Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Navigating the Unpredictable Sea of Publishing

 with Guest Connie Mann




I’m delighted to be back at Seekerville and hope to offer some encouragement, no matter where you are in your writing career.  (I’m a USCG-licensed boat captain in my non-writing life, so I hope you won’t mind the nautical terms.)

Over the years, whenever I’ve asked publishing veterans about the industry, they’ve all said essentially the same thing: publishing is hard--it’s always been hard.

I don’t doubt it, but it seems today, it’s a different kind of hard.

Publishing used to be more predictable. There was the occasional unexpected squall, of course, but authors sailed down fairly predictable routes.

That seems to have changed. Radically. Now we paddle like crazy on stormy seas of uncertainty, with nary a break on the horizon. It’s enough to make a writer seasick.

With the explosion of indie publishing, authors have more avenues to get their books into the hands of readers than ever before. Which is wonderful and amazing and not to be discounted. But like most good things, there is a tradeoff, as going the indie route has its own challenges.  At the same time, there are less options for traditional publishing. Houses have merged and streamlined and too often, have closed lines entirely, as with the recent announcement from Harlequin. That kind of unexpected wave can toss a writer into icy, uncharted depths, flailing about for solid ground.

If your career and plans have been swamped by a rogue wave, know that you are not alone. Ask any writer who’s been around a while, and they’ll tell you stories. I’ve been there, too, several times. I’ve weathered two line closures and two different contracts that suddenly sank, and it’s scary, discouraging stuff. To make matters worse, while I was struggling to get back into the boat, the doubt gremlins were standing on shore, taunting me with all manner of lies--instead of throwing me a life ring, the dirty rotten scoundrels.

Here are a few of the navigation beacons I cling to when this crazy business tosses me around.




Trust the lighthouse

The Great Creator stands as solid and unmovable as a lighthouse on a rocky cliff. Even when it’s stormy, the lighthouse stands. It doesn’t move, hasn’t stopped lighting our way.

It’s a huge comfort to know that God’s love for us never changes, either, even on days we don’t feel it, or don’t feel anything at all. One of my favorite verses is this one:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Just because things feel out of our control, they are never out of His.


Set a new course if necessary

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, but expecting different results.

The market is changing faster than most of us can keep up with. What sold last year isn’t selling this year. What worked in promotion six months ago, isn’t working now. It’s enough to make me want to climb into bed and pull the covers over my head.

But that won’t help. Take time to evaluate what you’re doing. If the current path isn’t getting you anything but gray hair, maybe it’s time to try something new, in big and small ways.

Take the helm

As much as I would love it if God sent me an email every day, outlining exactly what I should do, it hasn’t happened yet. So I have to make decisions and choices—and so do you. The harsh reality is that God can’t steer your ship if you’re up on dry land. You have to take action, leave the shore and take risks, try things. And above all, write. You can’t sell what you haven’t written.




Keep an Eye on the Sky

Publishing—and life itself—is all about change. If you’re in a really good place right now, enjoy every single minute to the fullest. Because inevitably, another storm will blow in. That’s life.  

But the good news is that the reverse is also true. When the storm is really bad, hold tight, because it won’t be like this forever, either. Promise.

Grab a life ring

I’m not telling any of you anything new, but sometimes, we need to be reminded of it. And we need connection. I’ve had some unexpected, deep conversations with fellow writers recently, ones that went all the way down to the hard stuff, the scary stuff. It was such a huge relief to know I wasn’t the only one going through these things. Talk to your writer friends. They can understand and encourage in ways no one else can. Feel free to contact me, too. I will be cheering you on.

Stay the course, friends. Together, we’ve got this.


What about you? I’d love to hear how you stay afloat when publishing gets stormy.

GIVEAWAY! Let us know if you'd like to be entered for a print copy of Hidden Threat from Connie. (E-book outside US)




She’ll uncover who’s poisoning her hometown—at any cost.

An environmental crisis is the last thing clean-water crusader Eve Jackson expected in her hometown. She’s used to taking on powerful DC politicians in her fight, but when a baby in Safe Harbor, Florida, shows mysterious signs of possible poisoning, the danger hits painfully close to home, stirring memories of her own mother’s death.

