National Poetry Month – Mountain of Life

DerrickMountain of Life

By Derrick Collins

I feel a strong wind blowing across my forehead,

The thought of what I’d live my life to be.

The pressure that I fear is coming faster,

And sometimes when I close my eyes I see.

Future lights shining my name boldly,

And past forgotten, all except my friends.

But sometimes the lights are dim and dirty,

And in the race for life my sorrow wins.

The few years that I’ve lived I’ve learned some lessons,

The first like on the bill, “In God We Trust”.

I’ve also learned of passion and perseverance,

Focus, don’t be distracted by every lust.

When it seems you’re all alone remember Jesus,

He’ll lead and guide as only Jesus can.

But don’t just turn your back on every person,

For God to make it work He uses man.

Make sure that care and love reflect your image,

Don’t be afraid to show what’s deep inside.

Realize that each mistake is just a lesson,

And learn, don’t get deceived by foolish pride.

Remember as you travel up life’s mountain,

That love’s the prize possession that you own.

And with your faith, your strength and God the Father,

At the top of the mountain you will set your throne.

National Poetry Month – Speak the Unspoken

marcus2Speak the Unspoken

By Marcus McGhee

Speak the unspoken

Awake the unwoken

While standing on mounts of Sinai with Moses

Conversing about the commandments of God

Watching bushes burns and rivers split

Remembering the children who dwelled in deserts

Decades upon decades upon decades yet they still entered lands of promise.

See lies no longer cover the truth and blessing unveiled like sight to those that touch the garments of Jesus.

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone…

Why Christ didn’t snatch the nails nailed into his hands and feet with hatred out

Why he allowed lashing after lashing, flogging after flogging, beating after beating

And peasants to spit at the feet of a king…

When we would have

If we could have,

Rendered the sight full eyeless without eyelids and the voice full voiceless

Tyrants that seek to keep their sinful pulpits of power tongue less with mouth less teachings.

Yet he remained humble.

Never questioned his father,

Even after the piercing at thorns into his brow,

Bones bruised and broken, still he walked

Miles upon miles over cobblestones of demonic prayers.

And all we saw was the weight of an oak carved wooden cross,

Not realizing it bared the sins of our souls, the doubt of our minds,

The cruel meditations of our hearts,

Yet he pressed on

Yet he pressed on

To the top of mountain were he set to crucified

Were ornery on lookers shouted and danced at what they thought was a trader’s demise.

Spitting, while shouting; “ surrender to our believes, to our God”

And where is God now

If you are indeed all-powerful remove yourself from this situation from this persecution and we too will believe

NO ANSWER…

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

AND WITH HIS LAST BREATH HE SPOKE

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

Lie and tell me that when you were standin’ in the rain

In pain cryin’ sighin’ still lying wouldn’t ask for forgiveness even though the beast was

Kickin’ your spirit with your soul.

That it was he who handed you the umbrella

That it was he who became your pain killer

That it was he who became the shield in which shielded you from the foot of the beast

And yet you can’t believe

You can’t open your eyes to see that if it was up to you

You would still be standing in that piercing rain, licking your blood trying not to get wet with an umbrella that never opened.

Come on, come on

Tell me again and again

How the devil had you stressed out and stretched out

Standing in a blacked out cave.

No exits, no water no sight no food and no direction

How you were in a hole so deep that the dirt filled your lungs

That no loan no man woman child or machine could have dug you out

Yet when he delivered you,

When he delivered you

That cave became full of light

You saw the neon exit signs

You had food and water for your journey

That Tylenol you were given was called prayer

And your stress no longer stretched you out

That hole in which you were once buried no longer even covers your feet

And the words that the devil once whispered have become foreign and you can no longer understand his language

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

National Poetry Month – I’m New

All_New_Season_eBook_cover_030613I’m New

By Julia Royston

New life, new walk

New right to a new talk

Newness in Christ

The payment and the price

A sacrifice made for me

The rugged cross on Mt. Calvary

I’m clean and free

No longer bound indeed

Free to give, free to love

The spirit in me from above

Free to worship free to praise

Living with the father the rest of my days

Purchased by the father

from the enemy, there is no doubt

Planted in the Kingdom of God

Makes me want to shout

Prayer: Father, I ask that you daily help me to walk in the newness of the Christian life and to be pleasing in your sight.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Julia Royston is a singer, songwriter, poet and producer poised to expand the boundaries of Praise & Worship with her anointed voice and uplifting lyrics.

In 2007, Julia recorded and released her first live CD/DVD “A New Season in Word and Song” with an accompanying book of poetry and inspirational writings titled, “A New Season in Word: Inspirations for Divine Living”.  Visit her site at http://juliaroyston.net/

National Poetry Month – Who is She?

Denise nolanWho is She?

By Denise Nolan

The pain that was stored in my heart felt like black coal

Rooms are listening to the cries of the unwanted goals

Friends that look up to me are confused and started

asking Who is She?

See looking in the rearview mirror makes life troubles

Harder to overcome I ask where do my lessons come from?

Driven to the outer limits of my soul leaders are watching me

And the question again is raised Who is She?

A woman seeking her internal wisdom that can’t be

Expelled wanting to dismiss her outer shell fighting with

Temptation that only causes dreams to fail.

Living an afterlife state of mind wanting to grow in a

Different time question is Who is She?

Fallen into an unrighteous way it’s hard to not go astray

Misery has increased the travel illusions in my mind

Must cease

Walking blind in the wilderness looking for love and

Direction to obtain His protection

Unspoken knowledge that curves the mind, trying

To delete my past taken by this uncontrollable task

Question is Who is She?

