Monday, October 24, 2011

Chat with Tyndale's Digital First Initiative eBook Authors

Pam Hillman here! I’m so excited to welcome all of Tyndale’s Digital First Initiative authors to Seekerville today. I didn’t know Lynne, Michael, Diana, or Russ when Tyndale offered a contract on Stealing Jake for the Digital First program.

I knew others had been contracted, but that was it. I wondered who they might be. Were they friends of mine but couldn’t say anything until the ink on their contract dried? Speculation ran rampant in my fertile imagination! But when the official Tyndale Digital First Press Release came out, I realized I didn’t know any of them, but that’s changed in the last few months.

I met three of the five authors at ACFW, but I’ve also bonded with them all through their books. Seekers and Friends of Seekers are tied together by our love for books, so it doesn’t take long for us to bond, does it?

So, join the five of us as we sit in the Yankee-Belle Café drinking Helen’s coffee, sampling Ruthy’s dessert of the day, and getting to know each other. Ruthy, dear, please tell us what great desserts you’ll be offering today, will ya, hon?

We’ll start off with a question for Michael. Tell us about your publishing journey and how you were chosen to be a part of this exciting new program launched by Tyndale?

Michael takes a deep breath and dives right in. “My publishing journey was long and torturous. I walked through hot coals every day for thirty years. I am now old [uh…really?], but on the plus side, my feet are very tough, and it was worth it to get to Tyndale.

Michael Berrier

I wrote eight novels before Cash Burn was picked up by Tyndale, but four were short, so they probably count as one. So let’s say five novels, if I’m any good at math. Anyway, with every manuscript I learned a ton, and along the way I made great friends at conferences who were a tremendous help on my journey.”

Wow, thirty years? And I thought I’d been writing a long time. I turn to Lynne and Russ. How about you two?

“I’ve been working toward publication for nearly ten years. Have several completed manuscripts on my computer. Reinventing Leona was written in 2006. My agent submitted the story to Tyndale,” Lynne says.

Lynne Gentry

Russ settles back in one of the Yankee-Belle’s comfy chairs. “I've been writing for almost ten years and have three completed unpublished manuscripts taking up space on my hard drive. All three of these manuscripts were rejected by dozens of agents and publishers, and for good reason--they weren't good. But I needed to write those in order to be able to write 40 Days Without Food. Each failed manuscript brought more than rejection emails. My writing skills and voice were refined.

I just knew I loved to write and would do it whether I was published or not. I kept submitting queries and eventually an agent took me on. He shopped one of those previous around to no avail. Then I wrote 40 Days. He loved it, showed it to some editors, and Tyndale decided they wanted it to be a part of their digital first initiative.”

Ten years for both of you, huh? Neither of you look old enough to have been writing for ten years. Truth be told, Mike, I refuse to believe YOU’VE been writing for 30 years. You must have started in grade school! Okay, next question. Did your agent pitch directly to this program or did your manuscript land at Tyndale via a different route?

Lynne takes a dainty sip of Helen’s coffee (delish as always, Helen!). “Yes, my agent pitched to this specific line.”

Diana, what about your book, Delivery?

Diana smiles. “My manuscript took a unique route to Tyndale through the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, where Delivery placed three consecutive years: 2008 finalist, 2009 semifinalist, and 2010 finalist.”

Diana Prusik & Jerry Jenkins

“My break came about eighteen months ago when a friend and fine writer named Shawn Grady covertly sent part of the Cash Burn manuscript to my (now) agent Janet Grant. Janet liked the manuscript enough to want to see the rest of it, and signed me when she read it.” Michael volunteers. “I was chosen by Tyndale when Jan Stob asked Janet Grant if she had any authors who might be a good fit for the initiative, and Janet pitched Cash Burn to her.”

It was the same for me. My agent submitted Stealing Jake to Jan, too. And things moved pretty fast from that point onward. Michael, how long did you have to wait for your book to be published from when you turned it in?

“I finished Cash Burn early in 2010, but it didn’t get to Tyndale until around April or May of this year. After the Tyndale team accepted it, the actual e-pub process was extremely fast. And the editing, production, art, and marketing talent at Tyndale was outstanding throughout the process.”

Diana chimes in, “Because of the Operation First Novel contest, Tyndale had seen various versions of my manuscript over a period of about three years. Once I submitted my final version, publishing followed a few short months later. Epublishing is quick!!!”

I’ll say. From contract to publication was about six weeks. Amazing! Russ, you’ve been kind of quiet. Do you miss not having a book to hold in your hands? Does it lessen the experience as a debut book?

“I LOVE books. I love the covers and the crisp pages. I love writing in the margins and having them pile up on my nightstand.” Russ’s passion for his topic mounts, so I move the coffeepot over a smidge. Just to be on the safe side, you understand.

Russ Masterson

“So, yes, I missed not having a book in my hands, but as a late-adopter of most technology I'll catch up to this new medium eventually. Being a part of digital first helped me, as a book lover, to see the positives of ebooks: the ease of purchasing, storing, reading, and sharing them. Digital first didn't lessen my debut book experience, it just changed it from what I'd always thought it would be.”

Well, said! I couldn’t agree more. Lynne? Thoughts?

Lynne smiles, the twinkle in her eyes letting me know my maneuver with the coffee pot hadn’t escaped her notice. “Yes, I miss the paper version, but love the speed and ease of access of modern technology. The only problem I’ve had though is people don’t buy the book for friends as gifts and people without reading devices tend to balk on downloading it to their computers.”

Lynne Gentry signing her contract.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Digital First Initiative, but I do hope a print edition of Delivery follows,” Diana weighs in. “Many readers want autographs, which is difficult to do in electronic form, and many readers have told me they are waiting to purchase a paperback.”

Michael nods, agreeing with Diana. “Yes, I miss it, and many readers have asked when the paper version will be coming out. The good news is, we didn’t have to worry about returns or long print cycles. Or kill any trees.”

Ah, that’s a good point about the trees. Maybe that’s a marketing angle we haven’t thought of. We need to remember that! Speaking of marketing… In your opinion, is the marketing you have to do for an ebook any harder than a print book?

Michael scrunches his brow in thought. “No, not harder, just different. It’s 90% virtual—blogging, emailing, Twittering, Facebooking, LinkedIning… Okay, those aren’t real words, but if Shakespeare and Sarah Palin can make up words, so can I. Anyway, readings don’t have much value since you can’t set up a table and sell ebooks that way, but I still do them when I can.”

“Not really, just different,” Russ agrees. “Digital first was a blessing for my family. My wife and I have two little girls and a print book would've put more demand on me to physically go places to market the book. Digital first allowed me to market the book from my home, sitting behind my Mac.”

“Since Delivery is my debut novel, I have no other marketing experience to compare it to. So far, marketing has been FUN!” Diana smiles.

Lynne and I nod in agreement. The marketing has been fun. It’s a lot of work, and like the guys said, it’s different to what we would have experienced with print books, but the fact that we’ve got over EIGHTY years of writing experience under our collective belt, a little digital marketing is a piece of cake. Speaking of cake…where’s Ruthy? Missy? You-hoo…these dainty little saucers need more CAKE!

While we’re waiting on another round of desserts (Yes, Russ, I know you’re health conscious, but when in Seekerville…), what’s your experience been like working with Tyndale in launching the program? Or revisions? My revisions were a piece of (okay, what’s with the CAKE already??)…my revisions were smooth as a placid lake on a windless summer night in Mississippi, so I wonder about the others….

“I've been revising since I finished my first draft in 2008, and if Tyndale had not set a final deadline, I'm sure I would be revising still. I believe writing can always be improved.” Diana sips her coffee. “Tyndale is a stellar publisher, one of the best in the nation. I cannot imagine having a better publishing experience. I am truly blessed!”

“Jeremy Taylor of Tyndale House did a fantastic job honing the manuscript. He was quick and thorough, and retained my voice while making the manuscript better.” Michael agrees. “I had the pleasure of visiting their offices a few weeks ago and I hope it’s the beginning of a long relationship.”

Michael, you got to visit the Tyndale offices? Lucky you! Other than THAT, what has been the most surprising/exciting/amazing thing to happen as a published author?

Lynne’s infectious grin spreads across her face. “Hearing from people all over the country who’ve read the book and been touched by it in some way.”

Lynne Gentry & Pam Hillman at ACFW Awards Gala

“My colleagues in the banking industry have been some of my strongest supporters, and I’m grateful for that.” Michael turns serious for a moment. “I was a little anxious about telling my boss about the storyline, but she was very supportive, as was our bank’s CEO and all my co-workers.”

“I have been most excited and blessed to hear from readers who thanked me through tears because Delivery touched their hearts. That's what Christian fiction is all about!”

