I sometimes get calls from cranky authors. Why didn’t you accept my manuscript? Why haven’t you answered my query? Why is it taking so long to get my book in the bookstores? Why isn’t my book selling? Why are my royalties so low?
All of these are legitimate questions. And they all have very good answers. As a publisher, I feel it’s my responsibility to help my writers understand the business of producing and selling their books. I find that the more they understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, the less cranky they are.
Education is a wonderful thing. Understanding is even better. I found that if one author asked a question, there were many others wondering about the same thing. As I lurk in various author forums, I see many of the same questions about writing and publishing pop up over and over again. Sometimes its hard to restrain myself from jumping into every conversation with my two cents worth. It just doesn’t seem polite to spew my opinions all over someone else’s forum.
So how do I get information out there to those who are interested without boring those who aren’t? I’ve asked myself that many times over the years and could never come up with a satisfactory answer. Then my daughter introduced me to the wonders of blogging. And voila, this blog spot was born.
My first thought was to create a humourous yet helpful site for LDS writers a la Miss Snark. I love her snippy and informative comments on the business of submitting to a literary agent. I thought I could do the same--provide snappy rhetoric on navigating the LDS publishing process, sans the occasional swear word and references to drinking massive amounts of gin.
One problem: I am just not a snarky writer. I have tried, but my biting snarckisms fall flat. Also, my puppy refuses to wear a pink tam.
So, instead I offer my take on publishing in the LDS market in what I hope will be a helpful and informative manner. And if I happen to be witty and/or funny, that is just a serendipitous bonus.
My credentials for writing this blog (or, why you should bother listening to me):
1. I am a published writer, so I understand the writer's side of things.
2. I have worked in various areas of the writing/publishing industry since 1981. (See "Credentials")
3. I honestly want to encourage all writers to give voice to their dreams. Writing is fun. It's creative. It's more than an occupation, it's an avocation—a calling. If I can help others to actualize their talents and calling, then I am thrilled to do it. That is part of my occupation, avocation and calling.
4. Apparently, I have a strong enough ego to think my opinions will be valuable to others.
And so, I dedicate this blog to you, the LDS author—to answer the why and create an understanding of the inner workings of the LDS publishing world so that you may stack the deck in your favor and raise the chances of getting your book past the slush pile and onto the bookstore shelves.
In trying to conform to the legal requirements imposed for giveaways, I am adjusting and updating the way you enter to win book prizes. Previously, you were automatically entered by leaving a comment. The more you commented, the more entries you received.
Although I very much hope you'll continue to leave comments, the Official Rules are now listed below.
Monthly 'Win a Book' Sweepstakes
- Each month, LDS Publisher will host a sweepstakes to give away copies of the books posted on the LDS Publisher blog sidebar under the heading "Win These Books!".
- Prizes are physical print copies of the books posted, to be provided and shipped directly to the winner by the Prize Sponsor (the author or publisher of the book).
- To enter to win one of the books shown in the sidebar, simply fill out and submit the form immediately below the images. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
- Due to differences in international sweepstakes laws, prizes are limited to U.S. residents. (Or may be gifted to someone with a U.S. mailing address.)
- New books will be posted to the LDS Publisher blog on the first business day of the new calendar month, or as soon thereafter as possible.
- Deadline to enter to win one of the books is midnight, Mountain Time, the last day of the calendar month.
- You may enter one time each calendar month. You may enter on any of the LDS Publisher networked blogs. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
- Winners will be chosen at random using Random.Org.
- Odds of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries received during a given month.
- Each new month begins a new giveaway. Since each month's contest winner is randomly selected, it is possible that the same person could win a prize in consecutive months.
- Winning names will be posted on the LDS Publisher blog on the first business day of the new month, or as soon thereafter as possible. Winners will also be notified by email.
- Winners must send their full mailing address to LDS Publisher within two weeks of notification or they will forfeit their prize.
- If winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize may or may not be re-awarded, at the discretion of LDS Publisher and/or the Prize Sponsor.
- Email adresses will not be posted, used or shared in any way, except for purposes of awarding the prize. Winners' emails with mailing addresses shall be forwarded to the Prize Sponsor with instructions for them to delete it upon shipping the book. Winner information will also be maintained in a database by LDS Publisher should any question or dispute arise at a later date.
- All other information collected by the entry form will be purged within one week of announcing winners of the sweepstakes.
