Some back story before my big reveal:
In early January, with no warning to us authors, my publisher closed down. Was this the death knell of my book?
Five years is the typical life of a book. Mine was five years old. Discouraged, I assumed it had lived out its life. On New Year’s Day, as my husband and I prayed through our goals, I prayed that if God still wanted to use We Wait You to encourage people and glorify Himself, He’d do something. Somehow. I had nothing left.
A couple days later, I heard the shocking news.
As I investigated, I discovered scandal. My publisher was bankrupt. Allegations surfaced of cultic activity, ongoing sexual abuse of a child, and embezzlement of the authors’ monies. Ugly stuff. So stressful that the wife of the head guy died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. (I guess the “no gossip” clause I had to sign in my contract should have alerted me. Why worry about gossip if your actions are above board?)
I’ll never know exactly how many sales were made and unreported the past 18 months, but I have uncovered enough numbers to know I lost hundreds of dollars in royalties which I’ll never recover. My paperback sales appeared to not only dwindle, but completely dry up. In all of 2013, my reports showed zero sales. Only the ebook version that I published myself still sold. I thought that was normal because of the age of my book; however, one thing seemed odd. This came directly on the heels of my banner year. In 2012, the total number of copies of We Wait You sold doubled.
Other publishers began offering to help us “orphaned authors” keep our books in print. Each plan came with a price tag for me, although not much profit for them. Steve and I were faced with the stressful decision of whether to re-publish or pull the plug? As far as I knew, the only unsold copies of my book in existence were the 12 in my stockpile at home.
God dramatically answered my prayer from New Year’s Day. As we sought Him on what to do, the comments I receive from “fans” — always steady even when my sales reports indicated no one was buying — increased substantially. People from all over the world emailed me that my words had touched their lives. None of them knew of my weighty decision. Meanwhile, speaking offers started to increase.
I took that as confirmation that God wanted We Wait You to live a little longer. When my former publisher finally emailed, I had just two weeks to decide where to send my publishing files – which I legally own – or they’d be destroyed. Sifting through oodles of options, I searched for a publisher I could trust, after being stung by an untrustworthy one (the one most highly praised by all the Christian writing conferences and market guides, by the way).
I found one: Deep River Books from Sisters, Oregon. My dying book has been resuscitated! It will have a new life as a second edition. The one-month process, stretched to six due to the huge volume of other orphans, is nearly complete. I’ve held the finished product in my hands and it looks good! Soon it will be available with the major distributors, and I’ll do an official roll-out. (I’m hoping to bless my new publisher for how they’ve gone out of their way to help.)
As I’ve done all along, I hold my book with my palms open, offering it to God to use as — and if — He wishes. Praying that He will receive all the glory. Like my book, I’m a second edition with a new life. I’ve been resuscitated, too.