That is so true. I’ve had co-workers, friends, strangers call or email me about how much they liked my book. It just blows me away. Every time! Russ, what would you like to add to that?

Russ, the lone non-fiction author among us, turns ever more serious, a far-away look in his eyes. “You think you'll have some feeling of completion, that reaching this achievement will do something inside of you, and for a few weeks you do feel some gratitude for the opportunity and the work you've been able to do. Then you see the books ahead of you on lists and form reasons why your book should be selling more copies than those books. So, yes becoming published was exciting and rewarding, but then you, in some way, recalibrate to the new position and end up feeling the same as you did when you were unpublished. The entire process has helped me to see that trying to squeeze value out of achievement is tiring and pointless.”

We all stare at Russ, wondering if he’s been poking around inside our heads while we were out to lunch. Slowly, we all nod. That’s powerful deep, and so true it hurts. But in a good way, mind you. Russ put into words a lot of what I’ve been doing the last few months. Recalibrating. BUT I’m convinced I’m recalibrating at a whole new level, ready to forge ahead…nay, upward.

Always upward.

Diana Prusik

We sit around in silence for awhile, digesting Russ’s profound statement and Ruthy’s chocolate cake, washing both down with Helen’s coffee brewed to perfection, and finally, I gather my thoughts and ask one last question. What’s everyone currently working on?

Michael gives us that smug little grin of his that lets us know he’s plotting something devious. “In January I’ll complete a manuscript I’m calling Confederacy of Thieves, which is about a conflicted thief who steals from people who themselves have gotten rich unscrupulously. He gives the loot to the poor, but he gets in way over his head when his cohorts go too far.”

Oooh, that sounds interesting. Kind of a modern day Robin Hood, huh? Diana?

“I am preparing to attend the Story Masters Workshop in Houston in early November to learn from writing experts Chris Vogler, Donald Maass, and James Scott Bell. When I return, I will begin writing my sophomore novel. I can't WAIT!!!” A huge grin splits her face, so excited she can hardly sit still. Uh, Diana, where are you going? No need to rush off just yet. The workshop is not until November!

Russ, the deep-thinker of our group, leans in, his excitement rivaling Diana’s. “My agent is presently showing editors a manuscript I finished a month ago, a non-fiction narrative about the difference between moralism and grace, the toxicity of conditional love and the freedom of unconditional love.”

Russ Masterson

And me? I’m putting the final touches on a proposal based on the question, “What would a woman do if she discovers her entire livelihood was stolen?” But love turns a quest for revenge into redemption.

Oh, my, look who just walked into the Yankee-Belle Café for take-out!!!! None other than Tyndale Senior Acquistions Editor, Jan Stob. Ruthy, quick, get Jan a cup of Helen’s coffee and a generous slice of your homemade carrot cake to go.

Jan, we’re about to wrap up this delightful conversation. Any parting words for Seekerville? Jan joins our group, all smiles, friendly and gracious as always.

“Tyndale has enjoyed partnering with these five talented authors – Pam Hillman, Diana Prusik, Lynne Gentry, Michael Berrier, and Russ Masterson. Their launch in digital media has introduced them to a wide range of readers as they begin building a fan base. This group of authors continues to find creative ideas to help promote their titles – including contests, use of social media, blogging, and participating in numerous interviews.

Digital publishing isn’t limited to the shelf life of a typical print book. These titles won’t be quickly removed from the ‘shelf’. Digital allows a book to build through word of mouth. It has staying power. We will continue to monitor sales and plan to offer another promotion in the near future.

It will be exciting to see what’s next from each of these authors.”

Wow, Jan, thanks for stopping by and adding to this conversation. I speak for all of us in that we’ve enjoyed working with you and Tyndale on the Digital First Initiative, and hope to see more partnerships formed in the near future.

Onward and upward!


Click here to register for Pam's KindlePalooza & Diana's Double Kindle Giveaway!!!

Check out the rules for Diana Prusik’s Double Kindle giveaway

Pam Hillman’s KindlePalooza Contest. It’s BIG! It’s BETTER! It’s a-palooza!

Someone will walk away with a Kindle loaded with a MINIMUM of 12 of the 24 ACFW Book Club picks for 2012. This gift keeps on giving all year long!



Today’s Seekerville guests are giving away one copy each of their ebook here in Seekerville, so there will be 5 winners! Please specify in your comment on today’s post whether you want to be included in the drawing, whether you prefer Kindle or Nook, and which (or all) of the books you’d like to win. Did I cover everything? lol Winners will be announced in the WE so be sure to check back to claim your prize.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow this is amazing! Welcome to Seekerville, Digital First Initiative authors!@!!

Rose said...

Interesting interviews and stories...breaking new ground with the Digital First Initiative.

Good luck to each and everyone of you!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Oh wow as an owner of an ereader I love the idea of a digital program and I have a few of these lovely books downloaded just waiting to be read. I have to agree with Lynne though that I miss sharing books with friends. My gram and my cousin don't have ereaders so I can't share as often as I'd like.

Well so far this week is off to a great start and I feel like I've been mooching off of you guys so I'm treating you all to some sweet rolls today!!! ;-)

Please don't enter me for the ebooks.

XOXO~ Renee C.

Helen Gray said...

Wow, from the rate you guys have already consumed coffee, it sounds like I'd better set up multiple pots again today. So I've got a dozen pots set to brew bright and early.

These books sound great, but I'm one of those poor old gals who has to be dragged kicking and screaming into change. Don't have an e-reader.

I did sign up for your drawing, Pam. (Or I think I got the job done.) If I should win it, I'l feel honor bound to put it to use.


Christina said...

Absolutely amazing. I'm still trying to accept the fact publishing is changing and I've been thinking more and more about digital and the the pros and cons.

Thank you for the insight into this side of publishing.


Dianna Shuford said...


Dianna Shuford said...

Sorry about the post above, Seekers, my iPod hiccuped. It may be time for a new one.

Or it's time for me to go to bed.

Very inspiring stories Tyndale Authors. Thanks for sharing each of your Journeys to publication. It's amazing how God takes us all down our own unique paths and who he brings alongside us during that journey.

Virginia said...

This was SO COOL! And someone mentioned that people balk at downloading onto the coomputer, but me and most of my friends have the KindlePC and download books all the time. We don't have the Kindle yet (hm, most of us are surrounded by very small people who wreak havok daily... coincidence??) and the PC version works great. Also, I have friends who commute hours every day and they download books to their ipods and listen while they travel.
I love the title of the Digital First Initiative, too. It just sounds... progressive and cutting edge.
Tydale has always seemed like a wonderful publishing house. I don't think I've ever heard or read a bad word about it. This set of interviews is right in line with that.

Can't wait to read all of these!!

Vince said...

Hi Pam & Everyone:

I have a lot of questions! I don’t expect you to answer all of them but any that you can answer would be appreciated.

1. is there a next wave of Digital First coming?

2. will the next wave have five selections again or could it be any number?

3. is there some reason you have debut authors or will you also have established authors.

4. would you consider an established author who wants to try the Christian market for the first time?

5. How will you treat series books if the first one takes off? Will sequels also come out as Digital First or would they get transferred to print books?

6. Is the 4 to 1 fiction to nonfiction ration intentional or just fortuitous?

7. Do you only work with agents?

8. Can ebook only editions be entered for the Rita and Carol awards?

(9. Is Lynne Gentry related to Georgina Gentry?)

10. Could you tell us in what part of the country each author lives?



P.S. I have all five books and I’ve reviewed Pam’s.

P.P.S. It is easy to forget you have a book on your Kindle when there are 700 of them. I think it is very important to get people to actually read your books. With eBooks it’s not enough that people buy your books. There is no physical book to remind them they have the book!

Nancy Kimball said...

Michael, I have to tell you how much I LOVED Cash Burn. I think I would have even if I hadn't spent five years in banking and suffered my own wire fraud, though thankfully a much SMALLER amount than Jason.

When I finished CASH BURN, I phoned my good friend, who is a huge Grisham and Clancy reader, and said "I've got something you're gonna love, just trust me," gave him the title and raved on it.
He called me the next day from the bookstore saying the employees there "couldn't find it" and I had to explain it was e-only. I'm hoping he gets an e-reader or an ipad soon, or even better, you all get a print run.

Recently there was a free download of a Zondervan novel that looked like it might interest me so I grabbed it on my nook. I loved it so much I ordered a print copy, to be able to hold it, see it on my shelf, and loan it to friends. I hope to see Stealing Jake and Cash Burn in print someday soon so I can do the same with those. And the great interview today has put Lynne, Diana, and Russ's novels onto my 'to buy' list if I don't win them.
Thank you all so much for stopping by Seekerville!

Nancy Kimball said...

