Holiday Corner: Christmas Memories

December 7, 2017



Christmas is almost here and we invited some of our columnists to share their favorite Christmas memories. They have some great memories to share. Hope this will help to get you even more in to the spirit of Christmas!

An Unforgettable Gift

By, Rachel Schmoyer

I had never been on a plane before. Aside from two bus trips in high school, I had only really been in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York area. Since my four kids were very young and we didn’t have much money, going on a plane trip was not on my radar.

Not that I didn’t have anywhere to go. It had been almost two years since my best friend had moved to Texas with her family. I missed her so much! We had gone from seeing each other multiple times a week to talking to each other on the phone once a week. I had no hope of being able to see her in person any time soon.

Then came the Christmas morning I will never forget. After the little ones had opened up their gifts and my husband and I had finished up opening our presents to each other, my husband said, “There is one more thing…” and handed me a plain white envelope. Curious, I slid it open and unfolded the computer printout. At first I didn’t make sense of what was written inside. Then it dawned on me when I saw “Southwest Airlines” and “Houston, Texas.” My husband had bought me plane tickets! To visit my best friend! I gasped! Warmth spread from head to toe as the reality of it all sunk it. I will always remember his thoughtful gift.

Meet the Author

Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes. If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States. You can connect with Rachel online at Twitter.

Christmas Memories

By, Jim Hughes

One of the things that I remember about growing up was shortly after Thanksgiving my dad would bring out half a grocery sack full of nuts of all kinds. We would eat them throughout the holiday season and I always looked forward to it, so much so that my wife and kids get me some every year to munch on as I watch TV throughout the season.

Also, I remember my mom hiding Christmas presents up in our attic. Of course, the attic was off limits for us until after the holidays. It was the one time of the year that my parents splurged on us and the tree was always full to overflowing on Christmas morning.

Meet the Author

I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly has a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years.  I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son.  I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.

I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.

Readers can visit my webpage. I tweet at 4248 and I post devotionals at my blog and on Facebook.

My Favorite Christmas Memory

By, Eve Culley

Christmas 1960, I was nine years old. Our family lived in an upstairs two bedroom apartment. Mother and Daddy were saving money for our first home so we knew that our Christmas wish list would be small. The three children (of which I was the oldest) were told to pick one thing to ask Santa for Christmas. My wish was for a dark haired Barbie doll. She was so pretty and I desperately wanted one. She was to be my very own status symbol at school. In secret, Mother had been making Barbie doll clothes for several weeks.

We also had a pet squirrel that had free run in the apartment. Daddy had found him when he had fallen out of the nest with his mother dead on the ground beside him. His eyes weren’t even open and we didn’t think he would survive. However, Mother carefully and lovingly fed him every two hours with an eyedropper and Whirly survived. As he grew, he had access to the back porch and to the big Dutch Elm trees that grew all around our small neighborhood. In the evenings he would come when called into the house at night to sleep. That Christmas, Whirly was about eight months old and into everything in the house. He slept in our bedroom on the bunk beds with my sister Mary and I or the small bed that Billy used.

Very early Christmas morning my younger sister, brother and I were up. We loudly woke Mother and Daddy and all of us tumbled into our small living room that held an even smaller table top Christmas tree. The tree was weighed down with mostly handmade and some store bought ornaments. Santa had come and left our presents. We were so excited. Because it was so early in the morning, Mother said we could each open one present and then we would have to go back to bed.

My Christmas wrapped rectangular box held my beautiful Barbie doll. I was so excited. She had a swimsuit and high heels. I very carefully carried her back to bed with me cuddling her close to me as I drifted back to sleep. When I woke several hours later I was devastated.  Sometime in the few hours I slept, Whirly came into my bed and chewed off the toes of Barbie’s one foot.  The only way she could stand was in her high heels. Of course, she could not be replaced. I was told it was my fault for not taking better care of my new doll. It was a life lesson that I have never forgot but still one of my favorite Christmas memories.

Meet the Author

My hubby and I were missionaries in the 70’s and 80’s raising money for Bibles, New Testaments, Book of John, paper, ink and helped set up a couple of print shops in churches. We traveled with our 2 small boys with our base here in Texas.

