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 John A. Mapp Jr.; author of “Decoding Bible Messages” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
Thirty years ago, when I was a young adult, the Christian faith of my childhood was in crisis. Providentially, I stumbled upon an old book, published around 1900, about the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament. I had never been taught about that subject before, and was absolutely astonished. My faith was greatly strengthened as a result.
I felt called to write a fresh, contemporary presentation of this neglected material, so I researched further, and started writing. I wanted to present the subject in a way that practically anyone could understand. I persevered, even though I didn’t know how, or even if, the manuscript would ever be published.
After finally finishing the first draft, I married and started a family. I had to lay the manuscript aside due to the pressures of career and family, but I occasionally returned to it as a resource for teaching classes and Bible studies. When I finally retired in early 2015, the dream was still alive. I updated the work with some additional information I had collected over the years, and started searching for a publisher.
Providentially (again), the publishing landscape had changed radically over the preceding thirty years, with self-publishing now a viable and respectable option. After I researched the alternatives, I chose WestBow Press.
WestBow’s wide selection of packages enabled me to select one that harmonized with my budget and objectives. There was still work to be done, but WestBow provided a robust, structured template, changing the publication process from a conundrum into a methodical step-by-step operation. WestBow often exceeded my expectations.
For example, I submitted a cover idea consisting of a hidden cross nested among four Old Testament images. The WestBow cover design team took that idea and absolutely knocked it out of the park! I was delighted with the result.
The book was published in September 2015, fulfilling a thirty year dream. When I shared the culmination of my publishing journey with my family and friends, I was very heartened and encouraged to see them take a genuine interest in the book. It was a great feeling. My most basic goal of leaving a legacy for family and friends had been met.
Then began the daunting task of promoting my book to the general public. There are many books out there, with new ones being added all the time, so book sales are not automatic, especially for new authors.
Fortunately, WestBow offers a good selection of marketing services to lend a hand. Since I had used WestBow’s professional editing service, I knew I had a good book; it was just a matter of promoting it effectively. After discussions with a WestBow marketing consultant, I put together a combination of WestBow-sponsored marketing services and some initiatives of my own, including the use of social media, blogging, book reviews, and giving away some free copies. Speaking engagements will likely follow. I believe I am off to a good start.
The planting is complete, the watering is underway, and I am trusting God to provide the increase.
– 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.