Thursday, January 21, 2016

I hated writing my own evaluations, so this is a little hard for me as well...

I grew up being taught that “bragging” was not a good thing. That “showing off” or bringing attention to oneself was not being humble. It was being prideful.

I’m also an introvert. I like to be quiet and hang back observing the action rather than being in the middle of it. Add into this that it’s also a challenge for me to ask for help.

www.FaithBraised.com
So any self-promotion is very hard for me to do. Very hard. Always has been.

When I was living la vida corporate, it wasn’t unusual when evaluation time rolled around, that I was asked to write my own. Once written I would hand it off to my boss who would tweak and approve it.

Clearly, for the evaluation to earn me a raise or a promotion, it needed to be glowing!

Ugh. I hated writing those things.

Don’t get me wrong. I worked hard, did a good job, and knew that I deserved any raise I got. But writing about myself like that went against how I had been raised. It wasn’t easy.

And please don’t beat up on my parents! They did the best they could with the skills and understanding they had. Their intentions were golden. But I’ll agree the execution might have been a little shaky.

Probably, so was how I received their lessons on humility. I’m not sure I heard and interpreted everything exactly right.

Still, while I believe it’s okay to “put your best foot forward,” at the same time, to avoid coming across as a braggart, a little humility is a good thing.

Woohoo! <Quietly insert trumpets here>

So it is with humble pride that I quietly shout the news that I am the Grand Prize winner of the WestBow Press “New Look Contest” for 2015! Yay! Woot!

WestBow Press is a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, all owned by HarperCollins Publishers. Unlike many self-publishing operations, this one has significant built-in credibility which adds cachet to the book.

http://www.westbowpress.com/newlook/winners.aspx

Also, if the book does well (which is why I need your help), there’s a chance that it could be picked up by Thomas Nelson or Zondervan and receive more widespread attention.

Of the winners, Pete Nikolai, WestBow Press publisher, stated, “We were pleased by the quality of the titles submitted and especially with the grand-prize winner. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these talented writers.”

A few gaps in need of filling

While the Grand Prize is great and the publishing package is loaded with important features, there are a couple of gaps.

To fill these gaps, I need to obtain additional services at additional costs:

  • Editing: I need to hire a great editor to give the manuscript a thorough work-over with fresh eyes.*
     
  • Marketing: As is true with all books today, I’ve got to do a fair amount of marketing, or hire someone to help me.
     
I’m conservatively estimating that I’ll need at least $5,000 to cover these expenses. I definitely need to at least cover the editing, which is essential.

To that end, I’ve set up a GoFundMe page where you can offer your help and support!

You are welcome to contribute any amount. However, if you donate at least $40, once the book is published, I will send you a signed paperback copy.

You can see more details at www.gofundme.com/hungeringdark.

Added value: Some things to consider (aka, I’ve got chops.)

There are a lot of people using these crowd-funding services to raise money for their book projects. Many of them are just now writing their books or haven’t even started.

They are trying to raise money for untested ideas. Many are not seasoned writers and have no publishing experience.

I am and do. My book is written and already in process.

By winning the WestBow contest Grand Prize, it is a vetted product recognized to have merit. The value of the prize is around $5,000.

And while asking for another $5,000* seems like a lot, getting a book into print and into wide distribution is a costly enterprise.

My desire is to make the book as successful as possible. And I can only accomplish this with your help!

A little about the book

The story is a fun, clean read with a Christian slant, suitable for all ages.

It’s got a touch of sci-fi/fantasy, a fair amount of suspense, a little romance, some biblical history, and even fast-paced action.

It shares the story of an unimaginable challenge overcome in a very unique and surprising way. For now.

You can read a more detailed synopsis at www.gofundme.com/hungeringdark.

Won’t you please help?

As I stated in the beginning, this is hard for me. But I know I’ve written a good, fun book that deserves a chance in the marketplace. I just need your help to get the job done right.

So, with genuine humility, I’m asking for your financial support. And for help getting the word out about this book!

If you give at least $40, once it’s published, I will send you a signed paperback copy!

Even if you can’t afford to give money, please share this post with your friends, relatives, and co-workers.

You will have my undying gratitude. Thank you in advance.


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What do you think? Crowd-funding to get a book published is being done more and more frequently. Is this a good thing or not? How do you feel about self-promotion? Is there a way to promote effectively without being heavy-handed or prideful? I’m always put-off by those who do it too aggressively (such as Trump), but I know it’s necessary to sell books or acquire clients. Share your thoughts on what I’m doing and your feelings about self-promotion as prideful in the comments. Please, I’d love to hear from you!

* UPDATE: I've lowered my goal from $5000 to $3500. The person who will be editing the book has given me a *very* generous break on the cost, so my needs are less. Yay! And I know she'll do a great job; I've worked with her before. So, we're moving forward. Thanks again for your support!

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