From My Perspective…

I remember being so green when it came to being a new author. Even though I had an internationally known Publishing House behind me, there really wasn’t alot of advice or direction given, in order for me to flourish. It was difficult, watching people alongside me, relishing in their new found role as ‘published author’ and yet for me, there seemed to be, a whole lot of…..nothing.

So, after plowing through my contract and seeing what I COULD do, I set about a plan. Or actually, I stumbled through every day, wondering what I could do next?

It seemed to me, that having a Publisher in England, was not actually beneficial to me. There wasn’t phone support, emails were sometimes disregarded, there wasn’t a ‘person’ I could touch base with, but there was something I had, that other’s didn’t necessarily have: an inquisitive nature.

Not only did I set about finding all the search engines available to me, I learnt the ISBN numbers on my e-book and softcover books, by memory. I went about, spending hours and hours, finding all the databases and websites, where my book eventually ended up on. I found it on over 400 websites! And I marvelled at how little old me, could be all over the world!

I then went on and compiled similar lists for friends who had published books around the same time as me. I wanted to see them succeed, but it seems that wasn’t reciprocated. I was used for my knowledge, and left behind in the dust. The truth is, I wasn’t very good at marketing myself, and I actually found myself in quite a depressed state.

My daughter took it upon herself to take the posters that the Publisher had sent over, and got about our village posting them in several shops. Some shops consented to having the small postcards and bookmarks in their shops as well, which was very generous.

I got to blogging about where I was at, and what it was like being a ‘published author.’ It was the weirdest of times indeed!

My contract said I wasn’t allowed to approach any bookstores, distributors, magazines or newspapers, as my inexperience could jeopardize my chances of having my book supplied with them. Meanwhile I watched a fellow author, market herself until the cows came home! Still, she was self-published, and I wasn’t, so there are different needs and strategies there.

I approached our local and national library, and even though my book wasn’t published in New Zealand, because I was a local author, they took my book on anyways – yay for me! I then found the ‘book request’ section on the Auckland Libraries website, and asked them to order the book in – they ordered in three! And it was booked for eight solid months in a row – that was good!

I sent my books to some of my favourite Ministers etc, and that was rather disheartening. After all, who am I and what is this book that I was sending to them for free? My Publisher hadn’t done me any favours, in terms of the blurb, or the artwork. I look back now, and I cringe! Why didn’t anyone step up and say the original cover wasn’t up to parr? Never mind my feelings being hurt, honesty is the best way.

The former Publisher had a section where people could write their reviews, and 99% were fantastic. I knew I had a story that had been God-inspired, but you just never know how things will be perceived. In the end, I don’t write for others, I write what my Abba Father puts on my heart – that’s it.

Going forward, it all fizzled. Nothing was really happening, sales were dismal. And the Publisher was in breach of contract, several times over. So, I found myself a Literary lawyer, who incidentally had been a journalist for over ten years in England, and she knew her stuff. I got my rights back to the book, and formally ended the contract. It ended on a positive note, and so I could move on.

My husband and I had established a indie Publishing House, two weeks before covid hit, and the first lockdown gave us a chance to re-educate ourselves. Watching endless tutorials on the whole publishing world, alongside the fact that I had been studying publishing/editing in Certification, plus all the knowledge I had garnered from my own experience – we were off!

Our experience lead me to publish a small book on my journey with my Dad into the world of Dementia. Funnily enough, without any advertising here in New Zealand, the book is doing well internationally. I never expected that, and am only now ready to market that story nationwide.

We then felt ready to (not really, but full of faith nonetheless) to bring on some other authors. I would say the rest is history, but there are a few more things to share yet!

It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to find an audience for this book. You may have written the most inspired book of all time, but if you don’t have an audience, you’re finished . An author needs to quit writing, and start investigating, start researching and start learning the world they have now found themselves in. Alongside their Publisher, they need to be thinking about alternative marketing, advertising and sales strategies, within the context of their Contract. They need to OWN the work they have created, and educate themselves continually by watching and reading tutorials, articles etc that will give them a greater edge. They need to avail themselves for interviews, both in person and in print, and they need to be open to advice. If they are constantly making excuses for not maintaining their own blogs, websites or social media, then they are doing themselves a large disservice.

