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Chris Brown

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Posts posted by Chris Brown

  1. First, you have to know your beta readers. If they are your mom, your aunt Bertha, and your college roommate, they will be lame and probably just tell you how great you are. So this question really begins with you and who you have as beta readers. That doesn't mean you can't let aunt Bertha read it, you just won't put much weight on what she says. It's almost like a decision analysis - your beta readers' input should be weighted according to their value in this process. On the other hand, if you ask someone who normally reviews hard sci-fi to review your sweet romance story (and for whatever reason they agree), it is likely they won't like the story no matter how good a sweet romance it is.


    Now, let's say you had five well-chosen beta readers and four of them liked the story but one didn't. You can discount the fifth reader as an outlier, but I would see what from that critique I could use to improve the story without fundamentally altering it (i.e. what can I do to please the ornery reader while not ruining it for the other four). And if there is no way to reconcile them, I would go with my gut because it's my story and I'll do what I want thank you very much. That doesn't mean I wouldn't ask the fifth reader to review another story later. Whittling your beta readers down to just people who love you isn't going to serve you well long-term.


    Also, the lovely and talented Zee is still waiting for me to send her a draft of my novel to read. It's coming, Zee, I promise! 😅

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  2. This is a topic of great interest to me. In fact if I glance either direction from where I sit I will see a stack of apologetics books. 🙂 So, I'll offer a few thoughts...


    I don't think of the Bible as a scientific document. However, there are portions of the Old Testament laws of cleanliness that western medicine didn't catch up to until the 19th century; there are mathematical references way ahead of their time, etc. So I find it undeniable that there is scientific truth in the Bible given some of these items. To be clear, when I say I don't see it as a scientific document, I mean I don't think God gave it to us as a guide to nature. Science and the Bible are not mutually exclusive, and one of the greatest lies of modernism was that the two were not compatible.

    I haven't sought out literary agents of any kind, so I don't have an answer for what they're looking for. I would just say look at other books similar to what you want to publish and see what they have done. You did mention self-publishing being slow, but I think you've got that backwards. Traditional publishing will probably take years if it ever happens for you at all. Self-publishing you can do whenever your manuscript is ready, you're just responsible for the whole deal yourself (including marketing).


    There are a lot of scientists siding with God, but I wouldn't say the scientific community as a whole is trending that direction. People like Francis Collins are seen as an aberration in the world of elite scientists. That said, many are coming to realize that none of it works without God. When Antony Flew was asked why at the end of his life he had begun to believe in God, his answer was discoveries like DNA. It just doesn't work without a 'First Cause.'


    If you're writing an apologetics book, I would say to look at the mountain of existing material and make sure what you have to offer is new or adds something not already in the body of knowledge. I've thought about writing on the subject myself, but the truth is it's a well-worn path and it's rare to see something new. Once in a while you get something like the Jewish astrophysicist Gerald Schroeder's work on general relativity, which is totally mind-blowing, but those are very rare. Or a book like the somewhat recent Mama Bear Apologetics, which was a fresh take on a lot of the old topics. Most of the time it is just another repackaging of what has been covered before.


    I'd be interested to hear more about what you're up to. God bless you!

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  3. 18 minutes ago, Wes B said:

    In fact, what I'm doing seems more likely to become a little ministry in itself, that can exist independently of my book, and which will branch into discussing it when the time is right.


    I've been amazed how many times the Holy Spirit has used some connection built through my books to do something impactful. And those moments never have anything to do with promoting or selling - it's just relationships that lead to the right connection at the right time. 

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  4. On 3/19/2021 at 1:32 AM, Shamrock said:

    Thanks for the advice. I am in the same boat as Jeff so the suggestions here are very helpful.  


    One thing With not being a published author I do feel talking about my writing and its process a bit naff. It one thing to read someone like Nicholas Sparks  thoughts on his writing or the craft but an unknown writer?

