I finally have news about my book! 

(And yes, this post is likely to be plagued with numerous exclamation points, so consider yourself warned.)

Some of you will remember that I shared the news back in February 2016 that I signed a book contract with Discovery House in November 2015.

At the time, I thought I would’ve had a published book by now, but the process ended up taking longer than originally anticipated.

Since I’ve been at this for a solid three years already, you can imagine my excitement that my book finally has a title, a cover, a release date, and a pre-order link on Amazon!

Introducing … 

A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

 

A Place to Land

 

Isn’t she pretty? I’m so impressed with the talented team at Discovery House, and so grateful for the efforts they’ve poured into this project.

And yes, my eyes definitely teared up when I saw the book on Amazon.

If you’ve ever written memoir, you know it’s a stretching, emotionally draining experience. Add to that the fact that much of this book covers my mom’s cancer journey, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for tears.

I’ve spent hours upon hours poring over this manuscript for the past three years: write, edit, revise, repeat.

To see that the project is nearing completion welled up waves of gratitude and excitement, but also a tinge of melancholy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d much rather have my mom here than a book with my name on it.

This is not the story I asked for, but it’s the one I’ve been given, so I’m doing my best (with God’s help) to steward it well. 

While the book is not only about my mom’s illness, her death six years ago was the primary catalyst that got me to dwelling more deeply on heaven as my eternal home.

Here’s the description on Amazon: 

A Place to Land is a globe-spanning memoir that wrestles with the question, ”Where is my home?” Kate Motaung watched ”home” slip away again and again–through her parents’ divorce, a foreclosure, two international moves, ten rental homes in ten years, and her mother’s terminal battle with cancer. Add in the challenge of a cross-cultural marriage, and Kate was constantly adapting to a new environment. Through her experiences, you’ll realize–as she did–that no matter where we go or what we do, this world is not our home.

 

The book only releases on April 1st, but guess what?

You can pre-order now

A Place to Land

 

Benefits of pre-ordering: 

1. Amazon offers a pre-order price guarantee, which means if you pre-order now, you will only be charged on April 1st but will be charged the lowest price that the book has been advertised between now and then. So … if the price happens to drop a few bucks before April and goes back up again at the time of release, you’ll pay the lowest price!

2. You’ll be among the first to get your hands on it when it becomes available.

3. If a number of people pre-order, it tells Amazon how many copies they should have ready at the time of release so they don’t go out of stock.

A Place to Land

Thank you so much for sharing in my excitement, and for your support! My greatest prayer for this project is that the Lord would use the words He deems fit to include in the book for His purposes and glory.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. 

Some of you have been asking what I’ve been up to lately.

Well, since May 2016, I’ve been working full-time from home. God opened doors for me in the capacity of writing, editing, and virtual assistance — all things I love to do.

A few months later I registered a business called Refine Services, LLC.

Refine Services It has been such a blessing to serve my clients so far, and especially to be able to do it all from home.

If you have any writing, editing, or virtual assistance needs, I’d love to chat with you!

 

Some of my services include:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Editing book manuscripts for authors who plan to self-publish
  • Editing articles, blog posts, newsletters, web content, or other documents
  • Writing blog posts, articles, email campaigns, web content, newsletters
  • Formatting books for print and Kindle, through Fistbump Media
  • Publishing consultation through Fistbump Media

 

fistbump media

 

So far I’ve worked with clients from a wide spectrum of fields, including real estate agents, financial managers, mortgage loan officers, Christian counselors, and published authors.

Here’s a video testimonial from one of my clients, real estate agent Kevin Alderink:

 

 

For more client testimonials or a free consultation, visit my website at:

www.refineservices.com

 

Why Refine Services?

I chose the name Refine Services because my desire is to help my clients refine their message and reach their target audience — whether that’s through helping them craft engaging content, polish existing material, or make use of social media to expand their reach.

As a Christian, I’m also aware that God is continually refining me every day through His ongoing work in my life, so I wanted to remind myself that I’m not the only one doing the refining — ultimately, that’s His job.

 

Work with Refine Services

I’d love to discuss how I can help you meet your writing, editing, virtual assistance, or digital marketing needs!