Watch this space – SparkleMoon Publishing is aiming for the sky 😉

SMP COMPETITION!

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know, we are running a competition on both our Instagram page, and Facebook page, to win all five books from SMP!

No need to do anything too strenuous – just like our page/s and tag someone else.

Free shipping worldwide to those entrants from outside New Zealand.

Ends 10 March 2021.

Winners notified by either DM or Messenger.

Here’s the links for you:

http://www.facebook.com/sparklemoon-publishing

http://www.instagram.com/sparklemoonpublishing

Birthday Wishes

red and white balloons on white wall
Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

Well, this year saw my birthday utterly fizz. Oh don’t get me wrong, there was wine, song and great food, a couple of presents and lots of laughter – afterall this is ME you are talking about, however, there was such a deep forboding feeling within my soul, one that I couldn’t shake….

Why, you say?

Because my birthday is January 20th. A day that my American friends know as ‘Inauguration Day’, well at least, once every four years.

I just knew that this day was going to go badly, and it did. I fell apart. I lost it. Not entirely, but in a sense. I wept, my Beloved held me. We asked the Lord, why? There was no response. Not until the furore settled down and one could take an honest look back at all the unpacking of events.

I wrote something on my birthday, a tribute to President Donald Trump and a salute to all he had accomplished. People who would normally wish me happy birthday, ignored me. I received a few private messages, agreeing with me. I had dismantled the comments, it was definitely on purpose. I just am so tired of people, even ‘Christians’ hating on President Trump. I finally took a stand. It wasn’t easy, it was well thought out, and it was my way of saying; you’re either with me, or against me. There is no gray in between. Oh how I had settled in the roomy composition of ‘compromise’ that we call gray! But we’re either on the side of good and righteousness, or on the side of evil/political correctness, and that just doesn’t wash anymore with me.

I’ve lost friendships now, people whom I have walked with for over twenty years. And so I grieve. My Instagram (even though it’s officially my Business one) has been shadow banned, because it is tied to my private one. I had dared to speak out against the PLANDEMIC, and I have been warned. I’ve watched Social Media* be utterly decimated by the leftist agenda who have nothing better to do than perpetrate their own maniacal rubbish, and I have mourned – deeply and quietly.

Kingdoms rise, kingdoms fall.

Coupled with the effects of all this, I sat in the lounge with my Beloved, and he broke. He wept, as did I. For the heart of the Father, who is NOT impressed at the demonic rise of Socialism and Communism in either the USA or New Zealand, but we wept for the Beacon of Hope – America – and where the enemy of our souls, is trying to drag it to. We prayed, and gave our grief to God, and then we gathered ourselves and looked at WHY we had supported Trump and his policies? Why had people walked away from us? Why we are alone, here in this nation? Alot of why’s.

Clearly, the whole rhetoric of God, Israel and the unborn, are big reasons for us. We were in Jerusalem, on the first Skywatch Tour, when the USA Embassy was moved there from Tel Aviv. We watched people rejoice all over the streets, carrying their drums and flags, and singing their songs, dancing and celebrating! What a joy to behold 🙂

However, there was more to it. For myself, as a mum of three and a stepmum of two, children matter greatly to me. I have received several disturbing dreams about pedophilia circles being infiltrated and busted apart, and Trumps administration was certainly instrumental in bringing many down, these past four years – all over the world. Trump had a massive part to play in Epstein’s arrest, and has indeed been helping towards that for many years. Was he an undercover agent? I don’t know. I just know that he was and IS God’s choice for the USA at this present time.

