Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your Story

My wife and I had lunch last week with a friend that reached out to me about writing her story. It is a powerful one. She lost her son in a tragic car accident nearly one year ago. We met to talk about her story.

 

As I sat and did more listening than talking, I heard sadness, pain, and disappointment.

Sometimes I think that we are afraid to tell our story that involves these kind of emotions. We don’t like to show our weakness or failures.

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Author as Entrepreneur

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, uses the term, Author as Entrepreneur, in the video below.  He is sharing about WestBow Press, a self publishing division of Thomas Nelson.  Over the past few years, the status of self publishing has risen.

I put a lot of research into self publishing vs. traditional publishing.  Blogs, articles, and author friends of mine had a lot of different advice.  Some said to stay far away from self publishing.  Others said that self publishing is an excellent option.

For me it came down to a few things that helped me make this decision:

  1. The idea of being an author and an entrepreneur is attractive to me.  I like the idea of being in business for myself and ultimately being responsible for my success.
  2. It is also attractive to me to work with a division of Thomas Nelson.  I will be able to use their expertise and name recognition.
  3. I did not want to wait the length of time that it probably would take to go through the traditional publishing process of writing queries, hiring an agent, and finding a publishing house that would accept my manuscript.

Ultimately, the decision was mine to make.  But as I was on the phone with the WestBow representative, I felt very strange.  She even commented about how I did not seem very excited.  Believe me, I am excited!

The strange emotion lasted for most of the day.  Finally, as I was getting ready for bed, I processed with my wife what I thought was going on inside of me.  Why did I feel so strange?

I decided that making this commitment made everything seem more real.  Another thought lingered around the edges of my mind – “Do I really want to take the risk of sharing some of my life, my story, my passions?”

The answer is yes.  But, I do not take what I am doing lightly.

I appreciate everyone’s encouragement to follow my dream of writing.  Will you help me get the word out.  Like me on my FB page – Adopting a Father’s Heart – the book. You can do so by looking to your right on the sidebar.

Follow me on Twitter.  And join me on LinkedIn.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and Google+.  All of these are on the header of my home page.

Enjoy the video!

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving break

I obviously took a week off from posting a blog.  My extended family spent a week at the Texas coast.  It has become somewhat of a tradition on how to spend our Thanksgivings.  I tend to do my best to disconnect from all that I am working on whenever I take a vacation like this.  It usually helps me to clear my mind.

Last year our son went with us.  But, what a difference a year makes.  One year ago, he was simply our foster son.  We were not even sure that he would still be with us for Thanksgiving.  I for sure thought that he would be back with his family by Christmas.

I could tell that my family was carefully guarding their hearts last year.  No one wanted to get too attached to him.

That is a challenge of fostering.  It not only effects your nuclear family, but also your extended family.  Some jump in with their whole heart, but most do not.

Last year during the holidays, I felt at times that I was just playing house.  Because he had been with us at the time for nearly 6 months, I felt like I was his father.  But, I knew that I was not.

But this year was completely different.  Now that he was our adopted son, I knew that I was not playing house.  I truly was his father.  In fact, we received his new birth certificate in the mail right before we left town.

Now, instead of wondering if our time together was going to be my last memory of him, I knew that we were creating new memories that we could reflect back on as a family in the years to come.

So, our Thanksgiving break is over, but not our thankful hearts.

I will share more about my work on developing an online platform in my next blog.

Keeping Momentum

Several months ago when I was still writing my first draft, I resolved to spend time each day writing.  I blogged previously that some days the words poured out freely and quickly.  Other days were much more laborious.  The objective, especially on the slow days, was to not get discouraged and allow myself to have days of no writing.

Now that I am in the phase of writing my final draft, I spend some days just reading what I have already written.  If I like what I am reading, I read several pages making only minor edits.

However, on the days where I do not particularly like what I have written, or I do not like the flow, it can feel like I am trying to walk through sludge.  I have to take the same approach and keep working each day on the book.

Then there are days like some that I have had over the past two weeks.  Other important activities put a squeeze on my time to work on the book.

I am on the board of a local non profit, Partners in Hope Lake Travis.  You can learn more about the non profit at www.partnersinhope.laketravis.org.  We had our 2nd annual fundraiser this past Sunday night, so I had a few tasks that needed to be taken care of before and after the fundraiser.

Our family also took a two day trip to Houston to meet with our lawyer to update our will.  We are officially adding our adopted son as a beneficiary to our will!  He has no idea how his inheritance has changed.  I write about this in the book by the way.

Those two important events cut into my time to work on the book.  But, I have to not allow it to slow down my momentum.  So, I am making sure that I am back at it today for a few hours.  Hopefully, I will be able to jump right back into where I left off a couple of days ago.

Researching publishing options

I began researching how to publish early on in my writing endeavors.  Originally, I was going to self publish only an e-book.  I was surprised to find out about how many e-book formats exist.  I really thought that it would be pretty standard, but it is not.

The main formats are AZW, Mobi, ePUB and PDF.  It all depends on the e reader or device.  So, if you are wanting to make your e-book available to different devices, it is important to provide your book in at least the main e-book formats.

I began reading about how to do this.  If I was going to self publish an e-book, I needed to know how to format it.  That became a little overwhelming.  So, I began to read about publishers that would do that for me.

That led me to the world of self publishing.  To my surprise, I learned that today the majority of new books are self published.  An author can handle every step of design, editing, publishing and marketing themselves.  Or, they can outsource different pieces, or all, of the process.

These self publishing companies will not only format and publish my book as an e-book, but also in hard copy.  Print on Demand is gaining popularity within the publishing world.  Now, because of technology, a publisher does not have to print hundreds to thousands of books to be profitable.  The publisher can print one book or many books when an order is placed.

This speeds up the timetable from the time a book is written to the time it is published.  Instead of months, it now has become weeks.  One downside can be difficulty of getting your book into bookstores.  However, with the growth of online book selling, such as, Amazon, this is not really that detrimental any longer.

I am leaning toward the self publishing route.  However, choosing which self publishing company to partner with has been a little overwhelming also.  The list is long.  Some make money on fees paid by an author to publish a book.  Others receive income also on books sold like a traditional publisher.  Then, many provide different packages of services depending on how much an author wants help in publishing their book.

Whew!  I hope to make a decision within the next month, so that I can have my book published in early 2013.  I am really excited about getting it done.  I already have outlined a couple more books, so I hope everything that I am learning on this first book will help speed up the process on the others.