    I could have used a few more words there... When I say writing process, I mean fun stuff that will build rapport. For example, somebody on a blog said share a picture of your writing space. So I did that but made it a joke about what a mess my desk was. I wouldn't expect you to post something pretentious about the craft of writing, unless you are really writing high-brow literary fiction. But you can post stuff that lets your audience get to know you and have fun with you. Honestly my biggest problem with this is that my non-fiction has been on some very heavy topics, so there's a line to walk when it comes to what I share.

  5. I started about 6 months before my first book came out. You can talk about your writing process, where you are in the publishing process, etc. You can share excerpts and any endorsements you're getting. And talk about tangentially related topics or other books that might be of interest. 

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  6. I couldn't possibly give every detail, but a few basic things...


    1.) Get endorsements before you publish. Use them in launch promotion, and get endorsers to give you a mention when you launch.

    2.) Maintain website/social media presence

    3.) Launch party! Or just a book signing at your local independent bookstore.

    4.) Advertise on FB, Amazon, BookBub, etc. if you have the money and want to. Ymmv on the results.

    5.) Do discount promotions on all the discount sites (Free/BargainBooksy, ENT, Fussy Librarian, Book Raid, etc. etc.) periodically - stack them for effect.

    6.) Get some bloggers/Christian reviewers to review your book (try to do this for launch with ARCs).

    7.) Media appearances - TV, local radio, podcasts, etc.

    8.) Live events, speaking engagements, conferences where you can set up a table, etc.

    9.) Get your book on the shelf at independent bookstores.

    10.) If you have a series, make sure each book links the next, consider making book one permafree or perma-99cents to build audience and hope you get good readthrough. 

    11.) Free reader magnet of some kind to build audience and get people connected to your media.

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  7. According to MBTI I'm very extroverted, and as Wes B was saying based on the true definition of the term that's definitely true. According to Enneagrams I'm a type 8, which matches some other tests I had to take long ago (Ruby? Lion?), and based on the materials I've read that is definitely me. A couple of years ago an Army Colonel described me as a kick-the-door-in kind of guy. 


    Despite all that I really enjoy sitting here and writing too, even when those small children keep interrupting me. 🙂

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  8. 9 minutes ago, Paul but not THE said:

    Sounds like one to check out.  I don't think I'd heard of that one.

    It's a word-for-word literal translation. It is incredibly difficult to read, but it gives some insight into exactly what the original word usage looked like. And it highlights just how much interpretation goes into our modern translations. 

  9. 9 minutes ago, Paul but not THE said:

    I'm into Acts in a Wycliffe Bible --Wow, that Middle English is a trip sometimes.  

    Have you ever read from Young's Literal Translation? That will give you a new respect for our translators. 

  10. 36 minutes ago, EBraten said:

    But these numbers already skewer toward lower earnings. However, they include people who have published one book, people who are terrible writers, people who do no marketing... If you got a group of midlist trad-published authors in a room, how many would be earning over $10,000 a year? According to the Guardian, the median trad-published author earns under £10,000 a year. In other words, most of them aren't making a living at it either.


    I'm actually quite pleasantly surprised at how many indies in this one group are making over $10,000.


    They say there is a deep dive coming on this data, so that will have some granularity on number of books published and marketing spend. Too bad they can't filter by terrible writing as well! It's also hard to know if there is some selection bias on who responded to the survey, but based on the sample size and the number of low responses I'd say there isn't much.


    I would like to presume that traditional publishers cut out all the terrible writers, but I read enough books to know that's not always the case. You also have to wonder how many people are making $0 on their great manuscripts while they wait for an agent or publisher to call. 

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  11. 21 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

    I wish they had more respondents, Chris.  I suspect it would skewer one way.

    1,600 out o 47,000 isn't a terrible response rate, but I hoped for a little more. The $0 column can be dropped since those clearly haven't published anything yet, so really you've got about 1,200 respondents with books on the market. Out of that they have a lot of people in the making-a-living category, and more than I expected in the big-money category. 

    • Like 1
  12. 1 hour ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

    For a second, I thought this was about "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" in Veggietales. 😂

    But thanks for sharing!

    And I've never been to Boston in the fall!


    Except really I have - it's where I met my wife. 😁

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