I'm with Vince. I've got a lot of books downloaded on my hand me down nook, most were free or 99 cents, and honestly forget to check there instead of the actual TBR pile on my desk.
Also, Michael, I realized after I posted my other comment though I don't think that's a spoiler at all, if it is let me know and I'll kill it or one of the Seekers will for me.
Seriously though, your book twists and turns so much in such a crazy thrill ride of unexpected "OMG" moments I think I'm probably okay, but if not, so sorry!

Andrea Strong said...

I'm slow on the digital e-reader yet. But I want a Nook Color so bad I can taste it. I do have plans to download the app to my new smartphone...just haven't done it yet.

Perhaps winning one of these would spur me along.

I have also wondered if Tyndale has print plans for any of these books.

Thanks to all of you for stopping by.

Whitney said...

“I LOVE books. I love the covers and the crisp pages. I love writing in the margins and having them pile up on my nightstand.”

Russ, I completely agree. I not only love the words printed between the cover; I love the smell, the cover image (they're art!), the way the pages sound and feel.

Welcome to Seekerville, all of you, and congrats on your Tyndale journeys. : )


Andrea Strong said...


/waving madly/

I assume you all got home safely, but with Ruthy's driving and Tina's navigation, that may not be a safe assumption. /snicker/

Ruth, put the tea cup down. You know you'll regret it if you throw It at my head. And you might hit one of your delightful guests instead.

Had wonderful time in Tulsa!! Thaks again for being so amazing.

Tina, if you get a chance to thank your friends for buying the pizza, do that for me about a thousand times. That was relly great of them.

Vince, /waving again/ give Mrs. Vince a hug for me. I had the nicest time visiting with her.

Mary, I'm STILL just a little star struck. ;)

Andrea Strong said...

Remind me never to post from my phone. That was so full of typos, I'm embarrassed to say I wrote it. I'm gonna have to learn to proofread if I want to make it in this business.

I forgot to say, I'd love to win any of the books.

andeemarie95 at gmail dot com.

Now I have to get my day started /sigh/.

Janet Dean said...

Interesting post, Pam! Fun to hear the journeys of those involved in Tyndale's Digital publishing.

Welcome to Seekerville, Diana, Lynne, Michael and Russ! We're thrilled for you and Pam! I'm hoping you'll continue to have success and will see your stories in print!


Cara Lynn James said...

Welcome to Seekerville! Love your stories and all of you have great pictures.

As a book lover, I have stacks of books in bookcases and all around my house. So I like to put novels on my Mac. No one sees my obsesssion that way.

Patsy said...

That was interesting infomation. I didn't know how all that worked.

Yes, I would like to be included in the drawing for an ebook for Kindle. I don't have a Kindle (sad!!!) but I have put the app on my computer. I want a Kindle!! Did I say I wanted a Kindle? Yes!!

Hey everyone at Yankee-Bell! (waving). I'm coming on over to join the group.

Pam Hillman said...

Renee, I love my Kindle, but like you said, I have family members that aren't as "go-tech" as I am, and they want a print book.

I'd like to have some print books to put in a vault somewhere, too. You know how brides have their wedding dresses preserved? I wonder what they would charge to preserve a couple of books? lol

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Pam, and thanks for inviting this all-star line-up to Seekerville!

Bridgett Henson said...

Pam, I loved stealing Jake.

Virginia, I read off my PC app from kindle. Unfortunately it slows down my lappie and all those books take up a ton of memory.

Would love to win the handheld Kindle!

Pam Hillman said...

Mmmmm, thanks for the coffee, Helen!

You'll love the Kindle, Helen. I didn't think I would, but I do. I read and play word games EVERY DAY without fail.

And, I've just started something new with mine. I don't read any fiction, non-fiction or play any games on it until I've read at least one chapter in the Bible. Since the Kindle bookmarks my spot, I can pop over to the Bible, read a chapter or two, then jump back to whatever book or game I want to play. No ifs, ands or buts. It's the first thing I do when I reach for my Kindle. I'm excited about being more faithful in reading my Bible every day!

Pam Hillman said...

Christina, you're right, publishing is changing, but again, I'm not advocating ebooks over print books. I LOVE print books!

As with print books, we all have to perform due diligence in our buying practices. And especially with ebooks. Just because it's 99 cents or free doesn't mean we need it on our eReader. I've skipped several free ebooks because they weren't a genre I read. And I always check the publisher before buying ANY book, whether print or ebook.

Leigh said...

Thanks for introducing us to the other Digital First Initiative authors, Pam! It's a really interesting corner of the publishing world.

Helen, you'd better have lots of coffee at the ready if that gang hangs around the Yankee-Belle too long this morning. They're some serious caffeine lovers. :-)


Audra Harders said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Digital First Initiative authors! What amazing stories you all have to tell.

Michael? Thirty years? Oh God bless you and open the floodgates of publishing before you! Now that's patience and stick-to-it-iveness!

I'm excited for each of you, being on the leading edge of the ever changing book publishing world. I applaud Tyndale on their bold venture and just know it will pay off.

Pammy, Stealing Jake made for a wonderful debut book. Tyndale was very wise in snapping you up. Now, may we please see more?

From each of you?

Ahh, love the cake and coffee. Great way to start another work week.

Audra Harders said...

Virginia, I love the KindlePC choice. I especially use it when I download a reference book. So easy to pull up on the screen and find the reference I need, then minimize the book as I work on MY book.

Digital publishing has opened so many doors.

Pam Hillman said...

Virginia, here's a tidbit that you might not be aware of. If and when you do get a Kindle, you'll be able to sync all those books that are on your computer to your new eReader!

I'm sure there are various ways to do this, but I sync'd mine from my Amazon account, and I'm not very tech-savvy on this sync'ing thing!

Yes, Tyndale is a powerhouse in the Christian publishing arena. I sent my very first query letter EVER to Tyndale several years ago!

I'm sure God got a chuckle when I came full circle.

Oh, that reminds me. You all know how my mind jumps on new rabbit trails...

All 5 of the us (Team DigInit! for short lol) are debut authors. The ebook revolution gave us an oppportunity to have Tyndale's name behind us on our first book.

That is huge.


And mega exciting!

Jeanne T said...

I know the focus of this blog was about becoming e-published. I have to share though, when Russ said, "The entire process has helped me to see that trying to squeeze value out of achievement is tiring and pointless.” It was a good perspective-checker for me. This is such an important thing to remember, isn't it? Getting our names on a book (e-book, or paper) doesn't bring that lasting sense of fulfillment. So glad he shared this.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince, you're putting me on the spot, but I'll do the best I can. Keep in mind my answers are from an author's perspective and pure speculation and WISHFUL THINKING in some cases! lol

1. is there a next wave of Digital First coming?

We hope so, but it’s early yet. I’m not speaking for Tyndale here, just speaking in general.
Publishers have to crunch numbers and since this is a new venture, I’m sure Tyndale is monitoring the success of this very closely.
What can we do to ensure Tyndale offers a second round of Digital titles?

Spread the word, and download the books.

Jeanne T said...

Thanks for sharing all the info about e-publishing. What a great opportunity for you five authors! It was interesting to read your thoughts about e-publishing's pros and cons. I love, LOVE having a book to hold in my hands, but the speed of e-publishing is also a real plus. Thanks for sharing with us today!
P.S. I'd love to be entered into the drawing.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince Q2. will the next wave have five selections again or could it be any number? My guess is that the five selections was just as random as my 23 chances to win the KindlePalooza!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow, Pammers, What great fun sharing a conversation with you and your fellow digital firsts. Welcome to Seekerville.

Great job all of you. What an experience. I loved what Jan Strob said about ebooks being out there forever. That is major. I remember I was crushed when I couldn't get any more of my novels I published years ago.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince Q3. is there some reason you have debut authors or will you also have established authors?

In Tyndale's press release, Karen Watson said, “This initiative gives us a way to say yes to books that deserve an opportunity.” Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yes!

Also, think about it from this stand-point: Established authors already have a fan base who want print books, so there is already a market for them. A publisher can look at an established author’s sales numbers and justify a print book AND an ebook from the get-go.
But anything’s possible.
Publishers are offering some of their established authors backlists and “niche” books as ebook only as we speak.

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, the rest of the Team DigInit authors are going to drop by today as they have time, so let's give them a big ol' hearty welcome.

They're not quite as comfy here in Seekerville, but I'm sure they'll jump in and have a ball once they get here.

Diana Prusik said...

I love seeing all you early birds gathering at Seekerville this morning! I'm starting my first cup o' Joe with a great big thank you to the stupendous Seekers for hosting us Digital First Authors today. Thanks for saving a seat for me at the Yankee-Belle. Please pass the cream, Pam, while I fire up my Kindle to adopt your new rule--Bible first. I LOVE that discipline! :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

WELCOME, Digi-First Dudes!

