Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Books, Books, Books

So if last week's theme was inadvertently looking for signs of life - this week I'm thinking a lot about books.

Yesterday, I shared an update with you about my book and again, I have been feeling the desire stir again to pick up another project and write again and more. We'll see what happens with that! There is the big question mark at the end of the project: what should I do with it now? How to get it published? Should I pursue publishing? Why? These are the kinds of things rolling around in my head right now.

But anyway, in spite of all those deep things - I'm also really enjoying reading a lot! A couple of years ago I was in a book funk where I just couldn't get into numerous things I tried to read - this year I am not having that problem!

I'm enjoying our weekly library trips and finding good books that help me to quiet and slow at the end of the day. I really prefer reading fiction! And Christian historical fiction is my favorite!

Confession: for years, the way I've chosen books to read at the library is by looking for the Bethany House Publisher logo on the spine of a book. If it is published by Bethany House I am pretty sure I'll like it. That may sound completely shallow to choose a book that way - but it has worked so well for so long I'm not messing with it!

And I recently signed up for their blogger review program so that I can support the mission of what they are doing in offering good Christian fiction. I don't mind predictable endings and just want to make sure that I'm reading something that won't cross a moral line. I don't want to fear what I will encounter in the pages of a book - I want to just settle in and enjoy the story. I want to encounter characters who are wrestling with their faith or who are settled deeply into their faith and walk through that with them. I'm not looking for edgy, language, modern, best sellers. I want simple, homey, modest characters that I can relate to - the kind of people I'd want for friends.

Speaking of all of this, around Christmas time I signed up for the Amazon affiliate program and have been using the links in my posts here off and on since then. Thank you for each time you click a link or make a purchase using a link I've provided. I have been committed to avoiding ads on my blog and will continue to avoid ads! But this seems like a small thing I can do that fits my normal blogging habits and still contributes to my family every month. I'm grateful for you!

And along that line, now that I've written and published a book - I know what a sweet blessing it is to support friends who are authors as well. Buying a book is a gift to the calling they have been given - it is not a big money making career for many authors, but a labor of love and a walk of obedience.

There are two books coming out in the next few months that I want to share with you as well! This is not a sponsored post but just from my heart in supporting authors I love!

First, Still Waiting by Ann Swindell. I met Ann at the Deeply Rooted Retreat and she is a special gal - really, she has such a gift for making you feel heard, known, loved and like a dear friend even when she just met you. We ended up next to each other at lunch one day and I completely sobbed telling her about my publishing experience. She listened so graciously and lovingly - it was a healing and sweet moment for me just to get some of that out.

At any rate, I came home and pre-ordered her book which comes out April 4th. She has pre-order goodies available right now too if you save your receipt and follow the directions in this post.

Every time I think of pre-ordering a book, I remember reading in a post that The Nester wrote years ago about sending a gift to your future self! It is a treat and it is a help to the author as well!

Ruth's book is the first thing I have used some of my affiliate credit for! I'm already looking forward to the slow moments that will follow sitting with this in hand when it arrives in September! Ruth speaks beautiful truths to my heart in words and sometimes on Insta Stories - I love pausing and hearing her heart especially on Instagram!

And yes, she adds beauty to our world with the stroke of her brush and the pressing of the keys to share messages of hope and truth through God's Word. Looking forward to this book which looks coffee-table quality!

Another thought on the pre-ordering option: I love, love, love the price guarantee feature on Amazon. Almost every single time I've pre-ordered a book, I've gotten some money back because the price went down {volume of orders} so there is no fear that a better deal will come along, and I know it will arrive right at release. I've only pre-ordered a handful of times but it has always been a great experience.

One last thing - this post has gotten much longer than I originally intended! Blog books - printing a blog into a book. Do you have any suggestions for this enormous project? Yes, I've Googled it. Yes, I've read a few reviews. I've even looked into several options. In the past, I've used Blurb and honestly the quality is amazing. I don't want to use anything else - but they've changed their software and what was already time consuming has now doubled or tripled in time investment. I've been back and forth with their customer support which I am impressed with but in the end I think we have discovered there is not a good solution for me in that direction.

I may still decide to go with Blurb as honestly another option has not emerged. And I've already made seven blog books with them. But I have another four to catch up on so we'll see how it goes. Thought I would see if any of you had any suggestions that I had not thought of.

Thanks, friends! Oh, and what are you reading right now?!

* Amazon affiliate links used.


Leanne said...

I absolutely ADORE Gracelaced!!! I saw so many of her things at the True Woman Conference this past November... I put her new book in my amazon cart!

Wendi said...

I'm currently reading Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Like you, I am a historical fiction fan. I also read Amish based fiction. Have you read the Bjorklund Family Novels & Series by Lauraine Snelling? It starts with Red River of the North series. There are currently 21 books total which is broken down into several series. It all revolves around Ingeborg Bjorkund. She is the type of character that you wish you could be friends with or more like her. It is my favorite series ever!

Huskerbabe said...

I will have to look up these two books. I am currently reading Miss Buncle's Book by D.E Stevenson. It was recommended by Anna from Pleasant View Schoolhouse and since we both love Grace Livingston Hill I thought I could trust her recommendation.
If you like historical fiction you might like Stephanie Grace Whitson. She is an author from Nebraska and I have enjoyed her works about Nebraska history.

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Wendi: Oooh - I want to read Adorned! Please let me know what you think! I have read at least a couple of the Bjorklund Family Novels but I don't think I realized there were so many! Great idea!

@ Huskerbabe: Also great ideas and I'd never heard of either of these!

Thank you both for the lovely suggestions :)