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Month: October 2011

BOOK MARKETING: “A New Way to Sample Christian Books,” by Lorilyn Roberts

A New Way to Sample Christian Books

By Lorilyn Roberts

The following blurb in italics is quoted from Nathan Bransford’s blog, dated September 29, 2011.

“There is so much talk about self-published books in the writing-o-sphere. But have you actually read one?
Poll below –
·                   Yes
·                   No
Total Votes: 1,773

Also, your further thoughts requested in the comments section. Did you like the self-published book you read? Would you read another? Do you only read traditionally published books? Etc.”

The poll was under way when the comments were posted so it’s interesting to look back at the final results. I read most of the voluminous 285 responses. If you would like to peruse them, here is the link:

While it’s hard to generalize from such a wide variety of responses, some things are clear: 

1. There is still a lingering prejudice toward Print-On-Demand/self-published books.
2. Many readers do not think Print-On-Demand/self-published books are on par with industry-published books.
3. A sizable portion of readers have not read Print-On-Demand/self-published books.
4. Many who haven’t read Print-On-Demand/self-published books would if they could sample them for free.

Out of the menagerie of comments shared in this blog post, after much reflection, I came up with an idea which I will share in a moment. But first, I want to give my own thoughts about the findings from this survey. I have said this for a long time, although most traditionally-published authors won’t agree with me:  Readers don’t care how a book is published. They might think they care because of preconceived notions that self-published books are in the category of “vanity” publishing, and therefore, inferior. In reality, however, when you dig deeper into those who are not biased, you will find what readers really care about is content. Content is king.

My American roots go deep. Some of my ancestors arrived with the Mayflower, and in the decades of colorful history since then, dreamers have made us a great nation. The key factors that made that possible: Freedom and a capitalist system where hard work, creativity, and perseverance rewarded those who didn’t give up.  Do we really need gatekeepers to tell the world whether something is good?  Do we really need a hundred authors with unread manuscripts returned because the overworked acquisitions editor was two months behind opening her mail? In the past, because of the financial investment, book publishers decided which books would see the light of day. Most never did, making it very difficult for promising authors to get discovered.

Get ten people in a room and I guarantee you, they won’t agree on everything. Chances are they will have different tastes on what they like to eat, where they want to go on vacation, and yes, certainly on what books are worth reading. The traditional way of publishing books squelches creativity. I have spent far too much time trying to understand what an acquisitions editor or agent wanted, where he wanted my manuscript sent, and then he lost my manuscript anyway. That wasted time could have been better spent procuring an editor, improving my writing, and publishing and marketing my book myself. That is exactly what I did eventually. My point, though, is that the readers didn’t care how my book was published. They did care that it was worth reading.

I believe the days of mailing a book to one hundred publishers over five years hoping to find a “taker” are gone. Why would anyone want to do that? Authors can publish their own books now—faster and more efficiently. It doesn’t mean that the traditional way won’t exist into the future. It does mean ALL publishing companies will be vying for supremacy in a rapidly changing environment where the old ways of doing things won’t work as well. Competition raises the standard and forces downward the cost of publishing. The reader benefits from more choices in books and the result is a brighter future for new authors who are gifted with an entrepreneurial mindset. The only requirement—write the best book.

While the John 3:16 Marketing Network is for Christian authors, I envision our paradigm being adopted for mainstream authors, though it may not be free. The hard work in the John 3:16 Marketing Network is borne by many who have a passion to serve. Opportunities abound to provide books to readers all over the world, not only through industry-published books, self-published and Print-On-Demand books, but e-books as well. I envision e-books becoming popular in countries where the shipment of p-books is not practical or affordable. 

We are on the cusp of a revolution in publishing, and the John 3:16 Marketing Network is at the forefront of marketing innovation. Readers want diversity, options, and choices. The John 3:16 Marketing Network is poised to experiment with new ideas and introduce readers to new ways to sample books. Again, I want to emphasize, that letting the reader have more choices makes it easier for him to sample.

Not only is it important for authors to provide readers with the best possible product, why not give book lovers “more flavors”?  With the end of the year approaching, I have exciting news.

First, we will have a short Christmas membership drive to allow newcomers (authors and bloggers) to join without a referral (must believe in John 3:16).