Eve’s search leads her to the Sutton Ranch, now run by her high school crush, Cole. Focused on keeping the family ranch afloat as a series of deformed calves are born to his herd, Cole has no time for Eve’s crusade. But as her unwelcome questioning ostracizes her from locals, Cole’s irritation turns to intrigue—not only about the source of the poisoned water but also the tenacious, loyal, and passionate woman determined to help.

As Eve digs deeper into Cole’s operation, she sees her suspicions in Sutton Ranch may be misplaced. Yet she can’t shake the feeling that his ranch, and perhaps his past, hold the answers she seeks. When the sabotage escalates, the two must work together to uncover the culprit—if they can survive the investigation.



Bio:

Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and the author of romantic suspense novels Tangled Lies, Angel Falls and Trapped. Her latest novel, HiddenThreat, (book 2 of the Safe Harbor series) is now available from Waterfall Press. When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on Central Florida’s waterways, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She’s also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle. She and her hubby love traveling and spending time on the water with their grown children and extended family. (Hubby says they are good at fishing, but lousy at catching.) Visit Connie online at www.conniemann.com


141 comments :

  1. Great advice, Connie.
    I've only done indie publishing with the Seekers. So I've STILL never struck out on my own. But it could happen someday.
    I allow myself to hesitate and doubt and just embrace inaction! Shame on me.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary. I think we ALL struggle with hesitation, doubt and inaction, and it can be a relief just to realize that. Just knowing others struggle too helps me take action. It gives me courage to step out.

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  2. Welcome back to Seekerville, Connie!!

    What timely advice amidst all the SKY IS FALLING chatter around us.

    Our eyes should remain on the prize and that prize is Him. Period.

    He knows my needs, my wants, my dreams and my secrets.

    Thanks for this reminder.

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    1. I'm so glad it encouraged you, Tina. I agree, it is very hard to stay focused and looking ahead with all the publishing storms around us! He does indeed know all about us!

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  3. Connie, I love this post! Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. I just need to keep reciting it to myself and make sure I do my part in this writing business. Then trust God to handle the rest. And He has blessed me so much, I need to remember that.

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    1. And please, enter me in the drawing. I'm excited to read Hidden Threat.

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    2. It's my very favorite verse! So, I'm with you Terri.

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    3. Terri and Missy, I love that verse. It is a great comfort. Terri, sometimes I actually write two lists: what's mine to do, and what's God's to do/handle. It helps me focus. :)

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    4. Terri -- I've had that verse framed and on my desk for almost 20 years, too--since the time when I was at a crossroads with a health crisis and subsequently my writerly dreams were sinking like a rock. Now here I am working on my 14th contracted book. God is faithful!

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    5. Glynna-what a beautiful touchstone and way to look back and see where God has brought you! :)

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  4. Connie, we're so glad you're back with us! Great post.

    I loved this quote: "As much as I would love it if God sent me an email every day, outlining exactly what I should do, it hasn’t happened yet."

    Oh my goodness, how badly I've wanted this! I sometimes freeze in inaction because I just don't know what to work on next. I get overwhelmed. But I need to just take action. And if I make a mistake, well, then I made a mistake. The world will keep spinning. :)

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    1. Thanks for having me back, Missy! I'm delighted to be here. That freezing in indecision is a feeling I know well--fighting it right now, as a matter of fact. Here's to taking that first step!

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  5. Good morning, Connie!

    Your background is so intriguing. I'm sure it gives your writing a fresh and unique edge. I loved your nautical theme and inspirational message this morning. Isn't it amazing that no matter what happens in this business, God has our backs? We have a leg up no matter what the world throws at us. Thank you for reminding us of that today. It's been an interesting week in the publishing business, for sure.

    ~ Renee

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    1. I'm glad it encouraged you, Renee. We are not alone in this crazy sea, and that always gives me courage. I love being a boat captain--it always feeds my creativity. :) Have a wonderful day!

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    2. I agree, Renee! Her career is so interesting. I wish I could be on one of Connie's boats sometime!

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    3. Wish I could take you, Missy! That would be great fun!

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  6. Welcome, Connie! What an exciting job you have with the USCG. I'll bet no two days are the same.
    No matter what happens in the publishing industry, I'll keep writing...it's what I love.
    Thanks for visiting Seekerville today!

