So, this afternoon, I dropped the file off at the publishers! If all goes as planned, we will have a finished book Tuesday the 13th of September. Many of you have emailed me at firstname.lastname@example.org , asking to be notified of when they are available. I am tentatively planning an open house/book signing for that weekend, but I will let you know for sure. I also need to get things set up on Amazon for those of you who are out of town.
I am really excited about this. My buddy, Bert Compton, and I were up till 1:30 this morning, finishing the final design elements. It looks awesome, but the story is even more fun. Bert asked me last night how it felt to have three books with my name on it in 18 months. It's a strange feeling. I am tired, but overall, the feeling is one of relief and humility. My name is on the books, but I really don't feel like I own them. I feel like I have been given the responsibility to be a steward of this story, but the best, most meaningful and amazing parts of the book were a complete and total gift that I can only thank God for the opportunity to share something so meaningful with all of you.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing the books with your friends and family. Thanks for writing reviews on Amazon. I just read two of the most recent reviews on Amazon and I'll admit, I cried. To hear people say that they feel the love of God as they read the books has been amazing. It was because of that love that I wrote, and it because of the writing and the experience of putting these books together that I have come to understand the love that God has for all His children. Again, I am humbled and touched by how the books are reaching you and your hearts.
I have been working on writing my query letter to begin looking for an agent. This is a difficult letter to write. A query letter, as I understand it, should be no more than one page long. How do you wrap three books together in a short, one page synopsis? How do you talk about the books' successes and responses? How do you convince a busy, overworked agent to take a chance on you. I am convinced that if we can just get these books into the hands of the right person, we can spread the good news of Niederbipp around the country, maybe even to exotic places like...Canada! For some reason books cost more up there! :)
This has been a successful summer with pottery sales, which is a really good thing, because this final book is going to cost nearly 20K. Book two will need to be reprinted in the next month or so, and book one will need a reprint before Christmas. I broke even at 11,000 books, which is nice, because now I don't have to dip deeper into savings to bankroll the next run of books. Self-publishing is tough, but I am hoping with the track record we've established, a big publishing house will be interested in taking national.
I got a big surprise last Thursday when I opened my mailbox and received a postcard for an opening at the Gallery at Union Station in Ogden. There on the front of the postcard was a picture of one of my teapots, my name, and the announcement that I would be part of the show that opens Friday, September 3. I vaguely remember agreeing to do this show back in January, but I never heard anything more and figured they had made other arrangements. I guess they didn't. So, with the teapots on the postcard, I knew people would be expecting to see teapots, so I whipped up a bunch as quick as I could in two days. I loaded my small electric kiln on Saturday night and candled the pots overnight to dry them out. Then Sunday night, I started the kiln, hoping I could glaze the pots the next day and get the glaze firing going. This usually takes two weeks minimum to turn these around, but I had a deadline. I went out on Monday morning to check on the temperature in the kiln, and the kiln's power light was off. I tried the breaker. Nothing. Then I smelled it--the distinct odor of burnt electrical stuff. Long story short, the male part of the 220 plug had fried and sealed itself to the wall and the female part of the plug. The kiln had not fired. The teapots were still greenware and couldn't be glazed. After freaking out, I got to work and within a few hours, I had the plugs repaired and replaced and could start the firing.
So, the glaze firing got started way later than I planned--today at 1pm. It is now 11:30 and I am just about ready to turn the kiln off. I'll have to use gloves to unload the kiln on Thursday morning in order to get the pots to Ogden in time. A potter's life is never dull. I am very grateful the melted plug didn't lead to a fire in the studio. I feel very fortunate and blessed. So, there will be teapots on Friday. Come one, Come all. I think the hours are from 6-9 at the Union Station in Ogden. If you need a cheap date, stop by. Food and drink are served and the company will be better if you come. Lynnette and I will be there with two other artists--my neighbor, Dave Malone and a great landscape artist whose name has escaped me. If you miss Friday, the show will be up for a few weeks. I will also have signed books available there. Life is good. Never a dull moment. Sometimes it's really good to have ADD.
Send me an email if you want to be notified of activities associated with Becoming Isaac, and if you feel so inclined, I'd love for you to fill out a review on Amazon. Cheers, and thanks for keeping me excited about all of this stuff. Maybe I'll see you in Ogden on Friday. Ben