Thursday, February 23, 2017

Celebrating My First Book Review!!

When I  opened my laptop this morning to access email, there in my 'inbox" was the daily blog posting's notice that comes from my friend, Lisa Burgess. 

Only today (February 23,2017) my book, Seeking the Light of God's Comforter---When Challenges Dim Our View was the focus on her blog, "Lisa Notes".

Lisa and I met when I came on the devotional writer's team for Rest Ministries in 2008 and have been friends ever since. She is a prolific reader and blogger and I often gasp at how much she reads - and then reviews books for those who appreciate her blog. She also blogs about her daily life and involvements. I know you will find her blog of great interest as you wander over there to see how she has reviewed my book.

I feel most honored that Lisa has done my first "official" book review - putting it out there on social media. She also left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you, my friend. Seeing Seeking through your keen eyes is a true delight.



Lisa, husband, Jeff and their family






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Days After - and Valentines!

Well, it happened and it was wonderful. 

What a joyful culmination of 7 years as I was surrounded by people I love and people throughout many seasons of my life.

My cousin's professional photos will take a few weeks for him to process so I have been dependent on friends sending me a few.

My publisher posted some images and also a 1 minute video on Facebook. There is a link below that will lead you to view. You'll  get a sense of the room as she panned around. Even if you are not a FB participant, the link has come up for those who never go near Facebook!!

I had an amazing crew of friends. My step-sis and another dear friend helped me get all the decor from my 3rd floor apt. to two cars in my parking lot and then TO the venue and INTO the venue space. Others were waiting with eager and skilled hands to take what we brought and help get the room  set up. The last candle was "lit" just as the guests stepped through the door. Whew - it did take a village.

The place was a buzz with joy, chatter, people connecting - some realizing they had mutual connections and never knew it.

 I was in a whole new realm - no longer "on my couch"! 

I have since seen names in my guest book and realized some friends were there but I never had the opportunity to talk to them. . .and some I never "saw" in the sea of faces.

Books were sold - amazing people manning that table and happily handing books to many who wanted to purchase Seeking the Light. And a significant number of people bought more books  as they thought of a friend going through a challenging time and wanted to give them a copy. 

I loved the experience of signing my book for friends. I loved them telling me why they had bought the book for their friend and that helped me inscribe just the right words for that person. Life was going on elsewhere in the room but I was where I was needed and knew all were being well taken care of without my buzzing around! 

There was a time for prayer, for introductions, for thanking and giving and embracing the moments as they came.

It was a milestone day for me - all ordained by God for his perfect timing and all prayed about by each of you who have been my support team for many years!  

Then there was the clearing up which my same crew took care of and I cannot begin to say enough thank yous to those who were the worker bees. They allowed a protective shield around me knowing that I needed "energy" to do what I could  with the book part of the day.

Then my friend and my step-sister got all that they had taken down from my 3rd floor apt. back UP into it and then we all collapsed.  . .them from all that work  . .and me from the kind of "work" it had taken for me to be there in the role that was for me.

I sit in the memories that will be pondered for many a day to come. And for a gal who cannot remember when I last got flowers that I could count as Valentine love - there were people who brought me flowers. What a gift of surprise. What a gift of a day.

Below - a few photos!

First the link to the "live" one minute video . Let it load a bit and some may need to find the volume icon to be sure the narration is on. Then again, it might all be fine with no adjustments needed but to let it load - it will eventually come on!! 


With my publisher, Athena Dean Holtz, taking a "selfie" at the book table where I was signing books! 



Long time teacher friends who came - all of us now retired!! 

A couple of friends chatting in the entryway! 



When there are more photos, I will post them. 
These give you a sense of the lovely day! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Launch Day - February 12, 2017

The Countdown Days Are Completed!!

Today, Seeking the Light of God's Comforter--When Challenges Dim Our View goes wide-distribution.  The blog posting of February 11 gives the best means for purchasing a copy: print or E-book versions.

It was one year ago this day, February 12, 2016, that I met with my publisher, Athena Dean Holtz in the Redemption Press offices about an hour and a half drive south of me. The publishing process had begun in October, 2015 but this was our first opportunity for an in-person space of time for her to see my vision for formatting  "Seeking the Light. . .". 

That same October, 2015, I met with my CPA to talk over what I needed to know as I was setting out to be published. Bill Brady is my CPA and before him, his father, Dan, so they are long time friends in my life. Bill was so elated about my FINALLY being published that he said, "I know the perfect spot for you to have your book launch party!"