Oh my stars, we are so excited to have the crew here today, to share in the excitement, the wondering, the tip-toeing and/or diving head first into the pretty darn cool waters of publishing!


And yes, Jan, we love, love, love editors here in Seekerville, so I've packed up an entire carrot cake baked, frosted (no raisins, I heard some of your colleagues DON'T LIKE RAISINS... Who knew???) in deliciously smooth cream cheese icing...

You take this back to the whole crew at Tyndale courtesy of Seekerville!

What great stuff, guys. Now I feel like I know you. Lovely, just lovely.

Now get back to work, the lot o' youse. Write. Write. Write.

(Oops. Did I say that out loud????)

Oy, sorry, I thought I was muttering under my breath.

I'm grabbing some of Helen's coffee and getting back to my day job, but we are cheering you guys on BIG TIME here in Seekerville! We long for your continued success!

Pam, great post, chickie!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Vince said "There is no physical book to remind them they have the book!" How do you remember you have an ebook to read on your ereader?

Good point and something I'm addressing in my blog tomorrow.

Ebooks are great but they are so new, the marketing is a challenge. But that is one thing about authors. They are creative. I know Pammers is going to find a way to take advantage of the readers who downloaded her book. I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with.

Michael Berrier said...

Nancy, thanks for the feedback and for spreading the word! I'm glad the wire fraud that hit you wasn't as bad as the one Jason was involved in.

Amanda said...

Wonderful post! Ebooks are fantastic, and this interview gave me a lot of insight into how it all works. Thanks!

Please don't enter me in the drawing. Sadly, I don't own a Kindle, Nook or ereader.

And by the way Ruthy, carrot cake sounds sooo good!

Connie Queen said...

Thirty years. Wow. If that's not a lesson in perseverance I don't know what is.

I think Vince covered all the questions I could come up with and more. I'll be checking back to see the answers.

I don't have an e-reader so don't enter me into the drawing.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince's book of questions has me WAY behind! lol But I'm so glad he's making me think!

I wanted to throw this out there before I forget....

Speaking of established authors and ebooks. Ebooks are a HUGE marketing tool for established authors. The possibilities are endless!

When a new book releases, the publisher can offer some of an author's ebook backlist at a discount (or FREE!) and gain instant exposure for the author.

That's never really been an option with print books, has it? Instantly, readers can be exposed to an author they've never heard of before.

Amazon’s TOP 100 Free ebooks

When Tyndale offered the Digital First titles for free, ALL FIVE shot to the top of that list within 24 hours!

And Stealing Jake stayed #1 on the free list for about 7 days. Why?
Stealing Jake shot to #1 because it was one of Tyndale's Digital First titles and inspie readers wanted to know what kind of books made the cut. Also, Stealing Jake historical romance and HR is hot. And people loved the cover.

But why did it stay at #1 for 7 days? Partly because it WAS #1 and tons of readers watch that list.

Snowball effect.

The ONLY problem is that I didn't have half-a-dozen other titles for readers to immediately purchase when they downloaded Jake for free. But that's an opp for future books, right?

For an established author's backlist, a savvy marketing team can do wonders with ebooks. It's amazing!

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome to all of you!! Pam, thanks for the great chance to get to know your new friends better.

But Pam, honey, please let me know next time you're inviting a passel of people over to the cafe for cake. I'm talking about roasted garlic over there today!!! :) :)

Sherri Shackelford said...

I'll make my confession - I don't read books on my computer - even my own. I print them out for the final read through.

I do have several books on my Kindle for PC. This Christmas I'm taking the plunge into ereaders!

While I love the print book, and I'm really excited about having a print book, I'm ready to embrace change!

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, PAMMY ... what a WONDERFUL glimpse into the Digital First Initiative and its authors -- VERY COOL!!

What a privilege to be in on the ground floor of this ground-breaking concept!! Gosh, it's like being a publishing Neil Armstrong crew -- "One small step for man, one giant leap for publishing."

And, WOW, Jan nailed it home with one of the most important benefits in this initiative, which only YOU DFI authors can reap: "Their launch in digital media has introduced them to a wide range of readers as they begin building a fan base."


I am excited to see where DFI goes from here, along with its amazing authors.

Waving at Diana -- hey, girl!!


Julie Lessman said...

DIANA SAID: "Ggggghg"

LOL, Diana ... my first good laugh of the day -- thanks!!


Erica Vetsch said...

Congrats to you all!

Thank you for the interviews, Pam. Informative and fun. :)

Missy Tippens said...

By the way, for those who don't have an e-reader (I don't either), it's easy to download a Kindle app for your computer. I don't mind reading on my laptop on the couch. I just keep my finger on the right arrow. :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

I know I've met Lynne at ACFW conferences over the years. Congratulations to you all! And here's to many, many more contracts in your future!

Pam Hillman said...

Skipping Q4-Q9 as I’m not qualified to answer.

The Tyndale team is pretty busy and I'm not sure if Jan will have time to stop by today. Jan made a cameo appearance in our blog spur of the moment.

Where we're all from. At least I THINK I got it right for everybody.

Pam - Mississippi
Lynne - Texas
Diana - Missouri
Russ - Georgia
Michael - California

Pam Hillman said...

Vince said: With eBooks it’s not enough that people buy your books. There is no physical book to remind them they have the book!

So very true. This would be a great blog post. Will think on it!

Pam Hillman said...

Nancy, that's so great that you bought the book after you read it, and you'll probably look for more of that author's books. Yay!

PS. Mike might not make it by until later today, but he'll be here. I know he'll be thrilled to read your comment!

Diana Prusik said...

I agree, Audra. Digital publishing HAS opened so many doors--for publishers, for authors, and for readers. Rather than debating print vs. digital for the future of books, I hope we end up with a combination of both. Whitney says it so well! I love the feel of real books--the covers, crisp pages, writing in the margins, etc., and I never want that to go away. In fact, I've been known to say I didn't even want to own an ereader, but that's before my children conspired against me and gave me one for Christmas. At that time, I had NO idea I would be able to read my own novel on it just a few short months later! When I tossed my Kindle into my purse instead of hiring a crane to load my book bag for vacation this year, I knew ebooks were in my life to stay . . . unlike that carrot cake that's on its way to Tyndale! Any chance a second one is in the oven?

Pam Hillman said...

Gotta run out for a while, but I'll be back ASAP to touch base with everyone. Keep the coffee AND the desserts coming, Ruthy!

What's for lunch? Or are we having cake all day? The temp is kind of cool here, so a huge hearty pot of beef soup stew like the ticket. Yum! Love beef stew.

custom essays said...

Good work! Thanks for info.

Christina said...

Virginia, I used to review books for a e-zine. When the books started coming in digital form I had to quit reviewing. At the time I didn't have a Kindle and siting at the computer to read messed with my back, and not just a little. I got to where I couldn't sit for days, sometimes weeks. So, that was the main reason I balked at digital copies.

Christina said...

LOL! Vince! 700 books, really? I believe it. I've been wondering how many books a Kindle will hold. Most of mine are research books.


Jan Drexler said...

What a fun post to read!

I love my Kindle, mainly because of the tons of free books that have been available for it! But Vince is right - there's nothing physical to remind you that a book is sitting there, waiting to be read.

However, that's the only flaw I've found in it!

The availability of books is phenomenal, and I think publishers are just beginning to test the waters with this new technology. I love the way they're putting authors' backlist titles out to help push a new release!

It's been great to meet all of the Tyndale Digital First Initiative authors!

And Missy, I'll have some of that roasted garlic...

Diana Prusik said...

Missy, I'm so glad you shared your thoughts toward reading ebooks with the FREE Kindle app for PCs. Amazon also makes it easy to read ebooks on iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, Macs, Androids--you name it! Here's the link:

You don't need an ereader to enjoy Digital First titles, but if you enter the Kindle drawings mentioned today, you just might not need to worry about those free apps. I can't WAIT to learn who the winners are!

Anonymous said...

A lot of fresh perspectives here. Thanks for posting these interviews! I thought I'd be the last person to have an e-reader, but my family had other ideas and gave me one last Christmas. It turns out that my Kindle has become a wonderful tool, especially because of the enlarged font feature which gives my eyes a rest after a day working at the computer. I'd be delighted to receive any of the books offered by the Tyndale authors.

Lyndee H

Ashley Roberts said...

Welcome to Seekerville Digital First Initiative authors!

Ashley Roberts said...

Pam, I LOVED Stealing Jake and I can't wait to read your next novel!!

Ashley Roberts said...

Congrats to all of you for getting published!

Ashley Roberts said...

I would like to be entered for delivery.

Ashley Roberts said...

I would also like to be entered for Pam's book Stealing Jake.

Ashley Roberts said...

