Archive for June, 2010

I’m Glad You Asked!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

Maybe You’re Thinking ….

Hearing all the things I still had to do for my book, someone from church asked me “Can’t a publisher do all that?”

That’s a good question. Yes, everything I still have left to do are things a publisher and their staff could do for me. However, at this time I don’t have a publisher. And in order to get one, I need to get an agent to shop this around to publishing houses. But getting an agent and then a publisher could easily take another year. Then, it could be another six or nine months before the book was available at bookstores and other places. That’s why I am in favor of promoting the book now on my own and then look for an agent. People need help now as I am sure they will in another year or so. But at least I’ll be able to help some people at this point in time and then a publisher can see how effective the book has been here in Cleveland. Seeing its success could easily help me getting an agent and a publisher.

Seed – Time – Then Harvest

Think of planting some seeds in the spring. You put some seeds in the dirt, water it, and clear away the weeds as they come up. For a long time you see no evidence that something is growing. Still, everyday you keep on watering it and clearing the weeds. Finally one day you see a sprout! It’s the beginning of a new strawberry plant. Deep beneath the surface something was beginning to root and grow. That’s also how it works with anything we do and give our energy to; we plant-water-wait.  I planted seeds since January 2009 –writing, editing, conducting the focus group study, changing the book’s title, meeting with others, writing the 17-page book proposal and sending off to the local publisher, and then adding more resources. In due season if I don’t give up I will reap my harvest. Soon my hard work will pay off.

A sweet little senior citizen told me last week, “Nanci, don’t give up. Your book will help a lot of people. One day you will be there signing your books. And I’ll say I know her!” It’s true. As the Bible says …you and I will reap what we sow.

For Everything There is a Season

The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3: 11 that there is an appointed time for everything.  And so it is with my book “Fresh Hope …Cleveland.”  It will be ready when God says it will be ready. God has the right time for every little thing to come together to form this book. I am glad God’s hand is on this project. That’s because as more time as gone by I’ve have the opportunity to add more resources to the text. That has made it a more comprehensive resource guide. Quite frankly, God’s timing has made it a better book. Thank you God!

 The Process

Right now you are part of the book-writing journey with me. This is all part of the process of learning how to write a book. Thanks for being on the journey with me!

Please Keep Me and My Staff in Prayer. Thank you so much!

Have a great week!

God Bless You!

Nanci

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June 29, 2010 at 7:55 am Leave a comment

Part III: Be the First to Know!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

This third entry is a continuation of the series “Be the First to Know! Read as I continue to share some of the interesting things that are involved in getting my book ready for all of you!

Now You Know!  ~ ISBN# and Bar Code  

Every book must have an ISBN# and a bar code. The ISBN# is now a 13-digit number and is an internationally recognized book identification code.  It is used for inventory control, tracking, and for ordering by book merchants.  Since every book has one, I’ll need to apply for one of these.

 Why Become a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

Since I don’t have a publisher, I’ll need to do the paperwork with the attorney to become an LLC. Why? Because in order to get an ISBN# and bar code, I’ll must declare myself a business or else my printer will have the rights to my book.

Can You Suggest a Name For My New Company?

I will take the next 10 days to pray and think about a name for my company — something godly because who knows what the future will bring! If you would like to make a suggestion, you can leave a comment below. I’d sure appreciate some input. I promise to prayfully consider each idea that is submitted as long as it isn’t unethical, basts God or the Holy Spirit, or is in poor taste.

Just the Right Art Work

I will be replacing all the lovely art work in the book. This will be my next project when my assistant returns from vacation. That’s because what I used from my Microsoft Word program is all copyrighted and not for commerical use. Using it would mean I’d be in violation of copyright law.

Who Will Write My Book’s Introduction?

What Special Clevelander Will Be Writing the Introduction to My Book?

At this point I can’t give the person’s name who will be writing the introduction for the book. All I can say at this point is they are well-known in Cleveland. The person is also a Christian. I promise to share more with you when I can. 

