Wednesday, August 3, 2011

advance HIS kingdom

It’s no secret that in order to get a book published,
most self-publish. Unless you have a major
platform of some kinda traditional publishing
house will hardly look at you!
Early on in my publishing process, I contacted
several publishing houses/agents, via
email or snail mail. Their response was
always quick and encouraging,
but was always a “no-go”.
After several months of attempts, I decided
to move on. Self-publishing had definitely
been an option but something I saw as kinda
“cheesy”.
I thought in order to make my book
become a reality, I needed an agent to find me that
perfect publishing house.
The more I researched self-publishing, the more I
learned the in’s and out’s. I realized just how many
authors self-published. And were successful at it!
Even if you go with a traditional
publishing house, you yourself
have so much legwork to do in order
to make the sales, just like self-publishing.
For over a year each self-published author
I came across gave me a new piece of insight. These
pieces helped me complete my knowledge on self-publishing.
One late night, while waiting for my editor to do her awesome
job, I surfed the net. I was looking for answers to one of my
many questions regarding self-publishing! I felt
the need for reassure just one more time to complete
my puzzle to self-publishing successfully.
It was to my complete surprise when I stumbled
across a blog, Journey to Self-Publishing by Natalie Wickham.
I literally stayed up until 3am reading her
entire blog. Pouring over each blog entry, I
gained such peace about self-publishing. Her blog
confirmed so much I already knew, but what I really gained,
that I hadn’t anywhere else, was to keep God first in my story!
This completely washed over my body. There it was right
in front of me. I knew it all along! But couldn’t get it until that
very moment. It was in the days ahead, I fully gained the
peaceful knowledge knowing my book was all
about God and not me.
Five years prior, I knew this,
when I felt lead to share my story. But I
had drifted into a deep dark place in my life. A
place I had never been-a place that holds
another story in it's self-a place I had to go
in order to get Daddy’s Briefcase out.
I emailed Natalie immediately, thanking her for sharing
her knowledge, talent with the world. She is such a kind
generous person, just an all-round cool girl you would meet
in town somewhere. A friendship bonded between the two of us at that
moment. She has been so supportive along the way.
Today, I have Natalie here as a guest. She has agreed to
answer a few questions for us. Please welcome, Natalie Wickham
author of Pajama School -stories from the life of
a homeschool graduate.

Natalie, what is the one thing you enjoyed most about actually making Pajama School become a reality-a book?
The doors it has opened for me to communicate with more audiences. The fact that you have written and published a book immediately gains you credibility with some audiences. They somehow assume that you know what you’re talking about even if it has nothing to do with the book and they’ve never even read it in the first place! “Enjoy” isn’t exactly the word I’d use for some of the opportunities I’ve had, but I am so grateful for how God has used even the most difficult ones to humble me and teach me to find strength and sufficiency in Him.
Did you have those days of thinking it wouldn’t happen?
Oh, yes! I love to journal and write as I feel inspired, but there’s something about deciding to write a book that zaps you of all your inspiration! I think it must be God’s way of teaching us perseverance. The turning point for me was when a friend casually remarked, “just write a page a day and in 200 days, you’ll have 200 pages.” There was something about having it broken down into such a small, achievable goal that convinced me I could push through and finish the book.
Have you been amazed at the people you have met along the way?
Absolutely! That has been the most rewarding part, by far. Whether through blogging, speaking at conferences, corresponding with readers by e-mail, or talking about the book and publishing process in person with various ones I meet, I have developed some wonderful friendships and met some beautiful and encouraging people.
Do you see God continually working through Pajama School?
It always brightens my day to get an e-mail from a mom who was encouraged by Pajama School , or a dad who found it insightful, or a young person who was challenged to think more deeply about certain life issues. I love having meaningful conversations with people, so I see my book as a way to reach a little beyond my immediate sphere of friends to share with more people. God continually uses the whole experience of writing, speaking, and marketing to work in my heart – that’s for sure!
Tell us a little about what it was like for you to self-publish Pajama School?
Hard! From the initial idea to final publication, it was a two-year process that involved hundreds of hours of writing, research, planning, and working to see it to the end. Since I had no prior experience in the publishing industry, there was a huge learning curve, but the entire experience was very educational and enlightening. It’s always cool to learn about a new industry, and I’ve really enjoyed walking others through the process to help them successfully publish their books as well.
Will you write another book?
Surprisingly, yes. For the first year and a half after publication of Pajama School , I was convinced I would never write and publish another book. But lo and behold, at the beginning of this year, I started to get an itch to write another book. I started praying about some ideas that the Lord had put on my heart – not just for one book, actually, but for a series. It’s kind of a long story, but the Lord orchestrated a connection with a wonderful lady who had a similar vision and we’ve been working together on a book. Both of us have other full-time responsibilities, so it’s been crazy trying to squeeze in the time to write, but we’re hoping to release the book by the end of the year. We’ll see!

Tell us about any of your latest happenings?
Perhaps the most unusual happening for me lately is the lack of happenings. Someone once said that the biggest enemy of the best things in life is the good things in life. Because of my goal to finish the afore-mentioned book by the end of the year, I’ve intentionally blocked off every hour I’m not teaching this month to devote to that project. This has been incredibly difficult (because I want to meet with that friend who just e-mailed about getting together, or I wish I could help that person with the project they’re working on, or people are depending on me to get that information posted on-line, etc.), but it’s also been pretty revealing. I need to look to God for wisdom on what to include, or not include, in my schedule of “happenings” so that I am accomplishing His purposes for my time!

Several months after Pajama School was released,
while Christmas shopping, I tossed a copy in my cart.
And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t buying it to read. I was buying it
to feel, touch, hold Natalie’s finished product as a
self-published author. I saw homeschool as kinda “silly”!
After several weeks, I couldn’t stand it,
it felt so good, I started reading Pajama School.
As I turned those pages, I was very touched.
Natalie’s story of homeschool opened my eyes fully
to a whole new world. My outlook on homeschool is
completely different now. Homeschoolers are just like you and I,
or anyone else who has been to school. They just do it at home.
Her story goes beyond schooling, it’s about her life, her family.
Just where all of our learning begins at home, something I
stress to others all the time when they ask me
where my kids go to school, which is a small
private Christian school!
Reading her story reiterated
me realizing the things I do for my kids
is really teaching them a viable lesson.
Now does this mean I am going start homeschooling
my kids? Chances are absolutely not, but I know if it’s
brought to me fully by God, then yes. And I will be so
thankful for the insight Natalie has provided me.
Natalie is a girl who is fully after God’s heart and I
thank Him for her. She is very much into
“advancing His kingdom” as she says.
You may also visit Natalie at Pajama School Blog !

No comments :

Post a Comment