Tagged writing

Facing Your Giant Ladies’ Conference, Opportunity, and the Next Book

I’ve committed myself to making sure that I post here more frequently to keep everyone up to date on what’s happening with the book and me in general. That starts with this post. Way back when I had my book release party in November, a sister in Christ reached out to me regarding going to some conferences to promote the book and get it out beyond Orlando, Florida. Most people don’t know this about me, but I am an introvert by nature. I don’t like being out front talking and I’m horrible at selling people on things (at least, this is how I see myself, but more on that later). The last thing I want to do is go to a bunch of conferences. I agreed to speak at my aunt’s conference because I knew it would be mostly family and others I’d met before, but I didn’t have anything else planned beyond mailing some flyers to churches.

Well I decided in January to try and attend some conferences and events and sell my book. I called up the sister who had invited me to a ladies conference and got the information on it. Then I registered for the conference and a vendor spot. I didn’t know how many women would be attending.

In between when I asked and the conference the next weekend, this sister called me and told me about a minister in Tampa who was looking to develop a program centered around remaining pure until marriage at the request of a young lady in his congregation. This sister mentioned my book to him and wanted me to go to Tampa to present my book to him for consideration. At the beginning of this month, I went and met with him, explaining what my book was about and leaving him copies of the book and the devotional study guide. I will be hearing back from him later this month, but I was so proud of myself for being able to speak about my book to him confidently.

The Facing Your Giant Conference this weekend was a whole different animal. Instead of introducing my book to one person, I stood in front of hundreds to give a brief description of what was available at my vendor table. The other unique thing about this event, other than the massive size, was that it was my first “away” event. I only knew a handful of the women that attended. It was truly the first time I stood in a room full of strangers and was able to share with them a bit about what I wanted to accomplish with this book.

Afterwards, many women came up to purchase books and offer words of encouragement. So many of you told me how important you felt this ministry was to the church. Ministry? My book was a ministry? My mind immediately rejected that idea. I didn’t think writing a book qualified me to be one of those people who had a ministry. I’m still not used to thinking of what I do that way. But I appreciate the encouragement. I also appreciate how many of you are waiting for the next book. I am working on a couple of projects now. One will be for married and single people and will speak to dealing with life transitions examined through the lens of the children of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage and wanderings in the wilderness. I’m still studying and mapping out where I want to go with it, but if the book is half as powerful as my study has been…look out!

In my pursuit of my goal of attendance for this year, I’ve reached out to several people about coming to conferences to sell the book or possibly speak. Some of those inquiries have been enthusiastically received and responded to, and some haven’t turned out the way I imagined. At first I was a little disappointed at the opportunities that didn’t line up, but I’m learning more and more on this journey not to worry about the things that don’t work out or come to pass. Whatever is in God’s plan for me will happen. I don’t have to force the fit in this anymore than in a romantic relationship. The opportunities that are meant for me will come to fruition at the time they are supposed to come to fruition. So I’m resting in knowing that I stepped out on faith and took the steps to live out my purpose. If it’s a wrong step, it isn’t the end of the world; God will work all things together for good for me because I love Him and am called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). But even with the setbacks, I’m basking in the opportunities that are coming my way and hoping to meet many more of you before this journey is complete.

In Him,

Erica

ABTA Cover

Little Known Facts About Altered before the Altar

ABTA CoverIn celebration of the Kindle release of Altered before the Altar, I wanted to share with you some little known facts about Altered before the Altar.

