I celebrated the release of A Love Like Ours last night with a ‘book launch’!
I’ve done a few book signings in the past. A very few. I don’t tend to seek them out because:
- Only friends and family attend. If you’re lucky.
- As the author, you spend a significant amount of time at the signing standing alone next to the little table the book store has very graciously set up for you, feeling uncomfortable.
- You also spend a lot of time trying to make sure innocent shoppers aren’t made uncomfortable by you. Store patrons always cut a wide berth around your table because they’re terrified, of course, that you’ll try to give them the hard sell.
- Even if you planned to stay at the signing for two hours, you might not sell a single book. I believe I had a signing like that once. Zero books sold. I, however, did some shopping and left with several items I didn’t need.
Months ago, I had a phone conversation about A Love Like Ours with Noelle Buss, the Marketing Manager of Fiction at Bethany House. She encouraged me to consider planning a launch party. [Insert me thinking about the terrified shoppers cutting me a wide berth.] I was skeptical, but she was optimistic. I told her I’d seen a post or two here on IBL about Julie Klassen’s past book store launch parties. I basically said to Noelle, “Whatever Julie’s doing at hers, that’s what I’d love to do at mine.” Then I proceeded to imitate.
I began the evening with a book talk and slide show about the making of A Love Like Ours‘ cover. (Yippee — a way to recycle the behind the scenes cover info I shared here via my last two blog posts). Then Q&A time. Then mixing/mingling/signing. Also, there were drinks and cookies. Because… well… cookies are cookies.
I prayed before I left home, giving the evening over into God’s hands. I prayed that I’d be content and thankful no matter how many people did or didn’t attend. But when I arrived at Barnes & Noble and saw that they’d set up thirty or so chairs I thought, “Um, yikes. I don’t have that many family members. And my friends are all moms and we moms are very busy in May.” Inwardly, I was cringing because I’d done my best to invite people to the event, but I really didn’t want to let Barnes & Noble down. They’d put in their time and effort and preparation.
Miraculously, though, people came. PEOPLE CAME! Some family members, yes. But it boggled my mind because actual readers that I didn’t know personally made the effort to come and hear me speak. Strangers! A few shoppers heard the microphone and saw a crowd and meandered over, also. Imagine. I wasn’t spooking them away.
God really can do more than we ask or imagine, can’t He? I am not by any stretch of the imagination a well-known author. But, somehow, God brought people to my talk. I showed up and so did He.
On the drive home from the party, I turned off the radio so I could simply marvel over it. People came! And my book is officially launched!
My question of the day: How has God pleasantly surprised you lately?
Before I go, I want to quickly mention the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
The hero of A Love Like Ours, Jake Porter, was once a Marine. His vehicle was struck by an IED, injuring him and killing everyone else on board. My story opens eight years after Jake’s final tour. He still bears a scar across his face, but that’s only a symbol of much deeper scars. He struggles with PTSD. And he’s lost hope.
It quickly became clear to me that God was calling me to write a book about finding hope.
I researched PTSD, then spent a year writing from Jake’s point of view. Let me tell you, that process softened my heart. I wanted to find a way to put Jake’s book to work for our veterans. So I did. I’m giving a percentage of my earnings on every copy of A Love Like Ours sold between now and May 17th to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
IFHF has centers at bases across the country that offer physical rehabilitation to military personnel who’ve been catastrophically injured. They also provide treatment for traumatic brain injuries. And at the Intrepid Spirit centers…
They’re the ones with true life intrepid spirit. They’re the ones finding hope.
Last but not least, I know some of you enjoy entering giveaways! I have two fun ones running at the moment. If you happen to have already bought A Love Like Ours or plan to buy it, I encourage you to snap a picture of yourself with the book, tag me and the bookseller where you bought it on social media before May 17th, and <bravo> you’ll be entered to win 1 of 4 $30 book store gift cards.
To be taken to the page for the giveaway at The Christian Manifesto, simply click on the image below!
Happy weekend, everyone. TGIF! -Becky