This is a fitting title for this blog because since I last updated you, my memoir has gained a "Part 4." Yep, that's right. I thought I was done. Remember how in Part 3 I told you I finished writing, cried and then sent a book proposal out into the world?
Well, I sent the proposal to a good friend of mine, Curt Pesman, who also happens to be a memoirist and colorectal cancer survivor, as well as a writing coach, editor and many other things. He called me and said exactly what I didn't want to hear,
"I think you need to write more, your story's not done. Tell your readers what else happens in your story, I know there's more."
You see, I had written so vulnerably up until finishing high school and planned to use an "Afterward" and my blog to share what else happened over the years. Wrong.
Curt challenged me, or should I say coached me, and I wrestled with his advice for several months. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write out more, or if that would change the purpose of sharing my story. But after a few months, know what I realized?
He was right.
So, I kept on writing and discovered I had more to say and share. I ended up with a manuscript that's now around 65,000 words and a book that doesn't just tell the story about surviving colon cancer at age 17, but additional stories about how I went on to get married, adopt a baby, wrestle for my faith, model for The Colon Club and work alongside Fight CRC. It's the full-circle story of what's happened to help me heal, write and find the self-acceptance I've been looking for all along. I'm so pumped.
How do I get this book into my hands?
So, get this.
While I was finishing up the final chapters of this book last week, I took a "brain break" on Facebook and noticed an upcoming webinar on publishing. It was with a publisher I've been following for a few months ever since my reader Melissa left this comment on my blog:
I love your blog. My daughter Maggie and I stumbled upon you after she was diagnosed at age 16 with Stage IV colorectal cancer (rectal, for her). We’re Christians of deep faith and feel a connection with you because of it. Maggie lived almost 4-1/2 years after her diagnosis, dying on July 31, 2018. I continue to follow you, and I’m cheering for the publication of your memoir. ... I’m providing a link to one publishing house that is newer, smaller than the mainstream boys but might be of interest. I hope and pray you hear from someone soon! Thanks for your writing.
Guys and gals, the goosebumps that popped up all over my arms are near permanent. Wow and holy cow.
I immediately started following the publishing house she recommended on social media to get a feel for them and see if I'd be a good fit. I liked what I initially saw. Their webinar gave me even more insight into who they were. I'd been researching my publishing options, and decided hybrid publishing felt like it fit where I currently am and where I'm going.
A few days after the webinar, as I wrapped up writing the newest chapters in Part 4, I felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit to take a step. With my manuscript finished (again), it was time to make an inquiry. I sent them a message along with documents to show my writing. They responded within 30 minutes, the next day I had a call, and after a week of back-and-forth discussions, I'm excited to tell you: I've signed an agreement and will soon be publishing this book with Redemption Press!
Well friends, this book I've been teasing you with for years is now officially going to happen! There's still a tremendous about of editing and designing, and probably more writing!, to come, but the plan is officially in motion and this dream of publishing a book will soon be a reality.
I can hardly believe it!
If you've been tracking with this process from part 1, part 2, part 3 and now part 4, buckle up my friends because it feels like it's just begun. And more than anything, thank you.
Your readership and encouragement has been instrumental in getting this book out so far!
How you can help!
If you'd like to be a part of this process with me, I'm already rallying the troops. Part of why I chose a hybrid publisher is because I love doing marketing/publicity and also because I have you, my blog readers, who have been asking how to help get this out!
So, here's what you can do today:
- Follow & share my social media pages: on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
- If you don't yet, subscribe to my Monday emails so you're one of the first to get updates about book news
- If you want to be on my launch team and help your community and followers know about this book, leave a comment on this blog post to let me know
- If you also have a marketing mind, connections to the book or media world, or ideas about how we should launch this book and you want to help create a publicity plan, shoot me a message and let me know! I'm thinking about hosting an upcoming Virtual Chat!
- Have an influencer (or your are an influencer) who'd be willing to provide an endorsement? Please let me know!
You all rock, thank you again for walking through this with me! It's going to be a fun path ahead!
Danielle blogs about cancer survivorship, communications and faith. Subscribe to the weekly Monday Morning Survival Guide!
Happy dance and tears of joy here! I am so proud of you for pressing through, wrestling and winning over the questions and discouragement, and keeping hope alive for your memoir to be published! You are an amazing woman, Danielle Ripley Burgess. My sister would have been so proud of you. I would be happy and honored to help you get the word out on facebook. Have you thought about Pinterest?
I can’t wait for you to read this story and walk down memory lane with me and see how deeply your sister still lives on with me. Thank you my friend, and great idea on Pinterest! I’d love to hear what ideas come to mind on how to use that platform!!
I hope you and your publisher can get your book out sooner rather than later. I can’t wait. Will it be available on Amazon or do you know yet? You are an amazing person. May GOD keep you always near.???
Thank you! 🙂 We will get this out as quickly as possible. You’re one of my biggest champions and cannot wait for you to read this. It will be available on Amazon as well as several other places! I’ll keep you posted.
This is sooooo awesome! So proud of you for pushing through and never losing sight of your vision for telling your story. You have experienced a “God Wink” with this connection. Always remember to slow down long enough to see God Winking at you and leading you down the right path of this journey. Love you!!! Kim
Such good wisdom, love you and thank you!!