Never having considered a "launch party", let alone one in a special club where Bill and his family are members as their high school son is active in the sport of crew, I was not sure what to say. But before I could say much, Bill informed me that this "launch party" was to be his gift to me. 

I cried. Not an ugly cry - but some tears formed in amazement. I walked out of his office feeling like Cinderella. I have never had "an event" - let alone in a nice club.

But here we are - many able to gather to celebrate with me - my having been able to do the decor so it is color themed around the cover design of my book. It will be a blessed day and when photos are available, I will joyously post some on this blog so you can rejoice knowing, too, that your prayers and support have been a huge part that has brought me to this day. 

Thank you!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day #7 Countdown to Book Launch - The Pricing of a Self Published Book

Seeking the Light of God’s Comforter—When Challenges Dim Our View Is a self published book, as was stated a few postings ago.

As the author who self published, I am the one to set the retail price of my book.

I had to determine that fee taking these factors into consideration:

The book is 176 pages in length.
The book is 8.5" x 11" in dimension.
The book has 65 full color photos as part of its interior.

Each page, because of how the book is set up for printing, has to be priced as if each page is color.

The facts:
The soft cover version of “Seeking the Light. . .” costs $21.00 to print and that fee goes to the printer.

The hard cover version of “Seeking the Light. . .” costs $26.00 to print and that fee goes to the printer.

My retail price had to be set above that and allowing for 10% of my retail price going to the publisher for handling fees.

The rest is my profit.

I agonized wanting my book to be affordable to those in need while realizing that it was “high” in cost before I set my price. I finally went as low as seemed fair.

Soft cover version = $30.00
Hard cover version = $35.00

Then came an even harder decision as I found out  how Amazon and other online sites (e.g. B&N) do their pricing. With my printer getting his cut, online retailers (Amazon) escalated my fees: $30.00 went to $47.00.  $35.00 went to $59.00. My profit no matter which version sold would be $0.59.

I was not even going to put my print versions on Amazon etc. but succumbed to putting the soft cover print version online because I wanted anyone doing a search to know there IS a print version.

The E-book is fine: same price everywhere offered for $9.99. It really is lovely and a good option. A friend showed me her copy on her iPad yesterday. The photos show up in all their brilliant colored glory.

So where, pray tell, can you find my book at its original fee - the retail price as I set it.

That would be at my publisher’s website and in their bookstore.

 Redemption Press
 https://redemption-press.com

The above URL brings you to their home page. Click on “Book Store” and my book is currently on that page if you scroll down a bit. Right now, as I type this post, they do not have the E-book set up.

That is an easy fix if the E-book is what you want. Go to Amazon! 

There is a page all alone for the Kindle version of my book. 

 It also has a nice “look inside” means for you to take a good view- even a free sample if you want to pursue that.

A key thing to know is that Redemption Press is a “print on demand”(POD) publisher. This means when your order is placed, it then goes to print. The turnaround time for your receiving it is close to 10 business days. RP processes online orders Monday-Friday although you can place your order at any time. 

Even if someone chose to pay $47.00 on Amazon for a $30.00 book, Amazon does not have copies in their warehouse. It goes through the same channels and will arrive in that same time frame of close to 10 business days.

I hope I have covered all the important facts in case you want to have “Seeking” in your hands or on a e-reader device.


I have enjoyed counting down to my launch day with you and soon comes that celebration day. 

In October 2015 when all the steps to publication began, my CPA offered to give me a launch party and it will be on Sunday, February 12, 2017 - tomorrow! 

When I can, I'll post photos taken at that event and you can virtually be a part of the excitement!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Day #6 Countdown to Book Launch - "This is Dedicated to . . ."

There are many reasons why an author will write a dedication to a person or persons that is part of a published book. As I put Seeking the Light of God's Comforter---When Challenges Dim Our View together, there could be no other choice than my friend, Tim Hansel.

I knew Tim from his writings, long before I had the privilege of meeting him. In March, 1983 when I turned over in bed one morning and went into a extreme internal vertigo attack, my life changed forever. The constant dizziness, punctuated at times with vertigo attacks, imbalance and other side effects and fear raised the question, How would I now "do life"?

I continued teaching, adapting the ways I organized my classroom - grateful I could still teach. About two years into this condition which  has remained with me these 34 years, I read Tim's book, You've Gotta Keep Dancing' and it enlightened my soul. Tim lived in excruciating chronic pain as a result of an accident while hiking in the Sierra mountains in California. He certainly faced the challenges of loss that came into his life, but he learned to rise above them, not in denial (no way to deny chronic pain) but in realizing one can choose joy, even when circumstances are not joy-filled or pleasant. God has given us that choice. He also gives the strength to make that choice possible.

