Saturday, December 2, 2017

The War of Loyalties Tour {my heart is filled with thankfulness, part 1} + giveaway


I wanted to take a moment on the War of Loyalties release tour and record the graces that God has provided throughout this project. There are many. So many, I will probably forget some of them.

It's a quiet Saturday afternoon. And I can take time to stop and think.

schuyler, you are always thinking, good gracious 

Last year, in the last week of 2016, I saw a deal on an editing package from an editor I wanted to work with. It was a package I could afford, and it looked really good. But I had to make a decision in a few hours, and I hadn't done any research or asked for a sample edit.

I let the deal pass. I felt sick about it, but at the same time, I felt like it was wrong to book something that big so suddenly. I needed time to think and pray about it.

I always knew pretty much which editor and which cover designer I wanted to use for my book. But I also knew that on the budget I was working with, it wouldn't be possible. I could only think of two options: earn the money on my own, or look at crowdfunding.

Last summer I worked too hard for too long and ended up with some severe depression afterward. I knew that earning the money for the book coupled with getting the book itself ready could be a pretty toxic combination for overwork this year. So I started looking at crowdfunding. We'd supported a couple of Kickstarter projects before, so we were familiar with it. But we'd never done one in our own family. In fact, we've never really done fundraising of any kind. And it was a little nervewracking to consider.

I booked the editor for the part one of War of Loyalties, which I was able to pay for myself. Then I called a new friend who had done a Kickstarter and she generously gave me some advice on mine. I explained the project, ran my plan by her, and she was so encouraging and supportive that I felt empowered to give it a try.

So I collected reward ideas. Budgeted. Wrote up descriptions and shot a video on a rickety tripod. That day I felt more infuriated with the tripod than upbeat for the camera. It still makes me chuckle.

By that point, the launch was already delayed beyond what I had hoped--the start date wasn't until later in May. It would run for 30 days, and that gave me a tight turnaround time, especially because I wanted to book the editor before his schedule filled up. Also, Kickstarter is all or nothing. If you reach funding, you get it all. If you don't reach funding, you walk away without a penny.

It's a step of faith.

After intense pressure and a few tears (learning the ins and outs of sales tax) I was ready to go. But the day I wanted to launch, I did a few more calculations and realized the money I hoped to raise wasn't going to be enough for the entire project.

I think I ended up adding an extra thousand dollars.

This was later than I had planned, and more than I had planned. On a super small scale, it makes me think of Elijah building the altar before the Lord and then pouring water on it because a dry altar wasn't challenging enough (1 Kings 18).

But it was the only thing I could think of. And even if it failed, I had learned so much stuff that I knew the time was well spent.

Then we pushed Launch.

Kickstarter isn't for everyone. It hasn't worked for everyone. There was no magic trick or special ability or best practice that made it work for me. There were slow days when nothing came in. There were days when hundreds of dollars came in. There were dark days of feeling like a fraud, and days when I felt confident. But God kept reminding me to pray.

The end result was the sheer grace and generosity of God working through the hearts and incredible gifts of people who were willing to give. They gave and gave and gave. I remember one night when I was feeling like a fraud, I told my dad that I just wanted the book to be worth what they were giving. He told me, "They're giving because they love you."

When it comes down to it, this book was built on love ever since it began. It was love that made my parents educate me and teach me to read and fill up my soul with good books so that I could pour out words of my own.It was love that wrote the first draft of the book. It was love that made people pray for me through each re-write. It was love that made friends spend a summer helping me through the second draft of the book. It was love that made friends take WoL-themed pictures all around England when I could not come with them. And it was love that brought that Kickstarter all the way to 100% on June 22, 2017. And over all of it was the love of God, who gave so richly of his fullness to make this dream come true.

I'm so thankful for that.

That sale I passed up on? I got to work with the very same editor just the way I had wanted, and God provided every penny.

Next week I'll have more reflections on the journey. In the meantime, be sure to hop over to Lydia Carns' blog for behind the scenes questions about what inspired the WW1 setting and the characters in the book! And stay tuned for even more blog tour fun coming next week!

Giveaway
First Prize Winner:
-Paperback copy of War of Loyalties
-“Jaeryn’s Vow” 8x10 poster
-Custom War of Loyalties mug

Second Prize Winner:
-Ebook of War of Loyalties
-Real vintage Folkestone postcard (this is a postcard that has actually been posted in 1917.)

Third Prize Winner: (open to international winners)
-Ebook of War of Loyalties

US residents only for 1st and 2nd prizes. Accounts created solely for giveaways not eligible.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments:

  1. I love this thankfulness post! You have had such a beautiful journey with WoL and God has graciously provided what you and this book has needed at every step, whether it was moral support, funds, or faith to trust Him.
    So excited for this new chapter in the adventure!

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    1. Amen. It has been so beautiful, and I think I will miss it, but it feels like such a right conclusion--I can't wait for new adventures, including Crowning Heaven!

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  2. What a beautiful journey the Lord has led you on, dear Schuyler-friend <3. It has been a joy witnessing God's faithfulness and the commitment and passion with which you've followed this dream by God's grace.

    It was lovely to hear how God graciously provided & the step of faith it took you to launch this. God is so good! Congratulations, Schuyler-girl!! <3

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    1. It's so amazing. God has been so faithful--friends like YOU have been so faithful! I'm so blessed that by all the people who prayed and supported and cheered on all these years!

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  3. P.S. I entered this giveaway earlier, but since I already own the ebook now (yay!), I don't need to be in the draw - so if my name came up, could you please just pass it on to someone else? :) <3

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  4. A beautiful story of how a wonderful book was able to be published, Schuyler! I feel to blessed to have been able to follow along and see your diligence and faith. Congratulations! This is a huge accomplishment and I know many people will enjoy the results of your work and love. :)

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    1. Lydia, you were just amazing reading through WoL!! Thank-you so much for all your encouragement and spreading the word about it! :D

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  5. Though I've never done it myself, I can see from watching friends that publishing a book can be very much an act of faith. Watching you grow and learn and cry and trust God through this process has blessed and stretched and inspired me, Schuyler...thank you so much for sharing your journey.

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    1. I feel like you've done it vicariously with the love and support (and proofreading!) you've given to people. Your family was such a blessing for believing and investing in WoL all the way through. <3

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  6. What a wonderful post, Schuyler. I am so happy and humbled that the Lord used me to encourage you to do this Kickstarter. He has certainly provided for this book in an amazing and loving way. I am very glad for you! May He continue to bless you and your endeavors.

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    1. Thank-you so much, Anna! It has been such a joyful month seeing both our projects come to completion--we loved your music CD on the way back from Texas! It kept us company on a late night drive. :)

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  7. I'm a little late to the party (I've been a silent reader and cheerer-on for a while), but congratulations on everything! I've been following you since way back when you were in the first draft stages, and it's amazing that this day has finally come. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Grace, thank-you for cheering this on!! You are such a blessing, and I hope you really enjoy WoL! :)

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  8. My heart is still too full to be able to find the words to express how I'm feeling, so simply this:

    I love you. I'm proud of you. And I couldn't be more happy for you, my precious friend. God bless you.

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    Replies
    1. My heart is full from your words. Thank-you, Annie. <3

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