Your Mouth as a Destination Point

Remember that renowned ruling of King Solomon, who asked God for wisdom? I bet it comes to mind, the one about the two prostitutes and the surviving baby. Remember how King Solomon deciphered who the real mother was by threatening to divide the living child in two and hand over to each woman a half of their claim?

This creepy and truly astounding court session takes place in 1 Kings, chapter three. Lesson learned. God’s wisdom does not always look like Walt Disney. Hey, but, sometimes it does!

In chapter 4 of 1 Kings, Solomon appoints his chief officials. Some of the chiefs were priests. Some were secretaries. Some were recorders of data, One was in charge of the district governors, one was in charge of forced labor.

After these appointments come the record of King Solomon’s twelve district governors, who they were, and the data about how much and how often they brought provisions to the rather large royal household of the King.

Though the people were taxed for these provisions, the record states, “The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank, and they were happy.” (NIV) Egypt brought tribute to King Solomon. The people had peace and safety on all sides throughout Solomon’s lifetime. “From Dan to Beersheba, everyone lived under their own vine and under their own fig tree. Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses and twelve thousand horses.” (NIV) Can you see it? What a pretty way to describe a life of peace and safety!

Then, in verses 23, the recorder of these chronicles says, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” – so wisdom enough for all the people who were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. He was “wiser than anyone else.”

What is wisdom?

As an author and a writer, and as the managing partner of Capture Books, I pray for wisdom regularly. In fact, I have sometimes prayed for wisdom from puberty. Admittedly, I do not always know what wisdom means, what it looks like until I see it, or read about it, or am amazed by something someone else is able to accomplish.

Do you want to know what wisdom looks like?

King Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs for all of his minstrels to play and sing. This means that he understood philosophy, the way life works and doesn’t work, and could teach this succinctly.

He implemented the right laws, codes, regulations, and case managers to achieve the highest welfare for his people.

But, Solomon also understood musicality, music theory, lyric writing, acrostics, rhyming and rhythm, rules of language, tricks of speech, and how to effect passion and motivate others through songs and proverbs.

He spoke about plant life from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls.

woman wearing black jacket standing near ocean with swan and birds




When the King heard about a novelty in biochemistry or mathematics or architecture, he applied what he learned to other vaults of knowledge and human need. People came from all nations to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.

King Solomon’s mouth was a destination point.

After studying these two chapters this week, it didn’t escape reason that I should encourage writers to research the edges of their topics fully and record these findings to apply to everything we pen or type on a subject.

It would seem to me that it is not the parroting of other’s information that becomes wisdom. Anyone can parrot what another person says. In our stories and in our writing, we must combine the skills of data collection, fact-checking with pretty rhythms and parallels of speech, added to philosophical functions of life regarding the living things we say we represent in our essays and books and reports. We cannot choose to avoid the fact that the wisest man on earth got there because he desired wisdom above all else.

We cannot avoid unfortunate data such as the appointed advisor over forced labor, or the collection of taxes. These things should make us sit up and ask more questions so that we have answers for our readers who will ask these questions.

When we write well, we include exaggerations to make the reader smile. Solomon’s data recorder even included phrases like, “numerous as the sand on the seashore” and “everyone lived under their own vine and under their own fig tree” because these are the pictures that cause our souls to stir and smiling lips to detach from between bored chins and noses. When we write well, we mention that hyssop grows out of walls (just because we can, because we happen to know that data).

Maybe your writing will become a destination point, but this is a by-product of asking God for wisdom and doing your due diligence. The A-HAs of life in God’s universe abound! Let’s look a little closer into each our own worlds and follow the wonder.


Being Author-prenuerial When the Bottom Line is Wavy

When the bottom line doesn’t add up to figures in black – without red dashes before them – what does a writer hope to gain by the publishing of a book?

A new author sent me a list of questions to answer regarding her first month of publishing, which occurred at the end of last year. I’ve now been in the publishing business for four full years, which is practically nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Why has anyone ever published their work? Has there ever been a financial guarantee?