With our family grown and grand-children galore, we live in west-central Texas with a barn full of critters enjoying the country life.

Connect on Eve’s website or Twitter.

Christmas Memory

By, Susan Sage

Traveling from Alberta, Canada to Texas for Christmas is a gamble, especially pulling an 18-foot trailer. Living in Canada, Dad had driven many miles over snowy roads, but journeying this far at this time proved challenging, especially on our second travel day.

Two hours from our planned stop for the night, the wind began to blow snow across the road. My brother, sister, and I nestled together for warmth. Mom, Dad, and another brother sat in front seat. The gusts grew stronger outside the car.

Bang. Thud. The trailer swayed. Dad fought the steering wheel.

And Mom prayed. Gentle. Words of confidence and trust in God. Calm.

We chugged off the highway glad to see a garage just feet from the exit. The attendant came out of the building as Dad stepped out.

As Dad got in the car, wind and snow snuck in.

“This is where we’re staying tonight. We’ll plug into his shop and tomorrow he’ll get the part we need. We’ll pull out early Christmas morning.”

Dad and my brothers got busy. They unhooked everything and pushed the car into the garage.

Mom, my sister, and I went in the trailer. Within moments, Mom had soup on the little stove. My sister and I pulled out a very tiny ceramic Christmas tree, looped garland through cabinet handles, and hung a few ornaments on the swoop of the swags.

This had not been part of the plan but as we sat together later that evening, our little heater and oven turned high, wrapped in blankets and playing games around the table, my heart felt warm and safe. We sang Silent Night and other Christmas songs. Still, 45 years later, this is one of my most treasured Christmas memories. Christmas. Safe. Warm. Together. Beautiful.

Meet the Author

New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.

She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.

You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

A special thank you to our columnists for sharing some great Christmas memories with us today. What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

Posted in authors, blog, children stories, Christmas, creative writing, Eve Culley's Blog, family, Santa, short stories, Uncategorized, work, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mark your calendars!


the author show - 1


My interview for Further Adventures in Barn Town is December 14, 2017!

Check it out:


The Authors Show broadcasts simultaneously on 5 separate “channels”  with one interview broadcasting per channel.  The “Author Songwriters” show broadcasts on channel 6. All interviews play during the week for 24 hours starting at 12:01 am ET. Weekend featured author interviews rebroadcast for 3 days (Fri-Sat-Sun).


14-Dec   Eve Culley                        TX   Further Adventures in Barn Town      Children

Posted in audio books, authors, blog, books, children stories, creative writing, Eve Culley's Blog, self publishing, Uncategorized, work, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

This is What Working From Home With Kids Feels Like

I am a mother, a wife and a writer. Listed in no particular order unless, of course, depending on the day, the month, the minute. I am equally passionate, driven, and exhausted by each of these roles. So I am thrilled and blessed that each enable me to have the other.

Being the wife to a very supportive husband, I am able to be a writer. And being a writer, I am able to spend more time with my children. It’s great to be able to eat Goldfish crackers and color while also penning my next novel. But it is also, admittedly, hard as hell. After all, the place where I raise my family is the same place I “work?”

So, how is working from home different from working at an office? It’s not really except in almost every way.

Water cooler Talk: There is water cooler talk except it’s not by a water cooler but rather a spilled sticky puddle of juice. And we don’t talk about the latest saucy episode of Scandal; instead we have intense discussions about who is the best ninja turtle and why Curious George doesn’t wear clothes.

Work Space: It’s true that it’s nice to not be squished into a small cubicle but trust me even a large kitchen table can induce claustrophobia when a preschooler is staring you down while standing…much…too…close.

Stealing Office Supplies: It isn’t as fun to take the pencils you bought. I am, however, missing most of them so it’s possible that my four-year-old didn’t build his collection of writing implements honestly.

Co-Worker Overshare: This happens at home as well except instead of reluctantly learning about extra-marital affairs and dodgy work ethics, I know way too much about my little boys’ bathroom habits.

