Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Sandra here.  Just when I thought I was getting my knowledge of the publishing world all together, it up and changes on us.

So to celebrate our  FIVE year birthday, I'm going to share the five NEW things that I've learned this year about what has been happening in our reader/writer world.

5  5  5  5  5

Don't think this post is just for writers.  You readers are impacted by these changes as well.

As was quoted at the Wrangling For Writing Panel discussion in Tucson two weeks ago,  "The good news is there are no longer gate keepers in the publishing world.  The bad news is there are no longer gate keepers in the publishing world."

Yep,  There's some bad news because who likes change?


We'll discuss the bad news some other post.

I want to focus on the GOOD NEWS.

Its a birthday edition after all.


1.  First big change I've learned about is the Publishing World is becoming driven by the Internet.  Duh. But it wasn't until I attended the three conferences this year that I actually saw, felt, heard and began to fully realize THE CHANGE.

Traditional publishing is dying away.  This was evidenced in the Publisher spotlights at RWA last July in Anaheim.  The focus in previous years was kind of "this is what we are and if you're good enough to join us this is what we'll do for you."  Now the tone is more  "We know you have many choices, but this is what we can do for you so please submit to us."  The only overcrowded spotlight I saw was Montlake of Amazon Publishing spotlight.

The fact of the matter is, traditional publishers aren't really needed anymore to publish a book.

Anyone can publish a book.

This is good and bad.  You can publish but it is up to you to be sure the book is well edited.

The bad news (mainly for readers) is there are no more gate keepers. If you've ever checked, there are some really poorly written books out there on Amazon.  The traditional publishing houses  made sure a book was well written before sending it out to book stores.  Book store owners stocked books that were well written. Those publishing houses that are embracing the change will continue to make sure a book is well revised and edited before putting it out for sale.  I suspect readers will end up learning the names of Publishing Houses and they will know what type of books that publisher publishes so readers can find the type of book they want.

If you subscribe to a publishing house website and newsletter, you will receive many offers for free ebooks and news about upcoming publications.  Because truthfully, the difficult thing about publishing a book online is getting people to know its there.  When readers start figuring out they just need to follow the publisher who publishes the type of books they like, they will again be able to take advantage of the gate keeping quality a publishing house provides. So readers.  Get to know your publishers.  Pick up the books you really like to read and look inside at the title page and find out who published it.  Look up those Publishers online and subscribe to their news feeds.  You will be amazed at the wonderful information and book deals that will be offered.

The good news is there are no more gate keepers because anyone can publish. You don't have to stick to the strict guidelines of each publishing house.  New genres and sub-genres are popping up.  A book can be any length because it doesn't have to fit on a book shelf or in a ready made packing box.  (Did you know that is why most houses have specific word count? Their books have to be a certain size to fit on the shelf and to fit in the packing boxes.)

Publishers that are embracing the change are able to experiment with different sub-genres because it isn't going to cost them a fortune to experiment.  Publishing online and print-on-demand is so cheap. It costs very little.  Your main expense is the book cover and editing.  Before, when traditional publishing houses published a book, they had to print out thousands of copies and eat the loss if the copies didn't sell.  Now there is not that danger if they want to try something new.

The good news is that many traditional publishers are embracing the changes and are offering so many more choices.  They can afford to take chances on untraditional sub-genres. So many authors who didn't have a chance before with traditional publishers now do because it won't cost the traditional publisher much to take a chance on you.

2.  Second new item is the advent of BOUTIQUE PUBLISHERS. This is definitely a new term I learned last weekend.  A boutique publisher is non-traditional and they are popping up everywhere.

Some boutique publishers help a new author publish their own book.  There is a difference between boutique and vanity publishers.  Vanity publishers require you to pay them to publish your book whether print or online. A boutique publisher only asks for a percentage of sales.  They usually help you find a quality editor and artist for book covers. They can also help you format your manuscript. Some offer websites for marketing.

Many well-known authors are now publishing their own books (mainly back-list but some new) on Amazon.com.  So that author makes a huge profit compared to the measly percentage they received from a traditional publisher.

Many agents are becoming boutique publishers by publishing their client's backlist. Because the author has a name already, the marketing issue isn't as difficult as it is for most authors self-publishing their own work online.

So if you have a backlist, be sure and get those rights.  Also when you sign a contract make sure you have at least 40% royalty on e-book rights.  I'm currently with a publicist  (writerspace.com) and they are going to help me publish my backlist.  Those books I published in the eighties can be put back out there.  I'm excited about it too because some of them won awards.

And that is another wonderful thing about the Internet driven publishing.  Books will be out there longer than the traditional six weeks.  I was crushed when I could no longer find my books on the shelf.  It is really cool that they can get back out there.

3. The third big change is the methods for marketing and publicizing new books.

Before in traditional publishing an author had very little control of how much publicity their book received.  Book sales were mainly driven by the distributors until author name and recognition was established.

Now an author, whether traditionally published or self-published needs to do their own marketing. This is good news because an author has complete control of how much or how little publicity they get.  The bad news of course is that it takes a lot of time away from writing to publicize.  It also costs money that the author may or may not have earned yet.

The good news is that with the advent of social media, publicity is much more accessible to the author and often doesn't cost money.  Only time.

Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, Linked In, these are all accessible to all of us.   Blog tours are fun and you Seekerville friends definitely understand the advantage of following blogs. By the way, I'm up for being a guest blogger next month to publicize my new release coming out in December. hint hint hint.

Current of Love
by Sandra Leesmith

There are some precautions one should take in using these social media links which I will address in next month's post, but for the most part, they are a big asset to authors and readers alike.

Readers can utilize author publicity with the social media by subscribing to their newsletters, getting announcements from publishers, and subscribing to publicity sites.

I have signed on with writerspace.com and they offer so many wonderful opportunities for readers by introducing authors, contests with gifts, and announcements of new releases.  I will be featured on October 28th in what they call their Halloween Mash.  You will get a chance to chat online with authors.   I'll also be doing a blog on their post and getting announcements out about my latest publications.  If you want to receive my newsletter and information about me, sign up on my website.  Click on Sandra's October contests.

Julie Lessman's publicist used writerspace.com to announce the debut of Julie's Christmas Novel    Check it out.  Its beautiful.

Light in the Window
by Julie Lessman

4. The fourth big thing about publishing I learned was the importance of reviews.

Before, I always wrote reviews because the authors were my friends and I wanted to show them my support.  But now I have learned that the reviews I write are critical to their placement in Amazon.com which has become the largest distributor of our books.  I had no idea how important reviews were.

I want to thank Vince, Julie, Virginia and Sandy for taking the time to write a review.   You have no idea how much that means to me and to my writing career.  They wrote those on their own. 

I blogged about this last month.  Check out Importance of Reviews for the Reader and the Author more details.

The problem is how do you get people to write a review.  Basically there is no reward in it for them. It does take time--not much time, but still it takes effort.  Paid reviews are frowned upon.  That is why an occasional 1 or 2 star showing up isn't going to hurt you.  It helps Amazon and the public know that your reviews aren't false or paid for. But four and five star reviews are critical to an author's success.

