Showing posts with label publishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishers. Show all posts

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Word from Pen-L Publishing, Publisher of Divine Dining

Me with Duke & Kimberly at OWFI in May, 2013
For the first time on "Writing with God's Hope" blog, I have the opportunity to welcome my own publisher, Pen-L Publishing Company. Duke and Kimberly Pennell know the inside scoop on Janet K. Brown, Author and on publishing in general.
Now, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
Tying the Knot: “I Do” or “Oh No You Don’t”?


From Pen-L Publishing, Duke and Kimberly Pennell

When we first met Janet, back in July of 2012, we were only five months into our publishing experience. She took a chance with us and we were thrilled. Since then, her book, Divine Dining has inspired many to create a new and happy relationship with food and their bodies. It’s worked out well for both of us. Janet is a great example of a professional writer. She writes most of the time (she and her husband do have the travel bug to feed) and promotes constantly. She loves to talk and teach and learn and she’s kind, committed, and flexible. No wonder we’re soon publishing a second book with her! Worth Her Weight is a love story about overcoming through friendship and faith, due out late this year.

One thing we’ve learned since early 2012 is that no two writers are alike. That means some are a joy to work with, some are fine, and some are, well, “challenging.” That’s not to say that they’re not good people, just that they’re an uncomfortable fit for us. We’ve learned from experience to get to know our authors a bit before offering them a contract, and to be specific about what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. We’ve found that this makes it much more likely that it will be a happy experience for everyone involved.

One day, it occurred to us that working with our authors is a bit like being married. After nearly thirty years of the give and take of a relationship, we’re found both have many opportunities to stand firm, give in, or find compromise, depending on the moment. Surely the best way to ensure a happy pairing of any kind is to:

·         spell out what you expect from the other party

·         know what you are willing to do to achieve your goal

·         communicate your wants and willingness

·         ask for the other party’s expectations

·         look for any mismatches and discuss

·         don’t assume everything will work itself out!


The thrill of knowing that someone has chosen you to partner with – whether your sweetheart or a publisher – has been known to suspend people’s rational thought. But this is the time you need it most. Don’t say “I do” until you know the match is a good fit. If it isn’t, hold out for someone who is.

Remember, there are no stupid questions – don’t assume things will be the way you envision them – ask. And ask yourself important questions too – where do you want to be in your writing career/marriage in five years? Ten? Twenty? Make sure your intended has a similar picture of the future.

So if the day comes when you are considering entering into a contract – marriage or publishing – give some time to examining the expectations of both partners. It will help you avoid much stress, disappointment and frustration, and help create a more peaceful union.

Make sure your “I do!” doesn’t become a “Why didn’t I?”

Wonderful advice for prospective brides and groom, and new writers searching a fit for their book. Thank you for a wonderful, insightful article, Duke & Kim.

I remember that first visit with Duke when I pitched my devotion book, Divine Dining. Like most authors pitching to a publisher at a conference, my knees were knocking, and my heart was galloping, but Duke was kind, professional, and receptive to the idea. I was ecstatic. After a few weeks, I received a contract, and my relationship with Pen-L began.

If you're looking for a chance with a small, traditional press, I recommend Pen-L The company has grown since the early days of 2012. They've hired editors and cover designers. They've moved  more into promotion. But, they maintain the friendly, small-group atmosphere.

Here's a few books Pen-L wishes to highlight today.

Thank you again, Duke and Kimberly.
Do any of you have questions for Kim and Duke? Click on "post a comment" and ask away. You have their ear now, and that doesn't often happen.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It Only Took 5 Years?

Learning has come full circle for me. I guess I'm slow, but, as the cliché goes, I'm sure.

Five years ago, I wrote a manuscript with this tagline:

She’s addicted to overeating.

      He’s compelled to control her.

      But only God has the power to provide




At the ACFW conference in 2008, I pitched this story to an agent and a publisher. Their responses were helpful, but the takeaway was that it wasn't ready for prime time.

I pitched it as an inspirational romance.

"What's your main character's goal?" the publisher asked.

"To overcome her compulsive overeating and prove she isn't insane like her dad."

"Then, it's not a romance, it's a women's fiction."
PROBLEN NO. 1 - wrong genre

"We only publish romance."
PROBLEM NO. 2 - wrong publisher

I pitch it to the agent.

"What's the length?" he asked.

"60,000 words."

"Too short for women's fiction."
PROBLEMS NO. 3 - wrong length

The agent read my ten pages, and gave good feedback. I'll always be grateful for that.
He said, "Either, change the goal to hero and heroine finding love and publish it as a romance, or add 20,000 more words, and keep the same goal."

I prayed and made a decision.

Going through the entire work another several times, I added more drama, fleshed out scenes better, and took scenes from flashbacks to active time. Much better. Then I deleted unnecessary words. I was left with:
66, 000 words

In my inexperience, to add 14,000 more words, I needed another whole subplot, so I gave a fourth character three POV chapters. Now, I had it.
a little over 80,000 words

I pitched it several times after that without success, so I laid it aside.

In summer, 2012, 4RV Publishing released my debut novel. Then, in Dec., 2012, Pen-L Publishing released my devotion book for overeaters. I decided that would team up nicely with my fictional heroine who struggles with overeating, so I pitched it to Pen-L and started the process of rewriting the old story.

Thanks to five years of online courses, reading books, going to ACFW Conference, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Conference, and OWFI conference, I stored up a wealth of writing helps. During this period, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. I read many books in my slow-reader style. In September, 2013, I attended the Immersion with Margie Lawson which improved my skill at putting the reader into the story and revving up the emotional impact.

I rewrote all fifty chapters. By the time I finished, the manuscript was 96,000 words.

PROBLEM NO. 3 repeated - wrong length
Only this time, it's too long.

I prayed and made a decision.

With my five years of studying, now I realize that I need to delete the extra POV chapters for the secondary character, and rewrite what happens in the hero's POV.

So, what did I learn in 5 years?

Go full circle. I don't require more characters.

SOLUTION TO ALL PROBLEMS - deepen the emotion in your story