I have the kindle for pc app, but i would love to have either!

Christina said...

Pam, you already know my feelings about Stealing Jake but I'll just repeat it, fabulous. I really do hope it comes out in print so it can go to the keeper shelf.

Can't wait for your next story.

Diana Prusik said...

Christina, the number of books a Kindle holds depends upon the model. There's a whole family of Kindles available now, holding between 1,400 (basic Kindle) and 6,000 (Kindle Fire) books. Compare all models on this link:

My mind is reeling from the thought of tucking 6,000 books into my PURSE! WOWZA!

Ashley Roberts said...

Vince, wow! you really have 700 books on your e-reader???

Christina said...

Diana, you mentioned the Jenkins contest, what was that like? I'm assuming Tyndale was involved.

Carol Moncado said...

Well, I bought Pammer's book when it very first came out then downloaded the others when they were free :). So no need to enter me in the drawing :D.

Of course, Pam's is, uh, the only one I've read...

I have a folder [or whatever they're called] on my Kindle with a TBR label on it and stick them all in there. I also have TRA on there [to read again]. Pam's is in that one...

I'm supposed to be writing right now. But I'm not. I'd rather hang out with y'all.

Mary - so glad you got unstuck from the elevator ;).

Glad y'all made it home safely too!

Diana Prusik said...

Christina, CWG's Operation First Novel contest was an amazing opportunity for me. I placed three consecutive years, and even though I didn't win, the experience connected me with some amazing folks in the writing world--my crit partner, beloved friends, and writing professionals who generously offered helpful feedback. Ultimately, it brought me to Tyndale and the Digital First Initiative, but even if it hadn't, participating in the contest was a valuable part of my writing journey. I'm so glad I mustered the courage to submit!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Congratulations to all of you!

Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

I was teetering on the edge of purchasing a Kindle. This post has pushed me over. I'm buying one today. Thanks for the incentive.

Anna T.S.

Melissa K Norris said...

I think this is a very interesting way to test the waters so to speak for new authors.

And you don't have to have an ereader to read ebooks. You can download for free a kindle version for your pc. It works great. I use it.

Susan Anne Mason said...


Thanks for sharing these incredible writing journeys.

It's amazing the opportunities that are opening up out there!

Wishing you and all the others much success!

P.S. Don't enter me for the ebooks. I have too many too read right now!

Mindy Obenhaus said...

I loved both Stealing Jake and Reinventing Leona (waving at Lynne). Guess I'd better check out the others too. So glad Tyndale took this new direction.

Lynne Gentry said...

Wow, turn my back for a second and I'm soooo behind on the fun! Thanks to everyone for weighing in on Digital First. This has been quite a ride. Nancy, thanks for adding our books to your "to buy" list. Vince, you are asking the million dollar questions that no one is certain of in this fast-changing publishing market. All I know is that ebook publishing has been good and it's been fun. As for me being related to Georgina Gentry ... that's a no as far as I know. And a special thanks for getting our books already.

Diana Prusik said...

Lyndee, great families think alike! I'm so glad my children "forced" me into the ebook world. I love taking an entire library with me everywhere I go!

Julie, I was so distracted by watching that carrot cake head off to Tyndale that I didn't see you wave until now. Hang on, girlfriend, while I rush across the room to give you a great big hug, Show-Me style! :-

Casey said...

I loved hearing your stories on how you got published for the first time! I know from watching Pam, it was basically a BLINK and her book had a cover and a home on the Amazon shelves.

I actually do NOT need to be entered, I got these books when they were free for a short time. So let someone else enjoy the fun and banter of winning. :)

Congratulations Digital First Initiative!

Diana Prusik said...

Casey, thanks to you and all who have downloaded Digital First titles. You're so right about the speed of epublishing. Print editions can take a year or more to reach bookstore shelves, but Tyndale made our titles available in a matter of weeks. I had to see it to believe it was possible, since I AM from the Show-Me State, but I should have known. After all, Tyndale IS Tyndale, a powerhouse in Christian publishing, as Pam so accurately stated. Leave it to THP to come up with a cutting edge initiative like Digital First!

Pam Hillman said...

Andrea, you're in the drawing!

Whitney, I wrote a poem years ago titled "Ode to a Book"...Let's see if I can recreate it for you:

The musty aroma of an old book’s
unfurling pages,
tattered, torn, treasured
down through the ages,

heightens my senses
and sends my thoughts reeling,
just to know someone penned
such a tome with feeling.

The book’s vintage pages,
yellowed with age,
are proof that, in its day,
it was all the rage.

I gently, reverently,
caress the textured cover,
begin to read—
anticipating joys I’ll discover.

My mind descends
into a misty world,
as tales of dragons,
maidens and swords unfurl.

Don’t speak to me now,
for I’ll not heed,
...I’m lost...lost...
in a world of make believe.

Michael Berrier said...

Audra, maybe I exaggerated just slightly on the 30 years. It was 30 years ago when I completed my first novel, which gathered dust in my desk for a long, long time until I dove into the next one. I got serious a few years ago when I attended Mount Hermon for the first time and started making the connections mentioned in our chat around the coffee table. If you haven't checked out that conference, I recommend it.

Lynne Gentry said...

Michael, I think you're allowed to exaggerate about the 30 years to publishing - afterall, this is fiction writing we're talking about.

Michael Berrier said...

Lynne, we bankers try not to exaggerate. At least not when bailouts and bonuses aren't involved.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

LOL Pam I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to pick just a few "real" books to have preserved, there are too many that I love but that's a great idea!

XOXO~ Renee C.

Pam Hillman said...

Patsy and Bridgitt, make sure you sign up for my KindlePalooza. Somebody's gonna win, and it might be one of you! Wouldn't that be fun?

Whoa, AUDRA! I hadn't thought of that for the research books. I downloaded some to my Kindle, but not to my pc. Great idea!

Jeanne T, isn't that the truth? That quote was an eye-opener for me because I have tunnel-vision when it comes to things I'm passionate about, and other things suffer. Balance. I need to focus on balance!

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, I prefer my carrot cake without raisins too and with LOTS of frosting. Send me the tracking number as soon as you ship it, K?

San said: Pammers is going to find a way to take advantage of the readers who downloaded her book

Uh...that sounds slightly devious. How about I'm going to REWARD them? lol Actually, that's part of my KindlePalooza. Readers who have a copy of Stealing Jake get an extra 10 chances to win the Kindle loaded with the ACFW Book picks for 2012.

Tina Pinson said...

Hello DFIA's (Almost sounds like an airport somewhere.)

Glad you could stop by and share about your personal journey's

Any hoo.

How wonderful that you got to jump off the precipice for Tyndale as they work on ebooks.

That's the only way my books are published at the moment. And more and more people are loving their ereaders and they download to their telephones and ipods and more.

So it's a good move.

Yes, many people love the books they hold in their hands. Believe me, I like my books. But the convienience of carrying 100 plus books with you is great. And I downloaded from Kindle while in the wild camping.

I also like the free downloads.

Who doesn't like free books?

PatriciaW said...

I'm always fascinated and amazed by journey stories. Congratulations to you all!

PatriciaW said...

"...trying to squeeze value out of achievement is tiring and pointless."

This echoes my thoughts earlier today. I take it to mean work hard and get results, but don't look for your value to come from that. Your value is in being who you are.

Tina Pinson said...

Was just thinking...

I did my first ebook back in the 90's. You had to buy the disk and play it on your computer, reading it in a word processing program.

Of course you can imaginie that even though the books sold for five dollars, they didn't do so well back when.

Laptops weren't in almost every home, there were no ereaders and who wanted to carry their PC everywhere to read?

I sold two. whoo hoo


Jeanne T said...

Still pondering all you DigInIt authors shared during your chat at the Yankee-Belle today. This doesn't have as much to do with e-publishing as it does with learning writing craft. I'm fairly new in this world. Some of you mentioned you went to conferences to learn/improve writing skills. Besides ACFW, which other ones do you recommend?

Christina said...

Diana, when I first started writing I participated in a 'popularity' contest (writers begged for votes). I had know idea what head hopping was and when I read a critique I kept thinking what in the world are they talking about. In my mind I hadn't cut any heads off. LOL! Even though I haven't entered anything else like it, that contest was good as I gained some life long friendships.

Thank you for the link for the Kindle information. I can't imagine 6000+ books, how could you remember them all? On the other hand it'd probably make hubs happy. I'm kind of a hoarder when it comes to books.

Ashley Roberts said...

Pam, I am so thrilled that you got pubbed! As you know, I won a Kindle loan of Stealing Jake an LOVED IT!!!

Michael Berrier said...

Jeanne T, I attended ACFW for the first time this year and loved it. Also check out the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, which occurs in the springtime in California.

Julie Lessman said...