Readers and writers, you need to know that your voice does count.  Your opinion and review can keep your favorite authors in business.

5. The fifth and most important thing I learned is really a life lesson, not just a publishing lesson.

God has a plan and things happen at the perfect time.

Not necessarily what you think is the perfect time.

I was a teacher and in the eighties I needed a break. I was given the break and in that time I published several books.  I was sure becoming an author was God's plan for me.  But no.  Not yet.  The publishing came to a dead halt. He wanted me to finish my teaching.  Which I did.

Then I retired from teaching and thought now is the time for publishing my books.  I wrote many books, honed my craft, met editors and agents.  But still no big movement toward becoming an author.  Hind sight (which is a wonderful thing) has shown me that I had another job to finish before becoming an author.  I was so involved in elder care that I would have been in deep trouble if I'd had contracts to fulfill.  And the sweet thing is, every time a close relative died a book was published.  In a small way. Something I didn't really have to spend too much time on. Kind of like a touch of comfort and reassurance that my plan was still out there.

My last parent passed last June and suddenly the gates have exploded.  Cody the Coyote is set to be published any day now.

Cody the Coyote
The coyote who wanted to be a dog
by Sandy Wardman

And in July, I was notified that my book Current of Love that was contracted by Avalon was now going to be a Montlake Romance by Amazon.com.  And Price of Victory is now in paperback and an ebook. Without the slightest inkling that this would happen I'm all of a sudden plopped in the middle of prime publishing.

This was certainly a God thing because I would never have been able to keep up the pace required for Amazon Publishing before now.  And things are happening way better than I would have ever planned.   So I finally did fully understand that God is and has been and will be in charge all along. my, my, my

Now this of course is my testimony.  Each and every one of you has your own God story. And because God loves diversity, each story is unique and different.  But inspiring just the same.  Don't you love it?

So there you have it.  Five wonderful new things I've learned this year about our crazy but wonderful world of publishing books.

Please comment and share some of the things you have learned or if you have questions I'll try and answer them.  Because its our birthday month I'll be giving away five copies of Price of Victory and the winner's packet will include a surprise Seeker book.  We have been so blessed these past five years with books published, a fun blog and of course the best blessing is all of our Seekerville friends.

We love you.

Happy Birthday to us!  

In our family we celebrate birthdays with pie.  I'm terrible at cakes anyway.  We leave that to Ruthy.  But the pies I bake are to die for.  Learned from my grandma.  So I've spread a table full of homemade pies.  Yep, I was up baking all night.  Since we were in Oregon last month I picked blueberries and blackberries so have pies of each.  This month is hubby's birthday and his favorite pie is sour cherry so have plenty of those.  And what would fall be without apple and pumpkin pies?

So grab some chocolate velvet coffee or a spot of tea and share what things you've learned about the publishing world this year.

Check out our Birthday Prizes


  1. Hi Sandra! This is definitely a great article on publishing. I know that the pub world has been changing but not to the extents you mentioned. I had no idea that publishers had a word count limit due to warehouse storage, that's kind of crazy! I wonder if that's the case with some of my favorite Christian fiction houses because I noticed most of their books tend to be around 320 pages? Hmmmm. Something to think about! Thanks!

  2. I <3 the cover of the new one, Sandra!!! And the first one [that I won last month!] is sitting next to me. I'm so far behind on reviews [like Julie's novella - which is blog touring THIS WEEK!] and I need to spend part of tomorrow night writing them up and getting them scheduled.

    So... new things...

    Janice Thompson has "self-pubbed" a LOT of her backlist in the last year or so. I know a few others who are doing the same - I think Candy Calvert just got rights back to an old[er] series, but don't hold me to that. I love that it makes it easier to get that back list!!!!

    The lack of gate-keepers is both good and bad news - but I'm glad they are still there. I didn't nearly as much before I started writing, but I definitely pay attention to publishers. Some before but definitely now.

    And it's bedtime [I think] so that I can get all I need to done before bed tomorrow night. Like write those reviews ;).


  3. All these changes are a bit frightening for me.

  4. I know a lot of this is good.

    I know it.

    But I still don't react in a totally positive way toward it. I think overwhelming most accurately describes my reaction, especially to the marketins expectations.

    The coffee pot is set.


  5. Wow. Publishing sure is changing. Both frightening and exciting.

    I like the idea of birthday pie. Have you ever had buttermilk pie? My favorite--even though I can't stand buttermilk. ;)

    Thank you for the informative post - and the opportunity to win your book!

  6. HI Sandra,
    I think of you very often, thanks to Percival! My grandson asks for me to read that book every time he visits and sometimes he's barely in the door and he asks to read Percy. He's just turned three and is very fascinated by the drawings, too.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Technology is something I really need to work on. I'm much better off now than I was last year this time, but that area needs improvement. I'm feeling especially vulnerable right now, since my computer crashed and I lost two hard drives over the weekend. That means I have a new operating system now and only part of my computer is working like it used to. Until my dh gets this thing back onto a corrective course, I feel like I'm writing with one eye shut, lol. Trying not be be too stressed. I hope he can fix it. Guess we will see and I have to trust God that this too shall pass!


  7. I forgot to mention...I LOVE the Current of Love cover! :)

  8. Some very tasty pies Sandra! Isn't it wonderful to have traditions that break from the norm. That's what makes a family unique.

    Thanks for the info on publishing. It really helps when someone who has made it to the other side works to guide those of us who haven't made it yet.

  9. Great cover. Great post. I remember I published my first ebook over 15,years. Of course no one else does.

    There little ease to getting it back then. Fast forward and the book has been split into smaller stories and put back into ebook form only now there is better capability to read them.

    So much has changef. We are inundated and that does make it hard to get noticed as s writer. I could use more reviews myself.

    Does having your book mentioned and reviewed on Goodreads help as much as on Amazon?
    Lots to think about.

    Tina P.

  10. Hi Sandra! This is an excellent post! Thanks for clarifying some of the new things about the publishing business! It gives me a greater understanding.

  11. I had to share some of your lines in this post on facebook. I've had this "you need to start paying attention to publisher imprints now" talk with some readers who said, "Why are publishers putting out such junk now for kindle, some of it is terrible."

    They didn't even realize that there was such a thing as ebook self-publishing--it was just leaving them with the impression that publishers were falling down on the job....that she thought this was the publishers' problems kind of scares me that others think the same way.

  12. "I want to thank Vince, Julie, Virginia and Sandy for taking the time to write a review. You have no idea how much that means to me and to my writing career. They wrote those on their own."

    Actually, I had no idea they helped that much until your post. So, thank YOU for the nudge. And it reminds me I have many more to do.

    Loved your God story. So, so, so true!!

    And can I say you have the prettiest covers??

    Can't wait to read the coyote one! The kids' books you sent are huge favorites in this house.

