My first Christian book “More than songs” is finally published and available on in Kindle format, and available in paperback in a few days.

I spent seven years researching, organizing, writing, re-writing over and over ad-infinitum on this book. I paid a professional editor and literary agent gladly took my money for nothing of any consequence. The book was actually completed in 2013. I submitted to several traditional publishers. I hoped to find one that believed enough in the message and my marketing ideas (nowadays, an author has to be a marketer as well), they would be willing to invest. In almost every case, the response was the same: “It is a very good message, superbly-expressed; however, we don’t see the book as marketable at this time. They always finished with a word of encouragement — “Keep trying!”.

I never had the money for the subsidized (or shared expense) publishers. They will print anything as long as you have the money. Generally, promotion is solely the author’s responsibility.

So, finally, I self-published through Kindle Digital Publishing (KDP). Under the pseudonym of Matt Ice, I have 3 books that have been published there since 2012. I use the pen-name because these books are written for a completely different audience. I don’t want to say I surrendered by publishing this book in this way. I need some extra money, and I feel an urgency for some reason for this message to get out there. By the way, I don’t think I mentioned the book is about worship, from a biblical perspective.


Kickstarter Launch

My Kickstarter project has been accepted… quicker than I expected. The launch date is tomorrow:


The duration of the project is just 30 days, so on July 1st, I will know if it worked or not. I will post the link tomorrow morning. I hope to hear from all my friends. And hopefully my friends will spread the word. Just like the ripples of a small stone thrown into the water. Kinda cool visualization, huh?

I am excited but also nervous. I have never done anything like this before. It’s all or nothing. If my project meets or exceeds the goal, it’s a green light. But if the goal is not met, I get nothing.

Just Around The Corner

Yesterday I submitted my project. They say it usually takes 2 – 3 business days to examine it; to ensure that it meets the guidelines. If there are any parts that need editing, they will let me know. Then I can re-submit the project.

Once approved, I can launch when I want.

I’m excited. In 30 days after I launch, I will either have the funds to invest in the publication of my first book, MORE THAN SONGS, or I will know that it was not meant to be done… at least not that way.

I believe in the message of the book. I believe it will be published. And I believe that I will travel to churches and conferences, sharing the messages.


This is my design for a possible cover
This is my design for a possible cover

Rejection Is Part of the Package

January 24th, I got this email from Crosslink Publishing:
Rick Bates
Jan 24 (3 days ago)

to me

Thank you for submitting your manuscript for our review. After careful consideration, we have determined that it does not fit into our current catalog. We wish you much success in finding the right home for your book.

God bless,


rickbates | Acquisitions Editor | CrossLink Publishing | | 888-697-4851

So… I want to ask you, my readers, a question:
Since this seems to be a very generic rejection, do you think I should contact Mr. Bates, asking him what I could do to make my book more marketable. What do you think? Let me know please!

Act Like A Writer

I don’t post on this blog daily, because I don’t always have the time or anything particularly interesting to say everyday. Those who follow this blog know this is true.

Okay, so in 2012, I self-published two books (actually, one I released a revised version, so literally, THREE). They are short horror stories, written under my “dark” pen name, Matt Ice.    See my Author Page on

Each of these books are available in print or Kindle version. This was exciting for me, but so far, not very financially rewarding. I have sold a few copies, so I am now a “published author“.

Today, I submitted my first book MORE THAN SONGS  to two traditional publishers. This book has been a finished project for about 8 years. Here is the story of this book:

I began writing it in 1996. I didn’t realize at first it was going to be a book. It was just my personal study to understand biblical worship. Then, as I organized my notes, it became a book. I researched, learned, un-learned, prayed, and wrote what God was teaching me. The first draft was completed in 1998.

A huge part of writing is re-writing. Over the following five years, I edited, and edited, and edited. During this time, I was starting to get a spark for another book. At first I thought it should be a part of MTS; but it really was a different book (and that is another story altogether).

I searched for a traditional publisher of Christian books. I discovered that most publishers do not accept submissions directly from authors. They require agents. So, I searched and found a literary agent.

