Lynnette Bonner Conquers the Indie Publishing Jungle

By Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal

Because of Lynnette Bonner’s unique upbringing, one might almost think she was destined to forge a new path as an independent author.

She began life in Malawi, Africa, where her parents were missionaries. She learned to speak Chichewa (Chee-chay-wuh) fluently, climbed acacia trees, sampled fire-braised termites, and ran through tall, crisp grasses playing “cows” with her young African friends.

From fourth grade on, she resided at a Kijabe, Kenya, boarding school during each curricular term. When she came to the US to attend college, she met a young man who had grown up “in the sticks of Idaho. That’s just about as close as you can get to African ambiance and still be on US soil,” she says. That man is now her husband, Pastor Marty Bonner.

LynnetteBonnerPinableAfter Lynnette finished her first novel in 2000 and submitted it to many publishers and agents, a small e-book publisher finally offered her a contract and released her book. Then the company promptly went out of business. By that time she was homeschooling her two oldest kids, had a toddler, and then gave birth to her fourth child.

“I told the Lord the book was in his hands,” she says, admitting she was pretty sure he already knew that. She also determined that if God had given her the story just to help her through those tough, stressful years, she’d try to be content.

“But I kept asking him to direct my steps where the book was concerned. I specifically remember praying that if the Lord wanted this book to be published, he would need to ‘drop a publisher in my lap’ because I didn’t have time to shop it around again.”

Several years later, a small press—the first she’d submitted to in seven years—eagerly picked up the book, and Lynnette was on her way.

Eventually she realized that she could be even more effective if she became an “indie” author—a writer who publishes independently instead of with traditional publishers. That decision encompassed much more than mere self-publishing. It involved every step of the process: writing, editing, proofreading, layout, cover design, marketing, and even legal concerns, such as acquiring each book’s ISBN number.

Perhaps adapting to a new culture when she came to the US as a young adult helped Lynnette acquire the skills she’d need years later for negotiating the jungles of independent publishing.

She has been successful in her endeavors. To date, Lynnette has indie-published ten books. At the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, she will share the secrets she has learned.

An Overview of Indie Publishing-1) An Overview of Indie Publishing: Nothing Less than the Best (Friday, May 15) – What exactly is indie publishing? How is it accomplished, who is best suited to go that route, and what’s the best way to go about it? Let’s talk about print and e-book formatting that shines, and much, much more.

Making Your eBooks Work for You2) Making Your E-books Work for You (Saturday, May 16) – Learn about the many passive marketing techniques you can incorporate into your e-books to make them work harder for you. We’ll talk about the first things all successful indie authors need to have in place, along with other verified marketing techniques proven to work for the instructor and many of her indie author friends. If you have an e-book you want to take to the next level, this is the class for you.

Lynnette’s latest book, Song of the Surf, will be awarded to every qualified person who enters this year’s Grand Prize Contest. Don’t miss your opportunity to win a free ten-page manuscript critique by our keynote speaker, Angela Hunt, along with an e-book copy of Lynnette’s newest Christian romance.

To learn timely insights about indie publishing, sign up today for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!

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DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she is also director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

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7 Facts You Might Not Know about Angela Hunt

By Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

You might know a few facts about author Angela Hunt.

You might know she is a Christy-Award winner and has sold over four million books worldwide.

Maybe you purchased the much-loved book The Tale of Three Trees for your children.

Maybe you stayed up too late reading one of her 130 books.

7 Facts About Angela Hunt

Tweet7 Facts You Might Not Know About Angela Hunt

 

But here are seven facts you might not be aware of:

  1. Angela has appeared with her dog on Live with Regis and Kelly. A few years ago, Angela and her husband were invited to bring one of their mastiffs, proclaimed the “second-largest canine in America,” on an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for a TV appearance. The trip was complete with VIP air travel and a tour of New York City in a stretch limo. (At the airport afterward, the dog gave out pawtographs.)

Angela's dog

  1. Angela spends one day a month photographing dogs and cats at her local animal shelter. In 2012 she began taking photos of rescue animals to help find them homes, discovered she loved making her “models” look their best, and the following year launched Angela Hunt Photography, a family-centered boutique photography studio. She used to be at the shelter once a week, but now she’s also using her skills at a hospital where she takes pictures of folks with terminal babies as a way to help families through the grieving process.
  1. In fifth grade Angela learned how to flirt when she read Gone with the Wind. She says books have always shaped her life.

TweetBooks taught author Angela Hunt everything she needed to know . . . even how to flirt.

