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 Kristan Gray, author of “No One Could Know”.
“If it’s bigger than you, and it won’t leave you alone, you know it’s God’s leading.”
I tucked that bit of advice into my mind’s pocket and held on to it for 28 years. Occasionally I’d pull it out, caress it, ponder its depth, and hide it away for further contemplation. Should I really write a book about having an abortion?
The advice kept getting bigger in my mouth as I chewed on it. How would publishing such a story impact my family and those involved in the real live truth?
Should I include that I was raped a year later?
Yielding to God’s same promises that carried me through such dark times in my teenage years, I cozied into my couch and stared at the white space on my laptop screen. Jesus’ comfort in Matthew 11:28-30 quieted the storm in my mind.
“Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I’ll give you rest … For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The Holy Spirit gave me peace to complete what He was asking me to do.
The blank computer screen came into focus again.
Blink … blink … think … think …
Memories of my mom’s voice resonated inside, “If you’re sweet sixteen and never been kissed, I’ll buy you a gold watch for your birthday.”
And so it began.
Seven days later, I was done with my autobiography “No One Could Know.”
But 25 pages were not enough, so 14 months and 40,000 words later I was finally finished re-writing. Trusted family and friends provided encouragement, dark chocolate, and critiques so my manuscript could be presented to a publisher.
For 20 years I’d researched publishing options, and am pleased with the choice to partner with Westbow Press. I trusted WBP’s parent company Thomas Nelson, after all, they’re the company that published my Bible, and are the biggest name in Christian publishing. My husband had worked for a traditional publishing house, so I was acquainted with costs and time involved. I also knew that even with traditional publishers, a lot is expected from me as an author. My job doesn’t end with the last period at the end of my manuscript. Being a self-published author means I’m a business owner with work to do.
Writers have this in common: We want the words we choreograph to dance into the souls of readers and impact their lives somehow. We can no easier restrain a story than a sneeze; it must, it must, it absolutely must spew.
WBP said, “God bless you” before I’d even finished the sneeze. Each person in the company has been a delight. Yes, there have been hiccups, too, as there are with most things worth my time, but WBP employees are “real-live humans,” who are exceptionally polite, and professional to work with on such a sacred mission.
So, whether you hope to sell millions or you want a quiet memoir for your only grandchildren’s coffee tables, I congratulate you for taking on such a task. It’s a rewarding journey!
In addition to purchasing the Standard Package Online Platform, I bought a Women of Faith conference book signing event, and had a positive marketing experience there. Since my book’s been released for less than a year, I’m still anticipating momentum to kick in, but undoubtedly, it’s getting traction.
Most importantly, I believe I’ve obeyed God, and will continue to trust in His grace as I put my hand to the marketing plow. After all, it’s bigger than me, and it won’t leave me alone.
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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, 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.
I have several writings, both already written and in my spirit. God has led me here and I’m not sure why. I have however learned to heed his calling and move towards where I am led. I believe I am led by God. I have written since I was five years old. I am 58 now and have been published in news letters. I am reaching out for help to carry my message to whoever I am supposed to carry it to.