Christmas is in the rearview mirror already, and my first book, “The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”, had a very good run! I actually ran out of books at one point, because people who had bought a copy and read it, loved it so much that they came back and bought two or three more books to give as gifts! I don’t know how many people said it should be a movie, but I leave that in God’s hands because I’m not superman, I’m just a sheep. I actually had one man come to our Church to meet me and he gave me a “Jonah Joe stick”! (Joe has a walking stick on the front cover of book. This man makes sticks just as a hobby, and loved the book so much he wanted to give a stick he thought looked like the picture on the book! He really blessed me!) I had two book signings at “The Book Loft”, (a week apart), and also had return customers there!
However, my greatest joy this Christmas is not how many books were sold, because, to be sure, not being on amazon.com turned out to be a major bad decision! A decision that will be corrected next year. But this was my first published book, and thereby the test of whether I was a real writer, or not? This is a very scary line to cross for anyone who loves to write, because this is where the rubber meets the road and the truth shall be known!
Most of us amature writers, love to write about the things we have a personal passion for, and special knowledge of. When we write these things it sounds good to us, or else we would not put it out there. Our personal opinion is that we have written something that others will enjoy reading, or it is something they should read for some benefit to their life. This is what we hope, and this is what we believe, but I knew if I actually published one of my four books and put it out there for sale, and people bought it, then, depending on their reactions, I was going to find out if it was any good or not? I would have to face reality! And that was a scary thought for me, because I wanted to continue to believe I was at least an “okay” writer, and what if I found out I was not?
You can tell when people are just trying to be nice because they do not want to hurt your feelings. For one thing, they are usually trying to drop you a hint without coming right out and saying it. They want to help you, but they don’t want to hurt you, so they say the book was “interesting” or “different” or something that they hope you will catch on to the truth of. And for another thing, they do not come back buying more copies of the book. I had one man have to buy a second book so he could find out how it ended! A friend started reading his first copy and got so interested that he asked if he could buy the book off him! What a hoot!
Anyway, I apologize for making such a mess of advertizing my book on the blog site and then having no way for anyone to order it. My publisher completely carried me in creating the book because I had no upfront money. I owe him a great thanks for giving me the opportunity to find out if Jonah Joe could even succeed or not? I now have some money to work with. I will reinvest the money into the book, and because of the reactions of people, I have even started a sequel to Jonah Joe! I have 25 pages written at this time, and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of looking into my writer’s crystal ball and finding out where the next story goes? It has been full of surprises so far!
Also, I make the commitment to learn from my mistakes, and to take the money I now have, reinvest it to grow “Jonah Joe”, and hopefully be prepared to go really big this next year! I can hardly wait! Thank you, to all of you who showed an interest in the book, and if I get a website set up, or possibly an “ebook” version, I will be sure to make it known here on this site. Jonah’s story is really more than just about Christmas, it is actually about America at a crossroads. (But I must admit that Christmas is a wonderful time to read it.) It is better to have a dream and live it small, than to have no dream at all. I have done that this year. Thanks, everyone.