For a free consultation, please visit www.refineservices.com or email me directly at kate<at>refineservices<dot>com.

 

Refine Services

In Part 1 of this interview series with Christian historical fiction author Lynn Austin, I shared about my surreal experience visiting one of my favorite authors in her home to interview her about her latest book, Waves of Mercy.

What I didn’t share in that first post was the remarkable impact that Lynn’s words and demeanor had on my own writing life.

 

Lynn Austin

 

If you missed the video from Part 1, you can watch it here:

 

 

Sitting in her living room, I absorbed her every word and folded her advice and encouragement into the fabric of my mind. Two days after our 90 minutes together, I had the pleasure of listening to Lynn deliver two keynote addresses at a Christian writers’ conference. I gleaned further wisdom during those hours and took copious notes to share with you here, in hopes that you’ll be similarly blessed.

Let me start with the writer mamas out there who are trying to write with little ones underfoot. Here are some nuggets of wisdom from Lynn:

“Don’t wait for perfect conditions; they’ll never come. Just put your computer in the middle of the table and learn to do it. Give your kids enough attention so that your writing life is not a competition and they’ll be much more accepting. Involve them in the process; talk to them about your writing. For a long time, my workspace was right in the middle of everything. Just do it; don’t wait. Be creative with your time — take materials with you in the car, think about your manuscript while you’re at the park. I’ve developed dialogue for my characters and had full conversations in my head while pushing my kids on the swings at the playground. Just take what you have and do what you need to do.”

Q: What encouragement would you give to the writer who has experienced repeated setbacks in the writing life?

Lynn: “I’m answering after learning the hard way. I did quit. After years of rejections before my first book was published, I quit. I took a teaching job and was miserable. But God steered me back. Sometimes you just have to go through it, and maybe you need to learn the hard way. If you have a calling from God, He’s going to bring you back. 

“A successful writer isn’t the person who is published—it’s person who keeps writing.” ~@LynnNAustin

 

 

It’s easy to say to writers, ‘Don’t quit.’ But each writer needs to have his or her own wrestling match with God regarding the question, ‘Am I called or not?’ Once that answer has been given, the next step is learning to depend and trust God for how He’s going to use our writing, because we have no idea.”

 

Q: Do you have any writing “must haves”?

Lynn: “I must have my daily quiet time for prayer and Bible reading —or else I don’t get anywhere at all with my writing. If I’m in a bad mood, if my relationships are broken or I’m anxious about something, it affects my writing. In my quiet time, that’s where I get all of this ironed out. Quiet time really settles everything else. It helps me to read Scripture every day. I started a plan to read through the Bible in a year — I’ve been doing it for 40 years. It gives me a foundation to build on.”

 

I could fill another whole blog post with quotes from the two conference sessions Lynn delivered.

Here are a handful of highlights:

  • You have to make up your mind: Is God calling you to write? Calling comes from God. If He believes in you, who are you to doubt? You can’t run from God’s call.
  • If you’re going to answer God’s call, it’s going to require sacrifice. What are you willing to give up to nourish your dream? Learn to say “no” to things so you can say yes to your calling. On the flip side, determine where your writing fits into the scheme of things. Don’t let your writing become an idol.
  • Write regularly and consistently. Offer to write anything, just for the practice.
  • So many writers give up because they get tired of waiting for the plant to grow. Trust God’s timing. He doesn’t measure success by results, but by obedience. It isn’t just about the books; it’s about you and God.
  • No other reward will ever compete with the satisfaction of knowing that you’re serving God and bringing Him glory.

 

What about you? What writing advice has encouraged you? Which quote(s) stood out as you read this interview? What question(s) would you ask one of your favorite authors if given the chance? We’d love to read your responses in the comments below!

 

Grab Lynn’s latest novel, Waves of Mercy, on Amazon.

wavesofmercy

Affiliate links used in this post.

 

I’m so excited to share that Fistbump Media has a brand new course available!

30 Days to #SelfPub: How to Take Charge of Your Publishing Goals

 

Sound inspiring? It is!

I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at this course, and it’s fantastic!

It really does cover every component of the publishing process, from start to finish.

