An odd blog post title, but an important number in my life.
That is the number of times BREAKING THE CHAINS was downloaded Wednesday and Thursday on Amazon.com.
I just want to thank everyone who has chosen to read my story in its new Kindle format. And I also want to thank everyone who has already read my story in paperback.
Just in case anybody is wondering about the number of books in circulation at this point, I will share. As of today, there are 1860 books in circulation. Only 303 of those have been "books sold." The rest I have given away just for the opportunity to share my testimony. Once I broke even on my expenses, I started giving them away unless someone insisted on paying me (or purchased online). I was always happy to give them away and never regretted doing so (even though every book I gave away cost me almost $5.00 to print, not including shipping). Many times I mailed these free copies to people and paid the postage myself. This book was a mission and a ministry for me, not a financial endeavor. And you can ask John about that. I even shipped books to a foreign country when I received a request. And the postage for that was over $30.00. I remember John, at that point, saying with a chuckle, "Well, I'm going to stop asking how many books you've sold and just start asking how many you've given away today." At this point, if I calculated all the books I've printed and gifted, I'm sure I am back "in the hole" as far as money goes. But it was never about that.
I continue to hear from people who were loaned a copy and wanted to let me know how healing the book was for them. That is my "return on investment."
I am now putting the final touches on my new book about overcoming the emotional abuse I suffered for twenty-seven years. I will be offering it for sale when it's released. I have significant expenses to cover. And I hope a good percentage of Breaking the Chains readers will want to buy my second book, even though my heart so enjoys giving books away. Although some writers are blessed with fame and fortune, most writers just want their books to be read. I am in the latter category. Every reader is a gift in my life.
I want to tell you a little bit about my second book. Although it's a book focused primarily on marital abuse, it is much more than that. This book speaks to other victims of abuse (all kinds of abuse), offering hope, encouragement, insight and food for thought. But it is also a personal story of overcoming adversity, healing, forgiving, and growing. I think everyone can relate to my story in some way, even if you're not looking for specific enlightenment on the subject of abuse. If you know me well or even casually, I think it's an interesting read and you will learn things you didn't know about me. I also think I have shared some nuggets of wisdom I have learned when it comes to forgiving, parenting, extending grace to myself as well as others, and the joy that comes out of suffering if you refuse to become bitter and unforgiving. As I have read and reread the manuscript (scouring it for missed typos and minor corrections) I realize how much I have truly gained from my struggles and even my suffering. And it's a privilege for me to share what I've learned with others in the form of a book. I thank God for giving me an open heart and the ability to write so that all that I have learned can be shared with others.
I think any father who reads my book will be challenged in new ways to cherish his daughter(s) and make sure she knows she is unconditionally loved so she will turn to him when threatened with any kind of abusive behavior.
I already know of one person who, as a result of one chapter in the first draft, felt softened and inspired to forgive a parent's failures. I will never forget hearing that from a friend. It made my day. It made my week. It brings tears to my eyes right now as I share it.
I have been working on the new book since June and -- especially after having almost 1400 books downloaded over the last two days -- I am excited about releasing this new book. I hope I will have it ready for publishing by April. At this point, it's not about the manuscript being ready. The cover has to be ready. And I'm being considered for an endorsement that would mean a lot to me to get.
Please say a prayer for me and for my new book that God will bless it and use it in the lives of others. There is no question that I would love to sell a lot of books. I will not pretend that wouldn't mean something to me. It would be a major accomplishment and I would love to reward my husband's support with a financial return on investment. But what drives me to put my story in print is not money or acknowledgment as a writer. It is my passion for reaching out and relating to other people who are trying to overcome wounds of their own. If not for that passion burning inside me, I never would have started the difficult process of reliving these memories.
So thank you for reading. I want you all to know how much I genuinely appreciate you and your support.