  1. The dedication was second to last thing I wrote (aside from the About the Author page at the end of the book). It took me a long time to decide who I wanted to dedicate this book to because there were so many people intimately involved in both the creation of the book and my life. In the end, I decided to dedicate it to the memory of two women who had a large hand in shaping who I am and always supported me no matter what. I also mention others who have passed that were integral to the book in the acknowledgements section.
  2. Altered before the Altar was originally 233 pages and was pared down to 203. Many of the things I took out were personal stories or activities/questions to ask sections that will be available on this site soon.
  3. I conducted the first interview for what became Altered before the Altar in August of 2010. I conducted ten formal interviews and several informal interviews for the book.
  4. The image on the cover is a picture I took at the wedding of my friend Laporsher Williams to her husband Jason in February of 2013. I went to three weddings in the first half of 2013 and had over five hundred images from those weddings.
  5. The hardest chapter for me to write was “Making Yourself ‘Meet'” because I fall short on quite a bit of the things in it.
  6. The first chapter I finished was “Preparation.”
  7. The last chapter I finished was “Digging Deeper.”
  8. I originally had several song lyrics for chapter titles and examples that I changed to avoid copyright infringement, etc I changed three chapter titles and an entire section in one chapter to avoid using song lyrics.
  9. I also removed quotes from two books and one podcasted sermon because I didn’t obtain the permissions in time.
  10. Except for material from a session I led on purity and three blog posts, the material in this book hasn’t been published or taught anywhere else.

And there  you have it, ten little known facts about Altered before the Altar. I’ll be sharing book outtakes, interview excerpts that didn’t make the book, and information on upcoming book release events soon.

XOXO,

Erica

 

An Invitation to an Altered Life…and a Cover Reveal!!!

Discarded book cover idea--picture from a good friend's wedding.
Discarded book cover idea–picture from a good friend’s wedding.

Welcome to Altered before the Altar, the official site for my upcoming book as well as the new home for all of my blogs on love, marriage, and relationships. One thing that I realized in writing this book is that I would never be able to put all that I’ve learned and experienced in the past four years into one book, and I wanted a place where those who read the book could come and continue to discuss the topics and issues introduced. So, here we are. Please excuse my dust while I update this site and get it into tip top shape to better serve everyone.

In the future, expect extras that complement the book such as extended excerpts of interviews, extended lessons and activities, suggestions for further reading, and my blogs on relationship issues that you may have grown to love on my blog, Indigo Moods. As the release date gets closer, I’ll have advanced copies and contests to spice things up. But first…a cover reveal!!

When I began to actively pursue publishing my first book, Altered Before the Altar, I knew two things: 1) I was going to self-publish the book so that I could put into it exactly what I believed God wanted me to say and 2)I was going to make sure my book looked nothing like a self-published book. In many people’s minds, self-publishing still carries a stigma that the book is going to be substandard in quality. People complain that the titles, covers, and writing in self-published works can be sub-par. When I got to the cover stage, I knew I had a well written book with a great title. I wanted a cover that showcased the theme of the book and looked professional. It took me a while to decide on a cover artist. I wanted to use someone who had covered books that were successful. After looking at several self-published books and their covers, I stumbled upon a beautiful cover by Karolyne Roberts on Instagram. I loved the cover I saw, so I went browsing through her portfolio. Her work had a certain romantic quality that I loved. When I emailed her, she was professional and quick to respond.

Once I was able to effectively communicate my vision, she was able to translate that into a cover I am proud and excited to reveal. Here is the cover for my forthcoming book in all its glory. Without further ado, Altered before the Altar. 

Ta Da! The cover for my new book, Altered before the Altar
Ta Da! The cover for my new book, Altered before the Altar

If anyone is in need of a graphic designer, please take a look at Karolyne’s portfolio; she is super easy to work with and talented, and she has a heart for supporting Christian products and ministries. Special thanks to my good friend, Laporsher Williams and her husband, Jason for allowing me to use a photo from their wedding as the cover art for the book and Jada Prather who designed the logo to my website and publishing press, which can be seen on the back cover. He’s another incredibly talented artist that I got to meet on this winding journey. His work blows me away.

Let me know what you think of the cover in the comments, or shoot me an email at mz.zeyzey2@gmail.com. Feel free to send me an email if you have a topic you want me to address on the blog or would like to be added to my forthcoming mailing list.