Quality Resources for Christian Writers 
Newsletter #1
August 1st, 2013
A Book Review of Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot by Amanda Chance
is an extraordinary nonfiction book written in a manner that weaves a collection of stories together to prove faith is still strong today.


Blessings come in many forms. Author Teena Myers was given a financial gift and told to use it for her ministry. Bewildered and confused, she tried to give it back. After realizing she couldn't return the money, Teena joined an eclectic group of writers who taught and guided her towards purpose.


After a challenge was given to her by an atheist, Teena decided to write a book to prove that God still intervenes in human lives today.


One element each story has in common is the phenomenal intervention that God still provides us with today.


Inside the pages of Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot you will encounter an abundance of experiences that provide substantial evidence of God and His amazing love. 


While reading, I was hanging on every word with excitement regarding the events unfolding within the pages.


Are you an author or creator? Submit your book, product, app or resource for review.  


The Craft: 
Before You Write (examining the root of idea)

Many people who are familiar with me know that I frequently suffer from migraines.   


Before I began working with CWA, I was prescribed a medicine that killed my creativity. I could not form ideas or complete sentences or hold a thought for any length of time. I couldn't work. The average conversation reduced me to tears because, by the time I had a thought ready to express, the slightest interruption could zap it from my memory.  People would stare at me as I'd stutter and listen to me say something I had no intention of saying.


My children were running through my house one day while I was cooking spaghetti for dinner. Seeing their behavior, I yelled "stop boiling in the house".  Of course, I meant to say "stop running in the house".  That was the last straw for me and I dropped the medicine with no love lost.


At that point I had a task of rebuilding my creativity, restoring ideas and establishing my writing and art all over again from scratch. I'd sit there with a sketch pad or my notebook and nothing would come. I was empty. I felt like I'd lost myself. Then, finally, I began to pray.


It began first with my artwork.  I asked God to lead me in what I painted, even down to the color choice. I kid you not, my painting was stronger and the colors more vivid.  Eventually, I asked Him to tell me what to write. Then I followed the prompting in my spirit. Once I tried to add something to a painting that I knew was all me and, when it was added, I hated it. It wasn't how I thought it would look and it wasn't good. That's when I decided that I needed to ignore myself.


When we talk about the moments before we write, we tend to think about plotting, outlining and research. I want to urge you to go back to the root of the idea. Evaluate its source.  If God is in it, you must grow that seed of an idea in excellence. If God is not at the root of your idea, take a moment to seek Him in it. Let Him lead you.


I probably spend more time praying about what I write than I spend actually writing. I'm okay with this. Are you?


We all quote Philippians 4:13, but too often we ignore the "all" in that verse and isolate Him from areas where we feel naturally strong.  As a result our best attempts end up mediocre.  This verse is not intended solely for your weak areas so God can puff you up and make you strong. This verse is for your strong areas too, so God can fill you up to overflowing and form an idea that will blow your mind.   


This isn't the advice you were expecting is it? It's not practical enough. It doesn't exercise your skills enough.


Sorry, I hold my position. No advice can be so crucial to your success.


Before you write, pray.  


Market News: Amazon's Buyout of Goodreads

Remember the song Video Killed the Radio Star? When I think of the Goodreads buyout I can't help humming the tune and substituting the chorus lines as "Kindle killed the indie bookstore".


As the original song says, "we can't rewind we've gone too far". By embracing the Kindle we've built Amazon into a mega powerhouse that can easily swallow our favorite book related social sites with a wink and a nod.


We watched our favorite mom and pop book stores close up shop and felt our jaw drop just a little when Borders closed their doors. We built an online book world through our purchasing choices and now we're calling foul as a power struggle forms to establish the biggest online entity.


We can claim Amazon is a bully, a monopoly, etc, but if it is, we are the buyers that built that house. It's a simple principle, feed it and it will grow.


Authors and publishers have been in a tizzy since March 28, 2013 when the news went out that Amazon would be acquiring Goodreads. I seriously think we need to take a deep breath, step back and ask ourselves "is this entirely bad?"


Let's face it, regardless of your position on this deal, Amazon is a very clever marketer. Their owners think intuitively and grab their competition when the opportunity presents. That's not a monopoly, that's good business practice.


According to Goodreads, they have "more than 16 million members and there are more than 30,000 books clubs on the Goodreads site."


They go on to explain that "members have added more than 530 million books to their shelves and written more than 23 million reviews."   This is a fantastic acquisition for Amazon and they are smart to attempt it.


Amazon recognizes their strength is sales and targeted marketing while Goodreads boasts a friendly common man approach in a social community packed full of book lovers. Combined they could provide readers, especially Kindle fans, with the powerhouse book selling strategies of Amazon and the community conversation of Goodreads.


If done wisely, with respect for readers and authors who have a vested interest, it could be a fantastic merger.


I don't for a minute believe that this buyout is a game changer in the publishing industry as multiple sources claim. I think the game changer happened with the creation of the Kindle, which we all eagerly embraced.  Its rampant success paved the way for this moment.


Goodreads admits that members have asked them to provide Kindle resources, now they can. Their site could get stronger and better. Meanwhile Amazon will obviously benefit from behind the scenes data sharing that enable them to market better to the customer- -you and your readers.


In spite of the tear-lined logos and twitter rants, I suspect this merger will be a good thing for self-published indie authors, especially those publishing on Amazon. There are multiple members on the CWA Review Crew who do not post reviews on Amazon because they would have to provide a credit card to build a profile and that's uncomfortable to them (or they're really smart and don't have a credit card). Instead of Amazon, they post on Goodreads. If these sources combine to fill in the gaps this could double an author's reviews and boost sales.


The future is uncertain. As readers, authors and customers we will help shape it by what we embrace.




"It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which He creates" 

~ Amy Carmichael



I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Writer's Block. Feel free to share it with your friends.

Heather Randall
Christian Women Affiliate LLC
In This Issue
A Book Review
The Craft
Market News
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