Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Good Life

Good Life 45

A few days later I taped a TV interview with Channel 45, WTGL in Orlando for their show, The Good Life.  The host, Barbara Beck, even wore a zebra print in honor of my visit. It never ceases to amaze me how interested Americans are about African topics, especially about animals. I wanted to talk about the book and our ministry in Africa.  Barbara wanted to talk about cobras in our garden.  Still, it was good exposure for the book. You can view the video by clicking on the link below:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lemonade - 5 cents

Once again, I leapt into lion country without a whip or chair. I had a product, but how should I sell it? I needed a lemonade stand. I decided on a book signing at Northland Church. It's been my church home since 1978.  I've been an elder since 1984 and a pastor since 1990.  People know me and most even like me.  Even better the church asked me to preach at several services the week before the official launch. For anyone interested, click here to view the sermon I preached about God's view of the rich and the poor:

I set up my lemonade stand in the church foyer.  I had books, a pen and a PayPal Here gizmo for taking card payments.  What more could I ask for?  I preached and then sold books.  All told, I hosted 8 book signing events over a two-week period and sold hundreds of books.  I was off to a good start.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Delivery

My baby beat me by 15 minutes. When the publisher learned I was speaking in Orlando on March 9, he rushed me an advance shipment of books a week before the official book launch.  I came from Denver. My books came from Illinois. We met in Orlando on March 8, but I missed the delivery by just a few minutes. So I held my baby for the first time in a warehouse.

The camera failed to capture the moment.  It was several years from conception to birth. It had been a tumultuous, cancer-filled labor. Still the baby arrived safe and sound, and quite lovely in the father's humble opinion.

For the first time, I held the physical manifestation of my dream. Photos can't show the joy of a life-long dream coming true.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

2 Minutes till Showtime

"Let's print it." Those words came as a shock. It was time to show the world my up-till-then invisible dream. After years of thinking, shaping, stalling, writing, editing and polishing, it was showtime.

"Wait, wait, let me look it over one more time." I'd read the book a hundred times. Several others had edited it to the bone. Still, the thought of others reading an imperfect presentation urged me to read through it one more time. I was shocked to find 33 typographical errors.  How could that happen?  Worse, if I found that many mistakes, almost certainly other blemishes were hiding in plain sight.

But I took a leap and sent it to the printer anyway - with a nostalgic sigh, almost like releasing your child to her first day of school. You knew all along the day was coming, but you fearfully wonder if the rest of the world will love and care for her as you do.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Birth Announcement

The wait was over; birth was imminent. The printer would soon deliver 3000 books.  People need to know! Kudu Publishing would handle ads and press releases for the normal distribution channels, but I wanted to sell books directly through my own social and professional networks. But how?  How could readers buy directly from me?  I needed an online presence for taking orders and payments.  Should I hire someone to build a website? Should I outsource the sales to an established online bookseller?  Should I start a blog?  I had no idea, but I had to do something. Lots of options with lots of trade-offs. As you can see, I settled on a blog and began learning how to build one. Bloggone it, the first day was frustrating.

Pages?          Posts?         Templates?        Feeds?      Page Views?

Even the help pages and tutorials were filled with new jargon. The learning curve reminded me that my imagined brilliance was just that - imaginary.  Taking payments presented more options and more confusion:

ACH?   Merchant account?   Payment gateway?   PCI compliance?

But I persevered and sooner than I thought possible, my book's birth announcement was floating through cyberspace.  Now I needed to create a buzz to draw folks to my blog.

Name  -  The Leap: Living the Life you Dream About

Weight  - 12.2 ounces

Height  -  8.5 inches

Born  -  March 18, 2013