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!
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.
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