Confessions of a Frustrated Author

Writing a book is hard. I started one in 2009, and finished it five years later. Getting a book published is very hard. My first one was published last year, and it was very exciting. Selling published books is really, really hard. Every day I have to fight the fear that I’m a failure as an author because we haven’t sold out our first printing in a year. Every time I open the trunk of my car, I see a box of unsold books, taunting me. There are reasons not to lose hope, I remind myself. My publisher forwarded me a newsletter from Bibliocrunch that mentioned industry averages, so I could see that my first year sales are almost exactly what the average author can expect. I remind myself all the time that the people who have read my book, though fewer in number than I’d like, have loved it. And they want more. Continue reading “Confessions of a Frustrated Author”

An Author at Last

My very first book, Being Called Chaplain: How I Lost My Name and (Eventually) Found My Faith is now available on Amazon for Kindle! This is a red-letter day for me. I can’t even describe how excited I am. You can read the first two chapters for free by clicking Look Inside. I hope that you will then want to read the whole book and post reviews, and spread the word to your friends if you enjoy it! For those waiting for the print version, pre-order will be available soon, and it should be printed in just a few weeks. If you need me, I’ll be over here doing my happy dance!

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On Not Hiring a Butt Double

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As hard as it is to believe, tomorrow will be the electronic release of my first book, Being Called Chaplain: How I Lost My Name and (Eventually) Found My FaithAt least I hope it will. There are still a few things to iron out. This publishing a book thing is nerve-racking stuff. And maybe the most stressful part of it for me has been getting the cover just right. I know everyone says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but we still do, don’t we? I wanted a cover that would make people want to know what’s inside this book, that would make them pick it up off a shelf or a sales table or click it on Amazon. It wasn’t my choice to put me on the cover. Let’s be honest, I don’t really have a look that sells books. Continue reading “On Not Hiring a Butt Double”

An Epiphany Miracle (of Sorts)

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We’re now two days away from the electronic release of Being Called Chaplain: How I Lost My Name and (Eventually) Found My Faith. In another post (which I am still trying to recover from the internet abyss), I explained how I ended up publishing with Harrelson Press and how smoothly everything was going, right up until the last minute. This is the rest of that story. My editor, Merianna, and I set a timeline for publication. We wanted to release the ebook in January and the print version in March. Merianna suggested Epiphany as a good and theologically interesting date for the ebook launch. She began formatting the book for 6×8 pages and quickly realized that, even after my initial edits, it was still way too long. Even when she changed to 6×9 formatting, we were looking at a book the length of a historical epic or late entry in the Harry Potter series — far too lengthy for the spiritual memoir genre for which we were aiming. Mere days before Epiphany, she emailed me the sad news that there was just no way we could print the complete book in this form. I was devastated. Continue reading “An Epiphany Miracle (of Sorts)”