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    1. Hi Jill-I love my job working with our local school board, taking 5th graders out on the Silver River! It's great fun! I love your attitude--keep writing and enjoying every word!

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    2. Jill, I've sometimes wondered if I would keep writing if everything else fell through. I think I probably would, just for fun. :)

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  7. Great advice. It's very difficult and, staying with the theme,I'll add, "just keep swimming". (Good thing I have a life jacket because I'm a lousy swimmer.)

    Thank you Connie!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! You're right - Just keep swimming! Love it!

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  8. Good morning, Seekerville! I'm delighted to be back. I've got my extra-large coffee in hand and look forward to spending the day with you lovely people.

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    1. Connie, I'm enjoying my coffee this morning as well. We're glad you're here!

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    2. Thanks, Missy! So glad to be here!

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  9. Good morning, Connie.

    This is such a wonderful post. I love new ways of thinking of tings and is struck me.
    "The Great Creator stands as solid and unmovable as a lighthouse on a rocky cliff. Even when it’s stormy, the lighthouse stands. It doesn’t move, hasn’t stopped lighting our way."

    For someone who has always had a thing for lighthouses, this was a striking description.

    Best of luck to you in navigating the rocky shoals.

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    1. Ugh. Things and this. Not tings and is.

      Funny that autocorrect tried to correct my spelling THIS time.

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    2. LOL don't you LOVE autocorrect? I've always had a thing for lighthouses, too! Thanks for encouraging me, as we navigate these crazy seas together. :)

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    3. Mary Cate, it drives me crazy that we can't go back and edit our comments! I have typos all the time because I type too quickly and don't always recheck.

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  10. Hi Connie,
    Thanks for starting my day well with your great post, it's very encouraging. I really liked "Keep writing. You can't sell what you haven't written." I'm jumping into book two while in the middle of a move so this is a perfect reminder. How have you slowed down the sweet moments and savored them when you're in the midst of great change? I want to be intentional with my growing boys and writing moments, and family priorities even in the midst of uncertainty and new beginnings.

    Hi to everyone here, too!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, great question. My firm belief has always been, family first, so during my children's growing up years, I didn't write as much as I do now. It was a conscious decision, as I didn't want them to grow up with no memories except the back of my head hunched over a computer. :) I usually wrote early, before they woke up. The fact that you're thinking this through is awesome! Knowing what your priorities are helps you live by them and allocate time to the most important things. The push-pull of urgent (moving) vs important (family, writing) is a hard place to be. Cheering you on as you navigate all your new beginnings! :)

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    2. Elizabeth, we moved last summer. It was very difficult. I have to say I pretty much quit writing. But I also had a lot going on with health issues in my extended family. So it took months for me to get back into writing regularly--into even being able to focus. I wish I had handled it better, but it is what it is. And I've felt God's hand in the pause.

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    3. Thank you both! Yes I live on the west coast so it's very early in the morning right now, the best writing time for me too. Thanks for the whisper of grace Missy in the times of change. Sorry to hear of your health issues which I know can take over everything for a season. Hoping you're doing better now. Diving off the deep end of change requires us to be "all in" with the Lord and His ability to navigate for us at times. But writing is a special, movable anchor for me and I'm going to try and keep it up during this season.

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    4. Elizabeth, I'm thankful my health has been fine. It's the health of some extended family members that I was talking about.

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  11. HA! Today's Jesus Calling: "Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive."

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    1. Oooh, LOVE it! Going to use that this morning to beat back the will-the-new-book-sell-well worry. :)

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    2. Oh, Tina! I bet you thought of me as you read that!! (She knows what a worrier and control freak I am.)

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    3. Nah, I'm egocentric. I thought he was talking to me. hehehehe

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    4. Love Jesus Calling. And I often think, "Thank God I'ma not in charge!" What a relief to know he has us in the palm of his mighty hand.

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    5. The beauty of a great devotional--we ALL thought it was just for us! :)

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    6. Tina, thanks much for sharing that devotional wisdom!!

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  12. Hi Connie, glad to have you back in Seekerville. You do many wonderful things in life...good for you! And you write delightful stories.