Causal Fridays: I have casual Fridays and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. I just thank the sartorial Gods for introducing athleisure, which is what I am calling my yoga pants and kicky sweatshirt.

Business Lunches: I have lunches and sometimes I talk about business. You know, “Can you please finish your Dino nuggets so mommy can write one more sentence?” Of course, my clever boys always have a counter offer, which leads me to negotiations.

Negotiations: There are negotiations except they aren’t for higher pay or more vacation days. Instead it’s mostly me bargaining for my sanity, with which my youngest (a sound debater and hard bargainer) has swiftly absconded.

The Boss IM: My “boss” doesn’t IM me instead, he screams from across the room, “Take my cup. Now!” Not reaching said cup before it is hurled across the room induces more fear than the prospect of being fired.

The Bathroom Escape: All employees, at some point, have fled to the sanctuary of the bathroom. It’s the same when you work from home except I only have about three minutes before the relentless banging begins followed by, “Mommy, open the door. Open it! Open it! Now!”

Inappropriate Work Humor: It’s basically the same. After all, it isn’t just littleboys who find potty humor hilarious. It, um, isn’t.

Happy Hour: No co-workers. No workplace antidotes. No raucous laughter. Just me. Well, a cup of tea (wine is a slippery slope) and me.

Daydreaming: Office workers, after a bad day, often daydream about burning the whole place down. Well, when you work from home that fantasy…is…the…same.




Sherry Parnell Author

Sherry Parnell is a mother, writer and a runner. She lives with two rambunctious little boys and one very supportive husband. Sherry is also the author of the book, Let The Willows Weep. You can find more of her posts on her personal blog at
Posted in authors, blog, books, children stories, creative writing, family, Uncategorized, work, writing | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Writing Life: All for One and One for All

Pandora’s Box Gazette
November 16, 2017


All for One and One for All

By, Melody Delgado

We’ve heard the above phrase often. But is working with others a feat that is easier said than done?

As a writer, I definitely work better alone. But the reality is, I still need to work with others. In my case, it takes an editor, or three, or four, sometimes five, in order to reach the final goal: an edited book, ready for publication.

When I work as a vocalist, it is much easier to learn and perform a song as a soloist, rather than in a group. But I must still work with an accompanist since my basic piano and guitar skills hit the road eons ago. So I’ve got to listen to someone else’s suggestions on tempo, phrasing and even what to wear to the gig.

So, how do I manage to create things independently, while working as part of a team?

1. I try to align myself with people who are already on the same page as me. When I write books for children or teens, I try to write about topics that are appropriate for them. Since my publisher has the same viewpoint, there won’t be any surprises.

2. I try to align myself with people who have the same work ethic. If I’m performing a duet and a certain tenor hasn’t learned his part, I’ll work with an alto or a baritone next time. 😉

3. I try to be flexible on things that don’t matter, but firm on things that really do matter. In the big scheme of things, color choices or font usually won’t make or break a photo, cover, or article. So I give my opinion, but don’t make a big deal out of minor details. On the other hand, having something done by a certain date may make or break an event or project. That’s when I speak up.

4. I try to communicate, communicate and communicate some more. If someone knows my expectations and they have been kept in the loop before a project is started, and vice-versa, there is a much greater chance of success. Mix-ups usually happen when expectations have not been made clear at the outset.

5. I try to listen and be open to the opinions and expertise of others. I don’t know everything in my field and I’m not always right. Sometimes another person’s way is better. Sometimes I’ll explain my point and someone else will compromise. The important thing is that the end result is something that works.

‘Try’ is the operative word. Will every professional relationship run smoothly? Probably not. But by using the methods above, I’ve managed to maintain some great professional friendships. Hopefully, if you give some of them a try, they may work for you as well.

About the Author

Melody Delgado has been a published writer since 2000. Her YA/Adult novel, ROYALLY ENTITLED, was released digitally by Clean Reads in May, 2017. It recently won a Readers’ Favorite award in the category of Historical Christian Romance. A humorous children’s novel, OOPS-A-DAISY, was just released by Clean Reads.

