How Many Books Are in Your Book?

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The funny thing about writing is that it can be one of the most challenging and intimidating things to begin, but often, once you start, you discover that you can’t stop. You have so many ideas, so many things to write. You find yourself taking multiple page tangents because, let’s be honest, this information is just too good not to share! And then you realize you have so much information to cram into this book, it’s probably going to end up being 10,000 pages long!

The answer is to focus. Whether you are an author who has written dozens of books or a newbie who has yet to write his or her first, THE most important thing you can do for your book is determine the main objective. When a reader picks up a book about fish, he only wants to read about fish. If he wanted to read about that time you went fishing with your dad, because that is a really great story, the reader can buy your memoir.

One book. One idea. That is the rule.

Don’t Kill Your Darlings, Just Put Them Aside for Your Next Book

Right now you may be reevaluating your idea or finished book and realizing that, while you got everything you wanted written down, your focus is a little muddy. Don’t be discouraged; you are on your way to a more excellent project that clearly communicates your vision. You may have heard the editorial cliché “kill your darlings.” This phrase refers to the heart wrenching necessity of having to cut beautiful and meaningful sections (in your opinion) of text for the sake of the larger cause. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you have to admit that the sentence or chapter you spent weeks crafting just doesn’t have a place this project.

However, we are not asking you to kill your darlings, simply to put them aside. Does your project currently have two different focuses: how to fish and stories about fishing? Well, you may have just articulated the idea for book number two.

The Reality of Creating a Quality Project

The reality is you may have multiple books in your book. Agents and publishers need an articulated focus in order to market and sell your book. You may have to do some surgery. But think of your book as a one of those worms that when cut in half, grows into two separate beings.

Choose the idea that excites you most. What do you most want to communicate through this project? Honing in on your focus allows you to clearly articulate your goals and know when to put the pen down. It is better to have a finished project communicating one idea, than a 10,000-page document still sitting on your computer. Save those ideas for the next book. For now, get this one published!

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Kerry Wade is an Intern/Assistant Editor for Inspira. She is an avid reader as well as writer. Her favorite place to read is anywhere warm, ideally in a hammock at the beach while enjoying an iced coconut milk chai!

Do you have a book manuscript or concept you’d like to see published? We’d be happy to discuss your editorial, design, printing, and publishing needs, whether you choose self- or traditional publishing. Our motto is, “from idea in head to book in hand!”

 

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Celebrating the Kingdom Story!

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On April 2nd, our Inspira Literary Solutions team had the pleasure of attending client John Lewis’ event celebrating the ministry and publication of his Bible study curriculum The Kingdom Story.

Kingdom Story Ministries is a Christian nonprofit organization that promotes a holistic approach to discipleship through experiencing the Bible as God’s story. This story-based curriculum is the basis of a year-long leadership intensive in Tacoma, Washington, and also in Asia. Over the past several years, this ministry has grown exponentially, to the point where founder and director, John Lewis, was compelled to pursue the production of a high-quality publication to provide as a resource for students and ministries around the world.

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For over a year, our team at Inspira Literary Solutions has worked alongside John to develop and publish his four-volume, Bible-based curriculum. Aptly named, The Kingdom Story approaches the Bible from the context of story, both God’s larger Kingdom story and the participant’s own personal story. When this project is finished, there will be 16 total volumes in print: four volumes of the simplified Storyline Version (for small groups, Sunday school classes, personal enrichment, etc.), four volumes of the Discipleship Version (suitable for more intensive study), and all eight volumes translated  for use in Asia! In upcoming weeks, we will send volume four of the discipleship version to the printer and be able to call the first phase of this incredible project a wrap!

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Perhaps the biggest blessing, for our team, of attending an event like this is the opportunity to see the fruit of our handiwork. While we have been hard at work editing and designing (didn’t they turn out beautifully?!), God has been blessing this project and changing lives through engagement with this curriculum. We had the opportunity to hear testimonies of students who have gone through the curriculum, as well as several overseas pastors and leaders who will use this project in their own congregations.

Toward the end of the evening, after the delicious desserts, Arlyn was asked to speak about our work on this project. She shared the value of publication, both for its ability to produce a high-quality product and its potential as an income stream for the ministry. (Click on the photo below to see an excerpt of Arlyn’s talk.)Lewis Fundraiser-6

We have seen the wind of God behind this project and are excited to see where these books go—and how they are used to impact lives around the world!

Out and About at the NAEA Conference – March 2016

 

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It was a joy and privilege to speak and exhibit for What I Wish I Knew at 18 at the NAEA Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in March. Doug and I represented LifeSmart Publishing there and were thrilled to meet the 600+ educators and administrators of alternative high schools from states that included New York, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and more.

I was especially inspired by keynote speaker Tara Brown’s talk (“The Connection Coach”) during the Saturday morning session of the conference. She emphasized the importance of social/emotional learning, particularly with students who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences. If you’ve seen our What I Wish I Knew at 18 Leadership and Life Skills curriculum, you know this is EXACTLY our approach to building the leadership, life skills, and workplace readiness skills young adults need to thrive!

I taught a workshop on Thursday afternoon entitled “Equip Them to Thrive, Not Just Thrive” and was pleased to have a full house of enthusiastic participants. Each received a free copy of the book and curriculum.

We met a lot of terrific people at this conference, which was our first foray into the alternative education realm, and have been rewarded with some substantial curriculum orders just in the couple of weeks since we’ve been back. We’re looking forward to a bright and fruitful partnership in this dynamic, impactful demographic of educators!

P.S. The nearby beach was a nice extra bonus! 😉

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