Posts Tagged ‘Novel Rocket’

I recently read a blogpost on the Novel Rocket site that tweaked my interest because it’s about indie publishing. It’s written by Michelle Griep, an amazing Christian author who, incidentally, has a great sense of humor. I’ve read a number of her books (Gallimore, A Heart Deceived, Brentwood’s Ward) and loved them. When I asked Michelle if I could repost her article here, she said, “You betcha.” So here is Michelle’s experience with independent publishing, so far…

You know those TV shows that feature some daredevil lighting his underwear on fire as he hops on a motorcycle and jumps over five semi-trucks and a baby, all while some scrolling type at the bottom of the screen warns you not to attempt this at home? Yeah. I feel like there should be some kind of warning to those considering self publishing because it’s really not as easy as it looks. Leastwise not if you want to put out a quality book.

So here is my attempt at enlightening those who think they’ll just slap up some type on Createspace and rake in a million bucks.

**pretend the following is scrolling across the screen . . . I’m not technologically savvy enough to do that and there’s no teenager around for me to collar**

  1. Covers are a pain in the patootie. Who knew there’d be so many decision to make? Color. Style. Artwork. Wording. Layout. Font. Sizing. Transparency. Bleed. And that’s just in the first consultation.
  1. No matter how many times you go through a manuscript, you can always find something else to change.
  1. A good editor is worth her weight in chai. I didn’t actually have the money up front to pay for a manuscript edit so I bartered for a lifetime supply of chai. So far it’s worked out pretty good. Of course, if she lives to be one hundred, I may be in trouble. Nah. I’ll be dead first. Hahahaha! Joke’s on her. . . wait a minute. Maybe not.
  1. If you put your book up for pre-order on Amazon, they give you a deadline set in stone to upload your final copy. If you’re late, oops! Your name is written on the Amazon naughty list and you don’t get to put up any more pre-orders for over a year.
  1. There’s way more that goes into producing a book than simply good writing, though that is a must. There’s book size, paper color, paper weight, ISBN nonsense, Library of Congress shtuff, a bajillion different kind of ebook conversions, yada, yada. Seriously, I had no idea.

It was an adventure putting out my self-pubbed book, Writer Off the Leash, but one that’s been a good education. Would I do it again? Probably. Will I leave the realm of traditional publishing behind? Nope. Each venue has their pros and cons.


WOTL Front Cover Final

WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.




Michelle Headshot 2 2015


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

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I read Violet Nesdoly‘s guest post on Novel Rocket on January 17th and thought it so well worded that I asked her if I could post it on my blog. She kindly gave her permission, so here it is. Many thanks to you, Violet.


Probably unlike most of you, I am a reluctant novelist. I did not imagine stories and tell them to my dolls as a kid. My writing genres of choice are articles, blog posts, devotionals, and poetry. Yes, I’ve written and published a few stories but writing fiction has never come easily or naturally to me.

However, there was one story that ate away at my consciousness for years. I finally caved and wrote it as a NaNoWriMo project in November 2009 and published it in 2012. That, I told myself, was going to be it for fiction.

Except that people keep asking, when is your next book coming out? So I started thinking sequel and dreaming and researching… As I got down to work, there was a click of rightness. But there was also a lot of apprehension. Having been through the process once, I know how much work it is to plan and write a novel-length story and that the writing is only the beginning.

I have, in the two years that I’ve been nibbling away at this, often allowed myself interruptions. Then, when it was time to get back to work, I’ve prayed, “Lord, is this really what you want me to do? A novel is, after all, just entertainment. Couldn’t you give me something less frivolous and more important to write?”

I was praying like that again a few days into the new year when I was back at my desk facing my binder of research notes, looking through my Scrivener file of character summaries, and reviewing my stapled sheets of plot ideas. As before, I got no other answer but “You have your assignment. Now get busy.”

A few days later I was praying the day’s Scripture prayers from A Watchman’s Guide to Praying God’s Promises. In the guide author Dick Eastman emphasizes the importance of prayer for our society and its influencers. He names seven main ones that he calls “Mountains of Influence”: Religion, Family & Marriage, Education, Business, Government, Media, and Arts and Entertainment (including Sports). The seventh day of each month is devoted to prayer for Arts and Entertainment with Scripture verses and suggested prayers.

On January 7th, then, I found myself reading and praying this: “Lord, you are the creator of all things, and you have made us in your image so that we are creative like you. Today I pray that your Spirit would fill and inspire the arts and entertainment industries so that the things we create and celebrate would reflect your beauty and purity. Let creativity lead the world back to you the creator…”

And then I heard some strong words:

Violet, entertainment is a huge influence, a mountain of influence in your society. Do not trivialize this work I give you. It is not frivolous or unimportant. Instead of praying for a different job, pray that you would do this one well; that your words would be light on the path to Me in the realm of entertainment. 

I love reading novels. I have the utmost respect for many of you whose books I’ve read and perhaps even reviewed. If there’s a purpose for my halting tales, there is so much more for yours. So be encouraged today that your entertaining creations are not trivial or frivolous but important and potentially influential outposts of the Kingdom of God on our society’s mountain of Arts and Entertainment.

Violet Nesdoly

Violet Nesdoly

Violet Nesdoly is a freelance writer and author who lives near Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Her biblical fiction Destiny’s Hands was a finalist in the historical fiction category of the 2013 The Word Awards. Visit her online

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Blog #1 — Is My Writing Acceptable to God?

Most of us who claim to be writers experience a rollercoaster of emotions regarding our calling. These vary from “who am I kidding?” to “this is pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself.”

That’s to be expected. We work in a field that is continually evolving, where we must constantly assert ourselves (and most of us are non-assertive introvert types to begin with) in order to succeed.

I recently read a post on Novel Rocket by Violet Nesdoly that speaks to this articulately. What I took from this post is that writing is an acceptable service to God, that fiction is an acceptable perspective of looking at the world, that we as fiction writers can and do influence our world for good and for God. (Forgive me, Violet, if I’ve misinterpreted your words, but this was my impression.)

Whether we write Christian fiction or not, we write from a Christian worldview. I pray that our words will give hope to a world in dire need of it.

So let’s be thankful for a calling that allows us to be our creative selves and to express our hearts in story form. Let’s trust that the words we hammer out, or the ones that slide more easily onto the page, can be used by the Lord in reaching people for him, in inspiring readers. And let’s continue to do our best in this chosen vocation and let God direct our words to those who need it most.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…”

Colossians 3:23

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love O Lord endures forever…”

Psalm 138:8


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