Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fighting for the release of "I Shall Not Die"

Today, I am geeked! Getting to this monumental point in the process of publishing I Shall Not Die has been an uphill battle, but because God has been with me for every step of the climb, my testimony is victorious. From the moment I said "Yes" to the Lord and answered the charge to write my first nonfiction/ministerial book, one adversity after the other has arisen in failed attempts to stop it.
First, there was the uncanny, overwhelming fatigue. From the typing of the first letter on page one of I Shall Not Die, all the way to the last period of the final page, I fought tooth and nail just to stay awake. It mattered not what time of day I embarked on adding to the manuscript, I would suddenly become so sleepy that I could barely keep my eyes open. It was one of the most bizzarre experiences of my life. I could be doing anything else or writing on anything else during the course of the day and be fine, but whenever I began to work on I Shall Not Die, within minutes, I would be engulfed by lethargy. Every day, I was taking one, two, and sometimes three naps; sleeping for up to three hours each time. Literally, I was sleeping the day away; erasing precious hours that I needed to be writing the manuscript. I tried to explain it away several times; even tried to define the whole experience as coincidental. But the final proof that it was indeed directly related to the writing of I Shall Not Die came when as soon as I completed the writing of the book, the lethargy disappeared.
There were other hurdles too. Of course, computer viruses are not abnormal, but it seemed a little more than happenstance that after never having one in the four years that I'd owned my laptop, I suddenly got one on the first day of a 5-day cruise that I was on. It was the time I'd set aside to work on editing the manuscript and I couldn't do it due to the virus. And then there was the oddity that the company that I'd worked with for years with designing covers for the books published through KNB Publications suddenly became unavailable to design one for I Shall Not Die. In the five years that I'd worked with them, I could always shoot them a "cover vision" for a client's book and without fail, within 48 hours, they'd have three or four samples for me to review. When I contacted them about I Shall Not Die, they told me that they had too much to do and couldn't get to it in a timely manner. I would have to wait four-six weeks or maybe more. I was forced to go with a different graphic designer that I'd never used before. Thankfully, the new guy did an phenomenal job, sending me ten samples within 24 hours. He's KNB's new cover designer now (smile).
Even now, I continue to face challenges in getting this book in print. For the last three years, I have been using the same printer for books published through KNB Publications. Our protocol has always been that I sent them the book files via email for printing. Well, for the first time ever, my emails were not reaching them. emails containing the I Shall Not Die files were not reaching them. When I would send them a regular communication, they would receive it. But when I would try to forward the book files to them, they wouldn't. On three occasions, I emailed the book and cover files, but they would not successfully transmit. I wasn't getting any error or "undeliverable" messages, but the printer wasn't getting any of my emails. I couldn't understand it, and neither could they. Thinking back on it now, I shouldn't have been surprised; the battle to get this book in print has been a normal part of this birthing process.
There is a age-old gospel song that says, "Don't wait 'til the battle is over; shout now. You know in the end you're gonna win." Well, I'm shouting now! The book files are finally in the hands of the printer. I had to download them on a CD and mail them priority shipping since they weren't getting the emails. But if history with this book is any indication, the battle's not over yet. I'm praying that all goes well with the printing, but if they call me to tell me that they've run into a glitch, it will be no big shocker. It will also be no big worry. This book will come forth, and it will do so on time. I don't mind fighting for the release of this book because it's worth fight for. And although the enemy has proven to be a worthy opponent, I'm the daughter of the Army General, and the battle is not mine, but HIS. That makes me a guaranteed winner.
I am so excited about I Shall Not Die. The book order is scheduled to be in my hands no later than Sept. 15th, and although it is not set to officially release until October 1st (during The I.S.L.A.N.D. Conference in Valdosta, GA), God has already opened the door for two pre-release events, and because of His grace and favor, I will have the books back in time to have them available at both. One pre-launch is being scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17th in Atlanta (hosted by Bossettes), and another (two, actually) in San Antonio, TX on Sept. 24th and 25th (hosted by Carver Library and East St. Paul United Methodist Church respectively).
To God be the glory!