DIANA SAID: "Julie, I was so distracted by watching that carrot cake head off to Tyndale that I didn't see you wave until now. Hang on, girlfriend, while I rush across the room to give you a great big hug, Show-Me style! :-"

LOL ... carrot cake distracts me, too, sweetie, so I TOTALLY understand! And thanks for the Missouri hug -- LOVE it!!



Pamela J said...

I enjoyed reading the five authors' discussion over cake and coffee about their road to e-book publish-dom (did I make that word up?) status.

I do already have a kindle AND have four of the five books downloaded that are talked about here. Have only read one of the four I have, need to get a review done for that one soon and read the other three.

I mainly want to give you authors all a HIP-HIP-HOORAY for the job well done so far. I do believe you're direction is "Onward and upward!".

Don't need in today's drawing, but it would be ok with me if this comment goes into the final drawings. Thanks.

Pam Williams
cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

Diana Prusik said...

Wow, after I read Stealing Jake, I knew Pam was talented, but she's a poet, too???

Tina, ebooks have come a long way since the 90s, huh? When Michael began writing 30 years ago, we could scarcely have imagined what technology would make possible today. One tiny gadget that works as a phone, a camera, a computer, an ereader, and more. What will they think of next? And yes, free downloads are awesome. Even at full price, ebooks are often more affordable than print editions--another advantage to the digital publishing world.

Jeanne, the ACFW annual conference is fantastic! I hope to see you there next September. I also highly recommend the Writing for the Soul conference sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild each February. And I am beside myself with excitement over the Story Masters Workshop I'll be attending in Houston November 3-6. Don't miss out on attending one or more of these awesome events. You won't regret it!!!

Ashley Roberts said...

Pam Love the poem!

Ashley Roberts said...


Ashley Roberts said...

Michael, WOW that is a long time to not get published. Glad you finally did, though!

Julie Lessman said...

LYNNE ... I keep looking at your picture, thinking: I KNOW THIS WOMAN!! You look SO darn familiar to me, and I'm guessing it was at ACFW, which makes sense -- maybe at the table with Patti Lacy and Diana??? Seems like that might have been it. Anyway, wanted to say "hey" and SUPER CONGRATS on the book -- it looks WONDERFUL, and my MIL's name is Leona, so I need to dive in to it!


Ashley Roberts said...

I want to enter for for Lynne's book also!

Virginia said...

I love ebooks but the only problem I have with them is I don't get to lone them to my sister, she doesn't have a reader. My sister is a big reader and I always lone my books to her when I finish with them. I would love to have any of these books in Kindle format.

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

This is great great information!!

Congratulations to everyone in the program.

I'm loving this new meeting spot too. YUMMO!

I so enjoyed the Christian Writers Guild course (apprentice) I took several years ago now. Learned SO much... Almost as much as in Seekerville (HA!)...

Have a PAWSOME day/week everyone! With 106 comments already, will be reading through later.

I'm out on the screen porch writing away!!! :)

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

OH! and it was so fun to see the photos the other day of all y'all in Tulsa, including Vince and his lady! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Amanda, don't forget that you can read ebooks on your pc. It's pretty easy to download the software, and then you're ready to go whenever you DO get an eReader.

Ah, Missy, throw some of that garlic in the beef stew. It'll be yummy. Potluck at the Yankee-Belle Cafe today!

Diana Prusik said...

LOL, Christina! Heads once hopped through my fiction, too, so don't feel bad! As a former English teacher who taught all about third-person omniscient narration, it took me a while to "get" why head hopping isn't the best approach, but fortunately, a few keystrokes can lead me to explanations of a better way. The digital age not only helps readers read, it also helps writers write. Thanks to an awesome online writing community, writers have access to information that authors of ages past could hardly dream about. Thanks to technology, I learn more about good writing every day--and the Seekers of Seekerville sure help with that!

Hey, Julie, if the carrot cake runs out, how 'bout a Ted Drewes run?

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hmm... You definitely have me thinking! My hubby keeps telling me to self-e-publish, but I really want printed copies, too. Call me sentimental, but I want to hold it in my hands. Anyway, as to questions, I think Vince asked the majority of them for us. :D

Virginia said...

Hmmmm. 6,000 books on a digital device?? I really don't think I would remember what went on there... but maybe if you organize them into folders, or queues. (I just tried out 5 different spellings of that word... )So, maybe if you feel like a romcom, then you can find one. Or a suspense.. I don't organize my shelf books much, but since I only have a few hundred, I know where they all are.

Audra, that's how I got started on the PC App because I needed a reference book I could only get in the digital form. And then we downloaded an audio player for the kids because some of the audio versions aren't available at our library so we can buy them off Amazon.
The only reservation I have about digital is it seems just one more step toward the impersonal bookstore. :( We have one bookstore left in our town. The only other store is an all-purpose palce that sells video games and really caters to the music/ gaming crowd. Books come last.

Diana Prusik said...

Virginia, since your sister doesn't own an ereader, you might consider entering my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. On December 16, one person will win a Kindle 3G AND choose a person who will also win a Kindle 3G. That's right--I'm giving away TWO Kindles in the spirit of Mom Robinson, one of my favorite characters in Delivery. Be sure to enter daily for more chances to win. Details here:

Linnette R Mullin said...

Ruthie, your use of youse reminds me. My boys karate sensai is SC born and bread. I hear him use the term yourn all the time. :D

Elizabeth B. said...

I too love the hard copy of books, the smell, the feel and placing comments in the margins.

My daughter gave me a kindle for Christmas. While on the beach in Dominica, my son had completed all the books he brought with him. How neat is it to order books a half a world away on a remote island with no bookstores! Traveling back to the states, the Kindle went through security and it was trashed. However, Amazon replaced it at no cost.

Pam Hillman said...

Lyndee, I was the same way. I didn't think I would like it, but I do. Most of the time, I grab it before a print book now.

Ashley, you're IN!

Christina just posted an amazing review for Stealing Jake. Thanks Christina!

Carol, I created folders by genre: Romantice Suspense, Historical Romance, Non-fiction, etc. but I kinda like your system too. I might move some of mine to a new folder too.

Carol Moncado said...


I am so jumping up and down with glee at the moment!!!!

[And it really has nothing to do with Seekerville/Digital First... not really - except y'all love me and will be excited too - and it IS writing related :D]

Some of you know I run the Pentalk Community Blog [you want a guest spot you say? Email me :D. Pam did one as Stealing Jake came out - see it is related ;). Sort of].

Well, I emailed my 10yo daughter's favorite author, Lauren Tarshis to see if she'd be interested in doing a guest blog for Pearl Harbor Day [her latest book is I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941*].

She agreed to let my daughter [and my daughter's best friend] to interview her for the blog!!!!! :D

I am so getting Mom of the Year points for this ;). 10yo/friend are going to be so stinkin' excited too. I can't wait to tell them! We're going to get together Wednesday night to come up with questions to email and then will take pics of them with their books at their sleepover this weekend!


*For those of you without kids in the preteen/tween age group, Ms. Tarshis is a staple for the Scholastic crowd :D. Her "I Survived..." books sell out at the book fairs at my kids' schools!

Jeanne T said...

Pam, loved your poem. :)

Don’t speak to me now,
for I’ll not heed,
...I’m lost...lost...
in a world of make believe.

It reminds me of my mom. When I was a girl, I would watch her read. My sisters and I would try to get her attention, but she was completely focused on her story! My poor kids get that response from me, every now and then too.

Jeanne T said...

Pam, loved your poem. :)

Don’t speak to me now,
for I’ll not heed,
...I’m lost...lost...
in a world of make believe.

It reminds me of my mom. When I was a girl, I would watch her read. My sisters and I would try to get her attention, but she was completely focused on her story! My poor kids get that response from me, every now and then too.

Carol Moncado said...

Pam - books can be in more than one folder [or label or whatever they're called]. So a book can be in the TBR folder, the Seekerville and Friends folder, Inspies, and Historicals all at once :D. Is nice!

[of course, I have like 20 pages of books that need sorted because I buy lots and lots of free books when the pop up in free Kindle books blog in my feed reader and they automatically go to my Kindle rather than one of the others on the account. ;)]

Pam Hillman said...

Ah, we have corrupted Anna T.S.! lol You're gonna love it, Anna! Promise!

I agree, Melissa. It's a win-win situation for publishers and authors alike.

Yay, Casey! She's a Team DigInit Groupie!

Myra Johnson said...

Pam and Digital First friends--thanks for sharing your experiences and insights into this "brave new world" of book publishing!

I've had a Kindle for 2-3 years now but "real" books still probably account for 75-80% of my reading, mainly because I'm on several influencer lists. I do like the convenience of an e-book, though, so more and more frequently, if I'm book shopping for myself, I'll choose the Kindle version.

