the priest into the house to hide him from the police. I most
identified with the priest and his internal struggles. Greene did an excellent
job of showing the priest’s outward struggle to avoid capture as well as his
inner turmoil of sin and unrepentant spirit with reference to his illegitimate
daughter. All the characters were real, deep, and memorable.
takeaway from this book to help me be a better writer includes:
every character in the book count for a purpose and a deeper meaning than just
“another person” to fill up the pages.
qualities even in the antagonist that make him a sympathetic character—the
story will be more believable. No one is all good or all bad.
willing to tackle a controversial position—a protagonist that is severely
flawed and that falls short of the standard can still be redeemed, changed, and
become a hero.
4. Think of
ways to use people or animals or locations to enhance symbolic meanings that
grow the story. For instance, the priest’s fight with the dog over the bone;
the references to the dentist’s equipment and working on teeth;the numerous beetles bashing themselves
against walls—symbolizing pain, the fight for survival, the baseness of human
depravity, and loss of dignity.
5. What you
write will linger later in the mind of the reader—shine a light of hope; i.e.,
the priest who knocked on the door and was met by the young boy.
6. Not all books are to be
necessarily enjoyed, but perhaps serve a greater purpose. Do you want to only
entertain, or are you willing to probe the deeper meaning of life and leave the
reader with significant ideas to grapple and ponder?
"I enjoyed his writing style! This book is a page turner and tells quite a
beautiful story. I would definitely recommend it!"A.
The mystery of Godliness and life eternal are hidden in the most sacred place of
all, in the holy letters that define God. A mystery so divine, so life-changing, so
real it is embedded in the essence of every human being. A mystery that charts
a divine path to God, a journey that once undertaken will bring you to a place called eternity.
Join me as I share my journey, as I am led by Him on His path. This is the
mystery of Godliness and life eternal, and I never would have seen it had he not
opened my eyes. Take the step of faith and your eyes will be opened to see
"inexpressible things". Take the step of faith and discover life eternal today.
Take the step of faith and discover the beauty of this divine path hidden right
before you. Take the step of faith and you will never be the same again. I did
and that is why I must tell my story.
It is a journey that starts with us giving. If we do not give we cannot begin this journey. And so to be authentic to my message I will be giving away 50% of everything I earn from sales of books during the launch to a charity I am involved with in South Africa (Community Program Outreach Trust) that works to uplift disadvantaged people, especially children and orphans.
Join the John 3:16 Marketing Network in the September book launch of Four Given and well as two other Christian books by visiting http://bit.ly/Christian_Books and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, $25 Amazon gift card, and $10 Starbucks card. Nine free books are available for download September 14, September 15, and September 16. Don't miss out on this promotion. This offer will not be repeated.
Work is a priority for God and
should be so for us as well. If we want to achieve success, we need to embrace
God’s perspective of work as our own. With this as a starting point, our goals
should be to know and function by God’s working standards while creating
wealth. Our attitude toward work and how we work are of equal importance to
God. Therefore, we should be aware of His principles and practice them if we
want to succeed in creating wealth.
While growing up, my mum
encouraged me to work hard. Today we are told to work smart, not hard; however,
God’s Word encourages us to work diligently. We are expected to do the work and
stick to it until it is completed; we should not consider giving up along the
way. The book of Proverbs says much about being diligent and often draws a
comparison between the hard worker and the lazy person.
Poverty is not a gift from God
but the result of our actions. The actions of a lazy person will never lead to
wealth. Lazy people are fearful of stepping out to do something and think their
excuses are justifiable, yet they would rather relax or sleep than work. The
lazy one never completes tasks; even feeding himself or herself proves to be a
Success in creating wealth is
linked to being a diligent person. The price we gain for being diligent workers
is riches, while the price we pay for laziness is lack (Prov. 10:4).
To be diligent in our work is
not only financially rewarding but also personally satisfying (Prov. 13:4).
When we are diligent and do excellent work, our performance makes room for us
(Prov. 22:29). We are promoted, our work speaks for us, and prominent people
want us to work with them or for them.
