I wasn’t looking for a publisher one Tuesday morning when I received a phone call from Covenant Books. Nevertheless, I knew the call wasn’t an accident because I’d just started a fast about my devotional two days prior.
“Hi this is *Barbara with Covenant Books. I was calling to send you some information about our publishing services and wanted to make sure we had the proper contact information.”
They did. I didn’t know how she’d gotten it but I nodded, smiled and informed her that of course I’d be interested about hearing more about their publishing services.
The next week I received their invitation to submit my manuscript for review. I thought this was cool because it meant they weren’t just publishing anyone. There was a selection process. I sent off my manuscript that same morning and heard back the following week.
They wanted to publishing my book! I was so pumped. They were going to take on editing, typesetting, formatting, book cover design, distribution and promotion. Yes! Yes! Yes! I thought and then I got down to the bottom of the contract and saw the dreaded words “Cost of services.”
You mean they weren’t going to do all this for free?! I know the question seemed silly but the excitement from finding out a publishing company wanted to publish me led me to look at everything through rose colored glasses.
I emailed the agent back letting her know I’d look over the contract and inform her if I had any additional questions. I prayed, fasted and researched other publishing companies some more to make sure this was still the move that God wanted me to make. I felt it was. I told my dad I wasn’t sure where the money would come from but I knew I had to do this.
It was actually during some time home in Texas that God gave me the idea to do a Kickstarter, which is a crowdfunding platform. I had only heard/seen crowdfunding once before when a fellow alum ran a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of her album.
Upon returning from Texas, I did the necessary research, wrote out my story, uploaded a video, set our financial goal, outlined the gifts for contributions and BOOM we were ready to launch. I submitted the project for approval on Thursday, August 17 and it was approved instantly. We went live at 4:56 p.m. and I was informed that the project would end at 4:56 p.m. If we didn’t raise the full amount we wouldn’t get any of it.
In just over 24 hours we received a little under $500. “Great!” I thought. At this rate we’ll reach our goal by next week. I didn’t know we’d stay at that $500 for a while. Jump up to $650 and then stay at $650 up until 14 days before the campaign’s ending. I talked to my friends /accountability partners (shoutout to Aly, Ta and Rhia) and admitted that I was having a slight case of anxiety but was committed to trusting God and His perfect timing. I kept reminding myself of a scripture I shared with them earlier this summer “No one who waits for you will be disgraced.” Psalm 25:3a. So I kept waiting.
I pushed out email campaigns through my Black Girls with Purpose email list, sent emails to my personal network, updated my FB statuses and sent individualized FB messages, convinced the money would just come flooding in after that, it didn’t. I was approached by various marketing services about boosting my campaign and God said “don’t do it.” He kept reminding me In the midst of my efforts, that this work was going to happen not because of who I am, but because of who He is. We ended up getting to about $1200 with just one week left in the campaign.
“Okay Lord, you’re cutting it a little close.” I started to think. Then He told me to start texting people. To just share my story. I did.
Good evening [insert name]. I don’t know if you’ve seen on social but I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to help me publish my new book Walking on Water – A 21-Day Devotional on Faith. This book is really special to me because it’s one of the immediate results of trusting God to have a baby way earlier in my marriage than I was expecting. I thought I’d just do self-publishing again until a Christian publishing house approached me. It was such an exciting experience and then came the money. It’s $3500 total to publish with them which is honestly a great deal considering it covers the cost of editing, typesetting, book formatting, cover design and publicity buuuuut it’s not like I’m just sitting on $3500 at any given time, ESPECIALLY with me being on maternity leave. As I was thinking, praying and fasting on this God told me to do a kickstarter campaign.
We have 7 days left and have raised about one third of what we need but I know God’s going to come through in His perfect timing (especially because He’s the one who sent the publishing house my way). Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform meaning if we don’t raise all the money needed we don’t get anything.
If you would consider giving anything I’d really be grateful. Every level comes with different goodies! Starting with a bookmark and the book all the way up to things like a faith tee and a shoutout in the acknowledgement section.
People’s responses were so lovely.
“Brie! This is awesome! Of course I’ll/we’ll support you.” “
Brie, your transparency is refreshing in a time when it’s so easy via social to convey a ‘perfect life.’ We will contribute.”
“Hey Brie! Yes I’ll definitely support even though I may not be able to give as much as I want. Send me a reminder this weekend.”
And with that, contributions started flooding in. We went from $1200 to $2096 in a 5 day time span.
“LET’S DO THIS!” I thought. And in that final week little by little we continued to get closer to our goal of $3500. Then Friday came. We were at $2275. “Okay cool, just $1225 more to go. God’s got this. He’s under control.” I started for a moment to panic and couldn’t even finish my thought before God said “don’t act brand new, you already know what I’ve told you.”
I feel like He was intentional in making Friday a busy day for me because I wasn’t able to just stare at the kickstarter campaign. I went out, ran errands. I was actually visiting the post office when my dad called “You’re only $800 away, I just looked this morning and it was $1200, what have you been doing?” “Telling my story,” I said.
That night when I got home we were still about $800 away. I did my Facebook Live, and maybe had two people tune in. Then I logged off and spent time with Geordan and Jaden.
I talked to my cousin on the phone. Connected with a few people and was ready to call it a night but decided time would be best spent journaling and worshipping. “I’ll look at it again tomorrow.”
At about 12:07 a.m. my alarm on my phone went off. I thought I’d set it for noon the next day and right before I could dismiss it, I felt like I needed to check the Kickstarter campaign. I looked and we were only $519 away. YES JESUS! You’re doing this thing.
I continued journaling and at 12:30 got the urge to check it one more time to get clarity on something I was writing. Then I saw it, $3501.
“Wait what” I said and refreshed the page. Yep, He’d done it.
Y’all, when I tell you ugly crying commenced…I wish I could describe how I felt but you’d probably be better off watching it.
I continued to worship until like 2 in the morning. Playing Miracles by Jesus Culture and Oceans, the song that actually inspired my book title to begin with. When I’d prayed and cried for about as long as my body could handle I climbed into bed. “He’d done it,” I thought one more time before drifting to sleep.
Fast forward to the end of the campaign that evening and we’d reached $3,801. We were 108% funded. Now I’m not into numerology but in this instance something told me to look up the significance of the number 8. “The number 8 represents infinity…infinite love, infinite supply, infinite energy, infinite time…if you are seeing the number 8 it’s a divine sign that your prayers for support and abundance have been heard and are being answered.”
Abundance has been my word for this year based on Ephesians 3:20 – “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or think.”
*Cue the worship music again.* and the crying, don’t forget about the crying.
Y’all. I was not playing when I shared in emails that I want everyone to have the power to do bold and scary things. Whether or not you purchased a copy of Walking on Water: A 21-Day Devotional on Faith, I hope you were encouraged by my story.
I thank you so much for following my faith journey over the past few weeks and am excited to share and see how God moves in the lives of everyone reading.
For without faith it is impossible to please God for the one who draws near to God must believe He exists and rewards those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6
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