I challenged myself to try to write one book per year. I know this sounds ambitious, but I do better when I have a difficult goal in front of me. I may not try to publish everything I write, but I want to try to stick to this goal. Beginning to write something new after finishing “A Man, a Boat, and Some Fish” has been an interesting task. Interesting in the sense that I feel pressure to write my next book the exact same way I wrote the last one. Diana has taught me the importance of not getting stuck in a box. She hates doing things the same way twice and I am allowing her model to influence me in this. I am starting from scratch in how I write this book. It doesn’t need to be tied to another story, nor does it need to have the same amount of chapters. I am just simply going to write and see how far I can get. I can always shape it into a followable model down the road and I am sure it will follow a similar style to the last one, but I am allowing myself to have freedom in the process. Writing is really fun! It is amazing after you finish getting thoughts out to look back and see what some of the outflow has become. I sometimes read something I wrote days before and am surprised that it fits and flows with the thoughts of today. Another fun part is that I really do feel like God is involved in writing. The same way He is involved in preaching, or teaching, He is involved in writing and is the original “Author”. 🙂 Here is to more books and learning along the way!
One of the funner parts of writing and publishing this book has been the creative elements. I know the first thing that perspective readers look at is the cover of a book. Grace Combs of Rinse Studios (www.rinsestudios.com) agreed to help me with this. She is an awesome graphic designer that traveled to Uganda a few years ago and helped us with a ton of stuff for the GenAlive youth conference. The first thing she asked me was what I wanted it to look like. This is a great question, but the problem was I didn’t have an answer. I of course wanted it to look like the best book cover ever, but what does that look like? So I drew some suggestions and sent over some links to a few covers that I liked.
She took my suggestions and worked some design magic and sent back a couple of options.
Now the problem was that both were incredible! I could be easily happy with either of them, but I needed to chose one. I consulted the wisest person I know… Diana 🙂 She made the point that the first one is very traditional and may not appeal to the audience that I am writing for; younger pastors and leaders. She explained that the second one was more “youthy”. I agreed and liked the fact that it also incorporated a picture from here in Uganda. After making a few minor tweaks, and finishing the pieces for the back cover (author bio, book summary, isbn/barcode), it was done!
I love how it turned out!! Now on to the next step. Finishing edits and formatting for print and kindle.
Writing this book has been a learning process every step of the way. One of the things that surprised me was the hidden number of steps in-between finishing writing and actually publishing. I thought once I finished the “hard part” of writing the book than the rest would be quick and easy. This has not been the case. This latter part of the process has taken just as much creativity and time as the writing part. Reading through edits and re-writing sections that I thought were done have been both insightful and tedious. I have learned that my thoughts which seem so clear and organized in my head are not read the same by others 🙂 I am thankful for people who have helped me take thoughts and form them in ways that can be understood by all. (Thank you Diana and Sharon!) Designing a cover is more than simply giving a graphics person a title and an idea. You need to have the back “blurb” written and it needs to be catchy. You need a picture of yourself even if you don’t have a “good side”. An author bio (It’s awkward to write about yourself so Diana helped me on this one). A barcode which is a whole process to get one assigned. In the end the cover turned out awesome! (Thank you Grace!). After many rounds of edits you than have to send the edited copy off to get it formatted for print and than re-formatted for eBook readers. Once all this is done than the publisher will send you a proof where you have to once again read through and look at everything to ensure it is ok and than send it back. Once they receive this copy then they can actually print it. I am so thankful for this learning process, and although it has been longer than I expected, I have really enjoyed every part of it. I’m excited to finish it so I can share “A Man, a Boat and Some Fish” with others, but also so that I can begin to write another one 🙂
In a few months I will be taking a step of faith and releasing my first book. It has been an interesting journey writing and opening myself up to constructive criticism from others. I am excited and a bit nervous to share “A man, a Boat & Some Fish” with you and hear your thoughts as you read. This has been a great learning experience for me as I write. The premise of the book is looking through the life of Peter and understanding the identity God has for us. We must first find our identity as a leader before we can help others find theirs. Diana encouraged me that I needed to start blogging as well. This will also be a step of faith for me, but I believe that stepping out in faith in the face of fear is the very best step to take. So here is to future blog posts and seeing what God has in store next!