    I'm intrigued about your small town and what's contaminating the water! Great blurb! You hooked me, for sure!

    Love your nautical references in today's blog post. I can see and smell the water. Sometimes navigating the seas of publication can be tricky as you mentioned. No one--except God--knows the future, and of course, he allows us to chart our own course. I keep praying I'm on the path He's chosen.

    Hugs!

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    1. Debby, I, too, often pray I'm on the path He has chosen!

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    2. Thanks for the warm welcome, Debby! I am so grateful for the opportunities I've been given, like being a boat captain. It's great fun and fuels my creativity. Glad you are intrigued by the blurb for HIDDEN THREAT! Like you--and Missy--I keep praying I'm on the right path. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

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  13. I'm going to be out for a few hours this morning. Y'all be sure to show our guest a good time! :) I'll see you again around lunch time. I may even bring something good to eat!

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    1. Ooh, how about chips and salsa--though you'll probably need an extra large bag. I can't stop once I start! There is no off switch! :)

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    2. Connie, I'm the same way with chips and salsa!

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  14. Hi Connie - I love small town stories because I live in one. Can't wait to read Hidden Threat! As an unpublished writer, dare I say the recent changes in publishing have made it even more difficult if not mostly impossible for the new author to become traditionally published. But - all things are possible with God and he is where my hopes cling. Being published is not the most important thing to me - obeying His calling is. So enough preaching. . . a licensed boat captain? That is so cool. Do you get to boss people around about hoisting the sail and stuff? (Hey, I'm from Kansas - not a lot of boating going on here)

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    1. Hi Cindy, I hope you'll let me know what you think of Eve and Cole's story! I love your attitude! It's always about doing our best and leaving the results in God's hands (that's the part I often get mixed up!). So, I love being a boat captain. Usually I take 5th graders out on a river on a big pontoon boat--up to 24 kids at a time. I make sure they all know up front that the captain is the "Boss of the boat" so we have a great time! :)

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    2. Cindy, yes, all things are possible. I keep telling myself that!

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  15. CONNIE, thank you for the timely advice. I do love your nautical memes. I grew up in a small Texas Gulf Coast town.

    I brought chocolate chip pancakes to share.

    Please enter me in the drawing for a copy of Hidden Threat.

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    1. Ooh, your pancakes are yummy! Thank you! I can't take credit for the memes on this post (that was the lovely Seekerville ladies) but I do post lots of nautical pics on Instagram and my FB profile, if you'd like to follow me. (CaptConnieMann on Instagram). I haven't been to the Texas gulf coast, but hope to someday!

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    2. Caryl, whereabouts in Texas? As a lifelong Texan, up until the last 11 years, anyway, I miss the Gulf Coast!

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    3. I've never seen the Texas Gulf either. But I love the Gulf Coast in FL and AL! Have never lived there but love to visit for vacation.

      BTW, I made the memes on Canva if anyone is looking for the same photos.

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    4. MYRA, I grew up in High Island near Galveston. I currently reside in Wharton, which is about 1.5 hours South of Houston.

      The beaches in Florida are much nicer than the Texas Gulf.

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  16. Thank you for the encouraging reminder, Connie!

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  17. Well, Connie, this hit home. I recently completed a revise-and-resubmit and got an e-mail from the editorial staff person this morning. They want me to tweak it some more. Fortunately their suggestion doesn't mess with the core of the story, they would just rather I didn't kill off two minor characters of whom the acquiring editor has become rather fond. I'm thrilled that somebody likes my minor characters that much! Must be doing something right. Back to Connie, yes, you're right, we need to be able to turn on a dime, or less than a dime. I could ONLY do this for Jesus.
    Got to earn my daily bread before two days in Boston, may be back later.
    Kathy Bailey
    Revising and resubmitting in New Hampshire

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    1. Hooray for a revise and submit request! I've heard from too many editors that writers often DON'T take that opportunity. So cheering you on to get R done! Go, Kaybee!

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    2. Kathy Bailey!! That's how I sold my first book to LI!!! A big revision and then a tweak!! Keep up the great work!

      Enjoy Boston!