I had to face and disclose the fact that the outlay of investment so far has been well beyond the income from selling books, and what’s more difficult to assimilate, the outlay of investment would continue to be a calculated risk if she continued to buy advertising and publish other books.

Here are ten gains to consider when you are deciding whether an author’s journey is worth taking.

1. A waterfall of education in literacy and marketing publicity occurs in the life of every rookie author (one to five years expected). People often see hybrid publishing as a way to work themselves into being offered a deal by a traditional publishing house.

2. The opportunity to persevere stakes out its garden lit walkway (character growth).

3. Attending, or presenting to, writers conferences in exquisite places become a surprising blast of wind through the back door. (travel).

4. Bonding with other creatives whose values are similar to your own, or who may enlarge your territory, such as editors, artists, philanthropist partners, agents, publicists, and publishers whose goals intersect with yours and who bolster the vision and energy that you value so highly becomes a wonderland in a world of chill factors (understanding, heart, worldview, exposure).

5. Experiencing the surreal ripples of new connections between and among the four hemispheres of a writer’s brain and physiological moments will make your mouth water, your tears fall, and your lungs fill with the aires of a-ha! (personal exploration of life, engaging curiosity).

6. You will tell your story your way. By the grace of God you will use your voice and your God-given experience to reveal something meaningful to new audiences (calling and ministry).

7. Learning to use criticism as a springboard to excellence will improve your voice and your value to yourself and others (posterity).

8. Discovering the benefits of silence and solitude will make you more at home with yourself than ever before (isolation from the rat-race).

9. Learning to budget the business will grant you control and creative ideas to succeed (accounting, taxes, laws related to income, losses, copyright, and royalties).

10. Cafés☕️📚… and coffee… and classrooms (enjoying alternate universes).

If any of these pro’s outweigh the con’s, I recommend that you set up a savings account in order to publish and/or market not only your first book but also your second. You may have to eat less, forego shopping sprees or vacations.

You might be familiar with the wisdom of old that advises entrepreneurs to count the cost before building a house. But, for me, counting the costs in building a publishing house was not an option. That is, there was no trail of breadcrumbs through the forest leading towards the line items as to how things would add up.  I learned many things in a backward manner and spent time and money that I now see to be the price of personal education. Now, things are clearer.

Different things make different people tick.  Consider shopping, fashion, child care, workout equipment and reps, television, stage performance, animals, industry or career, all of these are things that consume one’s budget, time, and effort.  They bring their own social circles into your life.

If publishing your work is the thing that makes your clock tick, either use the other areas in your life as props, ideas, and research for your book or begin to reclaim the amount of your priority with them and siphon off that priority towards your writing goals.

Tonya Blessing, the three-year author with Capture Books (Soothing Rain and Whispering of the Willows), says,

I also think that passion is a huge piece of writing.  I have a pas|sion (strong and barely controllable feeling) about writing. I like creating a story. I like how writing brings things out in me that I didn’t even know existed. And, I am happy with the responses from readers I’ve had in this past year.”

Use the “author life” as a worthy and reasonable goal for your personal quality of life.  Do this psychological shuffling even if no-one else understands you.  Talk about the joys and frustrations you have with reading and writing and arithmetic to your friends and associates.  Out with it!

When all of this begins happening, and your initial choices begin to snowball into life priorities, you may find yourself in a sardonic mood from time to time.  Do you wrestle with the necessary line items in your pitiful household budget? Not everyone has a difficult budget, but many creatives and writers do. It may be something to get financial counseling specifically related to your author’s line-item budget.

It’s tempting to capitulate into the pool of guilt over budgeting funds towards the costs of launching an author-perineurial business. Don’t do this.  You will need to invest in yourself and create new boundaries for yourself in order to succeed.  This is how anyone in business approaches success.

Take Away: When advertising goes bust or the book expo leaves you addled with waste, then pull out your list of why’s and add to them the how’s.

Laura Bartnick, the Managing Partner at Capture Books, (author of Welcome to the Shivoo! Creatives Mimicking the Creator). She is available to give this presentation in writer’s groups and to field questions in person or over the airwaves, or online.

