Back in January I had the opportunity to visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was an unbelievable experience. I have spent 3 years fundraising with my radio station for the hospital, but had never seen it in person. There are no words for the effect that walking through those halls had on me. I came home at the end of that weekend, though, knowing that I personally could do more for St. Jude.
After weeks of trying to find ways to do my own fundraising . . . after a ton of shot-down ideas from my boss (because the woman on the morning show wouldn’t be willing to help with any fundraising that wasn’t her idea) I came up with an idea that I could do completely autonomous of the radio station. This would be completely mine and nobody else’s
God gave me the ability to put words together in a way that people enjoy reading. He gave me a passion to construct those words into poetry, short stories, and blog posts. He awakened that passion when I was just a teenager. I have YEARS worth of writings laying around my house in various spiral notebooks, 3-ringed binders, folders . . . everywhere. I decided that I would go through that backlog of writings, pick out some of the best, collect them into a manuscript, and put it up on Amazon.
The Kindle edition of my book went up on Amazon yesterday morning. I was so excited as I uploaded the pages. I had hopes and dreams of this book going crazy, and people wanting to download it immediately. I deluded myself into thinking I was the Stephen King of the poetry world. You see, my goal with that poetry book is to donate all of the royalties to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Yes, 100%. Financially it cost me nothing to put the book together, so every single penny that it earns can be turned around and given to St. Jude.
I giggled and skipped and squealed like a teenage fangirl when the book went like on Amazon. I almost cried the first time it got downloaded. I imagined myself making a huge donation during the radiothon that my radio station holds each fall. I imagined people flocking to Amazon to help out a place that I am such a firm believer in. I posted the link to the book all over my Facebook page and on Instagram. I wrote a blog post for our station website which included a link to the book. I pushed it hard yesterday. I watched download stats all day . . . hoping.
First 24-hour sales . . . 4 downloads . . . and one of those downloads was by me.
I want to crawl under a rock. I am so heartbroken. The only thing I keep picturing is my boss expecting a huge donation to our radiothon in the fall, and me handing him just a few dollars. Don’t get me wrong. I know I sound ungrateful for the money my book has earned so far for St. Jude. I am very thankful for the other 3 people who bought my book. I am just struggling to see this the way a co-worker put it to me this morning . . . This isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.
There is 6 months until my station holds it’s St. Jude radiothon. That gives me 6 months to promote the book. This is another lesson in faith and patience. I have a difficult time remembering that just because I am passionate about something doesn’t mean that others will be passionate about that same thing. I also have a difficult time remembering that poetry is not for all people. Just because I read and write it doesn’t me that everybody else does, too.
The name of the book is “Built On A Promise, Filled With Hope.” The title summarizes not only the hospital, but also the book itself. I promised myself that I would put this book together for St. Jude. I filled it with poetry and other writings that I pray bring hope to those that read it.
Until next time . . .