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  18. Well I guess I can do minor characters. Now I just need to learn to do the H and H. :)
    Kathy Bailey
    Undaunted in New Hampshire

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    1. You can SO do this! The editor wants it back, so keep going, Undaunted! :)

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  19. Welcome, Connie! This is just chockfull of encouragement and timely advice. Just when we think we've got this publishing business figured out, everything changes. If we don't go with the flow, we're sunk!

    Thanking God for my Seekerville crew and the many life preservers they've tossed my way. You are so right about how much scarier it would be if we were navigating these waters alone!

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    1. Hi Myra, Right? Just when we think we've got a handle on this crazy business...wham! We have to keep riding those waves, seasick or not. I'm so glad you've had this awesome crew to toss out those life preservers. We need them! :)

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    2. I second how wonderful it is to have friends to help!

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  20. Connie, it's me again, Jer. 29:11 is my Life Verse. Without it not too much makes sense.
    Please enter me in drawing.
    Thanks,
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Great verse, isn't it? :) Happy to enter you in the drawing. (Now get back to editing LOL!)

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  21. Hi, Connie!
    Great advice! And I love the nautical theme...and the Gilligan's Island song is running through my head now. :)

    I've only been writing for a few years, but I worked at the edges of the publishing world off and on before that. The one thing I've learned is just what you said - nothing ever stays the same.

    I write Amish fiction, and it may seem like it's been around forever, the end will come - or the downturn will come. I'm preparing myself for that day by having a couple different story ideas waiting in the wings. So when/if my agent ever says, "They don't want Amish anymore, but they want to know if you have anything else," I can say "Yes!"

    Or if they just drop me, I have something to help me strike out into the indie world.

    But you know the key - God is in charge of this whole thing, not us. And I'm so glad He is!

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    1. Hi Jan, now you've done it! I'll have the Gilligan's Island song in my head all. Day. Long. :) I love that you are enjoying this season, but also have ideas/projects in the wings if God changes your course. Great way to approach things.

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    2. Jan, that's so smart to stay flexible and prepared!

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  22. Connie, the other thing this post reminds me of is that we need to let Jesus be the captain not only in writing, but in life. There's an old hymn I love, "I've anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest, I'll sail the wide seas no more, the tempest may creep o'er the wild stormy deep, in Jesus I'm safe evermore." What a great metaphor.
    I'm really going now...
    Talk to you later,
    KB

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    1. Lovely reminder of a great old hymn! Thank you. Happy editing/writing!

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  23. I know I am not quite at the stage of being ready to publish but that of course is my goal. I've been keeping an eye on the situation so when I get there I will know what to do and won't be shocked. In the mean time I trust the Lord and leave it all in His hands.

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    1. I forgot to mention, I would love a copy of your book.

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    2. Hi Wilani, that's the right approach, no matter where we are in this journey. We do our best and leave the results in God's hands. (A truth I am reminding myself of this morning, as well.) Happy writing! (and of course we'll enter you in the drawing!)

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    3. Wilani, preparation and work are so important!

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  24. Connie, such great advice and you're so right. God is in control. I'm pre-published and standing outside the scene watching intently at the changes. I liken it to being a kid next to the merry-go-round when it's spinning and you're trying to jump on without getting sucked under. :)

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    1. What a great analogy, Sharee. And those already on it are hanging on for dear life and trying not to get sick, LOL! All the best to you as you jump aboard! :)

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    2. Sharee, I think we all know what that feels like. :)

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  25. How do I stay afloat when publishing gets stormy?
    First, I'm not published so I've never had a contract fall through or anything like that. But I'd like to think I'd handle it like I do other things.

    Years ago, when my husband and I were younger, we were going through some financial tough times.
    I'd call my sister to tell her my worries and she'd ask "what's the worst that could happen?"
    I'd answer "we won't be able to pay for ______. We might lose it."
    She'd say, "Ok, so if you lost your house, your husband is no long going to work?"
    "No, he'll work," I'd say.
    "So you're going to wind up on the street, homeless?"
    "No."
    And so on. I fretted about our situation. I worried about the embarrassment if something got repossessed and how long it would take to dig us out of a hole. My sister's questions helped me realize even is something unpleasant happened, we'd still survive.

    So with publishing, I'd have to ask myself the same type of questions. If the line closes/editor moves or whatever, am I going to quit writing? No. Are books going away? No. May I have to change something? Yes.
    This doesn't seem as daunting.

