Glenn Koster Sr.: My Story of Writing

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Glenn Koster Sr.; author of  “Life is a Long Story Short.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

Where is the best place an author starts when they are telling a story?  The obvious answer is at the beginning, but we each define the beginning differently. Koster mug

I have been writing for decades but lost much of what I had written.  Sometime in the early 1990s, I began to sense a desire to publish my autobiography as I have always felt my story is unique and an inspiration to others.  But who would be interested in the story of an unknown writer, regardless of how unique it is?

Why is my story unique?  Early in my life, I was abused and ultimately abandoned at the age of six.  After just a short stint in the foster care system, I was adopted – but pulled from that home for abuse and neglect.  I was adopted a second time in 1965, an adoption that truly provided a “forever home” for me.  Despite being adopted twice I am adamant that my third adoption – as a child of God – is the one that mattered.

As an adult, I followed the footsteps of my birth father, becoming an expectant father while a sophomore in college, as well as a spousal abuser and an alcoholic.

By 1989, I did not like who I had become and set about to change things.  I have been sober since that March and violence free since that May.  That October, despite permanently sealed records, I was able to trace my first adoptive parents.  Because of that connection, I was able to find my birth father and ultimately the rest of my birth family.

Koster CoverEventually I was able to offer forgiveness to all who had a hand in the disruption and abuse I experience in my childhood.  I was the only of my siblings to ever offer forgiveness, a truly cathartic part of my healing.

But the question hung in the air like a looming Kansas storm.  How would I ever create the market for my story?

Along the way I have been collecting inspirational stories, all with a Christian moral principle, both from my life and the lives of people that I have known.  The light blinked!  Why not publish a book of those short stories first to use as a base to build readers who might be interested in my rather unique autobiography?

An effort more difficult than I imagined.

For starters, my book includes references in both a forward an “About the Author” section that mentioned my birth family.  I had to provide evidence for those deceased and permission from those still living – even of those who were never mentioned by name.  It was a daunting task and I almost gave up several times, but I was able to eventually reach that goal.

I also endured long hours of editing (and re-writing).  Thankfully, I had several people on my side with experience in editing, proofreading, and marketing.  They were a God-send!

Along the way, I lost my adopted Dad much too early.  My work was finally released just a couple of days before what would have been his 85th birthday.  I trust that he would have been happy with my efforts.

It has been a long and winding road, but I’m at the precipice now.  The book is in print and a number have been reserved.  I am excited about the prospects as I have chosen to use this as an experience to benefit local charities:  Project Belong, Big Brothers – Big Sisters of Reno County, First Call for Help – Reno County, Heart-to-Heart (Newton, KS), Kairos (through a special book signing scheduled for April), and Relay for Life (another special book signing event in June).

Luke 12:48 reminds us, “To him whom much has been given, much shall be required.”  I have been blessed.  Now it is time for me to give back.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.


Russelyn Williams: Writing a Book Is a Process

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Russelyn Williams; author of  “The Single Christian Woman’s Guide.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

It’s so funny to think about the beginning of the process of me actually writing my first book. I had no idea what it took to get a book published. I just did what I knew to do, and that was to write down my thoughts about what I wanted to write about. I knew I had been on what I felt was a long journey of singleness, and experienced several different things along the way.Russelyn Photo

Some of the things that I had experienced were rejection, not feeling good enough, temptation, pit-falls and such. I thought to myself, although I am still single, I’ve done well for myself to maintain a position of readiness, peace of mind, and faith toward God and in God’s promise. What better way to contribute to other singles than to write a book sharing some of my experiences and what has helped me to prevail?

That’s when I got out my laptop, and began to type up a title for what I wanted to cover in each chapter in its own document. I saved everything to one folder, and wrote the introduction. At that point, I had put away the idea of continuing with writing the book. Until one day, I saw the folder on my desktop with the name of the book and opened it. I read the introduction, and asked myself where is the rest of this book?

That is when, I began writing without stopping. I knew it had gotten serious. Therefore, I began to look into what it would take to publish. A couple of my favorite authors had begun their writing careers with Thomas Nelson Publishing. They were at the top of my list to check out. I quickly learned from a friend that Thomas Nelson had a self-publishing division that allowed exposure as well as professional design work among other perks.

Russelyn CoverThe self-publishing brand of Thomas Nelson is Westbow Press. That is who I signed up with to do my publishing. They took care of everything once I got them my complete manuscript. At the onset, I thought the book would be published a couple of months after writing, but each step in the process takes time.

There was of course the writing process. Next, was the editing process—in which I had two editors to review the book. Finally, there was a process by the publisher whereby certain standards had to be met. After, all of the steps in the process were met, it was smooth sailing on to cover design and finalization of the interior design.

While the process of getting the book together took time, it was all worth it to produce a high quality product. I am confident that “The Single Christian Woman’s Guide” will touch the lives of many.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.