- All prizes are gifts from the Prize Sponsor, not from LDS Publisher. Prizes are shipped directly to the winner by the Prize Sponsor. Therefore, LDS Publisher shall not be held responsible for errors made by Prize Sponsors, including but not limited to delayed, damaged or lost shipments, failure to award prize as promised, or misuse of information (name, mailing address, email) by the Prize Sponsor.
- LDS Publisher and Prize Sponsors undertake this sweepstakes in good faith, and therefore shall not be held responsible for any and all errors which may occur during the conduct of the sweepstakes, including but not limited to technical failures which may or may not effect the entry process; technical or other errors which delay or prevent communication with winners in a timely manner; typographical or other errors; or any other human error which may effect the outcome winner selection.
- LDS Publisher and Prize Sponsors shall be held harmless in the event that the prize or the sweepstakes in some way negatively impacts the winner and/or entrants.
- These sweepstakes are conducted according to regulations for sweepstakes in the United States.
- VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
- By entering to win a book, you are agreeing to abide by these Official Rules.
The LDS Publisher blog network offers monthly sponsorship opportunities to LDS authors and their publishers.
Sponsor provides a prize in the form of one print copy of their book to be shipped at sponsor's expense to a prize winner selected by LDS Publisher. Prizes are awarded according to these eligibility rules.
Details on the Monthly Sponsorship Program:
- Books for prizes MUST be authored or co-authored by an LDS author.
- Books may be fiction or non-fiction, but fiction gets preference.
- Book must be available in print. You may offer the option of a digital book as a prize, but you must be able to award a print-published book as the prize, if desired by the winner.
- Book may be published by a traditional publisher or self-published.
- Book must be currently available for purchase online.
- If you have published multiple books, choose ONE title to offer as the prize. I suggest your most current title but any title that is in print qualifies.
- Authors may only sponsor one prize per month and may not sponsor two months in a row (unless for some reason I'm low on sponsors).
- If you have multiple books, each title may have a turn at sponsoring. Sponsorship will be allotted in a way that's fair to others who want to sponsor. (Example: Depending on the length of my waiting list, your first book may sponsor in January; second book may not have a turn until April or later.)
- Publishers may sponsor, but they must do so in their author's name.
- Publishers may submit multiple authors/books. Each author will be considered as a separate submission.
- You will be notified in advance of your sponsorship month.
- If for some reason you change your mind about sponsoring, please let me know ASAP so I can find another title to take your place.
Sponsoring Promotion Details:
- A Monthly Sponsor Info Post will be created and posted to the LDS Publisher blog on the first business day of the sponsoring month, or very soon thereafter.
- Info Post will include an image of the book cover; book title linked to Amazon (or other online bookstore); book synopsis or teaser; author name linked to author website or blog (when available); author photo; short author bio. (See previous blog sponsors here.)
- Sponsors shall be limited to no more than eight in any given month.
- Sponsoring books will be listed alphabetically by title.
- Book cover images and links will also be posted on the sidebar.
- Book cover images on the sidebar will be deleted when the new month's sponsorship begins.
- Info Posts will remain part of the blog indefinitely.
- Newly released and seasonal books will be given preference.
- Offers of bribes do not effect the selection process.
- On the first business day of the following month or very soon thereafter, I will post the prize winners.
- Winners have two weeks to send me their mailing address.
- I will forward the winner's mailing address to you. Please ship their prize within one week of receipt of their address. Also, please keep the winner's personal information private. Do not add them to your newsletter list unless they request for you to do so.
- Prizes are shipped to the winner at your expense, packaged in such a way that the book will not be damaged during shipping. I suggest USPS Media Mail as it is the least expensive method. All entrants must have a U.S. mailing address.
Sponsorship Request E-mail:
Please include all of the following information in your sponsorship request e-mail .
- Your name
- Which month you would prefer to sponsor (you may not get this month, depending on the length of my waiting list)
- Title of the book and Author Name
- Image of your book cover or link to where I may find it (preferred format: jpg, color, 300 px wide)
- Your photo or link to where I may find it (preferred format: jpg, color, 300 px wide)
- URL address of site where your book may be purchased (your specific book page on that site); this can be your personal website or blog, your publisher's website, your amazon page, etc. as long as it has a BUY ME button on the page.
