Well, today I held in my hands my very own copy of What in the World Are You Doing with Cancer?!!! I've been waiting to do (and say) that for a good part of the past three years! The print quality came out great--no missing pages or cover printed upside down or anything! So, I gave my publisher the go-ahead to send on my initial shipment of books and it should arrive next week!
Some of you may have seen that my book is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com right now, and a couple of my friends said their orders should arrive tomorrow. Today I asked my sales rep at my publisher how that was possible if I hadn't finished signing off on the print quality yet since I just got my own copy today. He said that each of those companies uses different printers, so my publisher WestBow has me okay the print quality as a courtesy that other companies don't. So hopefully the copies people bought from Amazon and B&N turn out okay, but if not, that's a problem for the individual printers those companies use.
Unfortunately that means that other people will probably get copies before y'all, my backers, and that's not how I envisioned this going; my plan was to send yours out first, but I didn't know the book would be a go as soon as I signed off on the final cover form a few weeks ago. Once I get your books in, I'll try and send them out ASAP, so thanks again for your patience! If you should be receiving an eBook, I don't know yet when I'll have the link for your copies because that falls under the marketing department (yeah...?!?) and I'm still waiting to hear back from them. But, I will be persistent about those, too!
Thanks again--I'm so excited and also grateful for everyone who's helped make this happen! It's here!!!!! I'll update again when I get your books in and can give you a more specific shipping date and ETA. Blessings!
Wow. I never imagined it would be October of 2013 when I finally knew that I'd be holding my book within a week. And yet, here we are.
I posted back in April that this had been a patience-testing journey, and since then, the fun hasn't stopped. I paid the deposit for Wheaton graduate school on the first Friday in May, and later that day, the song licensing for my book finally came through after five months of my persistent phone calls and emails. I'm not saying the two are necessarily linked, but I had been feeling like I was supposed to attend graduate school this fall but couldn't bring myself to commit and leave Hawaii again, so I do think the timing of my actually paying the online deposit and hours later receiving word that my licensing was in order was poetic. Maybe I should have been obedient with grad school sooner...
While that was a huge victory in early May, at the end of the month, my "Check-in-Coordinator" at my publisher--the girl who had been helping me through each step with my book--quit, and I received a new Check-in-Coordinator. My new girl was great, but in the transition, a couple of things got lost (like the endorsements for the front of my book that I had worked on for months), and my new girl had multiple weeks of vacation right after I was transferred to her. I feel like at every stage of this process, there have been setbacks I didn't anticipate but that have reminded me that God went before me through cancer--the very subject of my book--and through every other event as well, and He will go before me with my book as well. It's in His timing, really.
The last couple of months, I've worked on finalizing the cover, reading my book one final time but in reverse so as to catch any stray grammar errors (I found a cringeworthy handful even after having edited it countless times!), and signing off on form after form. I think I mentioned this last year in an earlier update, but I read a marketing book that said, "Don't settle for less than excellent," and that's something I've kept in mind since, even when I've just wanted to move this book along and paying attention to the details has taken more time.
The timing has been so challenging and out of my hands, but that's not necessarily bad when I think about Whose hands it's been in. Last Wednesday, my grandmother passed away from a 5 week battle with aggressive melanoma, and her passing was so fast and difficult that the morning was challenging. Two hours later, I received an email that my book was being submitted to the printer--the fulfillment of a two-plus year process, one that I've been endlessly waiting for. My grandma was the first person to tell me I was supposed to write a book, all the way back in 2009 when I was actually fighting cancer, so the timing of that email was just so bittersweet and yet somehow in keeping with the timing of things in this process.
All of that is to give you a little bit of background as to what's been going on the past few months of radio silence. Throw in my move across the ocean from Hawaii to Dallas in July and then from Dallas to Chicago for grad school in August along with grad school itself, and the journey has not been what I expected.
BUT, I should be holding my book in my hands next week. I'll actually be in Dallas over fall break (I already had a flight planned to come home and spend time with my grandma...), and I'm hoping to have a book party.
What all of this means for you is that, barring any printer issues with my initial copies that I'll get next week (e.g. if page 1 follows page 2 or the cover prints crookedly, etc.), you should have your books by the end of the month, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks! Oh my goodness...I think when I hold my book in my hands, I'll finally believe that I am an author and that I wrote a book. