When was the last time you attended a baby’s gender reveal party? I’ve seen so many creative ways couples announce their big news. Cupcakes with centers colored blue or pink, powder cannons that shoot colored smoke, and cans of spray paint have all declared “boy” or “girl” for curious onlookers.
Today, I am excited to broadcast who will be printing my first novel, Facing Love. Did you know authors have many publishing choices? One direction is to seek a traditional publisher by hiring an agent to “peddle” the book to companies to get you a contract. Another path is to approach the few publishing houses that accept unagented manuscripts to see if they will take your writing, and a final option is to self-publish by using a company who will format and/or print your book.
There have been many times in my life I’ve wanted God’s reassurance that I’m headed the right way because I’ve learned from experience that walking in step with Him is a lot easier than swimming upstream. Where to go to college, what to do after college, who to marry, and where our child should go to school have all been crossroads for me.
Over the last few months, I’ve talked with my Heavenly Father repetitively for clarity about the path to publishing. He was with me through the past two years, as I researched the options, gathering facts and opinions from other authors. About a month ago, Facing Love was really ready for the next step, and so I prayed every day. Every time I dialogued with God about self-publishing with Amazon, I felt peace.
However, feelings can sometimes be deceptive. Self-publishing gave me the highest level of control over all aspects of the novel, allowed me a higher royalty rate, and sheltered me from rejection. On the flip side, by doing it all myself I’d have to market the book without help from a publisher, format it, hire someone to design a cover, buy an ISBN number, and fund the project completely.
In the end, it didn’t matter to me what direction looked the most appealing. I really wanted to know what God wanted for this book. After all, I believe He inspired me to write, and I consider the work His.
On a beautiful May morning, as is my habit, I walked the neighborhood. After I spent time praising God, my conversation went something like this. “Okay, God, what do you want me to do about publishing this book? I know some of the options, and I feel a deep peace when I think about self-publishing with Amazon, but I don’t want to do it for the wrong reasons. Maybe I’m afraid of rejection, or that seeking a publisher will cause me anxiety and stress. I don’t want those things to hold me back if that’s the direction you want me to go. I just want this decision to be determined by you. If self-publishing really is right for me, would you please be so kind to confirm that path so I truly know you’re in it?”
Hearing no response in the moment, I continued down Koke Mill Road and moved on to other topics with my Dad. Fast forward to a moment mid-afternoon. My husband, Dave, has been working from home, due to COVID-19, and I went upstairs to his office to ask him a question. When I sat down in the recliner next to his desk, he said, “Did you know you got an email from Amazon?”
“Why would Amazon be writing me?” I asked.
“It looks like you signed up for Kindle Direct Publishing (their self-publishing division),” he replied.
“I didn’t do that,” I gasped.
“Well, it says that you did earlier this morning. You have an account with them now.”
I smiled and told him what I had been praying about. Sure enough, when he forwarded me the email, it was official that I had an account with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. If you’re wondering how that happened, I will be a true author and leave you at a cliff-hanger. Stay tuned for the next blog, and until then, know that God hears your prayers, answers questions, and even confirms your path when you earnestly seek Him with all your heart.