Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Which Book Cover Do You Like The Best For Seventh Dimension - The Howling: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 6





Cover One

Cover Two

Cover Three

Cover Four

Cover Five

My cover designer Lisa Hainline gave me twenty-one sample covers for "The Howling" and I've narrowed it down to these five. Let me know which one you like the best or the one that would most likely grab your attention at a bookstore.

Two comments:  There are two protagonists in the Seventh Dimension Series, Shale and Daniel. Shale has appeared on two of the previous book covers. Daniel has not appeared on any, so I feel like I should have an image of him on the final cover. 

On the other hand, while romance has been an underlying element in the series, it has not been a dominant theme. I'm not sure why having a female on a book cover seems less romantic than having a guy on the cover. So, that's why I'm asking for your thoughts.

The covers are labeled one through five, so if you are inclined, you can let me know in the comments your favorite or your thoughts.  

I'm doing research now on "The Howling" and can't wait to begin writing. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Marketing Books in 2018


In the future, I predict publishing books will take on the business model of commercially produced products:  The public will buy the books they like regardless of how they are published. As a popular commercial sums up, it’s not complicated.

While many rules have changed, others are non-negotiable. You better write a good book, hire a top-notch editor, and grace the front of your book with an outstanding cover. You will need a rocket full of energy to launch it and not enough hours in the day to promote it. Otherwise, your book may end up in the slush pile of broken dreams.

In spite of the challenges, the new norm is a win-win for both the producer and the consumer (the author and the reader). But for the uninformed, it has also created a void that needs to be filled. The biggest problem with this new norm is the lack of training for self-published authors. As the founder of a network of authors (John 3:16 Marketing Network), the lack of training in what it takes to market and the unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved is a legend. I could give you many stories, including my own. While consumers will slap down a debit card for a Starbucks latte without a second thought (including me), ask someone to spend 99 cents on a book from you, an unknown author, and you will feel the parting of the Red Sea. You wonder if you have B.O. or bad breath.

As a self-published author, I have made my share of mistakes. One of my books had an amateurish book cover and a well-known author told me so. I quickly learned that I can’t sacrifice quality to save money. I grew up a lot that day—people notice the good, the bad and the ugly in books. If I am in this for the long haul, I better not be looking for a quick buck or I will be disappointed.

To that end, I would encourage writers and hopeful authors to think of writing as a business endeavor—approach it with that attitude. It’s not a hobby, it’s a job. Talent and willingness to learn will serve the serious writer well, along with some good business savvy.

The goal should be to build a platform and seek out readers who will fall in love with your book this year and come back and read future books—and share your books with friends and family. That mindset will serve those authors well who are serious about writing and marketing. It’s a business. The industry deserves that kind of quality.





Despite the challenges, I am glad the publishing world of the future won’t be controlled by a few highly successful companies. In the past, those publishers held a monopoly on the market. If I were a betting woman, I’d say they missed some real gems. What other answer is there for why some authors had so many rejections for excellent books? No wonder many writers gave up. The world will never know what books they didn’t get to enjoy. Not every wannabe author has the gumption to keep knocking on closed doors.

I can tell you that traditional publishers have never looked twice at me. I am too old for them to invest their cash in but too young (or stupid) to believe I can’t start another career. When I crawl into bed at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning, after writing a few words on the computer following several hours of broadcast captioning, I sometimes wonder if I am insane. Still, I wouldn't trade what I’ve learned for any contract from any publisher.

Why? Because knowledge is power. While some information just doesn’t stick in this old brain of mine like I wish, that doesn’t mean I am going to give up. After all, we live in a world of information overload. I sometimes tell my daughters the C-drive in my brain is full. I need to delete something before I can take in any more information.




But with that power come opportunities. Today is a readers’ world in spite of television and computers and smartphones and tablets. In fact, it’s because of the plethora of these gadgets that more people are reading. Perhaps we make our hopes and dreams too small—too many rejection slips have convinced some they can’t make it at all. The journey is what it’s all about. And for me at least, I know the outcome is in God’s hands.

