Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Interview with Terrie Thorpe
Don’t let the title fool you, I have no doubt of my salvation, but more of a play on words to entice others who might have questions. Everyone loves real life stories. I have included many trials and experiences that helped to shape my relationship with Jesus. The church is full of people who don’t know much about salvation or why Jesus saved them.
In the early spring of 2003, I had completed a study similar to Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life.” Something was stirring in me. I knew the Lord had something He wanted me to do - I began praying. Certain concepts started coming to my mind, “Why aren’t more people interested in Jesus?” Those thoughts evolved into fears people have. Before I knew it, I was sketching out an outline of top ten fears of new Christians. Originally, I planned to call it; “Ten Fears of New Christian’s” later changed it to “Am I Really Saved- Answering Questions of Christians.
I drew from my own experiences. None of my family professed faith in Jesus. The first few years of recommitting my life to Jesus, I struggled. I made so many mistakes; I had no mentor or anyone to help me. I suffered embarrassment from asking questions from the wrong Christians, I did not want anyone else to feel that way.
Could you give a short synopsis on the story for my readers?
I designed this book from a prospective of one Christian helping another. Primarily for new Christians or those who have lost their joy. It’s not a “preachy” kind of book, but more like I’ve “been there – done that.” My hope is that people will get excited about the Word of God, discovering the wonder of His love.
There are over sixty-one subjects addressed from: Basics of receiving Jesus as Savior, Assurance of Salvation, Learning to obey, Baptism, Faith, The Bible; Prayer, Grace, the Devil, Losing Salvation, Spiritual Warfare, Church, Tithing, Spiritual Gifts, Your Ministry, Heaven Bound, just to name a few. I’ve used many scriptures and prayers throughout each section.
Prior to writing your current book, what other types of publishing credits did you have?
I have written many things over the course of thirty years, but never really kept a resume. These are my current publishing credits:
Over 70 posts written for my blog Light for the Journey-Teaching Ministry( 2009- current); Thought for the Day website articles (2008-2010); Half dozen plays and skits children’s ministry (1998-2005); Several articles in ACW bi-monthly newsletters (2009-2010); Article “Faith in Financial Crisis” Jobs to Joy website (2010); Poem in “Wings of Night” anthology (1998), Several short stories published professional organization’s newsletter.
Prior to self-publishing, did you contact any other publishers to produce your book?
Yes, the traditional route was the route I knew. The genre I write is very small. Not many publishers are interested in you unless your name is Stormie Omartian, Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore. They are not willing to take a chance on someone with limited experience or leader of a large ministry.
I discovered paid membership listing site called, “Christian Manuscript Submission” where many well known publishers supposedly browse for new manuscripts. I received only contacts from vanity publishers, but nothing from traditional houses.
What was your process in choosing a company to publish your book?
While I was disappointed that a big publisher did break down the door to sign me, I asked friends who chose the self-pub route, who they would recommend. I spent about a week on the web researching vanity and publish on demand [POD] companies. There is a lot of information available, this is a growing market. I read thousands of posts from current and past customers of certain companies. I was looking for customer satisfaction and value.
For those who have never self-published a book, can you tell us what self-publishing entails? Hang on for a wild ride, do your homework and don’t settle for the first company that is interested in publishing you. It is a “win-win” for them because you front all the money, manuscript, marketing, time and talent necessary, they just offer some advice and print your book.
Many unscrupulous characters are scanning the internet and websites looking for people who are desperate to get published. They have one thing in mind get your payment and leave you with a pile of books.
This is a broadening frontier with the author in the driver’s seat. Because the publishing industry is changing, many of these self-publishing companies offer a full menu of services for fees. A few offer a complete “do it yourself” format, which is virtually free. Watch out for POD [print on demand] companies that have a minimum run size. The company I use will print one, a thousand, or how many a customer purchases.
What do you do to promote your book?
I have worked on building a platform, but I wish I had put more time into marketing research. Currently I have, an author’s website, Facebook page, networking with my friends and neighbors, writer’s groups. Trying the social networks shelfari, author central [Amazon affiliate] and writer’s websites, hoping to generate as much exposure as I can on a limited budget.
What do you know now about getting published that you wished you had known earlier?
It’s easier to write and edit than to market your work. The most helpful advice I could give is start building a platform early. Get known by the people you hope will buy your work. Get involved with writer’s groups and go to seminars. Know your genre and follow the trends.
Be patient, which is especially hard for me. This has been a wonderful experience and I know I am fulfilling God’s plan for me, which adds confidence that my writing will be successful.
What advice would you give someone who wants to write and get published?
Follow your heart. There is a reason you have that dream. Learn as much as you can about your market and start testing the waters. Don’t be afraid of what someone might say, knowing that you are a writer-write!