May 19, 2013
PRAY WITH ONE VOICE
A Prayer for the World
Almighty God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
We gather with believers all over the world,
to glorify You as Creator of heaven and earth.
You alone are holy and righteous.
We submit to Your authority.
We praise and adore You alone.
Father, we honour You
Lord Jesus Christ, we honour You
Holy Spirit, we honour You
Our Father in heaven,
Thank You for loving the world so much
that You gave Your only Son, Jesus Christ,
to die on the cross for our sins
so that we could be reconciled to You.
Fill us with your love as we faithfully intercede for the lost,
the hopeless, the helpless and the world.
Thank You Father, for adopting us into Your family.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You died on the cross and
redeemed us to the Father by Your blood.
You are Head of the Church
and Lord of all heaven and earth.
Let Your kingdom be established in every nation of the world
bring transformation among peoples of all tribes and languages
so that righteousness and justice will prevail.
May Your Name be great, from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Jesus Christ, You are Lord of all.
Father of mercy and grace,
We have sinned.
Our world is gripped by the power of sin.
Our hearts are grieved by injustice, hatred and violence.
We are shamed by oppression, racism and bloodshed in our land.
We mourn all loss of life in murder, war and terrorism.
Our homes are broken and our churches are divided by rebellion and pride.
Our lives are polluted by selfishness, greed, idolatry and sexual sin.
God of mercy, forgive our sins.
Pour out Your grace and heal our land.
Spirit of the living God,
Transform Your Church into the image of Jesus Christ.
Release Your power to bring healing to the sick,
freedom to the oppressed and comfort to those who mourn.
Fill us with compassion
for the homeless and the hungry
for orphans, widows and the elderly.
Give us wisdom and insight for our world’s problems
to use the resources of the earth for the well-being of all.
Holy Spirit, guide us and lead us.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You destroyed sin, conquered death and defeated Satan.
Remove the veil of darkness that covers the peoples.
Restrain the evil that promotes violence and death.
Deliver us from demonic oppression.
Break the hold of slavery, tyranny and disease.
Help us to tear down strongholds and ideologies
that resist the knowledge of God.
Almighty God, deliver us from evil.
King of Glory,
Come and finish Your work in our cities, our peoples and our nations.
From all continents and islands we cry:
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Be lifted up ancient doors
so that the King of glory may come in!
Come fill the earth with the knowledge of Your glory
as the waters cover the sea.
The Spirit and the Bride say:
Amen! Come Lord Jesus!
May 18, 2013
Today is Armed Forces Day, a day to honor all branches of the service and the people who serve. Thank you to all our military members and to their families.
May is also Military Appreciation Month, a time to show our appreciation to everyone who has served in the military, past and present. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.
May 17, 2013
When I started out, I didn’t know blogging would be so much fun. I hope my visitors enjoy visiting my blog half as much as I enjoy writing it!
May 16, 2013
Jan McClintock, my friend and associate—my editorial assistant and web developer—is also a blogger/book reviewer. She was recently interviewed by the Pittsburgh Examiner about historical fiction. I think you will find the interview interesting, especially if you like historical fiction.
May 15, 2013
Recently, I received a phone call from a former client. He is a former client because he didn’t want to take my advice. I edited his book and helped him self-publish it, but he didn’t believe me that he would have to do a lot of work to market his book.
He has since published a second novel without benefit of my help, and he’s very disappointed that his books aren’t selling. So he’s decided that he wants to get an agent and try to get his books published by a traditional publisher.
He asked me to help him understand a response he received from an agent he had queried. He had emailed an agent with a message like this: “I have written two books. Will you be my agent?”
The response he received was, “Please follow the submission guidelines on our website.”
I pointed him to the submission guidelines: a query letter, a synopsis, and three chapters submitted to a specific agent through the agency’s website.
After I told him what a synopsis was and explained that he needed to read the bios of the agents and find one who represented historical fiction , he said, “I don’t want to do all that. I’ll just call them.”
He didn’t get back to me after he made the phone call, but I can almost guarantee that he got nowhere. Most likely, he talked to a receptionist who told him to follow the guidelines to submit to the agency.
Traditional publishers and agents have specific guidelines for writers to submit proposals and manuscripts for consideration. From the standpoint of the publisher or agent, the guidelines are designed to make it easy for them to review the many submissions they receive.
They don’t want to waste time with reviewing historical novels if they represent or publish only mysteries and sci-fi. They want to know that the author has a real plot with a beginning, middle, and end, hence the synopsis (or a chapter summary for nonfiction). They want to “hear” the writer’s voice and to determine if the story captures their attention from the beginning, so they ask for a chapter or two or three. In other words, they want to know if the book is worth their time to read and consider.
An author failing to follow the guidelines complicates the process, usually meaning that the agent or editor will fail to review the submission. In addition, the publisher or agent will assume that a writer who can’t or won’t follow simple submission guidelines will be a difficult client. Like all of us, publishing professionals prefer to work with people who cooperate and make their lives easier, not more difficult.
When not in a “I”m a terrible writer and no one wants to read my junk” mood, every writer thinks his or her book is an exception. Why be stifled by arbitrary rules when submitting the great American novel? Even if you have written the great American novel, you have follow the submission guidelines or your book will never be read, much less published, by a traditional publisher.
And lest you think you’re immune because you prefer to self-publish, think again. While self-publishing does give you complete control over the process, you’re unlikely to be successful if you don’t follow publishing conventions.
Several years ago, my husband Jack and I were invited to a booksigning for a book written and published by a man Jack went to elementary school with and hadn’t seen for 60 years or more. Of course, we bought a book and had it autographed, but neither of us read it. One look at the cover convinced me that he had not hired a professional designer. The front cover had only the book title and author name in a common font, with no artwork or design. Obviously the author tried to save on printing costs—the margins were narrow, and the print was tiny. Had I been able to decipher the small print, I’m quite sure that I would have found that the author hadn’t spent money on editing either. The author sold quite a few books that day because he seemed to have invited everyone he had ever met in his life. His old friends, including Jack, were thrilled to reconnect after so long and happy to buy a book However, I would be surprised if more than a handful even tried to read the book because it was so unappealing and difficult to read.
So going the indie publishing route may save you from having to follow publishers’ and literary agents’ guidelines, but it won’t save you from having to pay attention to the things that readers expect in a book: an appealing cover, an easy-to-read layout, words that flow smoothly without significant errors. You can mix genres, write longer or shorter than typical books from traditional publishers, and cover topics that many consider taboo. But you must give the reader a pleasurable reading experience.
Have you submitted your work to traditional publishers? If so, did you follow the guidelines?