There was also all the good he did for the nation and for the nations. He is one dude, you don’t mess with. I learnt early on, that every country he went to, he told the leaders to back off their persecutions of Evangelical Christians. He remarked how the EC community are some of the most faithful supporters he had, and how their support can affect countries, in a positive way. But I digress!

There is so much information out there and there are too many Christians who are afraid to look at it. There are too many people in general, who know there are nefarious things going on, and they turn their cheek. And there are some, who like me are deeply moved by what we see, and are asking, ‘Lord, what can I do?’ It’s a tough question to ask, but it is necessary. My only comment is, start with what is in your hands to do. Don’t be like those Christians who say, ‘God is sovereign, He can do what He wants!’ That is a copout, and I hate that mindset!

I am a fighter. I don’t quit. I learnt to protect my children and myself when I was a single mother for thirteen years. I was fiercely independent and whilst I loved the Lord, I also knew that I had to stand up at times and use my voice. Not an easy task when fear of rejection is in embedded into you, and abandonment is your necessary friend! Still, I thank God for those years, because I had to learn to think outside of the square I lived in, I had to learn to be resourceful, and I had to learn to fight in the spirit realm. So, I share this with you today, to say, we ARE seated with Christ in heavenly places. We are ABOVE the circumstances we find ourselves in today. We are MORE than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Greater is he (Our King) who lives in us than he who lives in this world. We are clothed in the armour of God. We put on the garment of praise, and dust off our robes of righteousness! We are not here to be a defeatist bunch of pussy whipped naysayers, we are here to do a job. We are both the Bride of Christ and the Army of God.

I know some of you are offended, and that’s fine. I won’t settle for the narrative that Christians are ‘nice and kind’. Yes, you may even see some unpleasant words appear on these blogs, as I convey my utter disdain for the state of things around the world. I have been complicit in the narrative that ‘one voice won’t make a difference!’ Yes it does; all the difference. I have stayed too quiet, not spoken out on matters that really are on the heart of the Father. But I know why, and I’ve made my peace, been in repentance, and now am ready to stand up for what is right, good, holy and true.

My prayer is that I will have kindness as one of the fruit of the spirit, but that my inner warrior and lioness would be heard and acknowledged. I no longer wish to pander to the ‘nice’ crowd, we just don’t have time for that non-sensical politically correct rubbish any more. It’s time to arise and be the both the Bride of Christ and the Army of God, now more than ever before.

“I pray that the Lord will bless and protect you, and that he will show you mercy and kindness. May the Lord be good to you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26.

Sandi xx

*(I will be closing down our business page on Facebook and Instagram, as I find that morally, I can no longer support a private company that has turned Propaganda publisher. I question why as Bible believing Christians, others would too? Do some research on Mark Zuckerberg & Jack Dorsey, and tell me your stomach doesn’t turn in utter disgust. They recently have been exposed by Projectveritas.com, something I encourage you to look at for yourself. We also have removed all google and google related apps off our main system, and are using Brave and Duckduckgo, and have deleted Whatsapp and gone onto Telegram, Gab.com & Parler.com.)

A Sneak Peek….

So I thought I’d be really smart and privatize this site just so that you guys could have the first look at my secret project – but that didn’t work! It turned out that you had to login or register via email, and that caused some issues, by some of the language I could hear in the other room!

Well, before I go ahead and do my reveal, I just wanted to give you a background on who Mirabelle is and why this book is important to me.

Mirabelle is based on a woman who was a dear friend for many years. She underwent most of her cancer journey before I met her, and over the course of getting to know her, the story she shared really impacted me.

I didn’t know many people who have had significant body parts removed in order for them to survive, but she is one of them. A large softball size tumour was discovered inside her that encompassed her bladder, bowel and internal genitalia. She had to have all three reconstructed over the period of a few years, and still to this day she doesn’t function fully. But you would never know. You wouldn’t know that her bladder is made from pigskin. You wouldn’t know that her bowel is made from some of her large intestine. You wouldn’t know that her internal genitalia were the last thing to be constructed, and she went without those organs for eighteen months.