Wishing all of you Tyndale Digital First authors the very best for your publishing journey!

Donna said...

I have the Kindle app on my son's I pad touch. I was so happy when I learned I could do that!
I have a feeling, in ten years or so, ereaders are going to have a much larger impact on the market than people think,if only for environmental reasons. I hope they make them so that if you purchase an ebook and can send it to at least one other person's ereader free of charge. Like you were sharing a book.

Pam Hillman said...

Wow, TinaP, talk about being in the ground floor of new technology. You were definitely a trend-setter!

Jeanne T, I mostly go to ACFW since that's where the editors I am targeting can be found. I've been to RWA though, and it's great for romance writers. Mt. Hermon is awesome although I haven't had the priviledge of attending. You can never go wrong with local writer's groups and regional conferences either.

Ashley, you certainly deserve your own copy of Stealing Jake!

Diana Prusik said...

Elizabeth B., how awesome to purchase books on a Dominican beach and read them instantly! We live in amazing times. So glad to know Amazon took care of your damaged Kindle. So nice to see companies offer that kind of support.

Carol, congratulations to you and your daughter! I LOVE seeing such excitement over books, and I love seeing books bring history to life for young readers! And thanks for helping us learn how to organize books on Kindle. We can make Digital First folders for our books! Confession: That'll be my first bit of housekeeping for the day. I'm having TOO much fun hanging out with y'all here at the Yankee-Belle. Mmmm. Stew smells great. That roasted garlic did the trick, Missy. Isn't it about lunch time?

Jamie Adams said...

That's exciting Carol, I'll make sure my two ten year olds read that interview it should be fun! They love to read and I'm always looking for good books in their age group.

Tina Pinson said...

Carol, that is awesome to be able to interview with someone who lived through such a time in history. I'll for sure have to read that blog when you do it. I'm writing a WWII novel.

Pam -- I may have blazed the trail with digital books all those years ago, too bad it didn't take off then, but I get to do it now.

Just goes to show that everything has a proper time and season.

Bridgett Henson said...

Pam: Kindle-Palooza!

How do I enter that?

Did I miss something?

Steve Prusik said...

I have to confess that when going to someone's home for the first time, one of the first things I look at is books on shelves. Oh the things I can learn about someone from their books! Perhaps what is missing in this new digital age is the virtual personal library, a place where I can see a readers reading list if they choose to share.

All 5 of the digital first authors would be in my personal digital library. Congratulations to you all!

Pam Hillman said...

Virgina mentioned not being able to loan books to her sister because she doesn't have an ereader. That's a legitimate concern, but keep in mind that if and when she does get an ereader, you can loan books back and forth.

So keep that in mind for future reference.

Jamie Adams said...

I love reading ebooks on my pc. Someday I hope to own a kindle :) I loved reading about the journey of this great group of pioneers.

Carol Moncado said...

Thanks, gang :D.

Tina - Ms. Tarshis writes the "I Survived..." series based on actual events. The other books in the series are:

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005

The next one is based on the San Francisco earthquake and comes out in the spring.

Wish I knew someone who survived it [I had a 2nd cousin who is still buried on the USS Arizona] but I don't...

And glad I could help someone with my seemingly useless knowledge of Kindle organization ;).

Tina Pinson said...





Pam Hillman said...

Yikes, Elizabeth! The Kindle was "trashed" in what way? The scanners????

Carol, you are one COOL mom about now!!!! Thanks for the tip about being in more than one folder. I didn't know that.

Donna, there are some lending capabilities and sharing for some devices. I have two Kindles on my acccount and my friend in the nursing home gets to read every book I buy/download, so it's definitely worth it for her to get the books too.

Debby Giusti said...

Congratulations to all Tyndale's Digital First Authors!!!

Pam, thanks for such a fun afternoon at the Yankee-Belle Café. Great chat and lots of good info.

Loved Russ' comment, concerning his early manuscripts, where, as he said, "My writing skills and voice were refined."

I feel that way after every book. There's always something I need to learn, and by the end of a manuscript, I look back and can usually see where I've improved. That's one of the things I like about writing. It's a constant learning process. Hopefully we're always moving forward, getting stronger, stretching farther, trying new techniques that add richness to our writing.

So glad you all could be with us in Seekerville today! Continued good wishes for a long career in writing!

Diana Prusik said...

Steve, you make an interesting point. We sure can learn a lot about a person by the books they shelve. I'm counting my Tyndale titles now . . . . :-)

Pam, so true about digital book loans. My mother downloaded the free Kindle app for her PC, and I share books with her from my Kindle. Works great! (She insisted, however, on purchasing her OWN copies of our Digital First titles. There's a dedicated mom for ya'.)

Jamie, enter our Kindle giveaways mentioned on today's blog post and you might just win one.

Carol, no organization tips are useless. I'm glad you shared. Anything that helps me get my world in order is always welcome.

Jamie Adams said...

Thanks Diana I will do that! It's great to be able to read books on my PC but a kindle would make it so much easier to take with me :)

Lynne Gentry said...

Jeanne T let me weigh in on the value of ACFW. I've been going since 2005. Not only have I gained a wealth of writing craft info, but a wealth of very important connections. Can't wait to see what God does with the connections I've made with these other Digital First authors. JULIE LESSMAN I'm sure we've met at ACFW. ELIZABETH B - one of the blessings of the ebook format is that our books are already selling in Africa, Australia, China, etc.

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, Junior and Senior did you overcome Sophomore-itis???

You know what I mean...that SHEER TERROR that nothing else will ever be as good as the one book your wonderful publisher took a chance on.

Christina said...

You're welcome, Pam! You know I only wrote such a praising review to get that chocolate you promised, right? ;) :) Just joking. No promises were made. At all. In fact, after reading the blurb I jumped at the chance to review for Tyndale and I wasn't disappointed at all.

Christina said...

OKay, so everyone keeps saying how Michael started 30 years ago and I keep looking for the joke. Were you five when you finished the book? I have this image of a neatly stapled booklet with stick people in crayon on red construction paper for a cover being tucke away into a Little Tykes desk.

I mean seriously, none of these writers look like they've been writing for as long as they say. So, have y'all always known you wanted to write?

Christina said...

Diana, you make me feel a wee bit better given you taught English. It's one of those subjects I never quite grasped. Although I do know what a prepositional phrase is. My mother used to say I could write the longest sentence ever. Fill up a page with a bunch of words and put a period at the end. I still do that. I am the queen of run-on sentences!

Diana Prusik said...

Fervently nodding my head in agreement with Lynne. I cannot imagine my writing journey without conference connections. In fact, I might not HAVE a writing journey without conference connections. Conference attendance has been a vital part of my pathway to publishing and beyond--and I've gained some of the truest, bluest friends on earth in the process.

Christina, you make me chuckle again. I've met Michael in person, and I promise you he looks even YOUNGER than his picture. To answer your question, yes, from my earliest memories, I've always wanted to write. In fact, I still have my first novella I scrawled at the age of ten in #2 pencil on wide rule notebook paper. Whew! Thank goodness that one isn't available for public viewing!

Pam, thanks for asking about sophomore-itis. Since I will start my second novel soon, I'm looking for ways to ward it off. C'mon, all you seasoned authors. Please pass the pot roast and the good advice. I'm hungry for both!

Diana Prusik said...

Christina, the good news is that if you can get meaningful words on the page, run-on sentences can be halted with a few English lessons--and perhaps a dedicated editor. Don't let something as fixable as a few missing punctuation marks keep you from pursuing your writing dream!

Michael Berrier said...

Christina, are you looking for me to publicize my birth certificate like Obama did? :-) All kidding and vanity aside, I finished my first ms in 1981, I didn't write another until 1992, and then got really busy about seven years ago. A long, long road with lots of twists so you can imagine how appreciative I am of those who have provided encouragement along the way.

Faye said...

How exciting to be a part of this special select group of authors!

Pam Hillman said...

Well, Christina, you sure let the cat out of the bag .... or was that the chocolate? Oh well, virtual chocolate on the way! Yum!

Diana Prusik said...

Faye, that's how I feel when I wake up every day. I've not only read their terrific novels, I've met Pam, Lynne, and Michael, and they are awesome folks--fantastic Digital First team members. Sometimes I need to pinch myself to make sure this isn't all a dream!

Pam Hillman said...

Christina, I've always wanted to be a writer. I made up stories in my head as a kid.

"Storied" myself to sleep many a night.

But I didn't start writing seriously until after my children were born, and I realized my dream was going to pass me right on by if I didn't do something about it.

And...owning a computer certainly helped, as well as connecting with other writers via the internet.

Pam Hillman said...

Diana, did you have to mention pot roast?

I'm really hungry.

