Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tool Time!

I’m moving to a new state, which means that my home is up for sale. Which means that I’m painting and touching up and fixing what needs to be fixed.

Sort of. . .

I realized quickly that I didn’t have all the tools that I needed. My paintbrush was caked with paint from 2005. The caulk gun didn’t shoot straight. I found a hammer, but the handle was wrapped in duct tape.

Before you judge me, understand that carpentry isn’t my trade. I know my limitations, so I usually hire someone who is skilled. Since these were small jobs, I thought I could handle it, but not with the tools in my tool box.

As a writer, you also need the right tools.

One tool that is essential to a market guide.

The CBA (Christian Bookseller’s Association) recognizes The Christian Writer’s Market Guide: Your Comprehensive Guide to Getting Published by Jerry Jenkins as the most comprehensive and up-to-date marketing guide available. It’s published annually and is a complete guide for writers and authors who desire to write for the Christian marketplace.

The Christian Writer’s Market is indexed by genres (a genre is a type of writing like humor or romance) so you can search by a particular writing interest. Chapters are broken down into large markets such as Book Publishers or Consumer Magazines and then further categorized. For example, there are categories for music, parenting, youth, and regional publications as well as a host of others.

A writers’ guide contains information about thousands of magazine and book publishers. Information includes the publisher’s address, name and title of editors, payment and rights information, circulation, needs of the publication, and guidelines for manuscript or query submission. Most listings also have editor’s tips, which provides the personal likes and dislikes of editors and is very valuable information.

Writing without a market guide is like a this girl trying to paint a house without the proper tools—I might have the colors I need, and even an idea of what I want it to look like, but chances are the house isn’t going to be painted properly.

The Christian Writer’s Market Guide makes certain that your query, proposal, or request to an agent or editor is in the correct genre, submitted properly, and has the best chance of meeting an editor’s needs.


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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Apologies for the previous email…

Hi everyone!

My name is Lisa Boyd and I am the Web Director for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Yesterday I moved Next Step Speaker Services to a new home on the internet. While it should have been a seamless process, there was an email that was sent out to subscribers. I apologize for this email being sent (it was posts from my own blog). Please know that your emails are still safe, and that nothing has been hacked here at Next Step! I just didn’t have some of the techie things pointing in the right direction.

Thank you for your understanding! Praying you have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

Lisa Boyd


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cancelled Call

We have decided to cancel Suzie’s “Write Right” conference call at this time. We know this is a busy time of year as school ends and summer begins, so we may offer it again in the future at a better time. Blessings to you as you write!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Begging God to Fill the Gaps

That “UH-OH” feeling started to creep in on Monday morning when I woke to a gunky throat, usually leading to the laryngitis that renders me silent about once a year.  By Monday afternoon I could barely croak, and the retreat I was speaking for during the upcoming weekend loomed.

I won’t go into every mucus-y detail, but although I regained a raspy voice by Friday, I was still feeling lousy as I crawled into the car to drive myself to the airport.  My nose actually dripped, not once but twice, on the table in front of brand new friends at lunch.  (Hope I didn’t just make you lose yours.)

You may be feeling sorry for me by now, but I’m actually writing this post to brag on God rather than to whine about my circumstances.

All week I wondered, “What should I do?”  There was a plane ticket with my name on it, a website with my face and topic description on it, and a group of moms and daughters packing for their long-anticipated getaway.  As I prayed, I felt God nudging me to lean on Him and trust Him to come through.

So I did.

I emailed out prayer requests to my friends and team and started to beg God to fill in all my gaps.

So He did.

As I stood to speak Friday night, my symptoms subsided completely…until the moment I sat down.  The weekend was full of amazing worship led by a phenomenal worship leader, loving interactions between mothers and daughters, and divine conversations.  I not only “got through”, I was filled.  God filled in my gaps as I spoke, and He used the echoes of this scripture to keep me going:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (II Cor. 12:9)

I’m so thankful for my weekend on so many levels, but I’m most grateful that God used it to remind me of my frailty and His faithfulness.  It’s a reminder all of us “up front girls”–authors and speakers–can use every once in a while. :)



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