- URL address of your website and/or blog, or your publisher's website if they have a dedicated author page for you; since this link will be attached to your name, it should go to where readers can learn more about you as an author
- Optional e-mail address (include only if you want it posted on the Info Page)
Although I cannot imagine a problem developing, I have been advised to state the following: LDS Publisher makes no claims nor offers any guarantees of effectiveness and shall not be held responsible for any traffic or lack thereof generated by sponsoring the LDS Publisher blogs. LDS Publisher shall not be held liable and prizes may not be retracted if sponsor post is up a few days after the first of the month. LDS Publisher herself, the company she works for, her family, friends, neighbors, etc., etc., etc. CAN NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE for any outcome, positive or negative, that may or may not arise from participation in this sponsorship program, including but not limited to individual blog/website traffic or lack thereof as generated by participation on this blog and/or its contests; increase or decrease of book sales; a late post date; or anything else that may or may not irk you. SPONSOR AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Prices & General Ad Info:
Ads on LDS Publisher sites are $25 per 30 day subscription. Ads display in the sidebars of all LDS Publisher networked blogs.
Ads are listed in the order that they are received, with newer ads posting at the top of the "Sponsored by..." section of the sidebar.
Your ad will display for a full 30 days.
If you choose to renew your ad, you must place a new order. Your second 30 days will begin when your first 30 days expires. Your ad will move back to the top of the list at the start of your second 30 days.
After you place an order for your ad using the link(s) below, send me an e-mail with your name (or the name used when you placed your order); an attached ad image (see specs below); the full URL for the link of your choice (your website or blog, your amazon.com page, deseretbook.com page, etc.)
You can advertise your company or service (such as editing, design or promotional services), a bookstore or book signing, a publishing company, a home-based business or whatever you want.
You'll be most successful advertising items of interest to authors and readers, but any company will be considered.
I reserve the right to refuse advertising space for products I feel might be offensive to the general readership of this blog. Books with frequent swearing, violence, explicit sex or other R+ ratings will be rejected. If it is determined that your book or product is unsuitable for this site after the ad has posted, the ad will be deleted and you will be refunded a pro-rated amount for any remaining days left to your 30 day subscription.
Size: 125 x 125 px (square)
Type: ,jpg or .gif
Link: linked to the URL of your choice
Display: Ad displays in all LDS Publisher networked sidebars.
BUY NOW! Square Ad on LDS Publisher, $25.00
LDS Publisher Stats:
As of March 1, 2010, monthly stats for the combined LDS Publisher networked sites are:
- Page Loads: 11,898
- Unique Visitors: 6,236 (that's less than 1¢ per visitor; .004¢ to be exact)
You can view individual site stats by clicking on the "View My Stats" link at the bottom right of each sidebar.
If you have a question that isn't covered here, please send me an e-mail.
Copy the code from one of the Sidebar Button boxes below and paste it into an HTML widget in your sidebar.
The LDS Publisher blog is moving away from a question/answer blog and toward a "magazine" type blog, with articles from other writers and bloggers. I'll still continue to answer questions sent to me by readers, but I'm opening up posting opportunities for LDS authors, publishers, and other in the industry.
If you blog about writing, publishing, or industry trends and you want me to take a look at a particular post for re-posting here, send me an e-mail with the URL link to that specific post.
I'll also do my own searching of other blogs for good info and then re-posting those blog posts here (with permission, of course).
Like any submission process, some posts will be accepted and others will be rejected. I'm looking for good writing and keen insights that I think will appeal to my readers here.
"Payment" for submissions is a byline, photo, short bio and link to your blog. Please include the photo, bio and link(s) with your submission. (See example here.)
Now that most of the changes have been made the LDS Publisher sites, I thought it would be a good time to give you a tour and explain what is where.
Menu Bar: Just below the header are links to each of the LDS Publisher sites, so you can easily move from one to another. In the bar are also links to an Advertising page, specific to the site you are on, and a Site Map, which briefly describes the sites and has links to each one.
Search/Categories: At the top of each sidebar are two tabs. The default tab is Search. You can search by keyword, book title, author's name, publisher, or anything else you can think of. The second tab is Categories. If you click on that, you get the list of category labels that has been applied to the posts on the site. (A few of the sites still need some cleaning up, but you get the idea.)
Polls: Just below Search/Categories, you may find a poll. Or not. Depending on the site and my mood. Sometimes polls may be found in the lower sidebar.
Sponsors: The LDS Publisher sites have monthly contests where those who comment on the posts are entered to win prizes (ie: books by sponsoring authors). The sponsors of the prizes are posted in the sidebar.
Advertising: Next in the sidebar comes advertising. There are two different categories: a book cover ad and a square ad.