You can find her on twitter or at her website.

You can find Melody Delgado’s “The Writing Life” column the 3rd Thursday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.

How do you feel about teamwork? Are you a team player in your life, among your family and friends, and in the workplace? Feel free to chat with Melody and comment below.


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  • Mirka Breen
    All good points, melody.thumbsup I’m a team player at every phase except the first and second draft of a story. That is solitary, and necessary.
    Mirka Breen 2 days ago  Reply      0likes currently 


Posted in authors, blog, books, children stories, creative writing, self publishing, short stories, Uncategorized, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paperback Distribution: Createspace vs. Lightning Source

03/06/2013 10:30 pm ET Updated May 06, 2013

Last year, I wrote a post for Molly Greene’s excellent blog detailing print and distribution options for self-published authors. Since then new options have emerged: boutique distributors such as Small Press United, for example, now work with self-publishers. Still, for most authors, Createspace, Amazon’s DIY self-publishing platform, and Lightning Source, the resource used by major publishing companies, remain the most popular options. Both Createspace and Lightning Source provide print, distribution, and digital fulfillment services.

Createspace and Lightning Source are both reputable companies that produce library-quality books using a Print on Demand (POD) model — i.e., books are printed and shipped to fulfill customer orders. While some services overlap, each company has its strengths and weaknesses. Which is preferable depends largely on the needs and objectives of the author. The information below should help you decide which service would be better for you.



Createspace and Lightning Source produce library-quality paperback books from files you upload yourself. If your file is perfect, your book will be perfect. If not, well, that’s why God created revisable proofs.

Trim Size

Both Createspace and Lightning Source produce small and large paperback books in standards sizes, meaning your printed paperback books look exactly the same as books published by major publishers. For authors who wish to publish an off-size book, Lightning Source offers a greater variety of trim sizes.

Cover Finish

Createspace prints only books with laminated covers. The laminate finish is beautiful and, for many authors, optimal.

Lightning Source gives authors the option of printing a cover with a laminate or matte finish. A matte finish, typically used by major publishers for their literary titles, is sometimes perceived as weightier or more serious.

Paper or Hard Cover

Both companies print paperback books. Lightning Source prints both paperback and hard cover books, an option Createspace does not offer.


Createspace offers a range reasonably priced author services with a la carte option for everything from book design to marketing. For first-time self-publishers working with a professional design and marketing team can make a daunting process easy and pain free. Once you’ve uploaded your paperback file, you simply hit a button and Createspace will create a digital file and upload to Amazon Kindle.

A file produced by an outside designer can be uploaded in a matter of minutes. The proof can be reviewed digitally (on the Createspace site) or ordered as a physical book. Book proofs arrive within a few days, and within 24 hours of approving the proof your book will appear on the Amazon shelf. If you have a problem at any point in the process, Createspace customer service representatives are responsive, efficient, and easy to reach.

Lightning Source offers only print, distribution and fulfillment services. They offer no design or peripheral author services. Files must be fully designed before uploading to the site. While not particularly difficult, the Lightning Source website is harder to navigate and less robust than the Createspace site. Once the book is uploaded, it can take several days to a week before the file is ready to be proofed. And then it takes another week to appear in distribution channels, making the lag time between uploading and point of sale substantially longer.

Customer service is also minimal. If you encounter a problem uploading your files, filling out metadata, ordering or approving proofs and so on, you’re more or less on your own.



When it comes to cost, Createspace has the clear advantage. Createspace charges no setup fee and proofs cost the same as the price for an individual book; changes to a title cost $25 per change.

For books uploaded digitally, Lightning Source charges $37.50 for setup, $75 if you opt to use the scanner. Lightning Source paperback proofs cost $30, hardback $35, and revisions cost $40 a pop.

Author Purchase Prices

Again, Createspace offers the better bargain. According to their site they offer the lowest author costs in the business. Both companies calculate price based on trim size and page number. For a 6” x 9” book, 350 pages, the author’s cost via Createspace would be $5.05. The same size book from Lightning Source would cost $5.45.


