On the 13th of January, my book was released. It’s titled, Fit2Finish: Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game. No, I didn’t self publish. There is actually a publisher out there who believed in me and believed in my message enough to work with me to get this into print. Thank you, Morgan James, Publishing, for getting it into stores and into e-format so people can take a look at my work and decide for themselves whether it’s worth buying.
Here’s the KC part: when you publish a book, people are really happy for you. They congratulate you on your accomplishment, celebrate you on Facebook and Twitter and generally make a big deal about you.
“It must feel good,” they say, “to have arrived!”
And for a moment, it does. The moment when you open your box of shiny new books and look at your name on the cover, it feels very satisfying. But then the delivery truck arrives with the cases and cases of books needing selling. You thank the nice man who helped hoist your crate into your garage. You thank the kind neighbor who helped form the brigade to heave the cartons into your basement. You stack them neatly out of the way, waiting for the orders to roll in, so these books can go flying out the door!
But they don’t, because who knows about them? Who knows you? Who are you anyway?
When the glitter fades you are left seated on the throne of your unsold books, or perhaps buried by that very pile of books. The ones that were meant to be your “contribution to the world!” your “gift to all those families” the “saving grace for all those kids.”
Well-wishers glance in your direction and smile. “Good luck,” they say, as they depart for more important things and to attend to more pressing matters. They don’t say but I hear, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill.” (James 2:16)* The words spoken to a brother or sister in need who lacks the necessities of life, while (we) go along (our) way, failing to supply it.
Faith doesn’t work without the works.
How very poignant this message is to me now. My dearest of friends – the ones who truly believe in me – show me their faith, not with casual mentions or polite congratulations, but by showing up and sharing the work. They have purchased books, shared them with friends, connected me with resources, and generally spread the good word.
I am responsible for that book. Inspired by my friends’ belief, I continue to work for the good of those who are dearly loved by the One who inclined me to write the book. Sale or no sale, He still gets His word in edgewise. “Don’t let up. This is My work you are doing.”
Faith in your story isn’t enough. You have to be out there telling it. Books don’t sell themselves, you know!
*God-nod: I was inclined to share the idea of this post but I couldn’t quite recall where the Bible story was. I opened my copy of The Upper Room this morning, and there was the verse, inspiring a powerful meditation by another author.
Riddle me this.
Why is a book signed by the author worth more than the book, unsigned?
It isn’t, to you, but it is to them.
You know that your signature isn’t worth any more than the ink you use to sign it. But, your message and your signature designate this book as meant especially for this reader. This copy, separate from all the other identical copies out there, is the one meant especially for you. I give you my word, in person.
I guess it is odd, then, that first editions signed by their famous authors and handed down over the years still hold their value. That signing, decades or perhaps centuries old, was not meant for today’s owner or reader. But it was witnessed. It is testimony of the hand and heart that wrote these words and set them down for people to use or discard as they will. It is a message in a bottle, a hand-written letter, a personal appeal, where before it was just print on a page.
What would a book, signed by the author of all time, be worth?
Nothing, to Him, but everything to me.
So…much…information. So many words. Whatever you want, it’s out there. After a bit of searching and some perseverance, you’ll find what you’re looking for: instructions, images, insight.
As a writer I ask: Do I have the words you want? How will you know until I give them to you? And after you have them, you don’t need to pay me, you have what you came for. It’s the information age. Information comes cheap. Everybody will offer it to you. Take it and go.
Even if my words are good or helpful or wise, they are free. Their worth comes from what you do with them.
- take them to heart
- apply them
- be entertained by them
- share them
- sit with and make more of them
And I have no control over this. Now, my words are yours. You “pay me” by:
- coming back to read
- subscribing to the blog
- referring me to a friend
- bookmarking me
- “liking” me on facebook
You pay me by taking action on my words. And I will never know it. It’s a pay-it-forward kind of economy. A give and take and give away.
I work for less than minimum wage. And yet more than anyone knows, except the One who knows all hearts, sees all things, and has His own system of accounting.
I pray that the words of my keyboard and the meditations of our hearts might be acceptable to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14