Multi-published author Rebecca Barlow Jordan is trying something new this year with her latest release–she’s going indie. After years with traditional publishing houses, Jordan decided to publish herself this year, and she shares a bit about her experiences with us today. Welcome!
What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
I discovered my love for writing in the 8th grade, but after I was married, I began writing and selling greeting cards. I wrote a newspaper column, articles, devotions, copy for inspirational gift items, even some children’s things—whatever an editor would pay me so I could stay at home. My 13 books are nonfiction, inspirational, and primarily devotional and biblically inspired, although my husband and I co-authored a marriage book, and I co-authored a CBA bestselling, inspirational humor book with four other women. Because I love Christian fiction and always wanted to write it, I completed a women’s fiction book a few years ago that I hope to publish in the future.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
That depends on the book. I wrote a 3-book series in four months. The last one took me a year and a half. Each one is so very different.
Which was harder: the first book or the following books? Why?
Every book was hard in some ways. The first one I co-authored with my husband. We retreated to a borrowed cabin and wrote the majority of it the week after my husband’s father died. Extremely hard, but therapeutic.
The one I am currently launching, Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs, is my first independently published one (the rest are traditionally published). The learning curve was huge, and I had to learn everything. It was exhilarating because I learned so much, and because it was the completion of a successful “Daily” devotional series I first wrote almost twenty years earlier.
How do you prepare to write your books: pantser, plotter, both, something completely different? Describe your strategy.
When I attended a college fiction class years ago, I discovered I am a pantser, even when I write nonfiction. I generally outline many of the chapters for a nonfiction book, but love where my pen takes me. I’ve written an unpublished women’s fiction book as a pantser. I free-write for every genre, then edit later. That’s the mystery and fun of writing for me.
How did you find/pick your agent? What tips do you have for others looking for an agent?
I met the agent for six of my books when we were both on staff at a writer’s conference years ago before I became an author. Years later, when he became an agent, he remembered me and accepted my book/request for an agent.
Before you look for an agent, join online writers associations or Facebook groups and make sure you have written the best book possible. Learn how to write a great proposal, and detail how you plan to sell it. Ask for recommendations from other Christian writers. Research writers conferences, even virtual ones, and check out the agents who will be attending. Whether you contact an agent at a writers conference or submit a proposal online, follow that agent’s online guidelines for submitting your proposal. And most important of all, ask God to lead you to the right one.
What’s surprised you the most about the publishing process?
I was surprised by God’s grace, and that He allowed me to do what I love! Why surprised? Because I’ve always felt like an ordinary woman/writer in the presence of an extraordinary God.
What advice do you have for new authors?
Do you have a few hours? I think I’ve always learned things by trial and terror. Depending on whether you have already written your book and what genre you choose, my advice would vary. You might enjoy the humorous tips I wrote on my website, called “Rebecca’s Writing Rules of Disorder.” The publishing market is changing. Be willing to adjust, learn, and keep growing. Improve your craft. Ask for advice from those who have been successful, but only keep what applies to you. Writing is different for everyone.
How do you self-edit your manuscript?
In the past, I’ve used a spell-checker, thesaurus, and word finder in Microsoft Word. I also read everything out loud and read through it multiple times. My husband is also a great editor, and he has helped me with each book. In the new Day-votions book, I did all the editing, again with my husband’s help. This time I included Grammarly, the Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, The Chicago Manuel of Style, and general internet researching for help. I took much more time for a thorough edit. It involved a great deal of research and time.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a day-voted follower of Jesus who loves to help others find joy and purposeful living through deeper intimacy with God. A CBA bestselling, inspirational author, she has written 13 books, including her newest book, Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs. She paints encouragement on the hearts of others through her encouraging blog and website at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com. Rebecca is a member of AWSA and ACFW. She is a minister’s wife, has two children and four grandchildren, and makes her home in Texas.
Website: www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com or www.day-votions.com
Facebook profile page: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccabarlow.jordan/
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/rebeccabarlowjordan
Newest Amazon book: https://amzn.to/3AOzsJe