PS. Just texted my 18 yo son to make a decision about dinner:

a. Red beans and rice
b. Chili
c. Beef and vegetable soup

He chose C, so I'll be away from the computer for a while putting together a pot of soup!

Pam Hillman said...

Breaking news....Tweet just seen...but what does it MEAN???

Tweeted by: Tyndale House: You can now purchase Tyndale e-books at the Apple iBookstore!

Diana Prusik said...

Pam, you've left me with the biggest question of the day: Can I make it to Mississippi in time for dinner??? If so, please save a seat for ME! :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have been gone all day...

And over 100 folks have stopped by.

Pam, you rock, chickie!!!! ;)

Hey, Vince, that's a good point. I tend to fix the squeaky wheel first...

Which is analogized to read the obvious book.

Hmmm... this is something to think about. Because we WANT people reading the e-books. And I love the "E-Possibilites" for my category romances. Up to now if people wanted backlist, they went to used book stores.

But Kindle and Nook and Sony editions aren't any more expensive than paying for used books on Amazon so it's totally cool to make royalties on a book that's out of print.

I love that.

Hey, I brought another carrot cake, two actually. One with nuts and raisins....

One without.

Both are moist, rich, fork-tender and nicely spiced. Don't you just love fall????

Cindy W. said...

It's always enjoyable to hear, or read about an author's journey to publication. Thank you for sharing.

I would love to be entered into the drawing for any of the books except Stealing Jake. I have it on my PC. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Blessings to you all,
Cindy W.


Cindy W. said...

So now that your books have debuted as a Digital First Initiative, is there any talk of putting them in print somewhere down the road?

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Cindy W. said...

Have any of you been signed to multi book contract and if so are they all for ebooks?

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


CandaceCalvert said...

Great chat--loaded with information, journey adventures, wisdom, fun and cyber goodies! I'm thrilled for you all and love that you're part of the Tyndale House family--a great place to be. Congratulations and continued blessings.

Diana Prusik said...

Cindy W., your comments remind me of the song that says, "And when you dream, dream BIG." Print editions, multi-book contracts--the stuff of big dreams, for sure! We've agreed upon a contractual benchmark with Tyndale for possible print editions. No multi-book contract for me--yet. But I DO dream big, so perhaps someday, if it's part of God's plan.

Our most recent visitor Candace Calvert knows all about multi-book contracts, though. Thanks for stopping by, Candace, and congratulations on your new Tyndale series in the works! I love scrubbin' in with Rx Hope!

Elizabeth B. said...

Great inspiring interviews with topnotch authors. Would love to read Stealing Jake and Cash Burn on a Kindle.

Christina said...

Pam, which part of Mississippi are you in? I have family peppered throughout the state.

Lynne Gentry said...

Thanks to everyone for cheering on the Digital First gang. Can't wait to see what doors the Lord is going to open.

Pam Hillman said...

Soups on! Come and get it!

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, this carrot cake is YUMMY!!! Thank you, dear heart!

Cindy W, you're in the drawing.

Candace, so glad you stopped by. Here, have a piece of Ruthy's carrot cake. Your tastebuds will thank you!

Pam Hillman said...

Elizabeth B, got you down!

Christina, if you've got family all over, I could probably shake a stick and hit some of them. lol

Christina said...

LOL! Considering all we ever see in MS is trees you're probably right.

Ashley Roberts said...

needed a break from the paper I'm writing... so thought i'd hop on over to seekerville

Ashley Roberts said...

i really don't like this teacher. if your point of view doesn't mesh with his, he will make your life miserable!

Ashley Roberts said...

i really don't particularly care for any of my classes this semester. Praise God I only have 1 more month until i graduate. now if i can just make it one more month.

Ashley Roberts said...

My tuesday night teacher is the worst. she tells us what we have to read and then she reads it to us in such a monotone. i don't even bother to read for her class anymore. i don't pay attention in her class either because it is so boring.

Ashley Roberts said...

geez! i think that is the longest post that i have written so far on seekerville

Ashley Roberts said...

i want a tablet that is an e-reader also. any thoughts?

CatMom said...

Thank you so much for this visit, Pam and Digital First Initiative Authors! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each author's comments, and (although I don't have an e-reader) it's exciting to read what it's been like to e-publish. ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

Ashley Roberts said...

so I am almost done with my paper when suddenly no more internet connection. NO!!! i need to define a word! My sister disconnected the internet from her phone and used the at&t connection and we got the word. as soon as we got it, internet connection comes back. i really hate internet sometimes.

Jeanne T said...

Thanks for weighing in about conferences. I definitely want to come to ACFW next year. Maybe I'll have the privilege of meeting some of you Digital First authors. :) Thanks for the suggestions of the other ones as well. I'm saving my pennies. :) I am looking for other conferences to maybe attend next year. So thanks!

Loves 2 Read Romance - Laura said...

Very interesting post. I love seeing how the publishing world is changing although I am dragging my feet about getting an e-reader. I will eventually break down but I definitely see the advantages. It was a good point that since an e-book doesn't take up literal room on a shelf it has a longer shelf life. I never thought of it that way. Congrats to all of you and good luck with your next WIP. I am really interested in the modern day Robin Hood and the one with the woman's lively hood being stolen.

Ashley Roberts said...

1 paper down...1 more to go. (sigh).

Ashley Roberts said...

oh the joys of college. (sarcasm)

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, Ashley, you poor thing! I hope you get everything done. And you can hold out for one more month! Yes, you can!

Jeanne T, you'll love ACFW. I'll be there. I guess I'd better. I'm the ACFW Conference Treasurer! lol

Laura, I agree, those stories NEED to be published, don't they?

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Hey Carol,

wonder if your 10 yr. olds would enjoy reading about a K9 Spy??? ;D

Walt Mussell said...

Took me all day to get here, but it was worth it.

I'm a Nook person and, being in the finance industry myself, I will have to check out Michael's book.

Carol Moncado said...

Oooo KC - you know they just might :D. Dunno why that hasn't occurred to me sooner... ;)

Diana Prusik said...

What a great day to hang out in Seekerville! Thanks to the Seekers (especially Pam Hillman) and Yankee-Belle visitors for this wonderful chat about Digital First and the writing world. Maybe one of YOU will win my double Kindle 3G giveaway. How cool would that be?

Ruthy, since you brought extra, I'll take a piece of carrot cake to go. Heap on those raisins, please.

Blessings and happy reading to all! :-)

Natalie Monk said...

Hi Pam and Digital First Initiative team!! (waving) It was so interesting to hear about your speedy journey to publication!

Don't enter me for this one. I have most of these books already. Actually, I think I may have them all on my Kindle for PC.

Oh! I loved reading your asides throughout the interview!! The coffee pot thing had me laughing out loud! I've been wanting to add a little spice to the interviews on my blog and I think you've fueled my creativity today. Thank you!! :)

Aly Logan said...

I don't have a Nook or Kindle... yet! But I borrowed a friend's this summer and fell in love. I would SO love to win one. :)

Thanks for the great post today.
Very informative.


Julie Lessman said...

DIANA!!! Ted Drewe's run??? Oh, honey, don't tempt me!!

I'm already in over my head tonight because my daughter made monster cookies. Sigh.


Janet Kerr said...

Thank you generous authors!

Please enter me in the draw for
Cash Burn by Michael Berrier on Kindle.

Michael Berrier said...

Walt, or any of you other posters, I hope you'll reach out after reading Cash Burn and let me know what you think.

Thanks to all of you for chatting with us today. It's been fun getting to know you.

Please keep in touch.

Michael Berrier said...

Janet, thanks for the contest entry. Good luck in the drawing!

Diana Prusik said...

Julie, whenever you are ready, you know the word: CONCRETE!!! :-)

Peggy Rychwa said...

Thanks for the interviews. I haven't yet spent the money on an ereader - but I'm close.

I think you're on target. I think the age of that little book-sized box that holds thousands of books and magazines is upon us.

Pam Hillman said...

Thanks to all the Friends of Seekerville for making the Digital First authors feel welcome. I think we blew them away with our friendliness.

But it might have been Helen's coffee and Ruthy's carrot cake...

Either way, I think they went away happy, content and full!

Winners of the ebooks will be announced in the WE this weekend so make sure you stop by again and again.

Don't be a stranger now!

Vince said...

Hi Pam & Everyone:

I was at the hospital all day yesterday. My wife had a knee replacement and all is well. I’ll be real busy the next three weeks.

Thanks for all the answers to my book of questions. I’m off again. Thanks to all who offered prayers.


Pam Hillman said...

Ouch, Vince! I didn't know about her surgery. So glad all went well.

Take care of that sweet wife of yours!

Seekerville will be praying for a swift and full recovery.

Wendy said...

I love books and digital would make it so much easier for storage.