Second, to celebrate our first full year of launching best-seller books on Amazon, we will be offering a free e-book, Fifty First Chapters From Christian Authors, a New Way to Sample Christian Books.  

Third, we will be introducing a new John 3:16 Marketing Network Membership for readers. If you are interested, all you have to do is sign up to receive our e-zine. You will NOT be bombarded with emails because I don’t have time to write them. My goal is to provide access to the best undiscovered Christian literature in the world. In the future, we will serialize e-books; and offer coupons for free e-books, short stories, and anthologies by John 3:16 authors. Tell us what you want; we would love to hear your ideas.

Our first e-book, Fifty First Chapters From Christian Authors, a New Way to Sample Christian Books, will be released on December 15 (or sooner). To receive your free copy, all you need to do is sign up to receive our e-zine. Enjoy reading the first chapter of fifty books by fifty authors AT NO COST. Nothing like beginning a new book that whets your appetite for more. You won’t have to travel to a book store or surf the web to find the kind of book you want. We have made it easy for you to sample a large assortment of all kinds of books while drinking your latte at Starbucks, at home curled up on the sofa, or during your lunch break at work.

Our John 3:16 Marketing Network authors are known and unknown, young and old, first-time published and multi-published, standard-industry published, self-published, and Print-On-Demand published. 

Our goal is to glorify God in our writings and help each other to promote books with a Christian worldview. If you are interested, please sign up for our mailing list. On December 15 (maybe earlier), you will be emailed a coupon to get your free copy. We will also be posting previews of chapters ahead of the launch at More information will be forthcoming.

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CHILDREN OF DREAMS AND THE GOD OF HOPE: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

When I took the introductory class for my Master’s in Creative Writing, one of the books I had to read was Writing for Story by Jon Franklin. The fourth chapter in the book, “Stalking the True Short Story,” was based on two famous stories he wrote, one of which was his Pulitzer Prize-winning entry, “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster.”

Because everybody would love to win a Pulitzer Prize, his comments are worth noting. To quote Jon Franklin on page 81: “One of the best ways to teach positive lessons while entertaining at the same time is to write stories about how people successfully cope with the world, endure, and even sometimes win.”

I have thought a lot about that. Much of what I report as a television captioner is mundane news to a world that hardly blinks an eye at the everyday, run-of-the-mill, shoot ‘em up, rob-him blind, dope-addicted, shoddy moral, or over-spending bureaucratic figure news story which people scoff and ignore if it doesn’t affect them directly.

In contrast, Jon Franklin dug deep for the motivations, the conflicts, the resolutions, and the redemptive endings in his books and articles. 

In the same vein, when I wrote Children of Dreams, I wanted to share a part of me that no one else knew. I risked being vulnerable, revealing traits and values that I knew some would not understand. I am not perfect, and did I really want to reveal my failures, confess my doubts, and admit my flaws?

Our lives, particularly if we are memoir authors, must be real, or we will come across every bit like the superficial news stories that I alluded to above—irrelevant to the reader. Too much of our time is lived at a frenzied pace with quick posts on Facebook and Twitter, or text messages written in code, risking little, and only recognizable enough to make us feel we have value in the world of cyberspace.

If you have been forsaken by your family, hurt by others, stuck in a job you hate, gone through a divorce, experienced major health issues, sacrificed your own lost dreams, or struggled in your 
Christian walk, I share unabashedly with profound honesty how God helped me through these tragedies. 

This is the “true story” within the story in Children of Dreams. There is no superficiality—only raw emotion and truth. I had to get permission from my kids and family. There are still open wounds that God will have to heal. There was a price to pay and I am still dealing with it now. Do I regret it? No. I know God will eventually redeem all which is broken.

The typical reader, much like a typical reporter, will see Children of Dreams as another adoption story; give it a cursory glance, and move on. The sensate reader, who reads for deeper meaning, will experience God’s profound love and redemptive hope, knowing without any doubt, that God is the fulfiller of dreams.

