To be honest, until recently I had never written a book review. I can write some pretty vivid reviews if the food in a restaurant is not well cooked or cold when it should be hot. And I’m pretty quick to complain if a new printer doesn’t work properly But I guess I never thought that a review would encourage an author, or even help sell more books.
Today Daughters of Deliverance reached forty nine reviews. It’s been slowly climbing the Amazon rank. It was listed #231 out of more than 200,000 books. I don’t know what that really means, but it’s better than being ranked near the bottom. I suspect that reviews, whether conversations with a friend in the elevator about “the good book I just read,” or a written review on Amazon really does help promote a book.
I love the endorsement my 23-year-old grandson wrote. You’re probably thinking, “of course he’d tell his grandmother what she wants to hear.” But you’ve got to know that this grandson is a writer himself — and a philosopher who thinks deeply about the weight of words. He’s honest “as the day is long” and wouldn’t perjure himself to flatter me. So when he wrote this endorsement, I was honored:
Katharine is a fascinating character. She obviously trusts God immensely. When she was struggling with the decision to leave David and her dreams of residency, to go to China, I shared in that struggle–feeling at least in part, the anguish, followed by rest in the Lord’s will. It’s fascinating to see someone so determined to heal and fulfill her calling that she abandons the familiar. It strikes of yearning for more, for both herself and people she serves. Joe
But before you give up even thinking of writing a review , please remember that there are as many evaluations of a book as there are readers. Some readers like Kate because she’s spunky; others might think she prays too much; or what do you think?
Join the growing number of readers and write a review at the bottom of Amazon’s page for Daughters of Deliverance. Then you’ll be eager to read the rest of her fascinating life, The Queen’s Daughters, which launches on September 1. 2017.
I was attending a conference — don’t remember what it was even about. But I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my roommate one night..
“You’ve just got to write this woman’s story,” Mimi urged. “Katharine Bushnell has been lost to history. She made a great contribution advocating for justice and equality for women, backed by years of study of the Bible and few people know about her.”
I laughed off Mimi’s suggestions. But the challenge had been planted in my mind. I hadn’t acquiesced yet, but I wanted to know more about this women. When I began researching and reading about Katharine Bushnell, I couldn’t find personal letters, or journals, or detailed accounts from people who had known her.
Discouraged, I made an appointment with a literary agent to ask his advice. “Simple,” he said. “Write it as historical fiction.” Voila! I could do that I had all the facts of her life for the framework of the story — and fiction gave me the freedom to expand on that framework with how I think Kate would have acted.
Kate became so real and alive, even my twenty-three-year-old grandson read the story and wrote: “Katharine is a fascinating character…It’s fascinating in part to see someone so determined to heal and fulfill her calling that she abandons the familiar. It strikes of yearning for more, for both herself and people she serves”
Wow. Kate, as she has become to me, could even touch the heart of a young male adult. She was was worth writing about. And your reading Daughters of Deliverance!
This week I was reminded to promote other books I’ve written. If you go to Lorry Lutz on Google, nine of my eleven published books are displayed. It’s almost embarrassing to note that some sell for as little as 48cents! Of course as far as books go, they’ve been around for a long time, and face hundreds of thousands of other books which have been published since.
Three of my books are on Kindle — The Soweto Legacy, When God Says Go, and Daughters of Deliverance. I have to admit, I like them all– but then I am prejudiced.
The Soweto Legacy was published in the 80s, but it deals with subjects as current as today. Set in South Africa when apartheid reigned, it tells the story of a mixed-race couple (a no-no under apartheid) and how their two families handled the delicate situation. Race and ethnic hatred contrasted with love, forgiveness and God’s care as the story comes to a dramatic conclusion.
When God Says Go resembles Daughters of Deliverance, in that it is about a brave,persistent, godly woman who spends her life relieving the suffering of others. Mother Eliza George, a daughter of American slaves, serves the tribal people of Liberia, rescuing girls from early marriage to old men, educating them in schools she’s founded, and starting churches with pastors she’s trained. But that’s just the framework of this true story . Her marriage to Mr. George — really out of convenience so she could stay in Africa–is just one of the quaint stories that emerge out her rich and colorful life. At ninety-five she’s still traveling through the jungle, carried in a hammock by porters, straddling across a log fallen over a swollen river, to bring the message of God to one more village.
Katharine Bushnell’s story of courage, persistence and faith is told in Daughters of Deliverance. She spent most of her life exposing what we call trafficking today— in the streets of Denver and Chicago, the forests of northern Wisconsin– and later in the barracks of the British military in India.(see my recent posts for more)
Even old books can be enjoyed — and fortunately they are all on Amazon for your enjoyment.