While having a day job, my
friend started a jewelry-making business. She was very diligent at promoting
her business and creating excellent pieces. This diligent work paid off, and
some of her pieces were present in major shows across the country. This
exposure made her become well known and sought after.
Regardless of your social
status, educational level, or skill set, God wants you to work diligently. If
you desire to create wealth that provides more than enough for you and your
household, you will require diligence. No dream becomes a reality without lots
of diligent work (Eccl. 5:3). If you work diligently, you will be one who rules
and enjoys great blessings in life. The wealth of those who are lazy will be
transferred to those who are diligent (see parable of the minas, Luke 19:13–26; parable of the talents, Matt.
25:14–29). Promotion and financial increase come to those who are diligent
Go the Extra Mile
In today’s society, some find
that doing more than is required is unappealing. Many want to receive maximum
reward for minimum effort. Some want to get all they can for as little effort
as possible, but success cannot be achieved in wealth creation or in life
without putting in extra time or effort. Jesus said in Matthew
5:41, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him
two.” Jesus calls us to walk in the extra-mile mode or to go beyond the call of
duty. As Christians, we do extra when we give up our personal rights sometimes
and give away more than someone asks for.
With work, as with giving or
lending, we should be extra generous. We should do what is expected—and then
more. We need to remember that in whatever work we do, we first and foremost do
it as unto the Lord. If our mind-sets are such that our work is for God, then
going the extra mile shouldn’t be a problem.
So what is the extra mile? It
could be working longer hours to finish a project on time. Maybe you do a task
that is not normally part of your regular duties, or maybe the extra mile is
helping a colleague with a challenging project. Whatever the extra mile may be
for you, it will require more of your time, effort, energy, or expertise than
I have gone the extra mile many
times. On occasions I worked late hours to resolve issues so staff could start
the next business day without delay. Other times I worked at home during
evening hours to complete projects within specified timelines. Sometimes going
the extra mile is necessary, and other times it is simply part of being who we
are in Christ.
But what will be your benefit if
you go the extra mile? I think the main benefit is that it glorifies your
heavenly Father. Sure, you may receive a promotion, get a raise, or be
acknowledged or appreciated for work well done, but no reward speaks louder
than glorifying God. In the midst of giving glory to God because you do great
work, going the extra mile opens the door for you as a witness of Christ.
What other practices
can you employ to effective create wealth?
of Light on a Dark Street Corner Near You
Review by Lorilyn
For anyone who wants an amazing book,
you should read Trish Jenkins’ story, Treasures
of Darkness. It’s a memoir about her prison journey – and to me it seems
allegorical about life. Matthew 24:12 says in the last days, “Because of the
increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” In the end times, much of what Trish endured and
experienced in prison will be the norm. We are headed there now, like a frog that
is slowly brought to the boiling point unawares—the dysfunctionality of our
country, the threat of war in the Middle East, and the compromise in morality
on many fronts.
When you think of anti-Christ – the
opposite of Christ—in order to survive in prison, the guard and other inmates
try to break you, convince you that you are no different from the others and
your faith is the problem. They attempt to pit you against your convictions by flipping
your world upside-down – seeing Trish throw her pearl (Jesus Christ) before
swine was heartbreaking. What would I do if I found myself in a similar
situation—would I have the courage of my convictions? Would I being willing to
pray for those who wanted to hurt me?
I will let you read Treasures of Darkness to see what
Trish’s story is about, how she landed in such a horrible place. Think of
working for someone like Bernie Madoff unawares and getting in over your head –
it could happen to any of us. Trish’s testimony and how God used her in the
lives of her prison mates left a lasting impression on me—one of those books
that will stick with me for life.
I am reminded of the words spoken by the
1600th century evangelical preacher and martyr, John Bradford, “but
for the grace of God, go I.” Would I be able to endure this trial and still
love my Lord and Savior, not the same, but even more? You won’t see your
relationship with God or the opportunity to be a shining beacon despite
persecution or hardship in the same way after reading Treasures of Darkness.