Move Mindfully from Fake to Real

Have you heard of the Imposter Syndrome?

It “is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.”  (Fall 1978). “The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: dynamics and therapeutic intervention” (PDF).)

The Problem.

If you are an entrepreneur journalist or author-preneur, you understand that you are always curiously walking into new and unexpected timewarps, new-to-you environmental situations, and talking with experts who know more about their field than you do.  That’s why life holds the goods for you, but that’s also why you may feel nothing like an expert at ANYTHING.

I’ve experienced the imposter syndrome myself. Here are three issues I have faced feeling like a fake.

  1. My industry is often viewed as a fraudulent spin-off of traditional publishing.


  2. In my musical quartet, one person became sick. Others of us had our doubts, fears, baggage from life, and time constraints that made for a pile of imperfections. Besides that, we wrote our own music. How could we possibly tell if there was even a market for our music, much less present ourselves as professionals?
  3. The first time I approached a DJ to speak about Capture Books on the radio, I didn’t know that radio hosts are beholden to an agenda dictating what they are able to put on the air. Agendas are either self-imposed by their persona or show or imposed by the broadcasting station. I soon learned that wanna-be speaker-authors are a dime a dozen.

What is the Answer?

You’ve heard some of these things before but perhaps applied to other arenas of life. So, as you are thinking about the overwhelming challenge to present yourself an expert in the field you have written about, break down these two TIPS, A & B, below, and apply them to your new writing business.

Tip A: 

Come Across in a Powerful, Vibrant Persona

This is how you “should” come across. Oh, yeah. Of course, just putting a “should” into the mix tends to tighten up the flow of consciousness! “Shoulds” can plug up your ready laughter, and bring on comparisons that cause wet patches to grow under your armpits. Yes, acting like the perfect example of an Alpha-personality, even if you aren’t, can be faked!

Slouching in your chair, or walking with your shoulders slumped over does not create the image of movement, good humor, or education. It certainly does not convince your audience that you are their next kicker!

So, here are the basics to win your next interview with a media host:

1. Be on time, and swing your arms. Relax your shoulders and loosen your neck in the car or elevator, or while you are waiting in the appointed hot seat (but do not crack your neck noisily before a stranger!).  If you have a hot and angry topic, it will eventually rear its head during the interview, but start out sweet and savvy!pexels-photo-261617.jpeg

  • If a media host gives you directions to the studio or station, write them down.  I once attended a radio interview that could not be found on anyone’s GPS. The host did not tell me why he was giving me directions, and I assumed he was a bit of a dinosaur, but I wrote them down anyway. Don’t let GPS destroy your whole reputation!

2. Smile at everyone and try to remember names. You can hear smiles in a voice, and you want to win them over to you and your cause, not isolate yourself. A show host may begin by talking about someone he or she works with, and knowing this  helps to orient you into this world where everyone is important, not just the radio host;

3. Facts tend to sober up the emotions.  Learn something to fulfill the value of your pexels-photo-355988.jpegtime slot. If you really, really don’t know, then do your research! During your interview, read your polished-up cues taken from factual notes from your research. No-one expects you to wing it all. And, even if you side with the minority, your opinion on the facts will draw interest and controversy. So, bring to the table your own polished hook on a given topic.

In my first stressful years of learning to publish and market authors, when I spoke of my professional struggles and self-doubt to my own authors, they offered some facts they had encountered personally to allay my fears. They told me why they found my services valuable. One of them repeatedly told me that Capture Books filled the niche between self-publishing and traditional publishing. One of them insisted that we charge her more money for our services because she wanted Capture Books to be around in the future! Understanding these facts offered by the primary source – from the authors I served – tossed my emotional devaluation and angst over the cliff into oblivion.

When I mentioned what our hybrid publishing company was doing to my first radio host, this proved to be the angle that excited him to book our authors!

