My college newspaper did an article about my book 🙂
There is a poem titled, “Footprints in the Sand” that you have probably seen at some point in your life. In the poem, a person has a dream in which they look back over their life and see two sets of footprints in the sand, symbolizing walking through life with the Lord. When they look back at some of the hardest times in their life, they are surprised to see only one set of footprints. They thought that once they decided to follow Christ, He would never leave them on their own. Confused, the person questions the Lord about this:
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has been only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
The Sand on My Journey of Life
I think if you were to stand with me, and we were to look back over my own life together in a similar manner, there would not simply be a few places with only one set of footprints and others with two sets sitting neatly side-by-side. Nor would there be a nice long continuous line showing no variation or detours.
The tools to write a book have never been more accessible than they are right now. For centuries, the entire process was done mostly by hand. If after completing a book you wanted to make a copy of it, a scribe would then rewrite the entire thing. Books were enormously time consuming to create, expensive to purchase, and the ability to read them varied. This is part of what makes the number of ancient Biblical manuscripts and the quality of those manuscripts remarkable. Many, many people invested countless hours meticulously copying and preserving the scriptures. Looking at just the Greek New Testament, there are 5,600 ancient copies remaining. The next closest is Homer’s Illiad with 643. After that it drops off considerably. We only have 10 copies of Julius Caesar’s writings. I digress.
The point is, with modern technology, millions of people now have the tools to create and distribute their written works. What was once difficult–or impossible–to access due to technological and education restraints, is now ready at the push of a button or tap of a screen (or even voice command). The challenge isn’t so much having a channel to distribute your work but getting people to pay attention or even be aware of it.
Readers have more choices everyday. Bowker reported that over one million books were published in the US in 2009. Finding something to read isn’t hard. Finding something good to read can be.
As an author or aspiring author–more often an expiring author–without a large platform, how do you get anyone to pay attention to your work?
Well, mainly you ask other people to share it with those they know.
Whether they have a personal circle of people you don’t know or posses a platform of some kind, asking others to spread the word in some manner is really the only way to get your book noticed among the millions of other titles out there.
Of course you can do marketing and pay to have your book promoted and try to build your own platform, but really those are just different ways of asking people to spread the word. They can be effective but often require financial investment.
This is why it is so helpful to an author when people review their book in some form or fashion. In essence, each person or publication that does so raises the books visibility and credibility with more people. Those that have no personal connection to an author will often rely on reviews to make a decision about whether to give a title a shot or not.
Because of this, I appreciate each person who has read and reviewed my work on Amazon, GoodReads, or their own site/publication. Of course I am encouraged by each personal message I get about the book and how much someone enjoyed it as well. Sometimes those particular messages come right when I need a little extra encouragement as I begin work on the second book.
But when someone takes a couple minutes to go online, rate the book, and write a couple lines, that helps both in the moment and going forward.
To be clear, I get that people often intend to do so and forget, I know I would. I also understand that some people value their privacy and I get that too. But for those who remember and take the time to go on and give a rating and short blurb or something more substantial, Thank you.
LeVar Burton was traveling through space exploring new frontiers on Star Trek and teaching kids to explore new frontiers through a love of reading on Reading Rainbow. Really this article could end here.
Also, do you think it’s a coincidence that the guy doing a show about reading wore space glasses in Star Trek? Hmmm…
The only time I ever enjoyed Romeo and Juliet was when a Jack Russell Terrier was teaching me about it on Wishbone. Not everyone likes history and classical literature, but who doesn’t like a small, hyper-intelligent dog saving the day and educating everyone at the same time?
Boy of Dreams, the first book in the Kingdoms of Broken Stone series, is out now!
Purchase a paperback or Kindle version or see a preview from – Amazon
Kingdoms of Broken Stone: Boy of Dreams tells the story of an impatient wizard and her new apprentice that must keep their country from being torn apart while they search for the rightful heir to the throne.
The story is set primarily on the Isle of Esten. In terms of placement within the world, Esten is loosely based on the British Isles. However, its people groups, history, and interior geography are notably different. The greater world around it is influenced by common themes throughout fantasy stories, popular legends and myths, as well as non-fiction ancient and medieval history.
The major characters differ in age and racial backgrounds while their shared experience develops over the course of time. Though the conflict and enemies they face are the product of imagination, the emotions and decisions are ones that everyone wrestles with in various ways. Good and Evil are pitted against one another to form a classical foundation to a fresh story with new faces.
Those who enjoy The Adventures of Robin Hood, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Tales of King Arthur, and other like stories are sure to recognize similar themes while experiencing a new world through unique characters.
I finished the first draft of my novel and have personally edited it once. I’m going through a second time and have a few others helping with the process. Meanwhile, I’ve begun querying agents to test the waters and gauge interest.
If you know of any literary agencies or publishing houses you think I should be aware of or reach out to, feel free to leave them in the comments.
I want to share the title and synopsis with you because I am excited about the story, but I know those things could change if it does eventually get picked up by someone, so I will refrain for now. I think it is safe to tell you that the world in which it is set has been influenced by Arthurian tales, the Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Adventures of Robin Hood, as well as Ancient and Medieval non-fiction history. It does not draw anything directly from these, but there are similar elements.
That’s all for now!