Free eBook – Faith in Crisis

Faith in Crisis cover

A friend asked recently if she could reprint some of the articles from my Rumours of Hope blog. She wanted to give them to members of her church congregation to encourage them. That led me to wonder if it would be worth putting a small collection of such articles together as a book which could be downloaded.

So I’ve selected thirty articles which I think might be helpful to people in the current crisis. After a lot of editing and formatting, the result is Faith in Crisis. It’s free to download as a PDF. Instructions on how to download and read it can be found here.

Update: I’ve added another free ebook, Hope in Sorrow, which covers topics such as grief, depression and death. I’ve also changed the font in the text of Faith in Crisis to make it easier to read. If you downloaded the file and are having trouble reading it, try downloading it again.

Self-publishing vs traditional publication

The experience of working with a publisher, versus self-publishing a book, is very interesting. I might even say it’s relaxing by comparison.

Word art about traditional publishing versus self-publishing

Last week I was reminded of how much work is involved in self-publishing, and how stressful it can be, when I spent a whole day re-formatting the manuscript for the paperback version of my first book, Susan.

I originally published the book on Amazon KDP in 2017. Last year I corrected a few typos and added a couple of sentences to the text. They were such minor changes that I didn’t think it necessary to order a printed copy to check it, after I’d uploaded it to Amazon. That was naive of me.

It was only when I bought a copy to give to someone else that I discovered the “corrected” version was full of unexpected and unexplained formatting errors. It was still readable, but certainly not presentable. In the end I had to strip all the formatting and start from scratch to get it right. Then I had to remember how to upload it again. Now I’m waiting for a printed copy to make sure it has stayed properly formatted this time.

Many authors have moved into self-publishing because it gives them more control over their work, and the royalties are better. I decided to self-publish Susan because I didn’t think it was the type of book that would appeal to traditional publishers. I was also curious to know what self-publishing a book involved, from woe-to-go. It was worth doing, and I don’t regret the decision.

But although self-publishing probably becomes easier the more you do it, I’ve found it has a steep learning curve. Every stage – editing, formatting, publishing, publicising – involves acquiring new skills, both technical and personal. Getting it half-right is relatively easy. Getting a professional-looking product into the hands of readers is more difficult. Writing the book was definitely the easiest part! (I suspect getting it right would be easier with fiction than a non-fiction work with references, like Susan.)

At first, working with a traditional publisher on my second book seemed a very long, slow journey. But I’ve come to appreciate having someone else to work with at each stage of the publishing process. I still have some say in the editing, formatting and art work, but I’m not responsible for the technical side of setting up and distributing the book. I feel confident that every aspect of The Edward Street Baby Farm will be well-polished when it’s finished.