Bringing facts to bolster your media interview includes quoting

  • something from the news, or
  • from classic history, or
  • something literary;

4. Turn your attention away from yourself by being genuinely interested in the person you are reaching out to, whether it is the DJ or pexels-photo-270288.jpegthe audience behind the wheel of the car.  Don’t worry about what you are going to say or when to say it. The radio host, DJ, podcast host or television host will introduce the questions he or she has prepared for you in its proper time. Prompting you at the right time is their job;

5. Use questions if you feel yourself lecturing or “promoting”.  Asking one or two conversational questions, on topic, stops your run-on monologue in the moment, breaks down the doldrums of saying the same thing repeatedly, and creates a new personal application or thought process in the mind of the listener that grabs attention;

I was in a presentation by a television host who said that she had never been asked a question by someone she was interviewing before.  One day, someone asked a question that rocked her world. She became a different person because of it.

6. Simply start a story.  There is an inner child in everyone who loves a good story or a good joke.  Have one prepared for each segment;child-childrens-baby-children-s.jpg

7. Gipper says, “Even if you are not yet brimming with confidence, simply holding your body in a strong position will give others the impression that you are confident about yourself, and they will treat you as such.” (SoSuave)


Shift from “My Presentation isn’t Ready/Perfect” to “It is Good Enough”

If you’ve ever caught yourself saying: “It’s not ready” or “‘I’m not sure it’s what they want” — this tip is for you, reports Jeanine Blackwell (Create6FigureCourses).

Jeanine says, “the truth is: we NEVER arrive at perfect. We never know for sure that this is THE thing they want.

“And the challenge is, if ‘perfect’ is the bar, we’re pretty much guaranteeing that we are going to be stuck in the process of creating, refining, and switching gears forever rather than getting our work out into the world.

“One of the most important mindset shifts we can make as entrepreneurs is to switch from ‘it has to be perfect’ to ‘this is good enough’.”

I found this to be true regarding our musical presentations. We had to move forward with our commitments in faith. Cancelling would have ruined our reputation. When we did our best, people always responded and the music books sold well.

It’s easy to underestimate the superpower of the hybrid business’ competitive edge. Hybrid authors can add on something really fast if there’s something we have to fix, even if it has to be tackled together.  We can respond quickly if there is a gap between what we see ourselves delivering and what the audience wants. It’s easy to think because we aren’t big, we don’t have enough resources. It’s actually the opposite.

Here’s the mindset move:

  • Get your work in front of your customers as quickly as you can.

It is a mistake to try to psyche yourself into confidence.  True confidence is built through action. To engage action, use

  • courage to pursue and test. Then,
  • pursue, accepting the high grades and low as any good student does,
  • pursue, and become the expert presenter you always wanted to be.

Leave your dreams in the dust. Instead, follow through with every opportunity to become real.

Go Brave!

A Golden Hearts Club for Authors

Sometimes New Authors Feel like Solopreneurs.

You begin publishing, then you learn that maybe you would sell more and gain a wider audience to blog aspects of your book, your opinion pieces, or other parts of your know-how in order to build an audience.

That being said, you decide to find new reviewers to build credentials. Then, you write a sequel.  You seem so busy, but has all this business built you a better microphone? You may be learning many valuable aspects of marketing and publicity, but what are you lacking?

Answer: You need to begin to market your expertise through other channels and platforms.  You need to be the self-starter in asking for this fun new relay to begin transmitting shared signals.pexels-photo-68086.jpeg


  • Because other people have their own following and are willing to give you access to them in exchange for something they may be interested in.
  • Because no matter how proudly you have embraced your author title, others may have never heard of your book, or your expertise, or the one thing you can offer their clients that they cannot.
  • Because there comes a time when you absolutely must reach out for help. And for savvy business owners, that help often comes in the form of Joint Venture partners.

Also called affiliates, JV partners act as your own private sales army, spreading the word about your products and services to a whole new audience—theirs. Not only do you reach people who might otherwise never encounter you, but you also benefit mightily from your JV partners’ existing relationships. By promoting you, an affiliate is endorsing you to her audience. She’s saying, “I know this seller; I trust her, and you should, too.”28423608_10215713252292125_7059743526985625089_o.jpg

Capture Books did this with Colorado Lark & Lavender Farm for their authors’ Mystery Box promo.