    Very encouraging post, Connie.
    Boat captain sounds like a really fun job!

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    1. Hi Connie, thanks for sharing your story! What a great way to keep things in perspective--even when it seems daunting and overwhelming. Thank you! And yes, I LOVE being a boat captain :)

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    2. Connie, I love that attitude. I've been known to ask myself or my husband that "what's the worst thing that could happen?" question on several occasions. It really does put things in perspective.

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  26. Thanks for the encouragement, Connie. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and like all this crazy paddling isn't getting us anywhere, but I'm thankful for the reminder that our Lighthouse is guiding the way.

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    1. My pleasure, Amber. For me, sometimes, the challenge is to look up from my paddling long enough to remember there IS a lighthouse. :)

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    2. I agree about the Lighthouse! I'm thankful for that reminder.

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  27. Good morning, Connie.

    Your post today boosted my spirit! Thanks for the encouragement.
    Trust the Lighthouse is a captivating picture...easy to imagine. I once saw a lighthouse photo with the scripture from Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path," and it has been a beautiful visual ever since.

    Seekerville is a Life Ring for me! Those who share and those who comment.

    I'm reminded that another famous boat captain authored the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, so long ago. God certainly knew the plans He had for that man! I pray we all continue to seek the Lord and walk in the path He shows us!

    Would love to be entered in the book drawing! Thank you.

    By the way, one of my dear friends is a Tug Boat Captain...boy, is she a character! LOL

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    1. Hi Kathryn, love the lighthouse visual--and the reminder of another captain whose life God changed in such radical ways! I'm so glad Seekerville has been such a life ring in your life. A tug boat captain? Oh, I'd love to meet her. :)

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    2. Kathryn, thanks for the reminder about the hymn!

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  28. Major thunderstorm just blew in, internet out, power flickering... Back in just a little while... Don't have too much fun without me...

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    1. Worst of the storm is over (they don't last long in Florida!), so I'm back. :)

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    2. Always scary! I'm glad you're bad weather didn't last long.

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  29. Thanks for such an encouraging and informative article. It will go in my keeper file. Jeremiah 29:11 is on the short list of verses I keep on hand for when I fall back to worrying--and thinking I am in charge. We just have to keep our eyes on the goal and move forward. Since it's now mid-morning, and some people like brunch, I've got a freshly baked asparagus quiche if anyone needs a little snack before settling in at the computer. Thanks again, Connie.

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    1. Hi Darlene--the quiche is delicious! Thank you. I'm glad the post is encouraging. I think we all need to be reminded of things we already know, maybe view them in a different light--especially during stormy times, you know?

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  30. CONNIE, WELCOME BACK TO SEEKERVILLE, MY FRIEND, AND SERIOUSLY??? You are a USCG-licensed boat captain?? That is soooooooo very cool!! And I'll just bet you've come up with all kinds of cool plots out of that too!

    OH. MY. GOSH!! LOVE THIS: Trust the lighthouse. What a wonderful analogy, Connie -- I absolutely love it and your statement that, "It’s a huge comfort to know that God’s love for us never changes, either, even on days we don’t feel it, or don’t feel anything at all."

    I just finished my 3rd book in my Isle of Hope series, and it's called His Steadfast Love, which is based on God's unchanging love, and I'm always amazed how God uses our own words/books to minister to us because my latest surely has, much in the way this wonderful blog has today!

    You said: "Just because things feel out of our control, they are never out of His."

    Oh, AMEN AND AMEN!! Preach it, girlfriend, because you do it SO very well!!

    Wonderful post, Connie, and I LOVE the nautical theme because lately I feel like I've been treading water!! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie! Being a captain IS cool--I love my job! I have used it in my writing, especially with my boat captain heroine in TANGLED LIES. That book was great fun to write.

      Love the title of your series! I'm all about hope, in every one of my stories. Here's hoping you make forward progress today, even though it may seem you're treading water. Hugs, Connie

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    2. Julie, I sure know about treading water. Not fun. I'm thankful God is there all along wanting to help us.

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  31. Just saw this in your bio:

    "Hubby says they are good at fishing, but lousy at catching."