  1. For most of the past decade, Dr. Hunt has been doing postgraduate studies. She completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree in 2006, her doctorate in 2008, and was accepted into a Th.D. program in 2009.
  1. Angela’s novel The Note was made into a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie that first aired in December 2007. Since then it has received the Hallmark Channel’s third-highest all-time rating.
  1. About the only thing that doesn’t interest Angela is the subject of sports. In addition to having a fascination for animals, she’s also interested in medicine, psychology, unexplained phenomena, and “nearly everything else.”
  1. Angela appreciates her readers so much that she’s available to chat with them during free 15-minute conference calls via phone or Skype. To take advantage of this opportunity, all you have to do is belong to a reading group or book club and contact her with your requested date and time. Then invite beginning writers, readers, and fiction fans to your group, put on a pot of coffee, and settle in for a time of unscripted, honest conversation.

Writing Lesson from the FrontWhat could be better than a personal conference call? Seeing Angela in person at the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, May 15–16, 2015. As keynote speaker, she will inspire you to use your God-given writing gifts, and she will share valuable tips and strategies from her popular how-to series, Writing Lessons from the Front.

Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt writes for readers who expect the unexpected.

Readers of the series rave about how Angela’s advice has helped them get published. Three of the titles in her nine-part series are Evoking Emotion, The Fiction Writer’s Book of Checklists, and Track Down the Weasel Words. One reviewer sums up a fourth book, The Plot Skeleton, as “a wealth of practicality that lends itself towards instant application.” Another credits the method for the sale of her first novel. Calling Angela “a writing genius,” still another writer finds that the book Point of View helps writers understand the secret power behind POV and how it can aid with suspense, characterization, and voice.

Now, at an information-packed two-day conference, you can soak up inspirational and practical teaching from one of today’s most accomplished Christian fiction writers.

As soon as registration opens, you’ll want to sign up for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!

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DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she also directs the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference near Seattle. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

2 NCWA Conferences: Which Should You Attend?

by Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

In the next few months, you’ll have two exciting conferences to benefit from: The WriteTech Conference on January 24, 2015, and the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal the weekend of May 15–16, 2015.

Why two? Although the goal of each is to help you be a successful writer, the tools you’ll receive at each conference differ slightly.

 

WriteTech Conference with keynote speaker Thomas Umstattd Jr.

The WriteTech Conference – Dramatic changes in the publishing industry mean that introverted writers can no longer hide behind closed doors and produce reams of material in solitude while leaving the marketing—or even publishing—to others. The job description of “successful author” now includes competence in computer software and social-media platforms.

Aack! What’s a writer to do? The good news is that Thomas Umstattd Jr., the 2015 WriteTech Conference keynoter, is a whiz at helping authors master the world of technology. He and his fellow presenters will assist you with blogging, branding, and understanding cloud technology. You’ll gain a working understanding of voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking), word-processing software (Microsoft Word and Scrivener), and social media sites (Twitter and Goodreads) and sharpen your skills for indie publishing and producing a professional media kit.

Then look out, world! Your new skills and confidence will enable you to get your message out to its intended audience.

Angela Hunt pm

The Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference – While the 2015 Renewal will also feature some training to help you master technology, the conference will cover a lot more territory. You’ll be able to receive critiques on your material, learn important basic information if you’re a beginning writer, and pitch your current project to an editor or agent if you’re advanced enough to seek a publisher. At all levels you’ll be inspired, enriched, and informed about the writing life.

Perhaps the best part is that for two full days, you’ll be able to network with other writers who have similar goals. You’ll connect with people you already know, and you’ll also meet new friends. If you’re just beginning your journey, you can be a “Timothy” and learn from a Paul-like mentor. If you’re a little farther along in your writing journey, you can serve as a “Paul” to someone else. Maybe you’re in the position to do both. In the Christian writing community, most of us share the same goal: to advance the kingdom of God through our skills, gifts, and talents.

So, which conference should you sign up for? Both! Rest assured that we are squeezing every line in the budget in order to keep costs as low as possible for you, so now’s the time to let family and friends know that high on your holiday wish list are gifts of cash to help you with registration and other expenses.

The WriteTech Conference is only $80—and that includes lunch! (It’s even less for early birds and NCWA members.) We’ll publish registration info for the Renewal conference just as soon as we finish hard-nosed negotiations with hotels and caterers.

Consider these conferences as solid steppingstones in your writing career. We’re confident that when you see your byline in print for the first time or you land your next book contract, you’ll be glad you made these investments.

TweetWriters conferences are solid steppingstones to your writing career.

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Diana SavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she also directs the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference near Seattle. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.