What Else is Left to Do?

After finishing the Web site we’ll begin work on writing press releases, put press kits together, and work on promoting the book through book signings, teaching classes, and speaking engagements. But I think I’ll take a week off first of all once everything has gone to the printer.

Next Week’s Blog Post:  “I’m Glad You Asked!”

Happy Belated Father’s Day to each and every dad. Your heavenly Father and I applaud you for your love, care, and devotion to your children. I hope you enjoyed your day.

Please Keep Me and My Staff in Prayer. Thank you so much!

Have a great rest of the week. May you be amazed each day at the things God brings to your heart and your life. And as Emma my little field mouse would tell you, if you haven’t yet seen an answer to your prayers, keep praying because God Does Answer Prayer!

God Bless You!

Nanci

June 22, 2010 at 9:32 am 3 comments

Part II: Be the First to Know!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

This is a continuation of last week’s series “Be the First to Know! This week I’m sharing more of the interesting things that are currently in the works for my new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland.”

 Now You Know!

First of all I must tell you, my assistant and I are very silly people. We do get our work done but we enjoy our work and working with each other!  To get the full flavor of our Godly silliness, practice saying things in your best Russian accent – because that’s how we talk! We do other accents too but mostly Russian. Didn’t I say we were silly! Our cute little personalities flourish best in this creative environment! Besides that, sometimes we are like Mutt and Jeff trying to put a bicycle together only the project is a book! The dialogue might go something like this: “Read this! Okay, now what do I do? Please read it again only s-l-o-w-e-r! Wow! How will I ever to that? I ask a little puzzled. Oh, my! Let’s pray! Dear Heavenly Father, We really need your help today!” The book “Self-publishing for Dummies” also helps us a lot! But besides all the fun we have, we do have plenty of chocolate and that makes us really happy each day!

More Hope For “Fresh Hope… Cleveland”

I’ve been adding more to the text of the book since the other publisher wasn’t the right one.  I’ve been adding some new churches. I look for churches that not only preach the Word of God, but those that have classes to bring about healing and hope in all kinds of ways. I’m interested in classes for divorce care, job search groups, addiction, adoption, cancer care, and caregivers of brain injured loved ones. I have a meeting with the pastor of Mt. Zion Church on June 25. I’d like to put their church in my book. Mt. Zion is a very large church with 5,000 members.

 Press Releases & Media Coverage

When the book is finished and off to the printer in Cincinnati, I’ll start to notify the media. I would imagine late this summer I’ll start to write some press releases and put together some media kits with the help of my assistant.  A press kits contains my picture, biography, synopsis of the book, table of contents for the book, positive press coverage received, informative business letter with business card and my book card. I’ll also put together an online version to for reporters.

 God’s Hand in All of This

I’ve seen God’s hand in this whole project since the first day I sat down to write the text for this book. Recently I’ve seen God bring me an awesome assistant to help me. God perfectly matched us together because Nadeah has all the skills I don’t have! I’ve also seen God help pay my bills and provide a helpful marketing professional along with a new Web developer and graphic designer. I have been blessed with wonderful Christian professionals to work with who help me all the time. They are fabulous people and besides all that, they are very talented!

Books Are Great!

My assistant and I found several very useful books to help us with this endeavor. We ordered used copies of them recently. “Self-publishing for Dummies” is a great help and “Publicize Your Book” is another one that another first-time author recommended.

 Help Us With the Staff Celebration!

After working on this book for 18 months now, I’ll be thrilled to send it off to the printer later this summer. And with that rite of passage, my assistant and I would love your suggestions on ways we could celebrate our victory.

~How Should We Be Celebrate Finishing “Fresh Hope … Cleveland?”

~Please Leave Your Ideas Below.

 Next week I’ll be sharing about: the Latest on the ISBN# and Bar Code Dilemma, Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), More Art Work, Book Signings, Teaching Classes & Speaking Engagements. I’ll also tell you more when I can about the Special Clevelander Who Will Be Writing the Introduction to the Book.

