Every Writer Needs a Team – Build Yours at Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference 2014!

Every Writer Needs a Team

Build Yours at Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference 2014!

Join me September 15-18 at the Maranatha Missionary and Bible Conference Center in Muskegon, Michigan.

2014 Theme: Every Writer Needs a Team

It’s true! While writing is a solitary expression of your thoughts and faith, if you  want to grow in your writing  career, then you need a team to help you! Let us help  you build your team. We’ve designed the 2014 program  around these three goals

1. Chart Your Course Through Today’s Publishing Options

2. Build Your Readership

3. Grow in Craft and Creativity

Early Bird Registration ends August 15, 2014

Here’s a sneak peek at the 2014 program in store for you:

All new program features!

  • Witness “Experience it Live” sessions
  • See a mock Pub Board in action
  • Watch as a social media strategy is demonstrated
  • Speed-dating the experts
  • Building your social media strategy

 Favorite program features return!

1. One-on-one consultations with editors and faculty

2. Hands-on small group critique sessions

3. Premium sessions

4. Fun & fellowship with other writers and faculty

4 Enriching Days of…

  • Inspiring Keynote Speakers
  • Compelling General Sessions
  • Expert Panel Discussions
  • Music and Worship
  • Skill-building Sessions
  • Over 30 Small-group Workshops

Go to www.maranathachristianwriters.com for complete program, schedule, workshop descriptions, and to register.



 Conference Rates

Total Package – includes tuition, lodging, and meals (Monday dinner through Thursday lunch)

Single Occupancy $673 ($698 after Aug. 15)

Double Occupancy $651 ($676 after Aug. 15)


Don’t need lodging? Tuition and Meals Package: $510 ($535 after Aug. 15)

Coming for one day only? One-Day package: $189 ($199 after Aug. 15)

Bring a group of 5 or more and save $25 each!


Announcing New Leadership

The Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference has a rich 37-year history as an informative, inspiring, and intimate conference. In 2014, Somersault Group

has partnered with Maranatha to design and implement a new program. Somersault believes that the evolving world of Christian publishing provides a playground of new possibilities for authors and publishing professionals alike.


Our 2014 theme verse: “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16 (NIV)


We hope to see you there and we can grow together.

Register TODAY online at www.maranathachristianwriters.com


 Follow Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference on Facebook.

 Follow Somersault Group on Facebook.


Questions? Email us at info@maranathachristianwriters.com

Are Royalties the New Future for Book Editors?

Are Royalties the New Future for Book Editors?

Are Royalties the New Future for Book Editors?

Several years ago, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas faced a dilemma. With a growing number of manuscripts slated for publication, we needed more book editors. But shelling out thousands for freelance editors was at odds with our business model. LPC is a small press without debt. We prefer to keep it that way.

So we experimented and began offering our editors a percentage of profits. In short, each book editor had a vested interest in a book’s success. The more profit generated by the title, the more earned income for the editor.

It is a risky proposition. Not every book instantly earns back its investment. Some editors spend hours on a book that does not begin to pay out until months after its release.

But, three years into the process, we find many editors like the upside potential of this business model. (Last year we paid close to thirty thousand dollars in editor royalties). Editors pick projects they feel have the most income opportunity and balance that potential against the amount of work involved.

Recently we expanded this idea to our line of new imprints. We solicited managing editors for our historical fiction, nonfiction, Southern fiction, etc., and gave those managing editors the freedom to sign new authors. Managing editors can publish up to eight titles a year, two per quarter. In return, they share in the profit of those titles. If they choose to serve as content editor, they earn additional royalties. They are, in effect, running their own publishing division.

We continue to tweak the business model. Our goal is for both authors and editors to make a living doing the thing they love. Currently, we have managing editor opportunities within the romance line, cozy mystery, and suspense imprints.

This new approach of paying editors isn’t for everyone—or even most. It requires an entrepreneurial spirit. But as the publishing landscape changes and POD/ebooks grab a larger market share, we feel more houses will look at their pay structure and conclude their best assets remain the motivated and inspired book editor.



(Note: LPC paid out over $25,000 to editors last year. See definition below regarding the term: “professional.” Also keep in mind many artists and sales persons are paid royalties or commission for their work.)

  1. 1.
    of, relating to, or connected with a profession.
    “young professional people”
    synonyms: white-collar, nonmanual More

  2. 2.
    (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
    “a professional boxer”
    synonyms: paidsalaried

The Loss of Bloody Lane & Why Details Matter

The Loss of Bloody Lane & Why Details MatterIt is widely reported that D.H. Hill’s men abandoned the Sunken Road during the battle of Antietam in a disorderly route when their right flank was turned. In fact, General Rodes’ orders to Lieutenant-Colonial Lightfoot were misinterpreted, causing the 6th Alabama to “about-face; forward march” in retreat. When Major Hobson asked if this order was for the entire brigade, Lightfoot answered “yes.”

