Posted in focus on faith

Putting your money where your message is: the self publishing option

One of the best, and I mean best workshops I ever attended was at a writer’s conference in Alexandria LA about five years ago. Curt Iles was the presenter and his workshop on independent publishing was informative, interesting both visually and orally, well-researched, and full of hard-won wisdom. I bought some of Curt’s early work right then and have continued to follow his progress as a writer of non-fiction and now fiction.

Curt’s reinvention of himself from school principal to prolific writer and speaker is a journey of small steps. Believing God gave him a message to share and being willing to work hard at getting that message into the hands that needed it, Curt began his journey of following God one yes at a time to realize the dream planted in his heart.

I recently asked Curt a few questions related to his pilgrimage and his answers are below:

1. Curt, you haven’t always been an author, what did you do before and what made you leave that career to pursue full-time writing?

God’s will in my life has been progressive. Each step of the journey has prepared me for the next phase. I love Corrie Ten Boom’s quote: “God is preparing you for what He has prepared for you.” I’ve seen that played out in each part of my life.

My initial career was as a high school teacher (science) and coach. After a rewarding career in the classroom and on the court, I became a school principal at the school from which I graduated.

In 1992, I moved from this position into leading a year-round church camp. It was the place I received my first job at age 13 and was truly a labor of love. It was during these years that I began writing seriously and independently published my first four books.

After fourteen years as a Camp Leader, I ventured into full-time writing and speaking.

2. You obviously believe in stories because you tell them so well. What is it about a good story that is so valuable?

Stories connect to people’s hearts. A story can travel wherever nothing else is allowed. Jesus was an expert storyteller using parables and examples to illustrate Biblical truths.

I speak over one hundred times yearly to groups of all backgrounds. This includes speaking cross-culturally in Africa and Central America. Regardless of the culture, a simple well-told story always connects both emotionally and spiritually with listeners.

3. You lead workshops about independent publishing; what is the most important advice you give to budding authors who are considering publishing their own  work?

Five things:

1. Develop your platform of speaking, blogging, getting to know folks. Every endeavor in life, including building a writing career, is built on relationships.

2. Be a lifelong learner on the art and craft of good writing.

3. Make aggressive use of social media (Facebook, Twitter) to develop a readership and following long before your first book.

4. Research carefully trends and opportunities in self-publishing.

5. Invest the needed time, money, and learning on how to produce an attractive book that you can be proud of.

Visit Curt Iles at Creekbank Stories here:

Check out Curt’s latest book, Deep Roots

Sample or purchase the E-book version here.


Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s