 Read Part III of this series next week on Tuesday, June 22th.

Please Keep Me and My Staff in Prayer. Thank you so much!

God does not expect use to do great things, only little things with great love! – Mother Theresa

I pray you’ll bless someone else today!  It only takes one moment to do something good for someone else. And that good will fill your heart and their’s for a lifetime.

Have a great week!

God Bless You!

Nanci

P.S. If you’d like, leave your suggestions for a cool staff celebration – celebrating getting the book this far and off to the printer. Thank you so much!

June 15, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Part I: Be the First to Know!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

 Behind-the-Scenes

I have found at this time without a publisher that writing a book is a very big job! Sometimes I wish I could lounge in a hammock and drink some pink lemonade and have some pie!  I hope that day is coming soon!

Back to Reality: Eventually in the fall I will be starting to look for an agent. And if it’s God’s will, he or she will shop my book around and find a traditional publisher. But since my book can provide a lot of help and comfort to those affected by the poor economy – and great ideas for the rest of you, I didn’t want to wait another 18 months until all that came together.

Sometimes when I share with someone what I have to do for the book they’re amazed. You may be too! So I’ll give you some of the particulars in this blog entry and you’ll see what’s going on now and what will be coming up shortly! Then you may realize why things are progressing a little slower than I’d like! However, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” is in God’s hands — so it will be out at just the right time! Besides all that, I am learning so much each day. Besides writing I also do all the spreadsheets, planning, get work ready for my assistant and others who come and help me, set-up meetings, and do all the business correspondence. And as a result, I’m learning just how things work in publishing!

 When Can I Buy Your Book?

People come up to me at church or when I’m out somewhere. They want to know when they can buy my book. Sometimes my response is in about a month. But now I would say by the end of the summer. Many new developments take place each day which change the target date for getting it to the printer – and then out to you! My assistant and I will be saying tons of praises to God when we finally send this off to the printer in Cincinnati.

But I can tell you this; I’ll be more excited than anyone else because I’ve worked on this book since January 2009. It is taking a little longer than I anticipated. I believe that’s because I could only work part-time on it and then too, the project grew in many ways. And as it grew, I talked with others and sought out other professional people to assistant me. And for the past several months I’ve had a frozen shoulder so I need even more help at my office and home.

 Adding More New Things!

The local publisher had great things to say about my book and 17-page book proposal. However, they felt it was for a national audience. When I heard Gray & Company Publishers wasn’t the right publisher for my book, I decided to add a few more things to the manuscript. So last Sunday my assistant and I traveled to two churches in North Olmsted. We meet with the Care Ministry staff and the pastors. June 13th we’ll be taking another trip to visit Mt. Zion Church in Oakwood Village. We are also hoping to talk with the pastor at The Word Church in the near future.

 Nanci’s New Web Site

Fresh Hope … Cleveland” has a new Web developer. Hurray! I’m excited about having a Web site to promote my book. We took a few pictures last week for the Web site and the back cover of the book. I can’t wait to see them.

You Are the First to Know: Every quarter on my Web site, those who need a free book will be able to fill out some information to request a book. The purpose of the give-away is to make sure the people who need this information are the ones that do indeed get it. The months for book give-aways will be March, June, September, and December.

Look for my Web site in July at http://www.nancig.com.

 You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover — or Can You? 

I guess it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But as far as book covers go, a good cover can sell a book!

I’m happy to tell you that “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” will be getting a new look. I tried to design the cover myself and I do have design skills. In fact, I designed and marketed my own handmade greeting cards to some local galleries and a local hospital about ten years ago. But for my book’s cover, without software like Photoshop or InDesign, I couldn’t do much at all. I’ll be anxious to see the new cover from the designer. I should be able to see a proof next week.

