Is Self-Publishing for Me? Debunking the Myths (Part 2)

What is one of the most common New Year's Resolutions? 

Writing a book!

Once you write that book, you might be wondering about your publication options. Maybe you've already written the book and your resolution is to be published.

Let's continue our series on self-publishing myths versus  facts.

Myth- I won't make any money!

As a first-time author, you may assume that once you get your book published by a traditional publisher, they will pay you thousands of dollars, and the money will keep coming and coming. You may be wary of self-publishing because you won't make as much money as if you were traditionally published.


Fact- You earn more royalties when self-published.

While it is true that a traditional publisher may give you a generous advance for your published novel, once your book begins to sell, a majority of the profits will go to the publisher. 

The average royalty rate of a major traditional publisher, which is how much you'll actually earn per book, tends to be less than 10%. A smaller press may offer you a higher royalty rate, but those royalties will typically not exceed 30%. 

On the other hand, royalty rates for self-publishing tend to range from 35% for an eBook to upwards of 70% for print books within a specified price range depending on your distributor.

While you will not receive an advance when self-publishing (in fact, you will have to initially invest in your book), it is highly possible to outearn a traditionally-published author over the course of several years of book sales.

Is Self-Publishing for Me? Debunking the Myths (Part 1)

Many of us wordsmiths have dreamed of becoming authors since we were children. We yearned for the day when we would write a great book and see our name on the spine. Maybe we finally finished writing that book, and we've started tiptoeing into the unexplored depths of  the world of publishing. 

When we were growing up, traditional publishing seemed to be our only option. But now that we're diving into the research, we're wondering if there's another way.

Enter self-publishing. 

Before we progress with our conversation on self-publishing, I would like to state that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be traditionally published. This post is simply meant to inform you of another option. 

During this series of blog posts, we'll be debunking some common myths about self-publishing.

Myth- I have to do everything by myself

The name self-publishing might lead you to believe that you have to do all of the work involved with book publication by yourself, but you certainly do not, nor should you. 

It is nearly impossible to be impartial about your own work. Correcting your own mistakes is difficult. When you read your own manuscript, you may know exactly what your words mean, but a reader may not. 

At a minimum, I would highly encourage you to outsource your book's editing and formatting. If your artistic medium is limited to words, it is also a good idea to find a cover designer. You can even outsource your book's marketing and publicity. 

Truth- I am responsible for my book

While self-publishing doesn't require you to do everything by yourself, it does require your direct involvement in the publication process. An author must always be involved in the publication of his or her book, regardless of the chosen publishing route. 

With self-publishing especially, you will have to be the captain of your ship (the book). You will build a team that you can rely on and utilize, but at the end of the day, whether or not your book is published will depend on you. In addition, all of the contents and features of your book will depend on you.

You can choose the advice you apply and the advice you don't. You can agree to implement and move forward with a suggested edit, or you can propose another idea. 

Self-publishing offers freedom and flexibility, but you are responsible for your book.

Elements of a Great Children's Book

Children's literature is one of the most popular, lucrative genres today. It is arguably one of the most important genres of literature to exist. The stories we read as children shape us and develop our appreciation for literature. 

So, what are some elements of a great children's story?

1) Accessiblity 

First and foremost, the best children's stories are accessible to them. While the term "accessibility" carries several meanings, for the purposes of this post, I am focusing primarily upon a child's ability to comprehend a story. 

In order for a children's book to be successful, children must be able to read it. A great way to test the accessibility of your story is to ask a child to read it. 

Be sure to keep in mind your target audience. Children's literature spans from nursery books to lower primary and upper primary. A story written for a two-year old should use different vocabulary, visuals, and plot elements than a story intended for an eight-year old. 

While your story's vocabulary must remain accessible for children, don't be afraid to occasionally use "adult-sounding" words or complex sentences to challenge your young readers. If the young reader is able to utilize context clues to determine the meaning of a word, their overall literacy skills will improve.

2) Figurative Language 

Children's stories often utilize figurative language. Figurative language is appealing to children because it is a way of playing with words. Some common uses of figurative language include personification, metaphors, similies, onomatopoeia, hyperboles, and idioms

Figurative language can solidfy your readers' understanding of your text by grounding it in a concrete example. 

3) Engaging Characters 

Engaging characters are crucial in any work of literature, especially in children's literature. In order to get invested in a story, a reader has to care about the characters. 

When writing children's literature, make your characters memorable. Try to give your characters their own ways of speaking, quirks, likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and personality traits. 