 Tim was asked to write books to encourage others and I, and millions, have been influenced by them in the best of ways.

Tim did conferences - was high in demand for his charismatic and uplifting joyful messages that conveyed hope to those in attendance. I was able to get on a mailing list, hoping I might one day attend one of his conferences and experience him in person, possibly even meet him. Then. . . .


Tim and his wife, Anastasia sold their home in southern California to move to Seattle to care for Tim’s mother. She lived in the same home where Tim had grown up and she was in need of care. It was at this time, I met these two treasured friends. 



I had sent them a note offering help if they had a need. And one came up some months into my reaching out to "welcome them to the neighborhood". How could I have ever known, that my desire to simply go to a conference would turn into six years (2000-2006) of caring friendship (in person), what continued when the Hansels returned to California, and what has remained after Tim's death (2009) and to this day. 


Thanksgiving,  2000


2010 in California "on Tim's couch" beginning deep revisions in my manuscript 




The "Life Savers" teddy bear is a gift from Tim for a kindness I did. The photo is a header in the section of Seeking the Light that lists book resources that offer encouragement.



Tim


Friends for the journey are friends who understand the journey - through the joys and grief - and never turn away! 


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day # 5 Countdown Week - I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!

The journey getting photos for my book was greatly enhanced by some friends who offered me their time and talents. I remain most appreciative.

There are some devotional texts where their message content was hard to represent with a photo. I asked my friend Dave Peterson, a talented artist, if he would do four sketches for me and he did. They are wonderful. A few years into the project, when I needed one more sketch, his talented daughter-in-law, Mary offered to render one that is a true delight. It will stay a surprise for those of you who get a copy or download an E-book version of “Seeking”.

Being Called a Friend

Having the Faith of Abraham


I needed a photo of someone playing a harp. Some plans to get an image of a harpist here where I live did not work out. As nice as that would have been, even better was getting the “harp photo” in San Diego, CA. Linda Hill-Phoenix has a ministry to those in hospitals and hospice centers. Prior to his death, my dear friend Tim Hansel (to whom my book is dedicated) had been in the San Diego Hospice Center and he and Linda became friends. She played her harp often in his room there at the hospice center. She also played her harp at his memorial service. 

Nine months after Tim’s death, I had the opportunity to be in the San Diego area. Anastasia, Tim’s widow and my dear friend, arranged for me to meet Linda and I took photos right on the grounds of the hospice center. What an unexpected but fitting place to meet her and to have her imaged in my book. 


Singing a Song of Zion 

There was also a need to film a “potter at his wheel” and my cousin, Teri, worked with a man who is a potter. Jamie Zach welcomed me to his home and small studio to film him at work. What a joy it was to watch him and to get the “perfect photo”! 




Fingerprints

A long time and dear friend, Bob MacPherson offered me time to come and take some photos of his workbench. He said it was a good opportunity for him to clean it off. That time went well and I included in the photo some tools I used years ago when I attended a vocational school and made a pair of shoes!! That is a book for another time.


I was thrilled to get home and import the photos and select just the right one. I sent it off to Bob knowing he’d appreciate seeing it. He did. He also told me it might be “good” to photoshop out the blue top to the Jiffy peanut butter jar we had used to prop up my first efforts at hand stitching on leather, which is the small red tool belt in the photo. We have laughed about that more than once. 

I will include both photos so you can smile, too! 


Beyond the Mountain of Affliction 

Coming up next . . .Day # 6 of my countdown to the launch of my book! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day # 4 Countdown Week: The Long and Winding Road

I was making some progress with my book when I attended an Arts Conference on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Washington state. It was the summer of  2010.  At this conference I met Jerry Root, who had come from Wheaton, Illinois as one of the keynote speakers. He noticed I was using a cane and asked why. At the end of this particular conversation, he told me he was referring me on to his friend and literary agent. I somewhat gasped but felt it was a key moment in my journey. In fact I was so excited that I drove up to the top of Mt. Constitution where there is a panoramic view. On a clear day one can see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker and up into Canada all in one swoop. That day,  Mt. Baker was out in all her glory and I took the photo that now images the last devotional in my book. 







Jerry's friend and colleague, Stan Guthrie was most receptive of my work but extremely busy at that time and referred me to an agent he felt would be a good match. Stan told me to stay in touch with him, which I did over the course of the next 6 years. He was a source of great counsel and encouragement and wrote a beautiful endorsement for my book. 

