Stories from the Roller Coaster Update
The last week-and-a-half has been a whirlwind of activity around my forthcoming book of faith stories. I haven’t blogged in over a week, but I have been super busy working on the book. Here’s a Stories from the Roller Coaster update with 18 days remaining before my projected publishing date.
First, the original goals of what has been two projects at once:
- My first book, Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), took about eight months to write and self-publish. Someone asked me afterward about the hardest parts of publishing the book. I responded that I had to learn all the different aspects of formatting for various versions and that, having learned those, I felt like I could write my second book in half the time.
- I began to publish a series of blog posts to encourage writers who have a meaningful story to tell to tell it. Most people would argue that they are too busy to write a book, but I don’t believe that. I began to research ways for busy people to “find” time to write.
- As I published blog posts on finding time to write in the midst of a busy life, it occurred to me that my life was busy with family and a new business. It occurred to me that I was getting prepared to start on a second book in the midst of that hectic life. And it occurred to me that I had provided my own formula to guide the way.
- My book is called Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life). In October of last year, I began the resignation process from my role of small groups pastor at my church to move toward a career as a writer and speaker. I had not yet made a dime as a writer and speaker, but I knew this was the step God wanted me to take. Like my first book, Stories from the Roller Coaster is a collection of stories that come together to tell one bigger story. This is the story of how the Lord had been preparing me for many years to take a bold step of faith into uncharted territory.
- I set a goal of November 1 to have my book ready for publication. I stuck to my own formula, writing for 15 minutes a day, five days a week and for two hours once a week. Part of the plan was also a two-day writing retreat, from which I recently returned. I have journaled my progress along the way and will offer my experience to others who would benefit from my busy writer’s formula.
Stories from the Roller Coaster Update: What’s Been Completed
Last Sunday before church, I completed the Stories from the Roller Coaster manuscript.
- On Sunday night I moved into a retirement home for my two-day writing retreat. In sometimes grueling two-hour increments, I read and edited the original manuscript. I was afraid the stories would be all over the place, but they were fairly cohesive and required less work than I had imagined. By Tuesday morning at 8:41, after 14 hours and 15 minutes of work, the first edit was complete. Several chapters, the introduction, and the conclusion got a second edit later in the day. I was mentally exhausted by Tuesday afternoon, so I changed gears and worked some on the cover and other aspects of the book.
- A friend graciously printed several copies of the manuscript for me, and I mailed them to my volunteer editors on Friday.
- I completed work with a graphic designer on the cover for the book cover. That’s the design you saw at the top of this post. I hope you like it.
- In trying to edit a couple of paragraphs that really needed expanding rather than cut, I had a great idea. The idea was one to which my friend Scott Hanberry had introduced me. So…I am excited to announce that Scott has agreed to expound on “me, too moments” in the forward to Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life).
Stories from the Roller Coaster Update: What’s Left To Do
While I’m waiting for the edited manuscripts to make their way back to me, I will be working on the front matter of the book, formatting it for ebook and paperback, and continuing to make my own edits.
- I will be building pages for the book on my web page, on Amazon, and on Goodreads.
- In order for me to be able to continue to write books that will hopefully inspire, encourage, and challenge other people to engage in values storying (passing values from one generation to the next through the stories we tell…and re-tell), I need to actually sell a few books. I will be preparing to enter the market with both the paperback and ebook simultaneously as soon into November as possible. I will set a more firm launch date withing the next couple of weeks and letting you know how to pre-order the book even before the official launch.
- I will be adding some speaking engagements around the book’s launch. If you would like me to speak to your group, get in touch through my speaking page and let’s start a conversation.
- Finally, I am in the beginning stages of my crowdfunding campaign to pay for the book’s initial printing. I am using Go Fund Me this time, and I’m offering some cool rewards, ones that will bless others through my book. Though I still have a couple of additions to make to the page, I will go ahead and link you to my crowdfunding page. (For those of you who helped fund my first book, notice that the total that I am attempting to raise for this book is significantly less this time around. The road to self-sustenance has certainly been a humbling one for me. You can put a dollar amount on your support for my works, but I can tell you that the value is greatly multiplied every time someone’s life is impacted by the message of values storying.) Thank you in advance for all who will come alongside me in this latest project.
This has been a Stories from the Roller Coaster update. 18 days to go. Thanks for reading.
For the next generation,
Al[bluebox]Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.
Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales) and is currently compiling his faith stories into his second major work, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), due out around the first of November. He is writing that book completely outside of the typical work week in order to develop a blueprint for busy people with a valuable story to tell to be able to tell their stories. Subscribe to his email list to stay up to date on his progress.[/bluebox]