  13. Thank you for your post Sandra. I've noticed an influx of new authors on Amazon and when I do I always check out who the publisher is. I tend to stay away from self publishers unless I have heard of the author before. I do see, as a reader, some of my favorites are self publishing back lists which I appreciate since most of the books have been out of print and I have never read them.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  14. I have to say I have read a few self published books that have not been as good due to glaring errors and lack of good editing and I do tend to go for traditonal publishers for buying books. I tend to not download some of the free ones that are published by publishers I haven't heard of.
    While I don't read alot of reviews for authors I know and I do read them for some books like non fiction or fiction where I am not sure of the author but tend to read the 3 stars reviews as they are often quite informative. Did this recently for a grief book that had lots of 5 stars and then a few 3 stars that seemed to give better info on the book and if it would be good for me.

    Sandra if you want to plug your book and be on my blog I would love to have you.

  15. Great blog, Sandra. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
    Something that hit me as I was reading is that one thing hasn't changed.

    We still have to write the best books we can.

    I also echo what Virginia said about stressing the importance of reviews. I know you blogged about it before but some of us need to be whacked over the head about it. I vow to be more diligent on that.

    And this -
    "Books will be out there longer than the traditional six weeks. I was crushed when I could no longer find my books on the shelf. It is really cool that they can get back out there."

    Great not only for the authors, but for readers too. I think that's my favorite thing about online shopping and eBooks. I can find an author's backlist and indulge myself.

  16. SANDRA!!! YOU HAD ME AT PIE!!!!!!!!!!


    What a great article on what's happened and IS happening in publishing. Sandra, thank you for this honest view of the current choices out there.

    You nailed a lot of pluses and minuses... (why don't we have to double the "s" in pluralizing plus and minus???? Isn't that weird???)

    But mostly, I'm here for the pie. I love pie.

    I could eat pie 24/7/365 and not be ashamed of it, with coffee of course.

    They do not sell PIE at baseball stadiums. Why is that?

    I want to open a pie-sales business and target baseball stadiums. Who wouldn't want a nice, fresh slice of deliciousness in the heat of summer???? The misty cool of spring? The chill of autumn????

    I've noticed one problem with the non-traditional ways of publishing. People hire an editor to "clean up" their work... but it might not be the editor in their best interest. They may not like the editor's edits and negate them. Money wasted.

    The editor may not "get" the author's voice/style.

    Money wasted.

    The author may not be ready to take advice because he/she is so stinkin' good that why on earth do they need an editor??? Clearly, they don't, and so they dump the edits.

    Money wasted.

    Like Sandra pointed out, easy-access publishing doesn't always equate to good reading, but it's an area we all need to explore because there are good books sitting in hard drives.

    They need a "shelf-life", virtual or hard copy, and never before in time has it been this simple to get it out there.

    Sandra, thank you!

  17. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for visiting and sharing this great information.

    It's a little more than my pre-caffeine brain can handle. So I'll copy this and refer back to it frequently as I travel to navigate the waters to being published.

    Your covers are beautiful! I always think that's important to get your book in a reader's hand.

    Thanks again!

    Jackie L.

  18. good morning Sandra and Seekerville. At least I think it's morning. Almost seven o' clock and it's black out there. The pouring rain doesn't help!

    What a great and detailed list. We are really blessed that each of us doesn't have to navigate this publishing world alone. Because it's tough, frightening and ever-changing (that might be the frightening part).

    Look at how it has changed in the lifetime of Seekerville!

    Pie sounds lovely anytime of the day or night and they have not yet created the flavor I didn't like.

    Sandra, your children's book looks adorable!

  19. Sandra,I am so excited about your next book. I am even more excited you shared how God's timing is the perfect timing. Needed that reminder.

    Edits or lack there of. So true. But I also feel cheated by books that are not up to the author's usual standards. I am forgiving of earlier works in an author's backlist. But don't rush something out there as an e-extra without caring about the story. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Fortunately, I know I get quality from folks here, like Mary and Linda's new release. Christmas stories all year long. I could get used to that.

    Peace, Julie

  20. Hi Renee, Yes, the reason for specific word count by each publisher is so that the books fit when they package and so that they fit on bookshelves in the store.

    Think about it? When the larger paperbacks started coming out, it created many problems for bookstores to find a shelf they could stand up in. They had to rearrange their shelving.

    Harlequin sends books out in the mail. They have standard shipping boxes. If one of their books is too thick, it won't fit and trust me they aren't going to make a new box for one new book.

    I was equally fascinated when I found that out. I mean who thinks of that when they are writing a novel? LOL

  21. Hi Carol,

    Yes, the gate keepers are good. Readers just need to know that publishers are the gate keepers and need to get on their lists.

    Pam Hillman's publisher-Tyndale sends me eblasts all the time with great offers. Sometimes free ebooks.

  22. Christina, You are sooooo right. Imagine my terror when I get plopped in the middle of this. LOL

    But change is never always bad. Remember God makes good out of everything.

    And stay close to Him. Its the only way you get through it. smile

  23. Thanks Helen, the coffee is great as always.

    I know what you mean. Trust me, I do.

    But good always comes out of change.

    Pretend you are on a treasure hunt. You will find it. smile

  24. Hi C.E.

    Buttermilk pie. No I've never had it but it sounds YUMMY.

    Thanks for sharing. We'll put it on the table with the others.

  25. Hi Lyndee, I'm so thrilled to hear your grandson loves Percival. He was such a naughty prairie dog. smile

    I so know what you mean about the technology. Most of us wouldn't have a clue of what to do without Tina. She is our gift from God. For sure. smile

    Computer crashes are so scary. My brand new apple airbook is in the store now getting a new keyboard. I'm so praying everything is still on it when I get it back. sigh

  26. Hi Dianna, You wrote "It really helps when someone who has made it to the other side works to guide those of us who haven't made it yet."

    That is exactly why we started Seekerville. We wanted to share the knowledge it took us so long to find out.

    Back in the day so many of the things we talk about were taboo and great big secrets. We believed in sharing and look how many friends we've made because of it. It tickles us no end when we hear we've helped you in some way.

  27. Hi Tina, Reviews on Goodreads are good because it helps readers find you.

    However, Goodreads doesn't sell books do they? Amazon does. So does Barnes and Noble and Christianbooks.com I write reviews on those three sites.

    Amazon is where most people shop for their books now. So reviews with them counts big time.

  28. Hi Kathy, Glad to have helped.

    Writing about it helped me too. Helps to get it in my head.

  29. Hi Sandra,

    Change is constant in the publishing world, isn't it. A writer just thinks they 'get' what they should be doing and surprise!

    Very good and valid points about our ever changing publishing world.

  30. Hi Melissa,

    Yes, it is a scary thought. Readers are going to have to know where to go to "browse" since it is becoming difficult to find bookstores to browse in.

    btw- What they are saying in conferences about bookstores is also interesting. They say that with the death of the big mega stores like Borders which ate up the small independent bookstores, small independent bookstores are going to mushroom. They will come back as specialty stores with designer books, collectors copies, etc. That sounds exciting to me.