    LOL ... now there's a positive attitude for you!! We now live on a lake, so my hubby has become an avid fisherman, so he'll get a kick out of that!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Have to keep a positive attitude, since, yeah, fishing goes well. Catching, usually not so much. But we enjoy the time on the water. And, confession, sometimes I quit fishing and pull out a good book. Win-win. :)

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    2. LOL ... I hear you! I always bring my computer, believe it or not, and write. ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. You bring the computer? Oh, you're a braver woman than I am. I do bring pad and paper, though :)

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  32. Hi Connie:

    "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

    "Life isn't about waiting for the winds to change, it's about learning to adjust your sails."

    "A rising tide might lift all ships but the ships have no say in it."


    Since storytelling began, storytellers have had to compete for the listener's discretionary entertainment time. Where once there was just one storyteller and one campfire, there became many storytellers, and poets, and musicians, and jugglers, and funny men, and plays, and books...but through it all there always was this competition for the listener's available time.

    The winner of this competition is the one who provides the best entertainment value. Write the best stories you can. Superior quality transcends genre popularity. Become like the submarine and go directly to your port of call without concern for the storms above!

    Thanks, Connie, I just love reading a post that makes me think about things as much as this one. Please enter me in the drawing. You have a voice I'd love to hear more of. Will they have to tie me to the mast? :)

    Vince

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    1. Hi Vince, what a great way to look at this business. I LOVE this quote: "Become like the submarine and go directly to your port of call without concern for the storms above!" That's something I will definitely try to put into practice.

      I hope you'll give HIIDDEN THREAT a read and let me know what you think of Eve's story...

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    2. Yes, Vince, I love that second quote!

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  33. I'm still new to the publishing industry, I haven't even tried my hand at traditional publishing, yet (yet being the important word here). But as far as life goes, sometimes I find that it is best to get some distance from a difficult situation so you can look at it objectively instead of emotionally.

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    1. Very good advice, Nicki! When we're too close, we can't see clearly at all.

      Wishing you all the best with your next steps!

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    2. Great advice, Nicki!

      How did your surgery go??

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    3. My surgery went well, Missy, thanks for asking and for the prayers. The oral surgeon was able to get everything taken care of and I was out like a light during the whole thing. My mouth hasn't really hurt much (just feels weird) thanks to the pain meds I'm taking though my stitches do sting somewhat and my face has swollen up pretty bad. I'm just glad to have it over with and to be on the road to recovery. Plus I get ice cream, so all's good.

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    4. Nicki, I'm so glad to hear it was successful and you're doing well! Enjoy the ice cream. :)

      Several years ago, my daughter had a gum graft done, and they took the tissue from the roof of her mouth. She did great afterwards, and it's been a big success.

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  34. Connie, welcome back to Seekerville! Thanks for your wise, encouraging post. I'm one of those impacted by the closing of LIH. You spoke to me when you said: "The harsh reality is that God can’t steer your ship if you’re up on dry land."

    Kaybee mentioned her favorite hymn. "The Anchor Holds" is one of mine and seems very fitting.

    I have journeyed through the long dark night
    Out on the open sea, by faith alone
    Sight unknown; and yet His eyes were watching me

    The anchor holds
    Though the ship is battered
    The anchor holds
    Though the sails are torn
    I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
    The anchor holds in spite of the storm

    I've had visions, I've had dreams
    I've even held them in my hand
    But I never knew they would slip right through
    Like they were only grains of sand

    The anchor holds
    Though the ship is battered
    The anchor holds
    Though the sails are torn
    I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
    The anchor holds in spite of the storm

    I have been young but I'm older now
    And there has been beauty these eyes have seen
    But it was in the night, through the storms of my life
    Oh, that's where God proved His love for me

    The anchor holds
    Though the ship's been battered
    The anchor holds
    Though the sails are torn
    I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
    The anchor holds in spite of the storm

    I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
    The anchor holds in spite of the storm

    Janet

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    1. Janet, I'm so sorry you were affected by the LIH closing. It's so hard when that happens. I'm glad you are clinging to the only anchor that holds! Thank you for posting the words to this great hymn. They are powerful!

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    2. Janet, thank you for sharing those lyrics. Such a beautiful hymn.