Three Unusual Places to Find JV Partners

Even with all those many benefits, coaches, authors, speakers, and by-product sellers sometimes struggle to find great partners. Sure, lots of people will register for your affiliate program, but the Pareto Principle is alive and well when it comes to JV partners: 20% of your affiliates will do 80% of the work you may ask them to do. That means your goal is to recruit higher performing, loyal, or more experienced partners.

The only question is, where do you find these great partners?

A. Pick the Brain of your Virtual Assistant

Chances are good that your Virtual Assistant, whom you might find here, works for other business owners in similar niches. If you’re a business coach, your virtual assistant very likely works with several other coaches or other business partners, and of course, he or she’s in a position to know…

  • Where the clients are in the business development cycle (ideally you want established partners, not newbies);
  • The audience demographics of his or her own clientele (Are they a good fit for you?);
  • The other business coaches’ willingness to promote (some people simply don’t do JV partnership, so it’s a waste of time to approach them);

B. Look to Your Best Clients

Especially if you’re a business coach, your clients might just be your biggest fans—and they’re in a position to recommend you to friends, family, social connections, and elsewhere.

If you are a spiritual guide, teacher, or coach, you might ask your followers to give you one firm lead to a new audience.  Often they will think up two or three leads, happily. When your approach the new leads, what is especially wonderful about this process is that you can say that “so-n-so just recommended that I reach out to you for an event you may be organizing…”  There!  Your #1 problem is solved.  For this name is your opening hook.  If so-n-so has recommended you, then for your recipient to see that familiar name in the first line of an e-mail, or hear that name in the first line of a phone message,  the potential lead will want to at least hear you out. Be sure your clients all know that you:

  1. offer a referral/affiliate program,
  2. how to sign up, and
  3. what the benefits are.

Right now, if you haven’t done this already, draft up your personal referral/affiliate program through your blog, through social media or through an email blast, a “just hit reply and I’ll send you the benefits of referring me” e-mail.  Imagine if you figured this program out on all three list platforms!






Never be disappointed with just one referral. This may be all you can handle at first.  Do the one referral justice, and you will gain many more.  Reputation spreads love, and love spreads reputation.

Right now, if you haven’t before, contact your fellow authors and ask them about being guest speakers or guest bloggers, or reviewing your book.  Offer a valuable lead to them or ask what is a need you may be able to help them fulfill.

C. Your Competitors

It’s true—your competitors might just be your biggest affiliates, if you give them a chance.

When you partner with a competitor, you learn many things.

Competition in circles is the best way for each business to attract its most interested followers. Have you ever noticed that where you see a Home Depot you see a Lowes? Where you see one retail outlet, you see a host of them knitted together in a mall?

In some circles (such as business and relationship coaching) clients tend to “graduate” from one coach and move to another. This is normal and to be expected. And when you’re on good terms with your competitors, the coach their ex-clients move to might just be you.

Don’t be afraid to look in unusual places for your next Joint Venture partner. You really never know who can connect you with potential clients and partners. Think big. Big hearted.  A Golden Hearts Club.

Think about all your relationships—from your team to your social circles to your competitors and colleagues—and consider all of their relationships and how far that might stretch.

Then pick up the phone or draft an email and start leveraging your contacts!


A Fool’s Day Easter

geese tent lightpole IMG_20170417_192045_968

Holy week, this year, culminates on – what’s that? – On what? April Fool’s Day?

Sometimes I act like the namesake of my birthday, I’m an April Fool’s clown.  I’m bored, I’m conflicted, I’m a rebel, I’m a jester in a court of fools.

I go to a worship service and hear, “Come to Easter next week.  Easter Sunday is kind of a big thing in Christianity,” and I think, “Kind of a big thing?”

  • Isn’t the resurrection of Christ the rudder that turned the whole ship?
  • Isn’t Easter the children’s egg hunt and family stress feast, bonking red eggs with my Greek friends?
  • Wait, isn’t Easter the wind in our sails no matter what we believe?
  • Ah, Easter is about making children happy with morning baskets filled with expensive chocolates, gumdrops and jellybeans!