My desire is that the reader will be stirred—emotionally renewed and batteries charged, believing if God can do the impossible for me, he can do the same for him. God can heal infected wounds, redeem broken dreams, and convince the skeptic to believe in miracles. None of us should live as though we have no hope, and Children of Dreams is a testimony to God’s grace, reassuring the reader that where there is God, there is always hope.

grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida. She is pursuing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.

is a media professional, providing broadcast captioning for television, but makes time to pursue her passion for creative writing.

She has homeschooled her daughters for the past fifteen years.  

Lorilyn has published two books, The Donkey and the King and Children of Dreams; is president of the Gainesville, Florida, Word Weavers Chapter; and the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network.

personal website can be found at 

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JOHN 3:16 MARKETING NETWORK GUEST POST: Lorilyn Roberts Interviews Kimberley Payne About Her New Book: “Fit for Faith,” and Shares Her Battle with Healthy Living

The health of ourselves, our loved ones, and our friends, next to salvation, is probably the most important thing to each of us. Check out the prayer chain at any church; many of the prayer requests will be for health-related issues. And certainly, in the news, we are bombarded every day with the importance of exercising to lose weight.

But what if you don’t need to lose weight? What if you are otherwise healthy? I didn’t need to lose weight, have diabetes, or high cholesterol. Last year, feeling guilty exercising when I had so many other things to do that seemed more important, I told myself I would get back to swimming regularly in a few months when I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.

Of course, the time went by quickly. While I got out of the positive addiction psychologically, my body was still conditioned for those daily workouts. I knew that, but felt conflicted—should I really indulge myself with those laps in the pool or turn in the latest assignment for my Masters’s class?

A few months later, I was overly anxious and over-committed to a long list of to-do’s. Faster and faster I worked, but I still could never accomplish everything I wanted. Anyone who is a work-a-holic can relate; and even if you aren’t, feelings of anxiousness are likely to creep in because you aren’t “burning” off those pent-up emotions in a constructive and healthy way.

A few months into my “no exercise” solution for getting more done, after a particularly stressful week, I woke up with female bleeding. In someone who is past that time, it can signal very serious medical issues, including uterine cancer.

I made an appointment with my doctor when I got back into town, but finding the ultimate cause took several months. Following an expensive medical procedure and too much worry, it was determined the root cause was the result of high blood pressure.

I won’t say how high it was because it’s too depressing—but it shook me up. I started doing all the things I should have been doing all along—no salt, less caffeine, getting enough sleep, and most importantly, exercising.

It’s never easy to make time to exercise, but Kimberley Payne has written a book, Fit for Faith, 7 Weeks to Improved Spiritual and Physical Health, which integrates our spiritual and physical needs, focusing on helping us to become the man or woman God created us to be. The book is simple and instructive—and short. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with how to incorporate daily workouts into a healthy routine that isn’t overwhelming.

* * *

Here is an interview of Kimberly Payne

Lorilyn:  How was the idea for Fit for Faith born?
KimberleyAlthough I was born and raised within the church, it wasn’t until I attended a Christian women’s retreat that I realized how much I had compartmentalized my life: family in one corner, work in another, finances here, health there, faith over there. I began to see that my faith shouldn’t be kept partitioned off from the rest of my life. Instead, it needed to be intertwined with all the parts of my life. If I was going to follow Him as my Lord, God wanted me to include Him in everything and that included my health and fitness.

Lorilyn: What authority do you have to write this book?
Kimberley:  I certified as a Weight Instructor through the YMCA, then went on to certify as an Aerobics Instructor through A.C.E., then went on to certify as a Personal Fitness through Can-Fit-Pro.

Lorilyn:  There are many fitness books on the market. How is Fit for Faith any different?
KimberleyFit for Faith makes no assumptions about the reader’s spiritual walk. All levels, whether a new Christian or a mature Christian, can benefit from this program. It is a program for a new Christian who wants to learn about prayer, journal writing, and Bible study in the comfort of their own home, but a mature Christian can still be refreshed in their faith and recommit to a daily relationship with God.

It is motivating with inspiring reflections included each day and Christian truths set forth in a non-threatening manner. Fit for Faith also makes no assumptions about the activity level of the reader.

