I'm very excited! And I'm in awe of God's timing!
I do not write to make money. I know there is no financial reward for a self-published author. I write for several reasons. I write to connect with and (hopefully) help others. I write because I love to write. I write because it helps me to process things and grow. I write because I love to share my experiences, what I've learned from my experiences, and I love to touch other people's lives. I love to inspire and give hope. I love to hear that I've played even a tiny role in someone else's healing/recovery. But my motivation has nothing to do with money. Oh sure, we joke about how nice it would be if I wrote a best seller and John could retire forever from the car business. But it's a joke. I assure you, John did not marry me for my money or my potential to earn money. I am a financial liability. He knows I would much prefer to give away every single book than to take a dime from anybody. And he STILL invested money in producing my second book -- even after I didn't make any money* (see disclaimer below) on my first. I am blessed with a wonderfully supportive husband who encourages me to pursue my passion for writing and sharing my journey.
I started working on this book (Through My Eyes) in early summer 2012. Last May I just set it aside for a while. I knew it wasn't finished, but I didn't have time to work on it. We moved. We were out of town a lot. We had company coming over the summer. My son and daughter-in-law adopted a baby girl in July and I wanted to be available to help with my grandchildren. There was no time to work on revising and publishing a book. During that time, God helped me to do a little more growing and healing. He provided opportunities for that growth. And as most people know, opportunities for growth often involve struggle. I had some struggles that wound up being "additions" to the book. They made the book better. I came back to the book a couple of months ago with a renewed zeal. When I put the book aside last May, I wasn't sure I even wanted to go through with publishing it. But now I know it was just a matter of timing.
I did find time, in the last couple of months, to devote to revisions. And just a couple of weeks ago I realized it was done. I was ready to share my story. At that point, I did not even realize how much God was in the timing of finishing this book. You see, our local Women's Resource Center is planning a fundraising event that my husband John was invited to participate in on March 14. It's called Hunks in Heels. I know it sounds kind of goofy, but local businessmen in our area will be putting on high heels to sell tickets and raise funds for victims and witnesses of domestic violence. These victims and witnesses include kids who see (mostly) their moms being abused.
I urged John to accept this invitation. He knows how important this cause is to me and why. I spent 27 years in an abusive marriage and was the victim of violent rage on many occasions, as well as almost continual emotional and verbal abuse. I have a soft spot for a lot of charitable organizations, but I relate most strongly and intimately with this one. I also convinced a good friend, Doug Lilly, to participate in this event as well. And he has no idea how much it means to me that he said yes. If he reads my book, he will understand why.
But back to God's timing...
It just so happens (and I do not believe in coincidence) that the timing of my book release (on healing from domestic abuse) and the planning of this event are coinciding. And today it occurred to me that I could use my book to help generate contributions by offering the book as a free gift to anyone who donated to the Women's Resource Center. My first thought was to make this offer to the first ten people who brought me a check for $25. And my next thought was, No...Extend this offer to everyone who wants to make a $25 donation. (God knows I don't care about the money. The only reason I let anyone pay me for the book is because I hate for John to take a loss on his investment in my writing. LOL.)
If all the time, effort and money I've spent can result in donations to an organization that helps other victims of abuse, that is even better than recovering our investment. It's an investment in lives and in the kingdom of heaven!
I love it when I see God's plan unfolding in my life. I have always believed John and I were brought to this area for a spiritual reason. Not just to sell Hondas. We have talked about it so many times. God brought us here to help advance His kingdom in this area. We didn't know what that would entail when we came. But I believe I'm seeing one of my God-ordained purposes here.
For every $25 donation to the Women's Resource Center I receive, I am giving away a book. I don't know how many donations this offer will result in. But I received my first $25 check tonight while having dinner at Bunkers. And I was so excited. More excited than if I had "sold" a book. Nothing would be more rewarding to me or make me happier than to give away boxes of books as a personal thank you for donations to this cause. And my sweet husband is completely on board.
Please help me help our local shelter. I hope I have so many people take me up on this offer that I have to spend hundreds of dollars printing books. If you are not local and have already sent me a check for a signed book, I intend to donate a portion of those proceeds as well after shipping costs.
Please know that I appreciate every reader. The only way I could be disappointed in the book's release is if nobody even cared to read it. I hope that if you know me (and especially if you love me), you will want to read my story. Not just to understand my journey, but, more importantly, because I believe it could help you understand and help someone else.
I haven't blogged much since moving to West Virginia. I've been too busy and preoccupied with other things. I have almost forgotten that I have a blog. But tonight I couldn't wait to share my excitement with all of you.
*I had to come back and add this. I did go "in the black" on Breaking the Chains. I did not lose money. But once I went "in the black," I stopped letting anybody pay me for a book because I really liked giving them away. The only time I accepted payment was when a friend absolutely refused to let me give it to them for nothing. If I had accepted payment for every book that is out there, I would have made a little money on the endeavor. But it was never about money and it still isn't. I will always enjoy giving books away more than selling them. John feels a little differently, but I think that's because this writing thing is my mission; not necessarily his.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I have uploaded the Kindle file to Amazon and approved the physical proof copy. My book has been released and should be listed with online retailers soon. The Kindle book should be available for download by tonight. And I will post a link when the soft cover version is "live" on amazon.com.
As a self-published author, my book won't be on bookshelves. However, it can be ordered at any bookstore. It's available "print on demand" from Ingram/Lightning Source Publishing.
This has been quite a process. And now I'm looking forward to sharing another part of my journey with readers. I'm also looking forward to hearing from readers. Please don't hesitate to share your feedback with me.
I greatly appreciate those readers who have taken the time to review my first book on amazon.com. And I hope to see some reviews of my second book popping up as time goes by. You have no idea how much the feedback means to an unknown, self-published author such as myself. I don't have a publisher or literary agent promoting my work. And I don't have a clue how to promote my own work. Furthermore, I'm uncomfortable with self-promotion. So I simply write, publish and share through social media. Other than that, I'm hoping you'll tell someone about the book if you find it helpful. My greatest aspiration with both of my books is to encourage and inspire my readers. I would love to sell a lot of books. Every writer has a dream of having a book take off. And I'm no different. But that desire is secondary to the reward of knowing I've helped someone or made someone else feel less alone in their struggles.
I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement I've received throughout the writing process of both books. I'm also grateful to my husband John for not only encouraging me to write, but for being willing to invest financially in my passion for books; the ones I read and especially the ones I write. I couldn't do this without him.
I now begin the process of hoping to break even. But I already know, from previous experience, that I'm going to feel like I've won the lottery every time I hear from a reader who found inspiration or hope in my story.