- CLICK HERE for information on paid advertising.
Misc Stuff: Below the advertising, the sidebar splits in two. This is where you find specific info about each site, links to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and various other gadgets.
What's on Which Site?
You can find this information by clicking on the Site Map link in the menu bar at the top of each site, or on the Site Map link under the About This Site in the sidebar. The site map page contains longer descriptions and feed links for both posts and comments for each site.
Briefly. . .
LDS Publisher answers questions and posts on topics of interest to authors, especially those who are writing for and hoping to publish in the LDS market.
LDS Fiction is a listing of newly released fiction by LDS authors.
LDS Author Events & Contests posts information on workshops, conferences and book signings, as well as giveaway and contests sponsored by LDS bloggers.
LDS Author Network features information about and links to LDS authors, LDS publishers and associations and forums.
CLICK HERE for the extended tour.
Dedicated to helping LDS authors successfully navigate the LDS publishing world. LDS Publisher answers questions and posts on topics of interest to authors, especially those who are writing for and hoping to publish in the LDS market. She also runs various writing contests throughout the year.
Posts Feed: http://ldspublisher.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/full/
Comments Feed: http://ldspublisher.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full/
Supporting LDS fiction and LDS authors. The LDS Fiction site is a listing of newly released fiction by LDS authors. There is no cost to have your new release posted, neither is there any evaluation of the book by LDS Publisher. Each post features an image and basic information about the book. Readers of the blog may leave comments about the books and award each title a star rating.
Posts Feed: http://ldsfiction.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/full/
Comments Feed: http://ldsfiction.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full/
LDS Author Events and Contests
Events for LDS Authors, featuring LDS Authors, plus Contests spotlighting LDS authors and their books. The purpose of the LDS Author Events site is two-fold: 1) to provide information about conferences and workshops of interest to LDS authors; and 2) to help published authors advertise their events, such as book signings and other public appearances. There is no charge to post an event. If you are aware of an event, please send an e-mail with links and other information.
Posts Feed: http://ldsauthorevents.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/full/
Comments Feed: http://ldsauthorevents.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full/
LDS Author Network
Networking for LDS authors. LDS Author Network features information about and links to LDS authors, LDS publishers and associations and forums of interest to LDS authors. Due to the structure of the information vs the structure of a blog, posts are backdated so they will appear in alphabetical order by category.
Posts Feed: http://ldsauthornetwork.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/full/
Comments Feed: http://ldsauthornetwork.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/full/
LDS Publisher: Answers your questions and posts on topics of interest to authors, especially those who are writing for and hoping to publish in the LDS market. I also hold short story contests and other fun events throughout the year.
LDS Fiction: a listing of newly released fiction by LDS authors., where you can leave comments and rate the books you've read.
Events & Contests: Posts information on workshops, conferences and book signings, as well as giveaway and contests sponsored by LDS bloggers.
Networks: Features information about and links to LDS authors, publishers, service providers, associations and forums.
You can learn more about LDS Publisher and these blogs by reading these posts:
- Suggestions for Participation (aka da Rules)
- Why? (as in Why I Started This Blog)
- Credentials or ...
- The Extended Tour
- Monthly Book Sponsor Guidelines (for Win These Books! section in sidebar)
- Winning Sponsoring Books
- Ad Space Info (for "Sponsored by..." section in sidebar)
- Buy Me a Beer
- LDS Publisher Sidebar Buttons (spread the love)
- Site Map
LDS Publisher earns income from these blogs in the following ways:
When you buy a book or any other product through one of my links, LDS Publisher earns a percentage of the sale. This affiliate income is greatly appreciated since I now work freelance and it's difficult to pull time from "paying" clients to maintain these blogs.
Income from the LDS Publisher blogs is used to support the blog by contributing to prizes, postage, travel, attending book industry events, and creating the various short story compilations like Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season.
Thank You . . . For Shopping through the LDS Publisher Blogs!
You, silly! I don't drink beer! I'm LDS*, remember?
But it got your attention, didn't it?
I do, however, drink smoothies—fruit smoothies, green smoothies, chocolate smoothies.
And I spend a lot of my free time working on the LDS Publisher blogs—because I am committed to supporting the industry, particularly quality fiction by LDS authors.
If you've found this—or any of the other blogs in the LDS Publisher family—helpful, useful or entertaining, please consider contributing to the cause by clicking the button below.
Thanks a bunch!
*LDS = member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as "the Mormons"