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    3. Connie, thank you. So many have been impacted by the closing lines, but I know Harlequin wouldn't have taken that step unless they felt compelled.

      I didn't know the verses as much as I did the chorus. The truly fit the tough times.

      Janet

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    4. Missy, two men at church used to sing this hymn. It's powerful.

      Janet

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    5. Stand strong, Janet! And thanks again for sharing all the words to that hymn!

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  35. Connie, your book sounds great! Love the unique premise.

    Janet

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    1. Thank you! I hope you'll let me know what you think of Eve and Cole's story!

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  36. I'm back! Time to catch up on messages.

    I brought some down home Georgia barbecue for lunch today!

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    1. Welcome back! Yum, pass me a plate, please. I'm starved.

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  37. Connie, I love this post, and your nautical terms. Your points make sense. I'm so thankful that, regardless of what happens in the publishing world, God's got me. He's guiding me. It's up to me to sail where He guides, but if I trust Him, I'll be where he needs me to be. Thanks for your words!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! Exactly. He's got us, no matter what :)

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  38. Hi Connie. This was an interesting post. I am just writing my first novel, so haven't entered the publishing waters with that yet, but I am scared about it. I have written many short stories and articles that have been published, and have seen many of the magazines fold that published so much of my work. That means I haven't sold nearly as much lately. So I have experienced that.

    Please put me in the drawing for your book. It looks good!

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    1. Sandy, I'm sorry those magazines have closed. I hope you can find a new placement for your work!

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    2. Hi Sandy, I'm so sorry about those magazines. That's hard. Here's hoping you find new markets for your work--and that your novel will find just the right home--at just the right time. :)

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  39. Connie, I love the nautical analogies... and the way you related all of this to scripture. So beautifully done... thank you.

    I've been riding these waves for 7 years published, and you're right, the storms come and go, tides ebb and flow, and all the while I keep handing it to God... The plus of indie publishing is that if contracts stop coming... or if we choose to be indie... we can do it!!!

    The downside is how it's driven prices down... and how we authors have managed to undersell ourselves somewhat. But I believe this will all work itself out, markets always do... and the old days of waiting FOREVER at the door of publishing are gone.

    That doesn't mean everyone should jump out and self-publish, but the regulatory commission on publishing doesn't exist the way it used to, so we business women (and men!) can actually expand or contract with the market.

    Now that's kind of fun!!!!

    Thank you for being here, I'm still smiling at your beautiful words.

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    1. Ruthy, I think those prices are already inching up a little. As a reader, I don't see it as a great thing. But as a writer, I do. :)

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    2. So glad I made you smile, Ruth! I'm seeing those prices inch up too, and as Missy said, the writer in me rejoices. And hooray for all the options that didn't exist before! :)

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  40. Seekers, I have had a wonderful day with all of you! Thank you so much for having me. But Captain Connie has to be on the boat early tomorrow, so I am calling it a day. Cheering you all on! Just keep swimming! :)

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    1. Thanks for the wonderful post, Connie! I hope you have a great day tomorrow with the kids.

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  41. Connie, I'm running behind today. Central Florida? My grandfather loved boating on the St. John's River. Thanks for a great message on how to stay afloat in an ever changing industry.

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    1. Hi Tanya, glad you enjoyed the post! I work on the Silver River, which runs into the Ocklawaha, which runs into the St. Johns River. :) Beautiful part of the state!

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  42. Oh Connie, I'm late to the party. Its only 8:00 pm here in Oregon, but it must be really late Eastern time. Loved your analogy of writing in nautical terms. Thank you so much for spending the day with us here in Seekerville. Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments too.

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    1. Hi Sandra, Sorry I missed you. I had to head to bed early-with the summer storms, we have to be out on the boat early to try to avoid them. :) I had a wonderful day in Seekerville! Loved spending time with everyone. :)

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  43. Thank you Connie!

    I laughed at your email from God comment. But wow wouldn't that be fabulous! Great article.

    Please do enter me in the drawing for a print copy of "Hidden Threat" from Connie.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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    1. Hi Phyllis, Right? Wouldn't an email from God be awesome? I'm glad I made you laugh. :) So nice to 'meet' you.

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  44. Thanks for a great post. I would love to win Connie's book. Thank you and Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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