  31. Thanks Virginia, You always say the sweetest things.

    I love the coyote story. It was actually the first children's story I wrote. And when I finished it, we were camping and this coyote showed up near our camp and stood there for fifteen minutes and sang to me. He actually pranced a little and sang.

    It was after a very difficult time with one of the sick family members so I figured he was singing a special song just for me.

  32. Hi Cindy W. Yes, I'm with you. I always check for the publisher. I love, love, love that back lists are becoming available.

    I think its great for the author also to have that backlist themselves.

  33. Hi Jenny, I would love to be on your blog. How exciting to be on a blog in Australia. woo hoo

    Did the grief book help? Sure hope so.

    It is astounding how much the grief process helps, but it takes so much out of you. More than you realize.

  34. Mary Curry, YOU ARE SO RIGHT when you say "We still have to write the best books we can."

    That advice from editors and agents has been the one thing that has remained stable throughout all of these years.

  35. Ruthy dearest, I suspect they don't sell pies at baseball stadiums because they would have to supply forks. I mean a good pie is messy to eat with your hands.

    Did you see Big Bang Theory (a television comedy) when they were eating pies in the pie eating contest with no hands. Face in the pie. It looked sooooo yummy. And funny.

    And yes, check editors and preditors before hiring an editor. Ask around and be sure you hire a good one before you venture down that road.

  36. Hi Jackie, Good point about the covers. They have always been important. In fact, usually the biggest expense to getting a book published- traditionally or self-published.

    And just so you know. Its difficult even with caffeine. Trust me, I know. LOL

  37. Hi Debra, Well the good thing about rain is you get a lot of writing done because you aren't tempted to go out and play.

    Well it works that way for me anyway.

    The rain actually sounds inviting. Guess I've lived in the desert too long. smiling

    And yes, it does help immensely to not be alone in this crazy business. Thanks for always being there with us.

  38. Oh Julie S, Don't you just love Christmas stories. I'm so thrilled the Christmas movies are coming back on television. Love it.

    Yes, as Mary C. mentioned earlier. The best thing we can do is write a great book. That means taking all the steps.

  39. Hi Rose, It is frustrating isn't it?

    But that is our world today. The changes in everything are astounding. My brain gets on overload.

    I just love watching young people because they think it is all so exciting. Thank goodness.

  40. Hi Sandra! Great, great article on the changes in publishing. It's all happening so fast, it's hard to believe only a few years ago, traditional publishing was the only way to go!

    I do sadly miss the brick and mortar bookstores which are a huge casualty of this digital age. My city has none. Zippo. Nada. I have to drive at least 30 minutes to find a bookstore. Ultimate bummer.

    BUT, Amazon is right at my fingertips, which too, is a good thing and bad thing if you have any idea how my spending habits run, LOL!

    Congrats on being snapped up as a Montlake author and bigger congrats on the release of Cody the Coyote!

    Yes, dear, all in God's perfect timing...

  41. Audra, Don't despair about the bookstores. As I mentioned to Melissa -- the buzz is that with the demise of the mega stores, the independent bookstores are going to come back.

    I can hardly wait.

  42. Great post, Sandy. I found it interesting when you said traditional publishers are in more of what I would call a state of want. :) More in requesting mode than being quick to say no.

    You're right in that readers will need to become familiar with publishers whose books they like if they want guaranteed quality.

    Thanks for sharing your great insights!

  43. I thought of a new FIVE topic.
    I'd like to do my day over again???


    Can you arrange that?????

    Hello? (tap tap tap) is this thing on???

  44. PS I don't want to take anyone's day. I think Time Travel is a better way to go.


  45. Hi Jeanne, I was shocked at first, then intrigued.
    I mean the spotlights used to be jam packed. And they weren't.
    Very interesting.

    But most are in the process of changing themselves. I'm confident they will still be there as our gate keepers. smile

  46. Okay Mary, Keep us in suspense already.

    What are your new FIVE???????

  47. Hi, Sandra! I'm so happy things are going well for you! So excited about all your upcoming books, both backlist and new! God is so good to us, and even when he says no, it is usually (if not always) a good thing. I know is blessing you because you have been so faithful.

    I am still wondering how all the self-publishing is going to affect traditional publishers and the market overall. I guess it largely remains to be seen, but things have definitely changed and continue to change. It should be interesting!

  48. Mary, you can still do your Five post in November, because Seekerville will still be five years old.

  49. Hi Sandra! That was a lot of information and a lot to think about!

    I love the tip about getting on the publisher's mailing lists. And the reminder to write those reviews!

  50. I'm not telling my five, what'll I write about in my next post.
    Anyway, mentally, it's about done and it's actually seven and I think I've maybe already done a post on it so just FORGET I EVEN MENTIONED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Sandra, the link to your website in the blog didn't work for me. Can you post it here? Thanks :)

  52. Great post, Sandra.
    And such good info!
    (LOVED Julie's book, btw)

    One thing I appreciate about the Internet's involvement in the publishing industry is the 'community' building it does through writers. I love that. That's my favorite part!

    I don't live in an area where writer's groups and Christian authors appear very often - so it creates a way for me to be involved and more knowledgeable.

    But I must say - I still like holding a book in my hands and smelling the pages. Weird in a wacky world of technology, but true all the same :-)

    Your covers to your books are lovely! And (AMEN) God's timing!

  53. I heard once that until the computer, the way of printing really hadn't changed much since Gutenburg. Oh they'd added electricity and sped everything way up, but the basic system was still Gutenburg (b. 1398 - d. 1468).
    So now the computer laying out a paper or book is being supplanted by digital and online news and ebooks.
    So the first printing endured for ... 600 years ... the second syster endured fifty.
    I'm predicting soon we'll all have a computer chip planted in our brain and it'll just flash the knowledge of the book into our brain file of memories.
    We'll also be able to make a phone call by tapping a spot on our temple.

    Great, leaves me more time to lounge in my recliner snacking on Hostess Twinkies.

  54. i have known for some time which publishers had awesome books. And that still holds true, though i do read more books from other publishers now that i review. i love to read, and write reviews when i'm done (hint hint) Word count and pages? yep..i worked in a distribution centre and usually bought books because of how they packaged..not to say we didn't buy the oversized once in a while, but they were a pain.
    And just so you know, i have yet to buy an ebook. i have lots of them, but why pay for something you can't handle? Thanks for a great post, Sandra



  55. Mary. Sweetie. Have you had your coffee yet this morning???????

    I'm going to crack up, laughing. Ooops. Sorry, but you are rather funny this morning.

    Change does that to you doesn't it????

  56. Oh no, Mary.
    What happens if we sneeze?

  57. Thanks Melanie, That means a lot coming from you. I've always admired your own faithfulness over the years.

    I bet the publishers wished they knew even more than we do. They are all scrambling. But that is a good thing. I always thought the old way was rather odd and wasteful.

    I especially didn't like the mega stores impact on sales dictating what type of books would be published. They did the same with movies and music.

