Thursday, September 02, 2010

Here’s the truth

This post has been sitting heavy on me for awhile and I can’t carry it around any longer.

I have told a few people about this experience and when I have shared a lot of people have thanked me because it can be a helpful learning experience for others, especially for those who want to write a book.

So here we go……….

Many years ago I felt God speaking to my heart that I needed to write a book.  This whisper was confirmed a couple of times from prophecies from different encounters in my life.

I knew writing a book was something that I needed to do.  I just didn’t sit down one day and write a book.  I began on a journey of researching the topics that were continually brought to me from teen girls.  After studying scripture I would begin to write what I was learning.  I would also share experiences from my life through the chapters I was writing.  This was at times a difficult journey because I would have to relive and deal with these experiences before I could use them to help others.front cover

This process went on for 8 years.  All the while I had the whisper repeating itself in my ear.  I would read back in my journal about the prophecies I had received.  And asking God when this would come true.

I began the search for a publisher, and received my share of rejection letters.  Apparently my book was too direct.  Publishers preferred a softer message of the truth.  My research showed that teen girls were tired of the fluffy stuff and wanted some meat to their message.  I decided that I would not compromise.

A friend passed on a book from a couple who host a Christian TV program out of Winnipeg.  It was a really good book.  It was well written, but also the format and layout was good.  As became a habit I checked to see who the publisher was.  It was someone who had not have the fortune to reject my manuscript yet so I sent an email.  I was tired of sending the whole manuscript package, I just thought I would throw the pitch at them and see what came back.

It was an American publisher and that was something that I was looking for.  As a Canadian, if you publish through a Canadian Publisher it is difficult to get interest in the U.S.  But if you find an American publisher you have no problem getting interest in the U.S. or Canada.  So I was quite happy when I received an email back asking for more information.

This next part is something that still frustrates me to this day.  I did tons of research as to the different options in the publishing world and what to expect.  But I still made what I feel was a really bad choice.  This publisher spent a lot of time talking to me and answering questions.  When I received the contract I had some reservations but I was so excited to see my book in print and to have the prophecy finally fulfilled and have my book in the hands of teen girls to help them make better choices than I did.

You see in the contract I received it was asking me to purchase a certain amount of copies of my book.  I wanted to but not in the huge quantities that he was asking.  I was able to negotiate a different amount but of course my cost per book  would go up.

As it turns out, I went with a Subsidy publisher.  Which of course was not my plan.  Because my cost to purchase copies of my book was so high (almost $17 a book!), I was in reality purchasing to have my book published, which is quite costly.  This is not how I wanted to have my book published.

With my marketing background I was able to get a lot of publicity from magazines, newspapers and appearances on two national TV shows.  I also submitted my bookWinnerStkr1 001 for the 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Award and won first place in the young adult category beating out an author who had submitted her third book for teen girls published by Tyndale.

With all this publicity you would think my book would be selling well, but my “publisher” was having problems and my book was not even listed on Amazon making it almost impossible for anyone to purchase copies.

With all this being said and since we are being truthful my book was published in July 2007 and to-date I have received a total of $519 from my publisher in the form of royalties, after our family invested thousands to have the book published.

**I have to make a special note here to thank my husband for helping me through this whole process and helping me learn through my mistakes and lack of judgement.

Now three years later I look back on the experience and I can say that I think my book looks good, they definitely did a good job making it look marketable.  I have had positive feedback from reviewers and those that have stumbled across my book.  Of course as an author I would have loved to see a greater success, but hey we all can’t be in Oprah’s Book Club.

To continue with the theme of truth, I still have boxes of books in my home.  And due to a current situation in our family (which is a long and stupid story, this post is too long already!) I need to sell these books.  We need the room and the money.

So I am offering autographed copies of my book for $10, or a copy of my book and a journal for $15- plus shipping.  To learn more about my book: CLICK HERE!  It is great for small group study or individual study and a great Christmas present!

Just look in the side bar for a link to PayPal to purchase your copy!

I hope that my journey into the world of publishing is a learning experience for you.  If you have any questions please leave me a comment or email me privately, I would be happy to answer and help in anyway I can.  Apparently my life is full of lessons to help others learn the right way to do things from all the wrong turns that I have made! J


  1. Aha, I'm guessing that Winnipeg couple was Betty and Willard Thiessen. Very interesting post you have here--I love the information. Have you ever heard of Art Bookbindery? I know I sound like a sales pitch here, but I'm not. LOL I happened to see a link to your post on Twitter.

    Art Bookbindery is a Winnipeg company that specializes in short run publishing. We did Terry Walin's last book, and my first book, The Mom Complex. We do thousands of titles/year Short run is similar, but different. They do type layout, cover design, printing and binding. Editing is an extra option. You can order as few as 50 hardcover or 200 soft cover. You retain all of the rights to your book, and it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. The books are gorgeous.

    Every quote is different, but I estimate around 7 dollars/book that you can sell for $17.00.

    Yvonne Parks is the cover designer and she is amazing!

    I know all of this because my husband owns the company. I published my first book via Art Bookbindery with my own publishing label (Spilt Milk Publishing) listed it on Amazon. Took them with me for speaking engagements etc.

    50-200 copies isn't too bad an investment if you are only paying around 7 bucks/book.

    I have recently been traditionally published, but there is one thing I always say about your fist book. "You don't sell the book, the book sells you."

    Sorry for such a loooooonnnnng comment, but I'm passionate about this subject! :)

    Darlene Schacht

  2. P.S. My "Writing Fundamentals" is at the bottom of your page. That's me!

  3. Darlene,

    Actually the couple was Bob and Audrey. I have checked out your blog it was recommended to me because of your upcoming work with Candance Cameron Bure.

    I am not currently looking to do anything with my book or any others at this time. I am taking time off to build into myself and my family. I know that doors and opportunities will present themselves when God thinks I am ready. I am just going to enjoy the prep time until that happens.

  4. You've sacrificed much for this book! Even if it changed 1 life, I'm sure you think it was worth it!!

    I just read this quote: Fall in love with the work God has called you to, not the results.

    The Lord has taken good care of the birds and you mean more to Him CJ.

  5. I realize this is an old post. I just would like you to know that your book truly changed spoke to me about my life. It helped me through a lot of things and I refer to it often on certain subject with certain people. For me, now in my twenties, it holds a message even some adults need to hear and understand. I just want to thank you for writing the book and going through all the challenges with writing it and getting out to people.

    God Bless


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