***

I published the above article a couple of years ago and my reflections on this topic are the same, actually truer now than back then. However, I want to add a few more practical suggestions. 

Save your money and don't spend a lot on advertising. Build your twitter following, blog regularly, and grow your email list.  

The KDP Lending Library has hurt all authors, and I don't think it's a viable business model over the long haul. Authors will eventually figure out that readers aren't stupid. Why should consumers buy your book when they can borrow it from Amazon for free? 

My advice: Take your book out of KDP Select and make your book available all over the web, and write more books. Eventually, if you are patient and your books are good, you will build a following of loyal readers, not just Amazon fans who want YOUR books for free. 

Give readers one or at most two free books, and sell the rest. Consumers appreciate quality, and if they like your books, they will buy them. 

Be as free as the water - and let God take you along.
Three more suggestions for marketing: Don't write books to sell - write books that make a statement about what you are passionate about. Success shouldn't be construed only in terms of numbers. Authors can't make people buy their books. Success should be about writing them. Focus on the process, not the outcome. Leave the result with God. Ultimately, your real success should be measured in what you have given back to God with the gifts He's given you. Whatever rewards He's laid up for you in heaven will far surpass anything monetarily you might receive here.



Enter book contests. Whatever you can do to draw attention to your book will help your book to get noticed. Don't know what good contests to enter? Here is a link to get you started: 
https://selfpublishingadvice.org/allis-self-publishing-service-directory/award-and-contest-ratings-reviews/



Turn your books into audiobooks. See my recent blog post about how to do this at the following link: http://john316mn.blogspot.com/2015/11/audiobook-narrator-rebecca-roberts.html



Join a small community of writers - like Word Weavers, a Facebook group. the John 3:16 Marketing Network (we will open back up in the summer), the Author Independent Network, or some other group where you can be encouraged. Don't be a loner. Become part of a "tribe." And learn as much as you can about writing and marketing. 


My Word Weavers Group in Gainesville, Florida


***

Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension. 


Lorilyn with her two daughters at Disney World 2015


Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature.

Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.



To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at http://lorilynroberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts. To connect with her personally, you can contact her by email at authorLorilynRoberts@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Readers' Favorite Five Star Review for Seventh Dimension - The Prescience

Reviewed By K.J. Simmill for Readers’ Favorite




Seventh Dimension - The Prescience is a religious fantasy fiction by Lorilyn Roberts. Shale and Daniel are caught amidst a bombing in Jerusalem. Using one of her unique skills, Shale is led to help a newly orphaned child beside her dead parents. The dog that brought Shale to the child said they were the ones God had called to look after the child, but at 18 they were little more than children themselves, despite their experiences. 
Trapped in Jerusalem, they decide it is safer to head back to the first century where they had met, at least there they had a chance of discovering what was going on, and what was expected from them. The Antichrist will soon rise to power and, for some reason, demons have an interest in the child they had rescued.

A believable setting is enhanced by snippets of realism, such as people's limitations. My favourite example being that a person who had studied a language couldn't fluently understand the native speakers, and this is just one such example of attention to real-life details. Seventh Dimension - The Prescience is a very religion-oriented book, yet there are some original and interesting interpretations of ideas often used in such literature. As a reader, you are rewarded with subtle intricacies which add alternative perspectives and interesting ideas. Good versus evil in the most primal sense. Angels of good against angels of evil, each attempting to turn the tide in their favour. 

The chapters are short and concise, making it easy to pick up and put down, that is if you can tear yourself away from the adventure. I read Lorilyn Roberts' book in a single sitting, finding it engaging, action-packed, and fascinating. The main protagonists, Daniel and Shale, show growth individually and as a couple as they face the challenges before them with faith and unity, trying to solve not only the mystery of the disappearance of Daniel's father, but the meaning behind everything happening, and how it is connected. A great read, and easy to lose yourself in.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What If I Had Tried Harder?




Deborah Malone, an author friend of mine, has a blog called Where Hope Blooms. She featured me for Christmas on how I've dealt with some of the hard places in my life. I share the link here. I hope you find Christmas Ornaments from Christmas Past uplifting and inspirational for the Christmas season.