  58. Hi Donna, Thanks for letting me know about the website. I will go and try and fix it.

    In the meantime here is another link. The website is actually sandraleesmith.com

  59. Hi Pepper, Yes, the Internet has so many advantages.

    I'm like you. I love to hold a book. And they say books won't die out. There will always be books. Because people do love to hold them, smell them, dribble twinkies all over them.

    But we won't have the waste. I'm talking millions of books printed and then tossed because they didn't sell. The forest is going to love this immensely.

  60. Mary. Pepper has a point.

    I can see another book forming in your head.

    Oh this ought to be good. chuckling.

  61. Hi Marianne, I'll take the hint. I'll send you a book for review. That's a deal.

    Then maybe I can visit your blog. hint hint.

  62. Although, Mary and Sandra - if the books in my head could be transferred into print, that would REALLY help me with my writing time.


    If other things besides my books were transferred into print, though, I'd probably become a hermit. Scary thoughts. :-)

  63. Pepper, you're as bad as Mary.

    You both scare me. LOL

  64. Oops, the pups just woke up. Have to take them for a walk. Will be back shortly.

  65. Oooh, Sandra.
    I'll take that as a COMPLIMENT!! WOOHOOO!!

    Okay - break's over. Back to work!

  66. I'm not sure I like these changes in the publishing world.

  67. Lots of questions from me today.

    First and foremost --what kind of pups? Dog lovers everywhere want details. :-)

    Second -- What is the difference between an agent and a publicist? And do authors need both these days?

  68. Wow, Sandra, I'm thrilled with how God is blessing your wonderful writing in His perfect timing!! You're an inspiration.

    Your post fascinates me. I'm on the fringe when it comes to epublishing. My books are eBooks but I've never dabbled in self-publishing. From what I hear, many authors are finding well-deserved success. Writers work hard. I love it when they get a bigger cut of the eBook Pie. :-)

    Cody the Coyote looks delightful. I'm impressed by the wide range of your writing talent!

    I love pie! I had a slice of the pumpkin with real whipped cream. Yum!


  69. SUPER post, Sandra. SO interesting.

    Just FYI - I still do NOT know what a boutique publisher is. Am I dense? LOL Help?

    And, of course, I'd LOVE to read your book. So toss me in ;)

  70. Wow, Sandra, absolutely fascinating! I spend so much time in my writing cave that some of these industry trends can take me by surprise. Glad Seekerville has writers like you to keep us up to date!

    This whole "gatekeeper/no gatekeeper" thing is definitely something all writers need to take into consideration. I think (hope!) readers will eventually get sick of forking over good money on badly edited books, and that will drive the market back toward the gatekeepers.

    Something else I heard recently is that there are certain publishing professionals who foresee genres fading away over the next few years and that readers will only care if it's a good story--whether you want to call it romance, suspense, or whatever. Considering how hard it is right now to place a book if you don't slap on a genre label, I have to wonder.

  71. Elizabeth AlexandreOctober 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I appreciate your sharing of knowledge on current trends. I also listened to the part when your time to be published is in God's hands. How often I marvel at the twenty-three years I've spent writing, honing my skills, winning zillions of contests, and earning enough rejections to wallpaper the Vatican. My family needs me. Young and old they come first. I know my time lays at God's feet.
    Thank you for suggesting alternatives.

  72. Pepper, that is a compliment. smile.

    Love you both.

  73. Hi Kav, Cody is a Black Labrador retriever. And Suzette is a 10 pound toy poodle. They each have their own web page on my children's website. I'll make some links here.



  74. Anyone else want to chime in to answer Kav's question?

    Agents are basically there to help plan your career and negotiate contracts. They send your work to editors and they are important because editors will look at what an agent sends because they know it has been vetted.

    A publicist helps you market your book after it has already been sold. They have different plans and packages you can choose from depending upon your own abilities.

    Its a tough call as to whether you need one or not. It depends upon your own expertise. I personally wanted help with publicity because I don't feel I can do a good job with it myself. I've seen others do marvelous jobs with it. Julie is a wonderful example. But she can do so many things that I can't.

    An agent helps you get in the door, but with some publishers like Avalon, they had a boiler plate contract and would not make changes so no need to have an agent for them. When you really need an agent is when you are publishing with more than one house. And agents do know contracts so unless you have expertise in that area, it is wise to have an agent.

    Does that help?

  75. Janet, Thank you for all the positive comments. The whipped cream for those pumpkin pies is fresh.

    Don't worry about those ebooks. What you're going to love about them is that your wonderful books will be out there forever. smile

    That is such a joy and especially wonderful because your books are so delicious.

  76. What an encouraging post! So glad to hear about God's faithfulness and perfect timing. Much to think about.

  77. I love all the information you have provided to us today. I never knew some of the great points you shared with us. The covers of your books are wonderful and now they are on my must read list.
    Thanks for sharing

  78. Hi Joanne, A boutique publisher is kind of a term they use to describe people, like agents who are helping others publish their books. They aren't a company really, but just have a name out there.

    For example I have a friend who self published her books. In order for her to list them she needed the name of a publisher so she made up one. Then she helps others who self publish by publishing them for them in her "publisher name". She isn't making money off of them nor selling their books. She is basically helping them publish. So she would be a boutique publisher.

    Writerspace would be called a boutique publisher because they are going to help me publish my backlist. I don't want to do it because I don't know any artist for book covers. They know companies that can scan the books I have so I don't have to retype them.

    In other words they aren't functioning like a regular publisher nor a vanity publisher so they have picked up the term "boutique publisher"

    Anyway that's my take on this. Anyone else want to jump in?

  79. Good question Myra. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  80. Elizabeth, You've got it girlfriend. Keep on listening to HIM.

  81. Hi Elaine and Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing. Yes, the God thing is always amazing. And inspiring.

  82. Sandra, it's so exciting what is going on in publishing.

    And btw LOVE YOUR NEW COVER!!~~~~

  83. An agent sells your works and is responsible for your contract and your rights.

    A publicist does the PR. Blog tours, magazine ads, giveaways, and they make the big bucks because they have contacts that us little folks don't have. They get you on Oprah and Letterman. He he.

  84. Thanks Tina, That helps. Short and concise and to the point.

  85. Thanks Sandra for the reply! I have another comment about changes in publishing. One thing I hate is when I search the ebooks on Amazon and get excited when I see a book with a pretty new cover or title only to find out that it was a re-release of an old book. I really wish all sites would make it clear right in the title line that it was a reprint or reissue. I get all excited about a new book only to be let down LOL!

  86. I'm admitting it up front: I hate change. I'm always the last one to buy new technology.

    Of course, that way someone else has worked out the kinks - and the price is usually lower.

    Change in the publishing world, though? It's inevitable, and it's always been going on, but this time around it's happening faster and is more widespread. Thanks for the analysis and encouragement, Sandra!

    And there's one thing that never changes - we still need to write a good story.