Treating me as a criminal in the place someone

Forgot to tell you, I’m saved by God’s grace

In the center of His heart is where He placed me

He has taken me by the hands and now I walk with

Thee. He has taken me under His wing and now I’m

Convinced He has a plan out there for me.

Now Satan is confused and he’s asking

“Who is She?”

Denise Nolan, known as Pizazz, is a slam poet, speaker and radio personality driven to inspire and encourage women of all ages to embrace life and grow their inner strength. Visit her site at http://www.exhaleradio.com/

5 Tips for Increasing the Sales of Your Kindle E-book

ebookI want to share with you 5 things you can do to increase the sales of your Kindle eBook.  Now, if you are an author with a book on Amazon, I don’t have to tell you how important it is to have your book available, not only in print format but also in a digital format.  The sales of digital books are skyrocketing and have been for several years.  In April 2011, something amazing happened.  For every 100 print books Amazon sold, they sold 105 Kindle eBooks.  And with new tablets and smartphones coming out almost every quarter, it is important that you are in place to benefit from these trends.

But, you know all of this stuff.  You have published your book, it’s available in both print and digital format but… it’s not selling.  Sure, Amazon is selling 105 eBooks for every 100 print books, but they may not be your eBooks.  Let’s change that.

Tip number 1 – Make sure that your book is formatted properly and that you have your best foot forward in the Kindle preview.

The Kindle website allows potential buyers to preview the first 10% of your book.  How does it look?  Is it formatted properly?  This can be a huge problem if you allowed your book printing company to automatically format your book for Kindle.  You cannot just take the manuscript you used to print your book and covert it to Kindle.  Well, you can, but it will look horrible.  Not only do you have to take out the headers and footers but you must make sure that you don’t have extra spaces or not enough spaces so that it flows properly.  It is not hard to format a book so that it looks good on Kindle, but it does take work and you need to know what you are doing.  Amazon has even published a free Kindle book designed to give you step by step instructions on how to format your book.  You will find a link to the book in the description area below.

Tip Number 2 – Make sure that your description is well written and compelling.

Amazon allows you a fair amount of space in this area so use it.  Why should I buy your book?  What problem does it address?  What are the benefits of the book?  Basically, what’s in it for me?  Make sure you reach your audience on an emotional level.  I don’t mean get sappy with it.  I want to know how your book will make me feel.  Will I feel empowered because of the new skill that I will learn?  Will I feel grateful and energetic after I lose the weight?  You get the picture.

Tip Number 3 – Make sure you have completed your Author Central page.

Many times readers want to connect with the author.  Make sure that your Author Central page is complete with a recent bio, photo and links to your blog.  Also, make sure that all of your books are listed here.  If there is a problem, you will find contact information on the page.

Tip Number 4 – Take Advantage of Kindle Select Free Promo days

If you are a new author and you have not really established a following, you may be interested in participating in Amazon’s Kindle Select program.  You can visit the link below to find out more information.  Basically, it’s a program for those that are willing to allow Kindle to be the exclusive distributor for their particular eBook for 90 days.  If you agree, you are able to give your book away for free for up to 5 days in that 90 day period.  I know you may be saying, Vanessa, why in the world would I want to GIVE my book away.  I thought this was about increasing sales.  It is.  If you do your book promo right, you will give 1000’s of copies of your book away.  Each of these free downloads will help your ranking and help get your name out there as an author and can even help you get some great reviews.  The ranking you have during your free days and the reviews that you get, provided that they are good will increase your eBook sales when it comes off of promo.  I didn’t believe it either until I tried it, not once, not twice but 3 times.  I ran free promos for 3 different books, none of which had any Kindle sales before.  And at least one of these books had been available on Kindle for almost 2 years with no sales.  I found out how to get the word out about my promo and gave away almost 5000 books in the US and UK.  In the 3 months after the promo, that eBook sold over 100 copies.  Now, you may not think that 100 copies is much, but that book had not sold anything before the promo.  It also increased the sales of my other 2 books on the market.

Tip Number 5 – Make sure that you take advantage of the features of an ebook to drive traffic to your site and build your mailing list.

If there was one thing that I wanted you to walk away with from this training, this is it.  This tip probably speaks more to increasing sales of your future Kindle books but it is very important.  You must understand that an eBook is not just an electronic version of your print book.  It is an electronic version of your book that provides a gateway to instant access to everything else about your business, your brand and you.   The links in your eBook are truly alive.  I can click a link in your book and instantly go to that site without losing my place in your book.  That is huge.  You can direct traffic anywhere you want it to go.

So how do you use this to build your list?  You incorporate the things that Brendon Burchard and others have taught us.  You offer a valuable free gift as part of your book.  And you use the techniques that we have been taught with email capture, squeeze pages and the like to do it.  Let me show you what I did.

My first book, Intensive Faith Therapy, was an inspirational book based on Bible lessons that could be used as an individual Bible study or part of a group study.  When I first converted this to Kindle, I learned the hard way that you cannot just push a button and have a beautiful conversion without some major modifications.   I developed an 80 page workbook out of the parts of the book that I could not use on Kindle such as the journal sections.  When they clicked the link in my Kindle book, which is at the end of each chapter, they were taken to my website where they were asked for their email address.  You know the drill from there; they sign up, confirm their email and were sent a link to download the book from my website.  I received 55 signups from this one effort alone.  Now I know, 55 people may not seem like much but it was something.

So, don’t forget the 5 tips:

Tip number 1 – Make sure that your book is formatted properly.

Tip Number 2 – Make sure that your description is well written and compelling.

Tip Number 3 – Make sure you have completed your Amazon Author Central page.

Tip Number 4 – Take Advantage of Kindle Select Free Promo days.

Tip Number 5 – Make sure that you take advantage of the features of an e-book to drive traffic to your site and build your mailing list.