With both Createspace and Lightning Source the author sets his or her own list price.

The list price is your suggested retail price. Retailers often offer discounts, so your list or suggested retail price is not necessarily the price readers will pay for your book. Authors should give serious consideration to pricing, taking into account their bottom line — cost and list price factor into profits — as well as the effect the list price might have on sales. Pricing a book too low may invite negative perceptions about quality. Pricing too high may negatively affect sales, with buyers less likely to try an expensively priced book by a new or unfamiliar author.


To calculate royalties, from list price subtract your wholesale discount and then subtract print costs.

Createspace sets wholesale discounts at 20 percent for the Createspace store, 40 percent for Amazon, and 60 percent for expanded distribution. For a 6” x 9”, 350-page book, assuming a retail price of $14.95, you’d receive $6.91 in royalties for sales in the Createspace store, $3.93 for sales on Amazon, and 91 cents for sales via expanded distribution.

With Lightning Source, the publisher sets the wholesale discount. If you offer a 50 percent discount, assuming the same $14.95 retail price and $5.45 per book cost, your net profit or royalty would be $2.025 per book.

For more information on wholesale discounts, see below.


Createspace and Lightning Source use modern print on demand (POD) technology. In addition to POD, Lightning Source offers the option of short digital (50+) or offset print runs (1,500 is the typical minimum order for offset printing). Createspace offers no such option.


In the old days, POD books were considered an inferior product. Covers tended to be shoddy, the paper thin, and the print quality poor. Today, both self- and traditional publishers use POD technology for books they don’t intend to warehouse. To the untrained eyed, POD books are nearly indistinguishable from those printed on a press.

Advantages of Print Runs: Flexibility & Per Unit Price

Offset printing offers two major advantages: flexibility and price. Books printed on an offset press are highly customizable, with options for trim size, paper, and color. The unit cost for books printed in a run is also lower, with the unit discount rising as the quantity rises. A 350-page book printed on demand costs approximately $5. Printed as part of a 250-book print run, the cost drops to about $4.50. For larger runs, the price drops even more.

For a detailed breakdown, take a look at the Createspace community message board.

Upfront Costs

The upfront cost for books printed via the Createspace or Lightning Source POD service is minimal. The author pays a small setup fee (with Createspace there is no fee), a fee for the proof, plus a moderate unit price.

The total cash layout to print, proof, and buy a book from Createspace is under $50.

Assuming a 250-book print run (discounts on shorter runs may not justify the cash layout), a publisher is looking at over $1000—plus shipping charges, which can be hefty, particularly if books are shipped a long distance or drop-shipped to different locations. If the title will be sold via a distribution service (as opposed to stored and shipped from the author’s home), the publisher also pays warehousing and distribution charges. These costs add up and can amount to a significant outlay, especially for an author working on a tighter budget.

For self-publishers who can afford it, it may make sense to purchase a short run of 100-250 books to keep on hand for signings, contests, giveaways, promotions, website sales, and bookstore consignment.


Both Createspace and Lightning Source use major distributors such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor to distribute to bookstores, academic institutions and libraries. The distributor lists available books in their catalogue and/or online database, and buyers use the database to purchase through distribution chains. Once you’ve set up your distribution channel, within about 4 – 6 weeks (possibly sooner) your book will be available for order.

This does not mean that schools, libraries or bookstores will buy or stock your book. Publishers, particularly the big guns, have in-house sales teams that call on booksellers and talk up the publisher’s offerings. With limited shelf space, buyers are far more likely to order a book they’re familiar with—and their customers have heard of—than a title by an unknown indie author.


Createspace offers two distribution options: standard, meaning books will be sold on Amazon or via the CS store or expanded distribution, which includes bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions. All books published via Createspace are offered to CS and Amazon; authors may choose to add expanded distribution.

Lightning Source

Lightning Source distributes to all retail outlets, academic institutions, and libraries. With Lightning Source it’s an all or nothing proposition, meaning you cannot opt out of any particular distribution channel.


For Createspace, distribution to Amazon and the Createspace store are free. Expanded distribution to bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions costs $25 per title.