“French (a Union general) launched several more attacks trying to capture the Sunken Road, but all were failures. Not a man reached the Confederate position. Although he had twice Hill’s numbers, French had lost 1,750 men and still could not capture the road. Reinforcements arrived for both sides. Lee decided to send forward his final reserve division under Richard Anderson (Confederate) to join Hill. French was reinforced by the fresh troops of Richardson’s (Union) divisions. The first attack of an Irish Brigade (Union) was unsuccessful, but the next, the fifth brigade to go into the fight, attained more success. Some Federals attained a good position to fire on the Confederate right, and an order was given to bend back the right flank to meet the threat. However, the order was misunderstood, and all of the troops holding the Sunken Road began a retreat.” ~ T. RUFFIN, JR. Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth North Carolina Regiment.

Thus, D. H. Hill’s division retreated in error and almost delivered victory – and perhaps General Lee’s army – into the hands of General George B. McClellan. All due to a misunderstanding.

Details matter.

Especially in the heat of battle.

Take time to pause and ask for clarification before giving in,  giving up, or going on.


All typos are the “respecticablity” of Eddie Jones and in “know” way “refract” the “quantity” of work by those associated with Lighthouse Publishing “fo” the “Carlinas.”


Advancing In Reverse

Taped eyeglasses

My first grade glasses looked sort of like this

I write this using a pair of backup reading glasses. Duct tape keeps this pair together. My good pair, the pair my wife begged me to get used to wearing, lies on a dresser with one lens missing.


When it comes to product development, we’re advancing in reverse.

I’ve glued the tension screw in place. That doesn’t  help. I’ve glued the lens in place with Super Glue and Tester’s model glue. The lens falls out. I’ve taped the lens in place. That works. But the wife says I look shifty in taped glasses. (At least I think she called me shifty. I’m hard of hearing, too.)

So I removed the tape.

And the lens fell out.

In the first week of first grade they made our class read the eye chart. I couldn’t even find the eye chart on the wall. Mrs. Swartz called Mom and told her I was blind. Mom took me to a doctor and I got glasses. Eleanor Rogers also wore glasses. As the only black girl in our class, Eleanor had enough to deal. 1963 was a tough year for blacks. Being called four eyes didn’t help. But there we were, the two freaks standing by our desks, trying to read the blackboard with our new glasses.

The lenses in those glasses never fell out. They were fused into the frames. The arms broke. The nose bridge broke. But that was user error. I played football, baseball, and basketball in those glasses.

Next week I leave to attend a writer’s conference. I’ll wear my old reading glasses. They look ugly but they work. Or, I should say, the duct tape works.

If only we could duct tape people. Fix their mistakes with strong adhesive and mesh. Maybe then, we could evolve into something that almost resembles a civilized people.

As creatures created by God we know how to improve.

We just choose not to.

We advance in reverse.

World Blog Book Tour Stop Number ??? With Eddie Jones

Dead Low TideThanks to Lilly Maytree for inviting me to participate in the World Blog Book Tour. Lilly is an Inspirational Adventure Novelist and fellow Harbourlight Books author. Lilly is currently on her 2014 Mystery Tour, traveling north to Alaska aboard the sailboat GLORY B. You can follow along by visiting: LillysArmchairTravelers.blogspot.com which is waaaay easier than trying to sail a boat to Alaska and share “dock tails” with Lilly. If you’re looking for a five-star summer read, check out Lilly’s novel, The Pandora Box and Gold Trap.

What am I working on?

Currently I’m very sloooowly working my way through Dead Calm, Bone Dry, the second book in the Caribbean Chronicles series (title is subject to change). I re-write more than I write. I used to have a daily word count goal but I tossed that out months ago. Running a book publishing company (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and serving as co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries doesn’t leave much time for writing.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write for middle school age boys, not their moms, aunts, or sisters. That means my stories are somewhat edgy. There’s no sex or cussing, but I do treat my characters as adults. This may seem strange but in our current culture, boys in middle school are bringing guns to school (or know someone who does), having sex, joining gangs, and seeing the ugly side of humanity. I don’t promote these types of activities in the Caden Chronicles series, but I do recognize that a sterilized view of the world will seem boring to boys. My goal is to entertain first, and weave in God’s truth second.


Why do I write what I do?

I write middle grade fiction for boys because I believe we’re on the verge of losing the male reader in America. When ranking leisure activities, boys rank reading near the bottom. Which is a shame since boys really, really, need to be reading. Here’s why.