  87. Very informative! I'd heard of boutique publishing, but had no clue what that meant.

    And I think it's wonderful that authors are epublishing backlists. Gives reader's a chance to get a copy of an old favorite or read them for the first time.

    Is that an old time riverboat on the cover of Current of Love? Love it!

  88. Sandra,
    I've learned so much from your blog today. Thanks for the info and the pie. YUM!!! I'm getting a second slice of apple. Shame on me, but I can't resist. You're a wonderful baker.

    Move over, Ruthy! :)

  89. Sandra, you mentioned 40% royalty for e-books. But I've heard agents say they can't get publishers to go above 25%. Granted, it's been a few months since I last heard that. Has that changed? Is 40 the new 25? :)

    It's so cool how you're seeing now what God's been doing all along. Very cool! I just wish we wouldn't have to wait that long to go, "Oh, I get it now."

  90. Oh, SANDRA ... STELLAR POST, my friend, reallly OUTSTANDING!!!

    And I would like to echo what Sandra said about reviews. In fact, not only does Publishers Weekly bear this up, but just yesterday I read a blog that made these statements:

    "It also means that Amazon reviews, which were only mildly significant three years ago, now have a make-or-break impact on an author’s sales."

    Anything less than 4 stars means “NOT RECOMMENDED” to the AMAZON ALGORITHMS. 2 or 3 star reviews are going to hurt the author's sales, no matter how much you rave in the text. Those stars are the primary way a book is judged on AMAZON. Without a 4 or 5 star rating, a book doesn’t get picked up in the Amazon algorithms for things like “also bought” suggestions. Giving 1 or 2 stars to a book that doesn’t have many reviews is taking money out of the author’s pocket, so don’t do it unless you really think the author should take up a new line of work."

    LOL ... I've got a number of 1-, 2- and 3-star reviews that I KNOW the reviewer wishes I would take up another line of work!! ;)



  91. PEPPER!!! BLESS you again, you sweet thing, for your INCREDIBLE review of A Light in the Window -- SOOO appreciate it, my friend!!

    And, CAROL??? You're forgiven, darlin' ... take your time! ;)


  92. Pepper, maybe sneezing would accidently phone 911....or oops ... launch a nuclear missile.

    glitch city!!!!!!!

  93. And you wouldn't have to transfer your book to paper, Pepper. How CAVEMAN is that? good grief.

    No, you'd just tap your head against someone else's head and the file would transfer.
    If you didn't end up with a concussion.

    And then they'd mentally post a nasty review on Amazon by uploading their occipital snark lobe (located near the medulla one-star-longata)

  94. WOW Sandra---great post! (and yes, thank you--I'd love a slice of your blueberry pie--YUM!). ~ Congratulations on your successful writing career--and seeing the cover of Cody the Coyote made me smile. Being a former Kindergarten teacher, I have a deep love of childrens' books (and children too, LOL). ~ I've written down your oh-so-wise words: God has a plan and things happen at the perfect time. ~ Yes, a simple truth but a reminder we (at least I) NEED!! Thank you again for sharing, and please enter me in your book drawing. Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

  95. Oh, Sandy, I forgot to mention this morning. My hubby's favorite birthday dessert is my chocolate truffle pie. I'm leaving some of the decadent (NO low fat version here!) pie to share. Just don't tell my man I made some and gave it all away! ;)

  96. Hi REnee, I"m so with you on that. Also when I'm in a bookstore its the same issue. At least in the book store you can check the copyright date. That is on the back of the title page. I wonder if there is a way online.

  97. Jan Change is tough but you are soooooo right.

    You need to write a good story.

    If you don't have the good story all the rest doesn't matter.

  98. Hi Natalie, Yes the cover is an old time riverboat. And it is just like the one in the story. And hubby and I took a cruise up the Mississippi which is how I thought to write this book. smile

  99. You pretty much covered the things I've learned. The only thing standing in a writer's way today is herself!

    Congratulations on all your new publishing victories. Losing a parent is never easy so I'm glad you've had a few things drop down to brighten your day.

  100. Hi Debby, Good choice on the pie. speaking of pie I'm heading off to lunch with a girlfriend. See you in a bit.

  101. Mary,
    LOL - so the good reviews must be transferred from the Optimism Lobe. Got it!

    And..in the future, I'll try not to sneeze unless I'm prepared to alert the government first. Oh wait...I probably have a neural network that can supply that need before I sneeze.

  102. Sandra you've given us some very helpful information. Change can be so confusing and scary. There's a lot to consider.

    But on a lighter note review books and supporting authors is very rewarding.

  103. Sandra I decided that after reading the 3 star reviews it wasn't the book for me. it was 90 day devotion type book which wasn't what I really wanted right then. I actually found I I was sent a book Words of Comfort for Times of Loss by Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison and hadn't read it all. I was looking for a wrist support, my wrist is in so much pain, and found this book and read it last night and I cried but it was so good as I could Identify with the book and it was actually very helpful. While every one grieves differently it gave insights and I could identify so much from the people saying the wrong thing (in my case a verse about blessed are the dead for they no longer labor that verse really got me at the time.) Also the words how are you. They also had ideas for special occasions and that is one thing I am struggling with, I love Christmas but am dreading the season in many ways. I tend to be doing a lot of walking to get away from it all and to just keep sane as I am still not sleeping much. (last night it was cos of a dr appointment I have today for a few tests which have me a little stressed I may not be scared of drs now but am still scared of tests I have never had before). Am going of for a walk shortly.

  104. Thanks Julie, Great information about reviews. Who would have figured?

    But the publishers are so trying to figure out how to market ebooks. So they came up with this. Who knows what it will all evolve into.

    It will be exciting to find out.

    In the meantime review, review, review

  105. Okay Mary, You have too much time on your imaginative hands. LOL

    You have to come up with something better than tapping heads to transfer files. Maybe a special wink. Or blow a kiss.

    Personally I'm waiting for the "beam me up, Scotty thingy". Sure would save so much time.

  106. Soo good, Sandra, what a well-written post!

    It's definitely food for thoughts... good food for thoughts.

    Glad you found comfort in writing and that God worked it out for you in this industry.

    Man, I'm still learning how important reviews are!! And I'm loving the adventure so far :-)

    Happy birthday to your hubby!
    And thank you for a) the treats b) the 'We Love You' message. Seekerville is really a great place to be, eh? Amen, friend!

    I hope to get more time to follow-up on this month-long bday party!

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! You are so special to me :-)



  107. HI Patti Jo, I'm liking the hugs from Georgia. smile

    I'm an ex kindergarten teacher too. At least my first twenty years were kinder and then I couldn't bend down and tie shoes anymore. LOL

    But they were so fun. Very creative and never boring.
    I think you'd like Cody the Coyote. He thinks he wants to be a dog like he sees in the campground.

    And yes, God's timing is perfect.

  108. Oh Jeanne, I think that chocolate truffle pie would become my hubby's favorite. It sounds delightful.

    Thanks for sharing and shhhhhhhh we won't tell.

  109. HI Patricia. Glad to know someone else is getting the same take on things. Phew. Its a lot isn't it.

    Hang in there.