Yes, I get the April Fool’s joke on this 2018 Easter.  I feel the joke brown all the way down to the ground.  It will be made on believers in the resurrection, why?

We just compromise it all, again and again, even though everything belongs to the LORD.

All the fullness of the earth begun,

Land and spaciousness for everyone,

All of it, including what may come:

It is the Lord’s!

For He founded it upon the seas,

Drawing limits, drawing floods and springs.

Who approaches Him, ascends His hill?

It is the Lord’s!                                                     (Psalm Hymn 24, Larkins)

I feel extremely uncomfortable working two celebrations into the one that happens to be the most important commemoration of life. Still, I tend to hand over the events of the day to whomever happens to be joining with me. I hand it over because they don’t understand.

Resurrection Day happens to be the most meaningful event of history, commemorated. It memorializes that Someone claiming to be the officer of God, the Son of God, actually rose from the dead by the Hand unclaimed by anyone else. Astounding. Even the way we see the events in time are now named A.D. and B.C., so those who don’t like to commemorate this day are nevertheless accountable to understand something of its historical treasure.

To oblige our non-Christian others, really two alternative celebrations are offered.  The children’s Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Basket celebration and family feast brace the one option while the Gaia tradition and goddess worship braces the second.

The goddess tradition has been the other unheralded undercurrent of Easter, perhaps, because it is a little far-fetched.  We see it’s icon with the Easter Bunny, though. Bunnies are the icon of Springtime fertility, and the fertility goddess is celebrated on Easter by raised voices.  The theory goes, Women are the supreme god-gender because we are the fruitful ones.  Nothing would exist without us and our wombs and breasts, right?

Except, excuse me, I did not create either my womb or my breasts. Even the first woman, Eve, did not create her own gender.

Besides this inconvenient fact, I’ve never had children or suckled babies. So, this whole goddess of fertility thing just doesn’t resonate with me.  I feel disconnected from all of these traditions.

Who shall stand within His holy place?

One whose hands are clean and filled with grace;

One whose heart is pure, who does not swear


One, who runs the race discarding pride,

Doesn’t lift a soul to vain demise;

He receives the blessing from the Lord,

adorned on high!

Also, my disconnection is because I am both a rational and emotional human being.  To be honest, I can go celebrate Easter with my church group, and I can also enjoy a seemingly innocent Easter Egg Hunt. I have gotten so busy preparing Easter courses that I’ve omitted what is most prized and precious to me deciding not to celebrate with my family of believers at all.  I miss the worship service for the One Whose jurisdiction over death has showered innumerable benefits upon us.

I can visit my goddess worshipping family members and pretend that this belief isn’t a complete offense to the One Who I worship, though He understand all of these weaknesses and failures and sins against Him.

After all, didn’t Jesus – God’s Son – ask for a donkey colt upon which to ride into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday towards His betrayal and gruesome death on a cross?

Righteousness is from the God who saves.

See the generation of His grace?

They will seek the Father’s holy face,

and Jacob sighs!

Lift your wooden gates and lift them high!

You with everlasting doors, swing wide!

And the King of glory shall come in

to visit them!

He rode into the city accepting the worship of those who believed He was a political appointee, the ruler who would soon take over and bring them justice and mercy.  Their clothing, their palm branches, were the carpet upon which He rode to his death.

These people who were just like me, feeble, overly sure of our perspectives and unwilling to repent of anything big or little. They were the crowd followers seeking their own benefits in mass.


This blog is, in a way, my way of repenting.  I need to repent.  I have sins of doing and sins of undoing and sins of isolation, fear, and omissions.  I pray this year is not the April Fool’s Day of the global Church.  I pray that we search for the truth of His power over death at large, with our whole heart.

Who is this, the glorious King Who comes?

He’s the strong and mighty Lord, Who won,

See the Lord Who fought for our repair.

Lift high your gates!

While you’re lifting up your long-closed doors;

Greet the King of glory Who adorns.

“Who,” you ask, “is such a splendid King?”

He is the Lord!” 

