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 Bea Baldridge; author of “The Commandments in the New Testament Gospels.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
I started on my journey as an author about four years ago. I had this subject on my heart that I really wanted to get out there: What are Christians commanded to do? Are we “under the law?” And what does that mean?
My husband and I had seen many people come to the Lord over the years, and then they would just kind of be lost in the shuffle and maybe never be taught the Bible and not learn how to study, etc. They’d just kind of drift through the Christian life, learning here and there, but never really a consistent teaching on how we are to live as believers. We also saw many people from cult-like denominations come into the Messianic movement. Talk about confusion!
The desire of my heart was to write a book that would make it clear that we are NOT “under the law,” but explain what Yeshua/Jesus expected of us. What IS the heart of the Father concerning us? There was a saying back in the 70’s, “WWJD. What Would Jesus Do?” I took off from that with “What Would Jesus TELL US to do?”
So, I went through the four gospels and found at least 205 commandments directly to us as believers in Yeshua/Jesus. Are we under the 10 Commandments? Where are they written? Are they in the New Testament?
It was a very interesting and exciting journey for me. I couldn’t wait every day to get to the computer and glean out information about each of these commandments. I had commentaries piled around me and different Bible translations. I would feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with me as I wrote.
Sometimes His presence was so powerful that I would have to just stop and sit there and praise Him for a while before I could go on. There was certainly no “writer’s block” with me! The information came pouring out and onto the pages.
When I pick up my book now, I think, “I didn’t write this. HE did!”
I promised myself when I wrote it that I would not let myself get discouraged when it came out and didn’t sell a million overnight. My book came out January 30, 2015, and I bought several copies, really expecting to sell them! However, God has a different plan sometimes and our little book mailing table remained with most of the books on it. I’ve sold some, gave away a lot, but never feared once that it wasn’t going to sell.
I took my book to our local Christian bookstore. The lady that owns it, Heather, took the hardcover copy and said she would get back to me, but she had three ahead of mine to read and approve for the store. I said okay. A month passed with no word from her. I called her and she said she had bought a house and was moving and didn’t have time to read the book. She still had the other three to read. I said okay. I prayed and told the Lord I would not get discouraged. I knew it was in HIS time.
I did get my book into Barnes & Noble here in Pueblo. The manager ordered one hardcover and two soft covers. Oh, well! At least it was in there. I checked back and one softcover had sold, he sent the hardcover back, and one is still in the store.
I held a book signing at a fair in Eyrie, Colorado. Sold one. Had banners made, posters, bookmarks, etc. Gave away one. But I got exposure of the book to hundreds of people who would walk by and look at my banner with a puzzled look. I’m sure they’ll never forget that cover and the Lord will bring it to their minds when the time comes.
I found my “little miner” that’s on the cover, after WestBow sent me the link to graphics I could use for the cover. I had in mind a person standing at a crossroads wondering which way to go: New Testament, Old Testament. I found one that seemed perfect. It was colorful and seemed to be just what I was looking for.
Right before I told my contact person at WestBow that I had chosen that one, I thought I’d take another look. I typed in “crossroads” and started looking and found him. I love my little miner. He is standing at the crossroads, wondering which way to go with the signs saying, “Old Testament, New Testament.” He has his knapsack and bedroll on his back, his cup, compass, and walking stick in his hand. His left hand is up to his chin with a contemplative look on his face like “which direction should I take?” Every time I look at him, I smile.
Back to Heather at the bookstore. I hadn’t heard from her for a few months. I didn’t want to bother her. I figured she’d call me when she got the book read. I finally called her in September. She wasn’t at the store, but I left a message. She called me the next day all excited and left a message on my answering machine! She said something like, “Ms. Bea! I have read your book and I definitely want to stock it in the store! You won’t believe what’s happened!”
I called her back when I got the message. She said, “The Lord started dealing with me to learn Hebrew!” (I TEACH Hebrew!). Heather continued, “I thought, ‘This can’t be the Lord!’ ”
Then something happened in the store to make her see it WAS the Lord. They get shipments in every day at the store and sometimes a company will put a book in the shipment that they hadn’t ordered and they either send it back or the company will tell them to keep it. The next day, they got a shipment in, and in that shipment was a book, Biblical Hebrew!
She said she couldn’t believe it! She then picked up my book and finally started to read it. She said she found that I say the same thing in the book! Now she wants to learn Hebrew and wants me to have a class in the store basement! She said she loves the book and is amazed at the information in it. She said she not only wanted to stock it, but she wanted me to have a book signing! She said if she had tried to read my book last February, she would never have gotten through it. She just wasn’t ready for it.
Her comment was “It’s very ‘chewy,’ ” meaning it’s more than just a book to read through quickly, you have to stop and “chew” on the information. After all, it IS a commentary.
I had my book signing on October 23, 2015, and it was a fantastic experience. Many, many people came through the store and I sold a few, but the main point is getting exposure, getting it out there where people can see it.
I’ve had people come up to me at church and say, “We thought about using your book in our Bible Study, but we were at the end of our session and didn’t have time to cover it properly.” I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even know they knew about it! One lady had bought a copy and shared it with the others.
What I want to say is, “Never give up. Never get discouraged. It’s God’s book, not yours.” He will open the doors when they’re supposed to be opened. You just have to keep persevering, try every outlet you can find, and leave the rest to Him.
Happy writing! Now, buy my book so I can get on with the sequel! The Commandments in the New Testament: Acts Through Revelation.
– 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, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.
Thank you for such positive input. My book, Acorns from Ivy started or to be a book for my children to show them how God has supplied every need and met every challenge in my life. I wanted them to love Him as a child loves a daddy. Sales have been minimal but blessings are abundant. His has given me the privilege of seeing up Christian Book Ministry for giving Christian based books to the hurting and confined. He is opening new doors for me every day. Praise Him Always.
Thank you beyond words for the encouragement. Praying for your book to sell more too.
I admire your courage and persistence. I am reminded of Zechariah 4:10 (New Living Translation), which says, “Do not despise…small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”
Thank you so much. Crying my eyes out right now. What an encouragement! I’m printing it out and putting it on my fridge.
You are an inspiration to all who are holding back on following their dreams.
I wish you great success with your book.
You are one of the biggest encouragers in my life. I love you above anything words could describe.
I am so very proud of you. This book is so full of knowledge and understanding of God’s word. Thank you for taking the time to share all of what you have learned with all of us.