Writers Literary Agency read, critiqued, and seemed to genuinely believe in the message of the book. I signed a contract with them. The agency had the book “professionally critiqued” for a fee (which I paid). Then, they created a “professional” web page for me, for a fee (which I paid).

The agency then began submitting the manuscript to traditional publishers, because, as they had often reminded me: they don’t get paid until I get paid. After 6 months of rejections, Writers Literary Agency made me an offer. They would do what was called “Aggressive Marketing”. All I had to do was pay them $145.00 and sign a new contract. I didn’t have the money, and I was fed up with the agency. I had already given them quite a bit of money, with no results.

I gave up on them, and I was discouraged for a long time. I kept writing other projects. Literally, I was writing FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME! But, MTS just sat there.

Last year, I turned more of my writing energy toward fiction. Also, I was writing web content for 2 Blue Media (a paying gig!). When I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing, I worked on producing some of my short disturbing stories.

I got the fire again on my 53rd birthday last week. I was beginning to format MTS for submission to Kindle. It felt like I was giving up.

Then, two days ago, I decided to search again for a traditional Christian publisher. I found two: INNOVO, and CROSSLINK. I submitted the book to both publishers. Within an hour, I received a phone call from a representative from INNOVO, thanking me for submitting and she would send me an email with lots more information about publishing with them.

It occurs to me that I should briefly explain what I mean by “traditional publishers”. Traditional publishers, when they accept a book, believe in it and invest their money (not the author’s) in it’s production and promotion.

There are plenty of independent self-publishing companies out there. The author pays for their services. They have no financial risks, and will basically print anything that the authors pay for. I have avoided those for two basic reasons: 1) I don’t have the money and 2) I have always wanted a publisher for my Christian books to be someone who believes in the messages.

A few years ago, I submitted MTS to Tate publishing. They advertise that they are a Christian Publisher. They offered a contract to me of what is called “cooperative publishing”. In other words, for my first book, I would pay the first $4,000 production and promotional costs, and they would take on the rest. If an author has a successful debut book, their next books would be traditionally published. Obviously, I didn’t have $4,000. When I further investigated Tate Publishing, I saw some very bad reports on them.

Now, I await the two publishers. In the event that both want it, I’ll take the best offer.

2013 will be my breakout year!

Time Is Not My Friend

In four days, I will be 53 years old. I don’t say that in celebration. A 53 year old man who was fired from his last job (and has had more jobs than he can remember), has no car, and is about to lose his only phone, must certainly appear unemployable to most businesses.

In 2012, I successfully published two books, available on Sales have been anemic. I have been considering putting my first book, MORE THAN SONGS into print by the same means. This book has been a finished work for about 6 years. I have wanted to go with a traditional publisher, one who would believe in this book’s message and marketability enough to invest. Considering the method of publication is a compromise of that desire. I’m unsure if it would be my “Ishmael”.

Okay, I should probably explain what I mean by that… In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Abram (later called Abraham) had been promised by God that he would have a son. Since he and his wife were past the child-bearing years, it didn’t seem possible. Then God delayed the fulfillment of His promise. Eventually, Abraham and his wife Sarah decide she was not going to be able to give him a son. So, Abraham conceived with Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar. Hagar bore a son, Ismael, for Abraham. Then God moved to fulfill His promise, and old Sarah gave birth to the son of promise, Isaac.

As for my reference to this story: Ishmael represented Abraham and his wife’s attempt to bring about God’s promise by their own efforts. I’m concerned that, if I self-publish MORE THAN SONGS, it will be my way of handling it, rather than letting God decide when, if, and how. He lead me through the writing, editing, and completion of this book. And now, because it has just sat for too long, I’m anxious.


Holding Patterns

The web developer I was writing for has been undergoing some changes as of the last two weeks of August. All of the writing staff had to apply for jobs again, with the proposed launching date of September 1st. I have not heard from them yet.

My computer had an infection that disabled clicking or typing in the top 1/3 of the screen. For about two weeks, I could not get anything accomplished on my PC. I downloaded and used a program from, and it worked! Now I can get back to work on some ways to make some money.

For example, I’m going to be publishing some of my work on in Kindle format, and they will be available in print through (also through As they become available, I will post.