– Psalm Hymn 24, by L.L. Larkins

Sung to the hymn tune, At Calvary

by William R. Newell after a rebellious youth (1895)

Psalm Hymns: Book Review

I just found this sweetly grounded review on the web of one of our author’s books, Psalm Hymns. Having as many solid reviews as possible greatly helps the interest in a new author’s book.

A Satisfied Spirit

Psalm Hymns by L.L. Larkins

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review a collection of Psalms set to well-known hymns and carols.  The musician in me has been waiting for a long time to see and perform something like this.  All-in-all in I enjoyed the time spent reading and singing.

Things I liked most:

  1. Using melodies already known to the Believer to enhance the Word.
  2. Having this collection at my fingertips to use in the worship service.
  3. A smaller set of Psalms set to Christmas music and carols was included in the package. (Caroling Through The Psalms by L.L. Larkins)
  4. The author included the opportunity to send the reader/performer’s recording to them personally for possible inclusion on a future digital release.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Matching known melodies to these psalms sometimes resulted in awkward rhythmic patterns.
  2. The message of some of these psalms was lost in the…

View original post 83 more words

Testing Your Brand, for Novice Authors


To answer your questions on blogging, I don’t think platform matters so much as being consistent, and branding and building quality, energy and a network. All these things require experimentation, testing and retesting.

I think it is as easy to do articles on LinkedIn – because it is so simple to drop in pictures, links and it makes your blog sharable to all the other social media platforms as well as it builds your professional presence – as it is to blog on WordPress.  You can tag friends, associates or other people or groups, too.

If you would like to become a voice for your target audience of spiritually seeking younger women, and would like to become a speaker or presenter, or just be available to hire, then, I’d recommend using LinkedIn, as I find it more professional and less mired in the overly saturated marketing hype of “bloggers-opinions-going-nowhere”.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that you need to choose one or two voices to “blog” in. If you want to be an online advisor to young women, be your name.  If you want to talk about your writing themes and processes, your style, your motives and other life stories, and encourage other writers, be your name. You can do several authentic things under your real name. Figure out the who-what-when-where-why and how of your real name branding.  If you choose not to write books in a series, you will want to defend your position and choice in that brand.  (And, Capture Books stands behind our authors and will share our authors’ articles or blogs.)

The biggest advice I can give you is to consider everything you do, no matter how hard you work at it, to be a “test”.  Do NOT pay for the upgrades in the first year. That way, if it isn’t immediately successful, you don’t have to get depressed about being a broad spectrum failure!  You simply tweak the “hook” put a different picture into the article, add a couple new links, check your spelling and energy in the article, tag a different audience and try again.  Use your first year or two to get the hang of what you are doing and to find your vocal branding.

Marketing is a test and retest endeavor.  I’ve been testing and experimenting myself and it is a great way to collect data and try to get the word out in a different way.

If you do two different “voices” in your blogging, you can always “share” the other work and tag a new audience for a new purpose, with a recommendation hook from the other persona.

In the beginning of testing, you may write down several questions… why didn’t this go far?  Is it because I haven’t yet established myself, or because I edited poorly, or because I forgot how to hook and question an audience in the opening sentence, or because I forgot to add a couple of the “learn more” linked button to my book in the article?  As, you practice blogging and marketing you’ll figure out these things and grow and become more consistent.

The second biggest advice I can give you is to not like and share everything you see from people you want to encourage.  Be intentional about whom you associate with in your branding.

I’ve learned this the hard way.  People don’t really know what I stand for because I’ve spread myself so thin.  They have become wary.  But, I’m a very philosophical Christian and I’m also a publisher, and I care about the underdogs too much, so … oh well.  Don’t do that to yourself.

So, all of this is to say it really doesn’t matter which platform you choose. Choose one and then be consistently testing and networking to build your quality, branding, energy, contacts, and sales.

Choose one day per month to send out information about your book or new developments professionally.  Make that a firm assignment.  The other stuff can be stories, shares, opinions and limited great family stuff without breaching their privacy, but which makes you wonderfully human and lovable. Use your dogs. OH MAN. People love animal stuff.