  110. Pepper you know you're just encouraging her? Oh wait. You too. Yikes.

    I better tone up my optimism lobe. Oh wait, maybe I will need the occipital snark lobe.

    my my

  111. Thanks Jaimie,

    THe way I figure it there is no sense in being scared cause its going to happen anyway.

    It uses less muscles to smile and laughter causes good chemical mixes in your body.

    So we are happy. Right?

  112. Hang in there Jenny. What a great thing that you found the words you needed. And because of a sore wrist. Isn't that a kick?

    Nothing wrong with walking. I find it helps me a lot, especially when I have a problem or when I need ideas for my writing.

  113. Thank you Ganise, Its such fun to celebrate with our Seekerville friends. Makes any party five times more fun.

    You are special to us also.

  114. Hey folks, Be sure and check the weekend edition for winners. We still have some that haven't claimed their prizes from last week.

  115. Hi Sandra:

    I just read your September post on reviews! I was at the condo in Orange Beach when it ran and missed it. I love posts on reviews. : ) So I was doubly rewarded for reading your post today.

    This post about five changes in the industry is outstanding. I wish you could have had 20 changes. (Maybe on the 20th Birthday party.)

    There is one change I’d really like to see and that is the reclassification of books that were originally released in the wrong category.

    “The Bossy Bridegroom” would best be released as women’s fiction in the same vein as Elizabeth Berg’s “Talk Before Sleep”. Also, Janet Tronstad’s “Sisterhood of the Dropped Stitches” quartet seems totally out of place as a Love Inspired romance. It is clearly a YA and a perfect book to read while having long hours of chemotherapy. There is a crying need for books like the “Sisterhood” and I don’t think it was even noticed by the best prospects for this series. These books need a second life to be made known to those readers who would most enjoy them.

    You wrote:

    “The problem is how do you get people to write a review. Basically there is no reward in it for them.”

    The word “review” scares a lot of readers. They think of the hated book reviews they had to do in school. They should be called “How I Liked It” comments and not reviews. Perhaps authors could work on this.

    There is a real reward for writing a serious literary type review. If you are reading a book with a literary review in mind, then you will learn a lot about writing that can help your own writing. I review books deeply as a way to teach myself how to write.

    I think the key to a deep review is looking for something that the author does better than anyone else. Usually an author, good enough to be published by a traditional publisher, will be doing something exceptionally well. I like to zero in on that element and point it out for the reader.

    In your book, “Price of Victory” the conflict was very different. There was a great deal of spiritual wisdom that I have not seen very often in romances. I don’t think a young author could have written this book. There was also an unselfish and uncompetitive offering of love to the heroine which I think she found hard to understand. (She thought she had to do something to earn love because of her life experiences) This nearly unconditional love was a nice touch in a book about competitive professional racing. Another thing, I can remember this book like I read it yesterday.

    “Autumn Rains” was also so unique and so challenging in its topics that I could write pages about it. I knew it was a winner from the first chapter. “The Colonel’s Daughter” is one of the most authentic military romances I’ve ever read. I learned things about the military I didn’t know and I was a military policeman somewhat like the hero. (I’m working on the review now.)

    I think that a reviewer should point out what is best about the book. Then flag those things so other readers, who also like what is best about the book, will know that this is a book they should read.

    Another way to benefit from a simple review is in letting the author know what you liked. Reviews can help an author’s career and thus insure more books of the type the reviewer liked. Maybe if a favorite author sells enough books she can give up her day job and write twice as many books a year! (I’m thinking of Tina here. :)

    I think it might help if Seekerville the Town offered a section on “How to Easily Write a ‘How I Liked It” Review in 10 Minutes or Less”. In your own words, simply answer any of the below questions. List the questions and provide a few generic reviews based on those questions. It only takes a few minutes.

    As they say: “God helps those who help themselves.”

    Great post! Be sure to tell us more about coming changes in the future.


  116. Thanks Sandra still haven't found the wrist support. I am doing so much more walking since mum passed away. I am feeling fitter and it really helps. Maybe I need to mention the wrist to the dr today. its always a little fragile I would say but I did something yesterday that has it flaring today. even just typing hurts after awhile.
    I have learnt its a process and like ocean waves that come and go. just going past the nursing home got me thinking 8 weeks ago I heard the news. I keep thinking its all a dream and mum still here. I know shes not but it just doesn't seem real if that makes sense. I know you probably know what I mean.

  117. a great posting...thanks for sharing ;)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  118. Yikes! I feel like I'm always two steps behind technology and the publishing world.

    I'm clinging to your words of wisdom about God's timing and I'll figure it out as I go.

    Thanks, Sandra.

    Best of luck with your new releases!


  119. Thanks for the pup links. Princess School...snort...I had a dog who like that and right now my Simba could chase squirrel circles around your lab. LOL.

    And thanks for explaining the difference between agent and publicist. I learn something new every time I come here. :-)

  120. Sandra, I hadn't heard the term 'boutique publishers'. As someone unpublished in romance (who would like to be published in romance) I'm jazzed about the changes and opportunities you mentioned. I particularly like the broadening of genres and the ability to experiment -- see what sells and what doesn't -- without huge financial loses.

    As a writer, one of the many things I learned about publishing this year is that when a publisher goes bankrupt it can impact a writer in many, many ways ... including tying up a manuscript so it can't be submitted to other publishers.

    As a reader, I learned from a publisher's email how incredibly easy it is to download ebooks. I also learned that anyone who can afford to do so can be published, so quality is iffy at times. Word of mouth from other readers, though, is helping me steer clear of poorly-produced self-published books -- just as word of mouth has steered me toward terrific self-pubbed books :-)

    I've also learned, as a writer, that I'll never quit learning.

    Thanks for an informative post!

    Nancy C

  121. Ahhh Vince, You are such a charmer. Love it. Thanks again for the insight into Price of Victory. And I agree with you about Autumn Rains and The Colonel's Daughter.

    The great thing about ebooks is the second chance some of these books are going to get. Maybe the YA market will find Janet Tronsted. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?

    So Vince. Do you want to do the post on how to write a review? Let me know and I'll schedule it. smile

  122. Yes Jenny, I know exactly what you're talking about.

    And I also know that for a couple weeks after a death everyone is there for you and then afterwards--like now--no one wants to talk about it because they don't know what to say or don't want to make you feel badly.

    Its very strange to me, but I'm glad you're talking and walking. It speeds up the healing process.

  123. Yep Susan, Clinging to His word is the best thing to do. smile

  124. Oh Kav, I bet my Lab would love chasing those squirrels with your Simba. I can just picture the two of them stirring up those fall leaves. chuckling

  125. Hi Nancy, I suspect we'll always be learning something new in this business. smile Good thing writers are curious.

    Sorry to hear your manuscript is tied up. HOpe that gets resolved soon.

    Keep hanging in there an write. You'll have another before you know it. And one day that manuscript will be free. When its the right time also.