Doors opened and then closed. I felt God continuing to encourage me to persevere. My work was seen by two editors at two very well known traditional publishing companies. They appreciated my work. One publishing company was not doing gift devotionals. The other felt I was a risk financially, being an unknown author. 

There was one year I simply sat with no action in place but my trust. A door to self publishing potentially opened and I felt positive to wait on the completion of its birthing. However that door closed for me - and for them. 

Right at that juncture, Redemption Press ( a self publishing company that is here in western WA ) came to my mind. I pursued information, did a consultation and felt comfortable with their being the right publishing company to help me birth, "Seeking" 

October of 2015, the actual publishing process began. That, too, became a long and winding road to completion in December 2016.  



Many lessons have been learned along these year. The one that stands out the most is that Redemption Press was established in 2014. The staff, on the most part, are veterans in the self publishing business. 

All the roads that led me to them were important but also necessary delays as God was readying the intersection for his appointed purposes. 

Redemption Press was on its own "long and winding journey". It was not ready in 2010 or any of the other years I had passed through. 

Delays in what we are pursuing can be very frustrating.  Yet when God shows up at HIS appointed time - it makes the waiting melt away, the joy abound, and the lessons learned ones to tuck away to be used in the future as a remembrance of his faithfulness! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day #3 of Countdown Week!!

The first thing those who have gift copies of "Seeking" do, is look through each of the pages with the color photos. I have been with friends and smile to see this happening. 

I was adamant about having color photos in hopes they would be a first spark of hope that the world is still full of color, and our personal world - though dimmed with challenges - will have a return to vibrancy. There is hope to climb out of a black and white focused time. As real as working through challenges is, turning toward the light of God's care is the best direction to choose.

All my photos are ones I have taken, but not all were taken during the writing of the book. I reached back into my archives of photos and found ones that were a perfect match with a devotional text message. Other writings required I take a new a photo. There are a few devotionals that were written because I saw an image, and it became the impetus for the text message.

The photo that images the cover design, as mentioned before, was taken when I was in Israel in 1979. As I look through my book, it has the added advantage of being a photo chronicle of many treasured times that have come into my life from that 1979 year onward. 

There is a section in the back of the book where each photo is given credit, location, and year it was taken so you can travel through my treasured times with a bit of a bonus look. 

Here are a few photos that are a part of the book. I will put their devotional's title with them and a quote from the text.  Enjoy! 


How Am I Dressing These Days?

 "Help me remember you are leading me toward being dressed in your splendor. Amen"


Shadows

"Faith. Shadows. Both are gifts from God. Both are places where He dwells and invites me to enter in and share the security of a safe space with him"


Emmaus Eyes

"Christ endured brokenness so I can now walk with him. This reality truly gets my eyes opened. All else can fall into place, in his appointed time, as we walk together on the road that leads Home."


Serving the Lord with Gladness

Prayer: Lord, help me continue to make a joyful noise, praising you. Your faithfulness is known, received, cherished, and everlasting. Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Day # 2 of Countdown Week!!

It all started in 2008. I had been invited to join the staff of volunteer devotional writers for Rest Ministries. This Christian online ministry offers resources for those living with chronic pain/illnesses. Now . . . nine years later. . . !!

Here (in photos) are behind the scenes fun from 2010. I had the opportunity to stay at a B&B away from home for 4 days. It was during this time I got the idea of how I’d do my four Introduction sections in the book. All it took was a bouquet of daffodils to spark my imagination. You’ll have a look at the printed book page that evolved from those 2010 moments.














Along the nine years, I created 3-ring notebook binders of the manuscript to give to those who said they would endorse the book. You’ll see that assembly line scattered all over my rug - but also a glimpse of other photos in the book (if you look closely)! 






Next - Day #3 Countdown Week - more behind the scenes scoops! 







Sunday, February 5, 2017

Countdown to Book Launch Day - February 12, 2017

For those of you not on Facebook, I am posting here on my blog the same images and text that will be there as we countdown to the launch and wide-distribution of Seeking the Light of God's Comforter--When Challenges Dim Our View. Thanks for joining in as we head to celebration! 






Thank you to Shelby Bryant for putting the lettering onto my photo image! 


Welcome!!



Thanks for joining in as we celebrate the countdown to my devotional book's launch date which is close at hand! Each day I'll be posting a few facts - some fun and others practical - to help us get to Feb. 12. Then we can fling confetti into the air and praise God for his faithfulness in what has been a "long journey".  xo Lynn