Put your own artistic flair into your characters. They aren't anyone else's characters; they are yours. Your characters live in your story and in the world you create.

4) Theme

Memorable children's books often have a memorable theme. Consider your overall purpose for writing your book. 

When authors write children's books, they tend to draw from their own childhood experiences or their experiences around children such as teaching, babysitting, and parenting. 

Think about why you are writing this book. Are you writing a book about a sibling rivalry similar to one you experienced as a child? Are you writing a book about a child afraid of the dark because you know a child afraid of the dark? What are some lessons you learned during your childhood, and/or what lessons do you want to share with your audience?

If you are looking for an editor for your children's story, contact Exquisite Page.

Why Your Spiritual Life Matters as a Writer

It's no secret that your spiritual life matters. It is important for any Christian to spend time with God in His Word and in prayer. Your walk with God affects every aspect of your life. Yes, that includes your writing. 

John 15 reads, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing... 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples"

In this passage, Jesus calls Himself the True Vine. When we abide in the True Vine, we bear fruit. When we spend time in the presence of God, the Holy Spirit transforms us and makes us more like Himself. The Holy Spirit reveals our weaknesses to us, reminds us of the truths Jesus taught, illuminates the meaning of Scriptures, and helps us to apply the Word of God to our lives. The work of the Holy Spirit is the reason why we bear fruit. 

As such, Paul instructs us to walk by the Spirit. 

Galatians 5 reads, "16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.Against such things there is no law."

Later, Paul makes another interesting statement, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is my flesh."

The flesh desires that which is contrary to the Spirit. When we abide in Christ, we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, and we are therefore walking with Him. We are following His commands and seeking Him first. If we live this way, we are "keeping in step with the Spirit." When we are led by the Spirit, we will produce the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit gives us life and peace.

On the other hand, if we do not abide in Christ and spend time in Him, we are more suspectible to follow the desires of the flesh. When we are led by the flesh, we will produce the fruit of the flesh. Following the flesh leads us to sin and death. 

Jesus clearly states in John 15 that we can do nothing apart from Him. We cannot write apart from Him, or we will be writing out of the flesh. We can be confident that our words will glorify Him if we invite Him into our writing, which starts with our spiritual disciplines. We will bear good fruit if we abide in Him.

Rapture Ready

Inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Jason Gornicz at Emmanuel Assembly of God on May 14, 2023.

In our popular culture and entertainment, we are bombarded with messages about who we are, who we should be, what we should do, what is right, and what is wrong. Every movie you watch and every book you read conveys a message of some kind. 

As Christians, we can feel helpless and hopeless when we look at the state of the world. We see the lies of the enemy running rampagnant. We see the effects of these lies on our families and communities. We see people falling for the same lies since the beginning of the time, and we watch as the heart of man grows continually more wicked. 

We sometimes find ourselves sitting on the sidelines of an unseen war. We eagerly await the coming of the Lord, as should, but we sometimes forget that we have a purpose to fulfill on the earth now. 

God has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us to live holy lives and to reach the lost. We are the light of the world. As Pastor Jason Gornicz of Emmanuel Assembly of God puts it, in the last days, we should be found "about our Father's business." We were created anew in Christ Jesus to do good works. 

Now is not the time for us to keep our heads down. Let us go and proclaim the gospel with our mouths, our hands, our brushes, and our pens. Let all that we say, do, and create reflect Him.

If you are looking for a Christian editor, email for further information.

How To Turn Your Sermon Series Into a Book

Are you a pastor hoping to write a book? 

One simple way to start your writing career is to revisit a sermon series you've preached. 

So, how do you turn your sermon series into a book? 

Here's what to do: 

The first step in turning your sermon series into a book is to find a transcriptionist. This post assumes that your sermons are livestreamed or recorded in some fashion (i.e.: a podcast). 

Find a transcriptionist who will listen to your sermons and record everything you say. 

You can find a transcriptonist on a freelance website such as fiverr, or you can find someone in your church to transcribe your sermons.

Read your transcribed sermons. First, create headings for each sermon in your sermon series. If you don't have titles for your sermons, give them placeholder titles such as dates preached. Separating your sermons will ease the developmental editing process. 

Consider the content of your sermons. Do your best to ignore the repetition, run-on sentences, and fragments. 

Did you say something that isn't totally accurate or that can be easily misunderstood? 

Would like to share additional information or insights that weren't shared on Sunday? 

Ensure that a majority of the content you would like included in your book is present before handing it off to an editor. 