Big day for my family. My grandson-in-law launched his book, Jesus Journey. I know the grueling hours this father of three put in. I couldn’t resist writing him this letter:
I know what this day feels like. The “baby” has been birthed—a relief and yet a bit of emptiness. Didn’t you grow with the people you wrote about, the insights you discovered, the creative challenge every time you sat down at the computer?
And you feel so proud of this “baby” but you don’t want to act proud. Yet in order to get the baby to grow, you have to talk about it – you have to SELL. You almost feel as though you are selling yourself.
It looks like you’ve had some encouragement from your publisher. I’ve received some new ideas about promoting my book, Daughters of Deliverance, myself today. I’ve wanted to do a Facebook author page, but don’t know how. I’ve struggled to write faithfully on my blog—and not very meaningfully either. But we try and God moves the book along because He wants people to read and learn and be blessed.
I was encouraged to receive this review just a few days ago from a woman who serves on the board of a well-known and impactful NGO:
Just finished reading Daughters of Deliverance and wanted to thank you for sharing the book with me. It was an incredible story that I had not heard before and of course it was so beautifully written. The theme of wrestling and listening for what God wants us to do next in life was powerful.
I had a pleasant shock today. Daughters of Deliverance rated ONE out of Amazon’s top 100 free Inspirational Fiction books. There’s still time for you to put Daughters of Deliverance on your Kindle for free through January 31. I check those numbers every day and there were days when it didn’t rank at all in the top 100.You can always buy either Kindle or print through Amazon books.
Publishing a book includes leaving yourself open not only to criticism but to undeserved praise. I’m so thankful for the more than thirty readers who’ve taken the time and made the effort to write a review on Amazon. ( I need more! )
Here’s an example which encourages me to do all I can to see that The Queen’s Daughters is published September 1,2017.
Although this is historical fiction set in the late 1800’s, the issues are as contemporary as today’s headlines. This is the story of Dr. Kate Bushnell, whose deep and authentic compassion for exploited women is matched only by her unflinching courage in the face of opposition. A good read. I’m eagerly waiting for the sequel, “The Queen’s Daughters”, which will complete the story of this extraordinary life.
I received a review that excited me several days ago which opens up a whole new readership I hadn’t expected.Since teen-agers are so worldly-wise these days,they would understand Kate’s passion to release women from sex-slavery.
While I was staying at my grandmothers house, I read your book ” Daughters of Deliverance.” I want you to know that I really like it and I think that you did a really good job writing that book. I can’t wait for the sequel. Henna, 16 years old. ”
Since teenagers are so worldly-wise these days,they would understand Kate’s passion to release women from sex-slavery.This opens up a whole new readership I hadn’t expected.
I have to admit my stomach was churning as I got ready for the launch of Daughters of Deliverance. My friend Dody helped me put invitations into cubbies here at Wind Crest. Daughter Sheila prepared the door prizes and decorated the tables. She walked into the Lounge where the Launch party was held, carrying a large bouquet of Proteas, the South Africa flower– a gift from my children. My son Mark came all the way from New York where he’d been on a business trip to celebrate with me. Two grandsons and their wives slipped in after we’d started, and my niece and her husband came. About fifty friends from Wind Crest attended.
But what really is a launch party? I’d never had one for my precious books. I finally realized it was a celebration for me.A card I received says it all:
You Worked Hard…REALLY, REALLY HARD…
Put in the hours, battled the frustrations…
Gave of your blood, sweat and tears,
And now finally it all paid off. Congratulations!
Reviews are slowly coming in on Amazon– which not only make me feel good, but hopefully will encourage you to buy and read Destined for Royalty. More about the book and the life of its heroine, Katharine Bushnell, another time. For now, I just want you to celebrate with me that the ten-year project of research and writing has finally been reached publication. You can read more about Daughters of Deliverance on Amazon’s book page.
It seemed it would never come. Ten years in the making! Today–December 1,2016– Amazon launched Daughters of Deliverance and the reviews are coming in.
To celebrate I’m having a Launch Party here at Wind Crest, the active retirement community I live in. You should see my living room. It’s piled with books, prizes, table decorations. I’ve even been persuaded to display copies of of my eleven books published over the years– even the little 48-page booklet of youth programs I wrote for Youth Alive in South Africa back in the 70’s. (I think I was almost as awed to hold that little book when it was printed, as I am today.)
I couldn’t fall asleep last night wondering if we have enough cookies and cider for those who come. Or would only a few people show up? Of course I can depend on my dear family; two of my children and several grandchildren will be here to boost my morale.
Above all this is a celebration, not just of the lovely book that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas put out for me, but I’m celebrating God’s faithfulness in nudging me to keep on writing — through loss and change, through slowing down as I inch (oh no, I’m flying) towards 90.I feel that God has privileged me to spend these years studying and developing the character of Katharine Bushnell. And through her I too have learned to trust Him more and to do all I can to “finish well” as Kate did. (That’s coming next September when Daughters of the Queen will be released.)