 Just the Right Art Work

One night I called one of the new prayer hotline numbers I had just put in the book. In fact I always check all the facts I put in and the telephone numbers as well. That’s because I want to see how people will be helped and see if the phone number’s correct. At this particular prayer line, the gentlemen on the other end of the line said to me, “I think you have to get permission to put this in your book.” I was surprised. Because I worked in corporate communications and had an attorney review all my work, I contacted an intellectual property law attorney and he reviewed my entire book for me.

After having the text reviewed, something still was perplexing. I wondered if I could sell my book with the clip art I had used from my Microsoft Word program. I have about 40 pieces of colorful art work in the book. Each one conveys perfectly the information in the text. I carefully selected each one. Recently I found out that I can’t use the clip art. Maybe this will be helpful information for someone else. Clip art is not for commercial use so my assistant and I will be hunting for art work to replace everything in the book! Ugh!

 Read Part II of this series next week on Tuesday, June 15th.

Next Week — Part II: Now You Know

Now You Know: Learn more “Fresh Hope” particulars about Mt. Zion Church visit, Press Releases & Media Coverage, Help God Has Provided, Reference Books – the blind leading the blind with God’s Help, and the Celebration for My Staff and Me! I’ll also tell you more about The Latest on the ISBN# and Bar Code dilemma, More Art Work, Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Book Signings & Classes, and the Special Clevelander Who Will Be Writing the Introduction to My Book.

Please Keep Me and My Staff in Prayer. Thank you so much!

I pray that you’ll see God’s many blessings in your life this week!

With pink lemonade in hand (the hammock and strawberry-rhubarb pie will be coming soon),

God Bless You!

Nanci

 

June 8, 2010 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Love Languages

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

 

What Love Language Do You Speak?

I’m just reading the last pages of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” I’d heard so many great things about it – I wanted to read it. Perhaps you’ve heard about it too or maybe you’ve read it?

Cozying up to my sandwich at Panera’s tonight, I found myself entrenched in the marital problems of the couples in the book. People express and receive love in different ways says the author. Dr. Chapman identifies the five love languages – the ways we give and receive love as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. However, when you speak a different love language than your spouse or your children, the misconnection leaves them feeling unloved.

 

Why Am I Recommending “The Five Love Languages” in My Book?

So what does Dr. Chapman’s book have to do with my book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland?” Good question. In the back of my book are two pages of books that I recommend on various subjects. I recommend them because not only are books great resources to help you learn more, but they will also encourage you to use your time in a productive way. Reading can make your life better and in doing so you will acquire some new habits. And since my book is about resources, it seems fitting to share some good reads with you. The books I share with you in “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” can provide you with information on health, ways to live better – live well, and strength, inspiration, and help from God!  Going through breast cancer and then loosing the people in my life all at the same time, I read about God every night. That gave me comfort and helped me stay positive. But it also made me feel like I wasn’t so alone. Books can be really good friends.

 

Is Your Love Tank Full?

Dr. Chapman says, “Love is not our only emotional need. Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth, and significance. Love, however, interfaces with all of those.” Is your love tank is empty or full today? Has your most basis need, the need to feel loved, been met? I think too, you can stretch Dr. Chapman’s message to other relationships that we all have.

 

Love Is A Choice, But It Also Requires Action.

Jesus told us in scripture that love is an act. It is not an emotion. That means you don’t have to have loving feelings for someone to choose to do something nice for them. Love is a very powerful entity; it is also a choice. I think of it this way, whether you are married, single, engaged, widowed, divorced, or separated: love is a verb. Verbs are action words. That means love does things for others. Jesus said it’s easy to love those who love us. He also said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you … Do to others as you would have them do to you. Love is a verb in marriage, in friendship, or to the stranger or the unlovely.

IN NEXT WEEK’s BLOG: I’ll tell you next week about the trials and tribulations of getting my book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” ready to share with you!

Have a great week!

God Bless You!

Nanci

June 1, 2010 at 10:10 am Leave a comment


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