So yes, to me she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

Unfortunately, our friendship went south not long after I got married. My dear friend is someone who has an incredibly stubborn streak and if you seemingly wrong her, she cuts you off in the most powerful way. You don’t even know, she won’t even tell you, but slowly and surely, she backs off, like she did to me. And she will hurt you on purpose. Because so far, she has been able too.

It took me nine months to process the demise of this once incredibly close relationship. I’d never had a friend where things were shared so openly and honestly, so brutally and with so much humour! We were a dynamic duo when we went anywhere, and behaving wasn’t something that either of us thought to do 🙂 Going to Israel with her and with Neil was fantastic; I did feel sorry for the Tour Guide though – I don’t think he’s ever met a duo like us!

In amongst the pain, the despair I felt and the anger that would rise in wave upon wave, the Lord came to me one morning and gave me such love for this friend. Ex friend. I never call her that, but I guess that is what I am to her now. She has this book, and my guess is that she’s darn angry with me, but as I said to her, what started out writing about her, turned into a greater story that the Father wouldn’t let me leave alone.

I know that she loves Yeshua incredibly deeply, and I know one day we will reconcile. I also know that it will be different.

The character of Alex is based on me. It was with fear and trepidation that I wrote so much of my own personal story within these pages. To bare my soul so openly, I did query the Lord on this? But sometimes in order for others to heal, they need to know that some have been through the same thing. They need to know that they can reach out and touch someone who is similar to them. I know I am just a chick from Snells Beach, New Zealand, but God sees me differently to others.

When Mirabelle was released just over two years ago, we had just come back from a disastrous trip to Israel, and I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t in the right place to own this novel, or to accept the path that the Lord was leading me down, but somehow it seems right to do so now.

So, with all that background in mind, I am so pleased to show you the new cover that my brother (a 100+ Award winning Creative Director) has designed for when we re-release Mirabelle back out into the public!

We are currently working to get me out of my old contract with the Publisher in London, so that soon I can release this on our own logo.

Well, there you have it!

Until next time

Shalom
Sandi 🙂

Utterly Unbelievable

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

I have sat here these past few days just scratching my head and marveling at what seems a miracle to me 🙏 Since the announcement of our first SparkleMoon Publishing book coming out over on that blog (www.sparklemoonpublishing.net), we have been viewed over 500 times!! That is something a small time Blogger dreams about, and yet here we are. Thank you Lord!

I have spent more hours than I can count, editing and proofreading, working out a new system online, making sure all the vocabulary is in American, as that is how the Author has written it. Dealing with creative types (myself included) has had me in tears, praying for abundant grace and answering dozens of texts! Internet crashes, school holidays, uninstalling and reinstalling the right apps, computer crashes, marketing, advertising, collaboration with my Authors, correcting overseen errors. Where is the time going?

I know. I have absolutely no right to complain, and I am not, not at all. But I am sharing what this crazy life has become of recent weeks.

Saturday night just past, saw me submit all the approved files and covers, to the printing press. Phew! That has been a journey and a half, and it’s not over yet. This I guess is the calm before the storm – but I am enjoying this moment of respite.

These past few weeks have had me learning new ways and pushing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. I’ve learnt so much and realised I am far more capable than I give myself credit for! I’ve also come to realise that I am incredibly hard on myself, and have a high expectation, regarding myself as a Publisher. But that’s not the point. The point is at 50, I finally feel like I am in my element. I love being a wife and mum – nothing compares to that – but there’s something incredibly gratifying about stepping into your calling and stepping up to the plate. It’s either sink or swim, and I am learning to go beyond doggy paddling!!!

In other news: the New Zealand elections are fast approaching us here. Saturday 17 October, will be the deciding factor between life and death. We have two referendums along with out national election: legalizing marijuana; and euthanasia. Personally my views have been God, life, Israel. I’ll stand on that mountain and there I shall stay. But I fear what is coming. Many of my elderly relatives believe in the right to choose when they die – I believe that is God’s choice alone. And I say so. Respectfully of course.

