In January of 2001, I took a class, which required me to research the steps necessary for opening up a business. Instead of simply keeping my research on paper, I went to Upper Marlboro and got a business license to publish and distribute books. Then I said to myself, "Okay, now what?"
I didn't even have a computer. So, I purchased one immediately, and I was well on my way. I was very interested in helping my daughter prepare her resume for college. Since she had written a lot of poems, I thought to publish her poems as my first book. She was a little hesitant initially, but she soon agreed. And I said to myself, "Okay, now what?"
Ten months went by, and it was now the beginning of October. I had decided in June that the publishing date would be December 7, 2001, my birthday. All the poems were typed in Corel WordPerfect, and I thought I was ready for the printer. Well, Lightning Source required the book sent on CD using PageMaker, InDesign or Quark publishing software.
I had never heard of these titles before, so I went on the Internet to research the prices. I Googled the word PageMaker first. The PageMaker software cost $500. I thought InDesign would be cheaper -- I had never paid more than $100 for software. InDesign cost $700. I thought surely Q-U-A-R-K (I didn't even know how to pronounce the word) was an off brand. Quark is the top of the line publishing software at $860. Unfortunately, it's only in times of crisis that I all too often start to call on God. When everything was going smoothly, I kept him in the back of my mind. Now I quickly thought to myself, "Okay God, now what?"
I had a decision to make -- either buy the software, or allow Lightning Source to charge me an $80 per hour fee to typeset the poems. I opted to buy the software. Since it was so expensive, I asked Abode to send the kit and caboodle to my job, a federal government agency. This way it would not sit on my doorstep until someone came home. The day Federal Express attempted to deliver the software was the very same day all incoming mail was stopped because of the anthrax scare in 2001. And, I said to myself (my string of words getting longer) "Oh dear Lord, now what am I supposed to do?"
I had to jump through some hoops, but I eventually contacted FedEx, and I received my package. I learned how to use PageMaker in two weeks. I quickly typeset the poems, created a cover and sent the finished product to Lightning Source. By this time, it's the week of Thanksgiving, and Olivia my marketing representative at Lightning Source, went on vacation. My daughter's book of poems sat on her desk for one week untouched, and I only had two weeks before the publishing date. I said to myself, "God, I know you did not bring me all of this way for nothing. Please tell me -- now what?"
When Olivia came in the office on Monday, November 26th, she expedited the printing of the books. I received the first shipment of 100 books on December 6th. My daughter had her first book signing on December 8th. Now we are into the marketing stage, and I have to remember not to just say, "Okay, now what?" but "Okay Lord, how can I be of service to you today?"