Lightning Source charges $12 per title for worldwide wholesale and retail distribution channels.

Createspace Advantage

Amazon royalties are higher on books distributed via Createspace (see above). For self-publishers, because most indie authors sell 90% or more of their books on Amazon, this matters. Distributing exclusively via Lightning Source can lower paperback royalties considerably.

Lightning Source Advantage

While bookstores are usually happy to fulfill specific customer orders, most bookstore owners refuse to buy books from Amazon, Amazon imprints, or Amazon affiliates such as Createspace. Even if your digital book hits the bestseller lists, if you distribute your paperback through Createspace many bookstores won’t stock it.

With Lightning Source there are no such issues. This is the reason some authors use Lightning Source.


One way around this problem is to use Createspace for Amazon/Createspace distribution only. Amazon prefers Createspace and will purchase books from their publishing partner whenever possible. Use Lightning Source to distribute to bookstores, institutions, and libraries. This does increase work and add expense; for some authors, particularly if they don’t anticipate tremendous sales numbers, the hassle and expense may not be worthwhile.


Your ISBN is the title-specific number the industry uses to track your book. The ISBN identifies your book in distribution catalogues; buyers use it to order your book; online retailers use your ISBN to create product pages; and tracking services like Book Scan use your ISBN to track sales numbers and locations (If you hope to snag a traditional publishing deal, this is important: the house is likely to check previous sales before making an offer.)

With Createspace you may use your own ISBN only for books you sell through the Createspace store or to Amazon. If you sell through the Createspace expanded distribution channels—to libraries, institutions or bookstores—you must use a Createspace ISBN.

With Lightning Source you always use your own ISBN number.

As long as only one ISBN number is associated with your book, you should have no problem either way. The decision is important, though. Again, for their expanded distribution channels Createspace requires you to use their ISBN. If you go this route, then later decide to make a bookstore push and distribute via Lightning Source, you’ll need to purchase your own ISBN number (you cannot use a Createspace ISBN for Lightning Source distribution). Once your book has two ISBN numbers, things get messy.

In online bookstores, a title with two ISBN numbers will have two product pages — a page for each ISBN. Sales are tracked by ISBN. Say two customers order the same book but from different product pages: one sale will be attributed to each ISBN. Suppose you sell 500 books a day. Depending on the day, 500 sales could get your book into the top 100 on Amazon. But suppose 200 customers bought from one product page and 300 from another — one ISBN will record 200 sales, the other 300, and the title will be ranked accordingly. Under one ISBN your book may be ranked # 500, on the other # 1000.

With two ISBNs there is no way to merge sales numbers, so your book will never appear to be selling as well as it really is.

If you want to distribute via Createspace (for Amazon) and Lightning Source (for bookstores, academic institutions and libraries), the only way around this issue is to use one ISBN for both. Use Createspace only for Amazon distribution and list under your own ISBN and use Lightning Source for expanded distribution.

Note: Your ISBN is separate from your copyright. You retain all rights to your work, whether you use your own ISBN or an ISBN issued by Createspace.

Wholesale Discounts

The wholesale discount is the percentage of your retail price that you offer distributors (Baker & Taylor) and retailers (chains and independent bookstores). Here, Dog Ear Press explains wholesale discounts and what they mean to you, the author.

Createspace sets the discount for you. Lightning Sources allows authors to set their own discount rates.

Essentially, the higher the discount you offer, the greater the incentive for bookstores to carry your book — and the less money you make. To raise their royalties, some authors raise their retail price. If your book is too much higher than others in your genre, however, you risk pricing yourself out of the market. It may make the most sense to offer a lower discount and price your title reasonably, using the list price for similar books published by the Big 6 as a guideline.


Returns are among the more frustrating aspects of publishing. If a store orders a book and it doesn’t sell, most publishers allow the store to return it for a refund. This policy gives stores an incentive to order a new title or a book by an unfamiliar author. Because most stores operate on narrow margins, the ability return unsold books is important to stores. Without that option, the chances of a store stocking an indie book are slim to none.