Currently, we are finally back down to Level One here in the open border compound of New Zealand! Yes I’m being sarcastic 🙂 Our borders remain ‘shut’ but they never have been really. We have ‘crushed covid’ a second time, but of course it’s at the borders, just not in the community. Or maybe it is; I’ve had other priorities these past few weeks.

I was able to go and see my Dad two weeks ago, but now they have an outbreak of Gastroenteritis in the home. Thankfully Dad is ok, but the whole compound is on full lockdown/quarantine until things get back under control.

People say that 2020 has been a nightmare of a year; I disagree! I turned 50 back in January, and I was told this was my Jubilee Year, and whilst bad things have happened, the Lord has been so good and magnificent to me. I will write a bit more about that shortly, but in the meantime, as Believers in Yeshua, let’s stop looking to government to fix us, and keep our eyes upward – He IS coming soon. Of this I am most certain.

Much blessing

Sandi xx

Introducing…..

Hi folks

Well after the utter deluge of crazy that ensued after posting the cover for SparkleMoon Publishing’s newest release, I thought I’d put it up here for you to have a looksy!

As you are aware, we’ve been collaborating with my brother Tony. We love what he has accomplished, and look forward to further collaborations in the future. To check out more about Tony, go to http://www.clewey.com to see his work and read his many accomplishments.

Also, we have started a FB page for our Publishing company, so it’d be great if you like the page and repost please 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/SparkleMoon-Publishing-105293494578984/?modal=admin_todo_tour

A MASSIVE thanks to those of you who have been thinking and praying for us all. It’s been amazing the messages etc that have come through and meant the world to us as we faced the loss of our family members. Heartfelt thanks from Steph, Juju, Sammy, Neil and myself <3

We have started a new business! Our third in less than a year…..wonders never cease!! I will blog about that soon.

It seems to be time to get moving and keep going on – ‘occupy until He comes.’

Hugs always

Sandi

New Release!

I’m very excited to announce that my newest book is released worldwide today via Amazon, Kobo, Barnesandnoble and other good book outlets!

For all the details, go to http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net or Amazon.

Until next time…..

Be Blessed 🙂

SparkleMoon Arising….!

Check out our website http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net for more details.

It’s been a while in the making, but suddenly we are off and starting to push forward in the artistic direction of one of my authors and the first of her series of six books.

What a blast!

Suffice to say that I never dreamt that I would be helping other authors in this magnitude, or that I would be working with family!

Much to my surprise, I am currently working alongside my brother who is a Master in the world of Advertising and Graphic Art. I didn’t know if my suggestion to collaborate would manifest in anything, and yet here we are meeting and chatting about artwork, book covers, marketing, advertising, photoshoots and all things literary!

To that end, I have made a decision that seems to be a natural progression for me: I am going to rebrand and remarket my novel Mirabelle. I am not completely satisfied that the artwork or the blurb were the best design for me, nor was I happy with my Publisher taking out two important pages in the beginning. Having a Publisher over in the UK whilst I am here in NZ, is not ideal. Whilst I was naive, green and eager three years ago when I landed my Publishing deal, I have learnt a great deal since, and am alot less eager to please. My desire to have part of my story out there in fictional form is good, but it should be more than that. The picture of myself on the inside of the book is a far cry from who I am today, and the profile of me is not me at all now! Gosh how my life has changed, and how things have gained more clarity as the years have passed.

I still am ridiculously excited that I get to help others publish their beautiful literary masterpieces, but I also haven’t finished writing mine either.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks and months and all the decisions that have to be made, the work that has to be done, but also holding that precious first book in the series, in my hands!

The last thing I thought I’d mention, is that we are fundraising towards the cost of the artist and the marketing genius. Please check out our page on Givealittle, and see if you would be willing to donate any amount, towards these important outlays.

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/helping-nz-authors-be-published

Till next time Dear Ones, be blessed and keep on rocking!

Sandi