 

Fistbump Media University Learning Center

One thing I love about Fistbump Media is the way they truly believe in the power of story. Not only that, but they want to help you get your story into the world.

Does the idea of self-publishing terrify you? Have no fear!

The new course, 30 Days to #SelfPub is a step-by-step, user-friendly guide to make your publishing dream a reality.

 

dan-king-fistbump-media

I’ve invited Dan King, owner and president of Fistbump Media, to share a bit more about the new self-publishing course.

Here’s Dan:

 

 

What are some of the main features or benefits involved with the self-publishing course?

 
The big idea behind this course, especially compared to other self-publishing guidance I’ve seen out there, is that it’s an end-to-end walk though of the self-publishing process. Other self-publishing resources I’ve seen discuss ideas in the process, and many have some really great information. However, I know several people who end up getting stuck in the technical weeds when trying to actually walk through it. This e-course was designed to walk someone through the complete process, with all of the technical information they need to know exactly what they need to do. We’ve also worked to help self-pub authors work to step up their game. My goal is to publish their project at the same quality standards we hold for all of the publishing projects we handle at Fistbump Media. Self-publishing doesn’t mean that it needs to look unprofessional, and we want to help people publish high quality projects.

 

Will the course teach me how to get my own book onto Amazon and Kindle?

 
Yes! We walk you through the best, most economic way of publishing your book to Amazon in both print and e-book formats. There are a lot of self-publishing options out there, and most of them cost a great deal of money. But the best methods don’t actually cost anything! You may want to spend a little on some other design and development stuff, but we walk through everything and highlight all of the options and how to get it done on a shoestring budget if needed. The bottom line is that if you have a story to tell or an idea to share, then this course will walk you though how to get it up and available for sale on Amazon.

 

Will the course help me with a launch plan and ways to promote my book? 

 

Yes! There are two full units in the course dedicated to building a launch strategy, and evaluating it over the long-term. One of the most exciting things I’ve seen with self-publishing projects is that they can easily bust the traditional sales models and continue to sell strong over the long-term (most sales for traditionally published books come in the first 60-90 days). So what we try to do is give you a starting framework for a DIY launch plan, and then discuss what you should be looking for over time so you can identify tweaks and changes that will help you continue to boost sales over the long-term.


What if my book is still in the idea phase? Would I still benefit from purchasing the course? 

Absolutely! And this is actually one of my personal favorite parts of the course. The first step in the process we use works through some analysis. It’s where we work through the idea in order to get a better idea of what will work and what won’t. Basically, there are a few things you can do in the very beginning to build a book project idea that will be set up for success. So whether you just have a basic idea that needs to be developed, or if you have a stronger, fully-developed idea that just needs some direction and validation for later marketing purposes, this section will get you on the right path to publish the best possible book for long-term success.

Grab your access to Fistbump Media’s new #SelfPub course!
Thanks, Dan!

 

To everyone reading, if you still feel too scared to tackle a self-publishing project on your own, feel free to reach out to the staff at Fistbump Media! We’d love to help you with whatever aspects of the publishing process you need.

 

#fistbump
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Do you have a blog?

If so, do you want to know how to make your blog even more awesome than it already is?

Are you thinking about starting a blog, or maybe adding some new features to your current site?

No matter what stage you’re in,

I’m SO excited to announce this brand new e-course

from Fistbump Media:

 

Fistbump Media University Learning Center

Grab Fistbump Media’s new course, 31 Days to #BlogAwesomeness!

I had the privilege of taking this course in a Facebook group a few months ago, and I learned SO MUCH! I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Design Strategy

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Branding

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Monetization Techniques

Landing Pages and Lead Magnets

Writing Headlines that Engage

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Hurry, because the introductory pricing is only available

through August 22, 2016!

 

I’d been blogging for more than four years and thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing — then I took the 31 Days to #BlogAwesomeness course and realized I had SO much more to learn!

This course helped me focus in on some goals for my site, properly initiate my SEO settings, eliminate broken links, and build by email list. (Among many other things!) 🙂

 

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Best of all, the team at Fistbump Media provides accessible, expert advice including regular video coaching content, all built into the course! You really can’t go wrong!

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up now — you won’t regret it!

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Fistbump Media University Learning Center