  • Two thirds of eighth grade boys do not read at grade level.
  • Boys lag behind girls in reading proficiency in all 50 states – in some states by as many as ten percentage points.
  • Boys who grow up in homes where books are plentiful go further in school than those who don’t. Boys with low-education families can do as well as children with high-education families if they have access to books at home.

I write funny romances, like Bahama Breeze, because I think most of us take life too seriously. If you can’t laugh at yourself and see the humor in life, there’s a good chance you are holding on too tightly. I believe God has a huge sense of humor and we’re His sitcom.  So I write about couples that aren’t perfect (like toilet paper salesmen) who do crazy stuff (surf in a hurricane, hang from the bottom of a sea plane) but who ultimately realize they’re broken and can only be fixed by love.


How does my writing process work?

I try to write for an hour each morning. I used to write eight hours a day but then running Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas took over my life, so now I spend most of my time helping other authors grow legs on their books. When I was under contract with HarperCollins, I was on a deadline. That was brutal. I’d jet off to a writers’ conference to teach and try to cram a few hours of writing between classes and appointments. I loved the support I received from HarperCollins and Zonderkidz, but I’m glad the third book in the Caden Chronicles, Dead Low Tide, is released.

Next stop on the World Blog Book Tour?

Before I go, I’d like to introduce you to a few authors participating in the World Blog Book Tour: Kevin McAteer, Nivine Richie, and Stu Summers.

Kevin’s book, Daddy, Can You Make Me Pancakes? is the true story of a young mother’s battle against cancer and her husband’s journey to bring healing to their family. Nivine’s latest work, Enduring Faith – An 8-Week Devotional Study of the Book of Hebrews, is a short devotional Bible Study for those who think they’re too busy to study the Bible. And Stu? Well, Stu is somewhat of a recluse. He lives on an island in the Caribbean without cell or Internet. He’s agreed to participate in the tour but we have no idea what to expect. Oh, his latest novel is Summers’ Love, a whimsical, romantic comedy about a best selling author who employs a ghost writer to write all of his books.

Curse of the Black Avenger: Blood Sails, Dark Hearts is now available as a free audiobook

Curse of the Black Avenger: Blood Sails, Dark HeartsTo everyone who purchased, reviewed, and encouraged me on my writing journey, I wanted to let you know that Curse of the Black Avenger: Blood Sails, Dark Hearts is now available (for a limited time) as a free audiobook from Audible.com and Amazon.com. Just request a coupon code to get your free audiobook.

We Need a “Put Your Dog Down” App

Sandy-BeachSometime over the next few weeks, I’ll put my dog down. She’s a small, mixed mutt with failing eyesight, hearing, and an increasing tendency to wander out of the yard. I suspect she’s suffering from some type of doggie dementia too, since she’ll often stand in one place and stare at nothing in particular.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to say goodbye. I suggested to my wife we have a small “Sandy farewell tour” but she thinks that might be a bit much. I’d hate to announce to friends and family that Sandy’s gone for good without first giving them a final chance to wish her well, but I’m not sure what the protocol is for this sort of thing.

In fact, the whole put-a-dog-down business seems unfinished. We have everything for pets except a proper way to honor them at the end of their life. There are pet stores, pet parks, pet snacks … But now that it’s time to say goodbye, I find myself searching the Internet for advice. I knew this day would come, but hoped it would arrive in a tidier box

I keep thinking I’ll call a vet to the house. But if I do, what’s the going rate for euthanizing a dog at home? Is it more than dinner out with the wife? A car payment? And if it’s a whole lot more than a trip to the vet, will I have the nerve to carry my dog into a vet’s lobby and cradle her without breaking down and making a blubbering fool of myself? Honestly, I’m not sure I could. My gut tells me I’d leave before they called Sandy into one of those small rooms.

Sandy hates the vet. She begins shaking as soon as we pull into the parking lot.

The past few visits, the staff had to muzzle Sandy. She’s always been aggressive. I suspect that’s part of her breed (whatever breed that is). But it breaks my heart to know that when the time comes to say goodbye, she’ll have to be bound like some Hannibal Lecter monster dog that can’t be trusted and loved. That’s not who she is.

At least, not to me.

I suppose I’ll have to bury her at my son’s house. He lives in the home where I grew up and all my other dogs are buried there. I’m not looking forward to that drive. I told my wife I’d probably do all this by myself. Sandy’s been my buddy for the past fifteen years. When the day comes to put her down, I think I’d like to keep all that for myself.

I won’t get another dog. At my age, taking care of grand-dogs is excitement enough. But as much as I love my son’s dog, he’s not Sandy.

Since I am an editor / publisher and author of books for boys, readers may think I should know what to say at a time like this. I mean, I make my living with words. I’ve written hundreds of devotions and some pretty funny adult fiction and nonfiction books. But right now I don’t have a clue what to say or do next.

There should be an app for putting down a dog.

And grief counseling.

And more time.