Lisa Lynn: I Know God Was Pushing My Pencil

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Lisa Lynn; author of “Unraveled, Time to Tell.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Growing up my grandmother always told me I would need to write our story one day. The story was about the murder of my mom, my grandmother’s daughter. I put it in the back of my mind.LisaLynnMug

After my last child graduated I tried to start writing it. I had notes I’d written all my life but I couldn’t get them to come together. God wasn’t ready for
me to start this story so I again put it in the back of my mind.

Several years went past with me growing more in faith to God and finally He said it was time to start writing. Some days my hand seemed to go faster
than my mind. I know God was pushing the pencil.

After I laid down my pencil and God helped me see it was finished, I would then let my now grown children read and know for the first time the events that had darkened my life. Talking to His disciples in John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” My children already knew God had given me His light.

The publishing process was as new to me as writing the book but God once again lead my way. Isaiah 58:11 tells us “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” How beautiful and reaffirming to me for my journey! And this verse is for all His obedient people! We can all be reassured because we know our God is faithful, 1 Thessalonians 5:24. The publishing process went smoothly and as fast as when God pushed my pencil writing the book all with the help of some of the best people I’ve ever known.

LisaLynnCoverI now find myself sharing openly what I had held secret for thirty years and it’s a blessing each time with each new person. I also have done a couple of festivals, the kind of events I told WestBow Press Marketing I’d only do if God led me to and I find myself now looking forward to them.

I don’t know what God has planned for all this but I do know I’m glad I’ve been faithful to listen to Him and write our story. It wasn’t written the way Grandma planned but the way God guided. A good friend told me that my grandma would’ve been proud anyway. I’m so touched by the responses I’ve heard from people who have read my book. I know it’s from God and for God and I’m so thankful to Him and WestBow Press!

 

– WBP –

Learn more about Lisa Lynn through her Facebook page www.facebook.com/carole.lisalynn.gilbert and website www.unraveledtimetotell.com.

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.


Hillary Sigrist: I’m a WestBow Author, and Why That Matters…

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Hillary Sigrist; author of “Warrior Wife.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!  

I’m a WestBow Author!

I’m not just self-published, not just an author, I’m published by WestBow Press!  Why does that matter?

I imagine for most aspiring authors they begin their publishing journey much like I did; with a naïve innocence of the self-publishing world.  They’re full of passion for their story and overwhelming excitement at the precept that writing dreams can come true.  Now, they just have to begin the overwhelming journey of manuscript to book.HillarySigrist WBP

Today’s world is flushed with DIY marketplaces. The continued self-done message exists in every area of life, the publishing world is no different.  In fact, as I did more research into self-publishing I realized that there is an excessive amount of both good and bad press associated with ‘vanity publishers’ as they’re commonly referred too.

Here’s the deal, the ability to so called, publish for free does exist, again we’ve been told we can do it all ourselves right?  Not necessary! Let’s face it, by the time you’ve finished writing your first book, it’s basically become your baby.  You’ve invested in mothering it for hours on end, some days late into the night. Don’t you want your baby to get off on the right steps once you’ve sent it into the world?  Choosing to or to not partner with a company like WestBow Press is only the first decision of many that will affect the end product, and your possible future success.

When I found WestBow Press I knew I had found the home I needed to succeed. Thomas Nelson is a giant in the Christian Publishing Industry and the chance to at all be associated with them is definitely something I would pay for. Because WestBow is a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, it carries their name attached to it.  What does that mean for you? Well, simply this, if the giants of Christian Publishing are putting their stamp on the back cover it better contain the Christian Standard they’re associated with. That’s what the WestBow Press Editorial Standards are all about.

However, it goes beyond that. The professional team of experts attached to every aspect you do as your book becomes reality is irreplaceable. I genuinely felt that my book “Warrior Wife” was treated as important to WestBow. In a company that sees many books pass through its doors, mine was still treated as valuable. Because it is self-published I enjoyed the freedom to bring all my ideas to the front and see them executed by the professionals better than if I had chosen to go at it alone. Each member of the team attached to me throughout the process, was patient and helpful. I felt that they wanted to see success for my book right along with me.

sigrist coverBy trusting the WestBow team with my baby, I feel like I’ve made the best decision I could have.  Since my book went live August 2015; my achievements have already surpassed even my highest expectations.  “Warrior Wife” has won an award, received numerous positive reviews by industry professionals and even paved a way for speaking engagements.  I owe much of this success to WestBow Press and the quality they’ve given me in the dream turned reality.

I’m a WestBow Author! And YES that matters! My readers deserve nothing less!

For more information about my book “Warrior Wife: Overcoming the Unique Struggles of a Military Marriage” check out www.hillarysigrist.com or find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/warriorwifebook.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length. 


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