  126. Congrats on all your success, Sandra! And thank you for the wonderful post. It's a very exciting time to be a writer right now for sure...You are so right that God has a plan for all of us. He wouldn't have given us such an intense desire to write if He wasn't going to use it for His good, in His time. Your new books look great--Love the covers :)

  127. Thanks for keeping us up to date, Sandra! And congratulations on all your success!!! I totally agree with you, when someone posts a review about my book, I love them for it!!! Although, I never knew how important those reviews actually were.

  128. Great post, Sandra! I learned so much. Publishing certainly has changed so much during the last few years and it's hard to keep up!

  129. Hi Annie, You're so right. It is an exciting time. And yes, God does have a plan for each and every one of us and each one is so different. That always amazes me.

  130. Hi Eva Maria, It surprised me about the importance of the reviews also. But it makes sense. Amazon has all the data. They might as well be using it.

  131. Hi Cara Mia, I have your book A PATH TOWARD LOVE to read next. Can hardly wait. Hugs

  132. Sandra Leesmith said...

    Sorry to hear your manuscript is tied up. HOpe that gets resolved soon.


    I should have explained better. The writer in me learned through a friend's experience what happens when a publisher goes bankrupt after the writer has signed a contract. She said that, in hindsight, there were all kinds of red flags she should have heeded ... but we all know about hindsight :-) I am sorry for what she has gone through, but I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained because of her experience.

    Nancy C

  133. Julie, that's really interesting about the stars.

    I would give four stars if I liked something but wouldn't buy it for a gift. Now I better give five.

    I'll save the four stars for ones I don't really like.


  134. oh boy, i love seekerville. you all get me thinking about things i wouldn't otherwise know to consider. thanks for sharing this post.

    by the way, i'll have some of that cherry pie...yum

  135. Great post! I learned a lot..as a reader. Would love to read your book so please put my name in the hat! Thanks.
    Jackie S.

  136. Oh Nancy, I'm soooo glad that it wasn't your manuscript. But it is good to learn from others.

  137. Star inflation.

    You are tooooo funny Virginia.

  138. Hi Deb H. It is amazing how much there is to know. What is amazing is how any of us get published.

    Glad you joined us Jackie S.

  139. Sandra--I'm sorry I missed today's party! Fabulous, informative post, and your testimony on God's perfect timing is such a wonderful reminder to us all!

    By the way, the low temperature here in the High Country will be 21 on Thursday night. Do we REALLY live in the same state??? :)

  140. thanks Sandra thats just it but for me they stopped phoning etc the day of the funeral but I do have people I can talk to and at the dr today I saw one of the carers mum loved and we cold talk about her. She is missed and was loved.
    I am late for class but had to check in. I am also trying to work out what I have done with $500. I cant recall and its got me worried.

  141. Thanks Sandra! If I'm at the store I do tend to check the copyright but it's a bit harder to do on the Kindle since a lot of the re-issued books in the storefront give the new date it was published. I guess the only thing to do is look at the reader reviews and if some were published 8 or 9 years ago it was a reprint. :-)

  142. Hi Glynna, It always is a sharp contrast when you view Northern Arizona versus Southern and Central. Its gorgeous in the valley now. But you are brrrrrry cold at night.

    Pass the hot chocolate.

  143. Jenny your mom was blessed to have you as a daughter.

    Prayers for finding your money.

  144. Hi Renee, There should be a way to find out. I will ask around.

  145. Another great article that I have to file away under "when I get there." I hope I'm ready for the change when it hits.

  146. Hey Walt, You'll be ready. Look how far you've come already.

  147. VIRGINIA SAID: "I'll save the four stars for ones I don't really like.


    LOL!!! Well, maybe we don't have to go THAT far, I suppose, but when you get published, my friend -- and you will -- I think you'll agree we all need to err on the side of the author since this is NOT an easy business.

    I have a DEAR friend who is absolutely one of my TOP FAVE authors, and I saw where she got a 1-star review from a reader who LOVED all her other books. I was STUNNED that this person would give my friend a 1-star review because this book didn't measure up and she wanted my friend to know that. How cruel and arrogant can you get??? So let's slam the woman's rating to smithereens because she wrote one book out of ten that "didn't measure" up in one person's opinion. I'm sorry, I just don't get it. Yes, we are called to be honest, but love trumps everything, and I think a 3-star would have stated her point nicely without wounding a sister in Christ.

    Ooops ... guess I got on my soapbox there, didn't I??? This is NOT directed at you, Virginia, trust me, but all those "righteous" 1-star reviewers who have no clue how deeply their' words -- and their reviews -- can hurt.


  148. Everyone can publish, but as a reader I still need the quality to be there.

  149. Sandra,

    Great post on the industry changes. It's amazing how much has changed just in the last 5 years!!!

    I'm just starting a review section on my blog for this very reason - I read so much and I love promoting books that I love!

    (I obviously love exclamation marks, too!)

    Although number 5 isn't really a new thing, is it? I just have to be reminded again and again!

    Really loved this post and your take on it. Thanks to all you Seekers for 5 great years!


  150. I'm arriving late.

    Did I say, "Late"? I meant, "Right on time"!

    I woke up this morning worrying about balancing my current writing projects, starting a website, publicizing my self-pubbed Kindle book, carrying out my part-time job duties, AND taking care of my elderly/ill parents. It's like juggling a dozen eggs and a chain saw!

    Thanks for writing what I needed to read. <3


  151. Excellent info Sandra.
    Thank you.
    I didn't really realize the importance of reviews either, so appreciate that info.

    And wow, did I need to prod to yet again, let God work in His timing.

    Congrats on Cody the Coyote! LOVE that artwork too! He and May could share some adventures for sure. :)

  152. Hi there, I'm getting back to all you latecomers. So glad you made it.

    KC Cody would love you. yeowza

  153. Linda, Great going on remembering HIM. I've so been where you are at. Hang in there. Find time to be still and listen. It helps tremendously.

  154. Becky, Good idea to start a review blog. I bet it will be helpful in this new publishing world. Readers need to know.

  155. Mary you are so right. The quality does need to be there.

  156. So true Julie. Love your soapbox. Matches mine. LOL

  157. Hi Sandra,
    I appreciate all the information you put together on publishing.

  158. I so enjoyed reading your post - especially the fifth thing! :) "The bad news (mainly for readers) is there are no more gate keepers." I agree - I have come across some poorly edited books on Amazon where the errors in word usage, spelling and grammar disrupted the flow of a good story. Thanks for the tip to subscribe to the newsletters of publishers who publish the type of books I like! I hadn't thought to do that!

    jswaks at gmail dot com

  159. HI Janet, There is so much to know isn't there? Its mind-boggling sometimes.

  160. HI Jes, You'll be delighted with the info and offers you receive.

  161. Sandra - just found out that I won one of the drawings for this post. I'm thrilled about winning, but I want you to know that this was one of my favorite posts last week. I felt encouraged and motivated by what you shared.

    Thanks for sharing and may the Lord continue to bless your words.