Now, it's time to find an editor. If you are turning a sermon series into a book, you will need an editor. Your manuscript will most likely need to go through several phases of heavy editing.

While most of us write like we talk, we do not talk as we write. If you publish the transcription as-is, your readers will be lost. The goal of editing is to make your book readable and easy to understand for your target audience. 

When looking for an editor, you should consider the editor's educational background, relevant experiences, and skill set. 

While this step is by no means mandatory, you may want to consider your editor's beliefs and values. During the editing process, lines or sections will most likely be cut. If you hire an editor who is aligned with your beliefs, you may feel more reassured to know that your editor isn't cutting these sections because they disagree with your message.

After working with Exquisite Page, you can be sure that your book is ready for publication. Many pastors opt to self-publish their books. A few popular self-publishing platforms include Kindle Direct Publishing, Ingram Spark, and Apple Books

Once your work is published, it's time to celebrate! Announce to your church that you have published a book. You can make an announcement during the announcement portion of your service, you can put a message on the bullentin, and/or you can post the link to your book on your church website. You may also want to notify your fellow pastors and the local leadership of your denomination. 

I hope this post helps you turn your series sermon into a book! If you are looking for a qualified editor, book your initial consultation with Exquisite Page today! 

Productivity Tips for Writers

Have you ever sat down at your keyboard hoping to write, but you find yourself typing one word, deleting it, and staring at the blinking cursor of doom? 

Every writer has had those days where they know what they want to write, but they can't focus on the page in front of them. 

Here are some of my top tips for those days when you can't seem to focus: 

There's nothing better than a drink to make you sit at your desk. Hot drinks in mugs (I'm looking at you, tea and coffee!) make great motivators to work for a variety of reasons. If you're feeling sluggish, caffeine can give you an extra boost to charge your productivity. 

Bring a hot drink up to your writing desk. Your desk is your drink's new home. If you want to enjoy your drink while it's hot, you will be motivated to stay at your desk to enjoy it. Your desk is no longer a place of self-doubt and blinking cursors. It is home to warm drinks and creativity.

Put on your headphones. Depending on your mood, you may want to put on classical music to improve concentration or your "hype" music to motivate yourself to work. 

If music alone isn't helping, you can try body-doubling. The concept may sound weird, but it has proven effective. You can can find YouTube Videos of a person working to motivate yourself to work. These videos often have background music as well. 

Having a dedicated workspace or a space for writing is important, but some days, you feel cramped and restless. You can change up your atmosphere in a few ways. 

You can change your atmosphere by choosing to write somewhere else. You might decide you want to write outside, in a coffee shop, or on your kitchen table. 

If you'd prefer to stay in your typical workspace, you can adjust your lighting, turn on an essential oil diffuser, or turn on a fan. Simple changes can boost your productivity and reinvigorate you. 

I hope these tips help you along your writing journey. When you finish your manuscript and need an editor, contact Exquisite Page!

I Finished My First Draft, Now What?

"I finished my first draft, now what?" 

After countless hours of writing, screaming, crying, and rewriting, you have finally finished your first draft! After celebrating, you ask yourself, what comes next? 

Let your network know that you are working on a book and you have finished your first draft. You don't need to share your first draft with everybody, nor should you, but now is the time to start spreading the word about your book. Start promoting your book at this stage to build anticipation for the publication. 

To the best of your ability, objectively read your book. Identify yourself with your target reader.  As you read, consider the following: 

-Structure: Is your book organized in a way that makes sense? Do certain sections need to be reworked?  

-Rhythm: Consider the flow of your sentences. Are certain sentences too long or too short? Do your sentences feel "clunky"? 

-Clarity: Consider both the big picture of your book (ask yourself, how well can a reader understand your overall content) and the small details (ask, how well can a reader understand a specific line, and can this line be misinterpreted?)

-Spelling & Grammar: As you read your book, you will most likely run into spelling and grammatical mistakes. If you notice these errors, fix them. As an author, you can choose not to obey specific conventions. However, you should ensure your usage does not distract the reader from the content of the book. A good editor can help you make this determination and convey your message in your voice. You will also want to ensure that your usage is consistent.


It is difficult to read your own work objectively. Even if you manage to read your work objectively, you may find yourself wondering, "is this section clear enough to readers," "is this stylistic choice distracting," or "is this book ready for publication?" 

Now is the time to find an editor. A good editor will assess your book, have these conversations with you, and help you polish your book so that it is ready for publication. 

Not sure where to find an editor? Exquisite Page is here to help!