Createspace does not accept returns. If a store or library orders from Createspace and the book does badly, they have no recourse. According a Createspace representative, the company does this to protect their authors. With Lightning Source, when a book is returned, any royalty you received is deducted from your monthly payment. Although the chances of this happening are slim, a high number of returns could get costly.

Lightning Source gives authors the option of offering returns. This is optional, however; you don’t have to offer returns.


Createspace and Lightning Source are reputable companies that put out quality products, offer valuable services, and serve authors well.

Currently, few bookstores stock self-published books. With high quality self-published books regularly hitting bestseller lists, this is rapidly changing. Until Createspace and bookstores kiss and make up, until they figure out a way to work together, for authors who care about bookstore sales Lightning Source is the better option.

Realistically, at least for the time being, most bookstores won’t stock a self-published book regardless of who produced or distributed it, so Createspace-bookstore issues are largely irrelevant. Self-published authors who wish to sell books in brick and mortar stores have the option of establishing a relationship and working directly with the owner or manager. Some authors offer their book on consignment. Others stock their own books and sell directly to stores, eliminating the need for large-scale bookstore distribution altogether.

For the majority of self-published authors, for the ease, speed and convenience, as well as for the lower cost and the high-touch service, Createspace is the way to go.

Posted in audio books, australian author, authors, blog, books, children, children stories, comedy, Createspace, creative writing, Google Ranking, ISBN, jubilee writer, Lightning Source, picture book, picture books, poetry, self publishing, short stories, Uncategorized, work, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shellie Arnold discusses Abide With Me

Really good interview.


close-up-for-webToday I am welcoming back Shellie Arnold. I wanted to touch base with her after the release of her third novel in The Barn Church series. I loved The Spindle Chair, adored Sticks and Stones, and got my hubby hooked on them, too. Abide With Me does not disappoint, a powerful story. Shellie, thanks for stopping by.

Hey Cindy! Thanks for having me back.

For my readers who have never read any of your books (shame on them) can you give us an overview of The Barn Church series.

I write about the perfect storms in marriage—what happens when your weaknesses hit mine head-on, and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. The Barn Church series follows several couples who attend the same church, Rowe City Gospel Church in Rowe City, Alabama (a fictitious church in a fictitious place). The church is literally a huge, converted…

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Posted in children stories

Book Review: Sally Travels Parade Style


Book Review: Sally Travels Parade Style

I highly recommend this book by P.G. Shriver who is the author and illustrator of Sally Travels Parade Style. This kid friendly flip book is told in rhyme with lots of hand drawn, eye appealing, fun pictures.

Sally, a talking saddle, begins her second adventure at small town library where she meets boy and wooden red wagon. When boy has to leave, Sally and Red Wagon are left on their own. The fun begins with a decision to travel to the parade at George West Storyfest.

There is a fast roll down the hill, a scary ride behind a truck, a fun visit to a school, and a road map of all the Texas towns they journey through in order to get to the parade. During their trip Sally and Wagon collect decorations to display during the parade where they hope Red Wagon will get a blue ribbon. But they need boy to lead them through the parade. Where is boy? Will he get there in time?

A truly fun book for ages 5 to 9 years old and just in time for the holidays.

Buy Links


Barnes and Noble

Publisher- on sale for holiday season

Texas Authors Association Bookstore

About the author: P.G. Shriver

P. G. Shriver wrote and published her first poem at the age of seven. She continued to write throughout her childhood and now writes from her Texas ranch home. She is the author of several books for ages 5-18 and loves to travel to festivals to meet new readers.

Visit her websites 

PG Shriver and Sally the Travelin Saddle to learn more about her.

Meet the Reviewer: Eve Culley

My hubby and I were missionaries in the 70’s and 80’s raising money for Bibles, New Testaments, Book of John, paper, ink and helped set up a couple of print shops in churches. We traveled with our 2 small boys with our base here in Texas.

With our family grown and grand-children galore, we live in west-central Texas with a barn full of critters enjoying the country life.

Connect with Eve Online



You can check out Eve’s book reviews and columns on the 2nd Monday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.

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