All levels, whether a sedentary individual or a seasoned athlete, can benefit from this program. It emphasizes overall health, not just weight loss. Expertise and professionalism are provided throughout the program in easy-to-read “fit tips” and goal-planning assistance. The program includes strategies that empower people to make small changes in their daily routines to improve the quality of their life.
Fit for Faith is a well-rounded balanced program that follows the stages of change and so inspires confidence and builds esteem.

Lorilyn:  What is your purpose in writing this book?
KimberleyThe purpose of writing is to share knowledge from the health/fitness field and to demonstrate that partnership with God always leads to success, in every area of life. It is designed with the message of the gospel at its heart.

Lorilyn: What is involved in the 7-week program?
KimberleyThe Fit for Faith program starts with developing an action plan that includes exploring the benefits and success strategies of exercising, healthy eating, and stretching the body and the spirit. Then, the reader moves into implementing the plan through a daily program of prayer, Bible study, and tracking of healthy habits. Each week is capped with a review that is a natural lead into the next week.
Lorilyn: Can the book be used in a group setting?
Kimberley Fit for Faith is a simple workbook to support a person through their day. It is designed for individuals to participate at any hour anywhere. However, the workbook is extremely versatile and has proven successful as a group program. Leader’s Notes are available to work within a group setting that can also be used as an outreach program within a church or workplace.

Lorilyn: What are the benefits of the program?
Kimberley It’s like having your own personal trainer without the cost. There is a ton of useful information that helps the reader wade through the myths and misconceptions that are out there.
It’s an awareness program. The reader is accountable to record their activities, and this helps to recognize where their strengths are and what areas they need to improve.

It’s a lifestyle change. Over the seven weeks, the reader will gain habits that last a lifetime.
Lorilyn:  Do you offer workshops/presentations based on the book?

Kimberley: Yes, my main three presentations are:

Fit for Prayer

Learn how to fit prayer and physical activity into your daily routine

This workshop unites physical health and spiritual health to lose weight and develop a deeper relationship with God. In this highly interactive session, you will gain insight into how to incorporate prayer and fitness into your daily round.

Food for thought
Find out how to nourish your body and spirit through healthy eating and Bible study

Just as eating healthy foods nourishes your body, Bible study nourishes your spirit. You will learn practical suggestions and scriptural guidance to achieve your goals. Feel the joy of a healthier and more spiritually fit life.

Flex your Spirit
Discover a new way to express yourself with God through journal writing and stretching

Taking care of yourself physically is one way to honor God with your body. Your thoughts and emotions directly influence your physical health. Learn how to recharge your physical and emotional health through stretching activities for your body and spirit.

Here is an excerpt from Fit for Faith
“God’s Word, the Bible, tells us that He created you. He loves you and He wants you to love yourself. You are beautiful. He has made everything beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) I developed this program to help you feel good about yourself, no matter what your size. God wants you to be the most beautiful and useful person you can be. Your value is not found in physical appearance but in being a child of God.
Don’t just endure life, enjoy it! You can enjoy healthy living – physically and spiritually. Taking care of your body and tending to your spirit adds joy to your life. One cannot be separated from the other. You have learned that the body, mind, and spirit are connected and reflected in your overall health.
There is much that demands your time. Where do you want to spend it? Whichever healthy activities you choose to continue with, make it a daily commitment. May God bless your journey towards improved spiritual and physical health.”


To learn more about Kimberly Payne and her launch of Fit for Faith on Amazon, you can visit her on the following websites:

YouTube: Fit4Faith channel http:www///


You may be wondering, what do I do now to get my daily exercise? During the summer, I returned to swimming, which is what I love to do most. Now that it’s gotten cooler and I have to go to the Health and Fitness Center to swim, I have accepted that I can’t swim every day.

On the days I can’t swim, if I am at home, I jump on a small trampoline that I use with my Wii Fit. I listen to John Piper on my iPad as I jump, so I am also feeding my soul. The days I stay in Ocala for my daughter’s gymnastics, I walk on the treadmill, which allows me to watch her as I exercise.

The key is finding what works best for you. Fit for Faith will help you to discover your niche, whatever that might be. Do something rather than nothing. Get started today. CHOOSE to live a healthy lifestyle; you won’t regret it.










REAR GUARD PUBLISHING, INC. Contact Lorilyn Roberts: