Monday, August 15, 2016

The Unexpected Miracle

As I'm sure all of you know by now, I've been working hard on the launch of my newest book, He's Still Working Miracles:  Daring To Ask God for the Impossible.  What you may not know is why this particular launch was such a big deal to me.  After all, I already have 15 published books on Amazon, so what's one more, right?

First off, this book has been in the works for years.  I wrote it a few years back, but God didn't give me peace about self-publishing it.  So, instead, I sent it out to traditional publishers and waited and waited and waited.  One by one, they rejected the book or just never responded at all, despite my follow-up emails.  I was growing despondent, but still, the Lord wouldn't give me peace about self-publishing.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to join a particular writing class that would teach me how to gain more readers, make more money and ultimately, get my message into the hands of more people. I've seen courses like this before, but there was something different about this one, and I felt strongly pulled toward it.  The problem was that it was very expensive, and no matter how much I wanted it, I simply couldn't afford it.

Out of the blue, I received a VERY generous donation that was enough to pay for the course and then some.  Unfortunately, the time for enrollment of the class had passed.  I had missed it by one day.  But then, I received an email saying that there had been some technical difficulties with the signup form on the last day of enrollment, and several people tried to sign up but couldn't.  To make it fair, the company had corrected the technical issues and extended the registration one more day. I prayed about it, felt the Lord urging me forward, and enrolled in the class.

As I prayed about which book the Lord would have me to work on throughout this course, I finally felt like I had the green light to self-publish this new book.  I can't tell you how excited I was!  As I went through the course, step by step, I followed each direction exactly.  I reworked the material, the title, the description, and even my author bio.  I had an awesome cover created.  The more I worked and learned, the more excited I became.  The Lord opened door after door, and I felt I was finally going to get my big break.  I was certain this was the book that was finally going to have people taking me seriously as an author.  In other words, I had a lot of hopes and dreams riding on this book launch.

And then everything fell apart!  Due to technical issues, Amazon couldn't get the book cover (the awesome one that I had spent money on and was really excited about) to show up on my book page on their site.  This is one of the absolute worst things that could happen to a book because people do judge a book by its cover.  No cover; no purchase.  Because of this glitch, only 5 of the 30+ promotions I set up (which took days) went through because the "listing was incomplete."  In other words, when they gathered information from Amazon and saw that there was no book cover, they decided it was not in their best interest to feature my book.  I don't blame them!  My 3-day launch came and went, and still Amazon couldn't correct the problem.  And despite the fact that I was giving the book away for free during those three days, I still had fewer than 500 downloads.  (I know that may sound like a lot, but a typical launch day promotion averages at least that many downloads per day. You do the math.)

Obviously, the entire ordeal left me feeling stressed, overwhelmed and honestly confused.  I felt I was in the Lord's will.  I was sure I had the green light throughout the whole process.  And not only that, but from my perspective, the entire affair made God look bad, and I told Him so.  "Don't you see how bad this makes you look, God?  The idea behind this book is that you still do the impossible, but you can't even get my book cover to show up.  What does that say about You?  How are people going to take me -- or you, for that matter -- seriously when a simple concept like a book cover seems beyond your grasp.  I don't get it, Lord.  The way I see it, this reflects worse on You than it does on me."

Please understand that I was not trying to be disrespectful.  I was speaking the truth from my broken heart.  This was no different than the speech Moses gave to God when He wanted to destroy the people and start over again.  "Don't do it, God.  It will make you look bad."

But God allowed the entire launch to go by and still didn't correct the problem.  Some miracle, huh?  Actually, it was, and that's what I wanted to get to this morning.  I know this post has been a little long, but bear with me.  God did work a miracle through this trial.  I just had to open my eyes to see it because it wasn't the miracle I was looking for.

For a book with no book cover to get nearly 500 downloads is miraculous.  People don't typically buy what they can't see.  So that, in itself, is a miracle.  Not only that, but my coverless book reached #1 in one category on Kindle free books and #3 in another category.  That is simply unheard of!  The book ranked #738 in all of the Kindle free store (just for a point of reference, anything under #1,000 here is considered a HUGE success).  Now, in the paid store, my book is ranking #5 and #9 in two categories on Kindle New Releases. (That's just 4 books down from Joel Osteen's new book.) Do you see what I'm getting at?  God didn't give me the miracle I wanted, and it's possible that the overall results of the launch could have been better had my book cover been visible and all of my promotions gone through as scheduled.  But, He did prove Himself by making the launch a success despite the MAJOR setback.  To do well on a book launch when everything goes as planned is nice, but it's also expected.  On the other hand, to do well on a book launch when everything falls apart, that's God's doing.  That's simply the only way it can be explained.

Perhaps, you are also waiting for a miracle, and it seems like your pleas to God are falling on deaf ears.  Don't despair, my friend.  God has a miracle for you too though it may not be the one you're expecting.  But when it does happen, you'll have no choice but to examine the situation, smile, and say, "Yep, that was God!"

By the way, now that the free promotion is over, the book cover is showing up on Amazon.  Seriously?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. - Isaiah 55:8-11

1 comment:

poetrycottage said...

Congratulations Dana. What a wonderful testimony. All praise and glory to God.