Eddie Jones is Founder and CEO of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries. He is also an award-winning author with HarperCollins. Learn more about Eddie at EddieJones.org.
Below are the workshops Eddie taught at the 2016 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. If you would like to invite Eddie to teach at your church or meet with your writer’s group, email him at: email@example.com.
Crafting Your First Devotion – Turning Personal Experiences into Parables
In this class, you will learn how to draw readers into your devotion, article, or story with the “Hook, Book, Look, Took” method of writing. Devotions are compact stories (think of the parables of Jesus) focused on a single topic that conveys a specific spiritual lesson. Class handouts include: Christian devotion markets, devotion samples, and tips for brainstorming ideas.
Crafting Your First Novel: Character’s Journey
Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, your character’s journey and destination should leave readers satisfied with its ending and longing for the beginning of your next novel. In this class we will identify the common “mile markers” found in every great story. From introduction and underlying character motivation to your lead’s moment of maxim angst, we’ll show how to keep your characters on the path of their story, not some rigid outline.
Crafting Your First Cozy Mystery
Cozy readers expect a puzzle, an amateur sleuth, a gathering of suspects (3-5), and an unexpected climax where the killer is revealed. In this class we’ll examine the steps necessary to build cozy mystery that leaves your readers asking for more books in the series.
Crafting Your First Romance Novel
In this class we’ll dissect the classic romance “W” formula, examine the stock scenes found in most Hallmark romance movies, and learn when and how to add the breakup scenes to your story.
Some weeks back I asked an LPC author what she did to make her book such a hot seller. Below is her detailed roadmap to success.
I have a Prayer Team–three devoted Christian prayer warriors–to whom I report almost weekly with answers to prayer and prayer requests. These three women whom the Lord put on my heart to invite immediately said yes. They have been praying for me from the time I wrote the book in earnest. Currently, I have these prayer categories (each with specific prayer requests): Agent & Publisher, WIP Novel, Web Site Etc., Speaking, Conferences, Health & Protection. Last year they prayed us through the whole process of editing, book cover, and planning for my book’s launch. This year they are praying for the writing of my new novel and for the promotions of my first LPC novel, including that God would start of wildfire of word of mouth among readers. The four of us thank God a lot for all he is doing.
Business Cards–I designed business cards online at Staples.com (500 for $10.50). They have my picture–the one that appears on the back cover of my book–on the left hand side. On the right hand side: my name in red with Author in black beneath, then my book’s title in red with its genre in black beneath. There are four lines in black with my email address, website URL, blog address and author Facebook address. It’s a simple card with lots of white space.
- I place one in each of my books, handy to use as a bookmark or to contact me.
- I also offer the business cards to those who ask for them. This usually happens by my starting a conversation with “Do you like to read fiction?” If the answer is yes, I tell the them that my novel came out recently. If that excites them and they ask about the novel, I tell them the title and its genre at which time they scramble for a paper and pen to write the info down. That’s when I offer the card. They receive it like its a prize and some say they will tell a friend who also likes to read. This whole thing takes about 30 seconds. I keep a supply of cards handy in a leather business card holder in an outside pocket of my purse.
Thank You Letter–an 8-1/2 X 11 page with my author photo in the upper left corner followed by text where I thank them for their interest in my book and offer ideas to help spread the word if they would care to. I fold these once and insert them in each book along with the business card.
Facebook–I keep in touch with friends and family through both of my FB pages–sometimes thanking them, sometimes sharing good news, sometimes encouraging them to spread the word or write reviews. They’ve been quite kind. I also visit their pages and post comments regarding their interests. I think this has a big influence.
Website–I update it to keep visitors current on what’s happening with my writing and speaking.
My blog–I build relationships with my devotional blog. I don’t mention my book here and have a lot to do to make my blog more traffic friendly. But I have had some shares along with comments.
Blog Tour–I had so many offers to host me and my book on the bloggers’ sites. I’ve also asked a few and plan to ask more. I answer any comments. Those blog appearances seem to make a big difference.
Amazon Reviews–I encourage readers in person, by email, on Facebook, through the thank you letter–every chance I get–in a kind and non-pushy way. I think this a a big factor. I also thank reviewers and briefly answer any question they might pose. And when a reader lets me know how much they enjoyed the book, I not only thank them in all sincerity, but encourage them to use those words as a review on Amazon.
Speaking Events–I booked one a month beginning with February. Each in a different town. Other than the two launch parties in January, this is where I sell the most books. People love to have them autographed with a small personal note. Some buy multiple copies to give out to friends and relatives.
Friends & Readers–love to share online about my book so I join in those conversations when appropriate. I feel it’s all about the reader–not how many books I sell. As I care about them, they seem to spread the word about my book without any or very little encouragement from me.
God–more than anyone or anything, God deserves the credit for how book sales are going. I thank him constantly, careful not to take the credit. No matter what I do, and no matter how well I do it, I cannot make anyone follow through with a purchase. Only God can. I can pray for a wildfire of enthusiasm about my book, but only God can make it happen. I do what I can, but I look to Him to make my book succeed and bless readers.