Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Friday, July 10, 2020

How [NOT] to Launch a Book During a Pandemic

What’s that old saying? “Kick-in-the-behind-sight is 2020?” Something like that.

I thought it would be a cool idea to put several of my newspaper columns from the last ten years into a book, organized by themes and topics. It was my first attempt at self-publishing, and it was going swimmingly. I called the book Out of My Mind: A Decade of Faith and Humour.

I ordered my first proof copy in February. It came in record time, slick as anything. I went through it, marked the needed changes, and revised it. By the time I ordered a second proof copy, the pandemic had hit. Amazon was not shipping proof copies into Canada. I had one sent to my mother-in-law in South Dakota, who mailed it to me.  It arrived three and a half weeks after the day she mailed it and I owed her 21 U.S. dollars for the postage.

Now I was freaking out. If it took that long to receive my author copies, how could I be sure I’d have books to sell at the event I’d booked at my local library—assuming that event could even happen as scheduled? Since I couldn’t order any copies until the book officially released, I bumped up my release day. The book went live on June 7.

I attempted to order my first shipment of author copies only to discover they were not being shipped to Canada, either. Which is weird because Amazon now prints books in Canada and you as a customer can order one—the exact product. My only option was to order mine the same as any other customer, at customer prices. So I ordered 25, but by the time they arrived, they were all spoken for. So I ordered another 25 and by the time they arrived, they were all spoken for.

This should be a good problem to have, but frankly, I can’t afford it. Yes, I could have jacked up my price but that just seemed unfair. Besides, if I keep selling them out of my house, neighbours will think I’m dealing drugs.

So I’ve decided not to order more until I can acquire them at my usual author’s price. Our library has tentatively re-scheduled a book-signing party for me on September 26. If we’re able to go ahead with that plan, you’ll be able to purchase a book or bring the one you already have for signing. Technically, the actual ten-year anniversary of my column isn’t until September anyway, so it’s all good.

But, who knows whether it will happen then or not?

Actually, I do know who knows. It’s not me or you or Amazon or the library or the government. The only one who knows is the same one who’s got us in his hands, come what may. The same one who made us, loves us, and is still sovereign. The one who is never taken by surprise, who never rings his hands or feels defeated.

While my little inconvenience is minor compared to what others suffer, 2020 is kicking all of our butts in some way. But it’s helping me learn to depend on God and trust him for all of it. It’s serving as a good reminder that I am not in control, not even a little bit. It’s teaching me yet again that God can use whatever means he chooses to get this book into the hands of whomever he decides needs one. It helps me remember who my provider is. How about you?

Meanwhile, you can order the book in paperback or Kindle form HERE if youre in Canada and HERE if youre in the States. I hope you do. It could solve your gift-giving dilemmas for months—especially if the people on your gift list are fans of my column. Or would be fans if they knew about it.

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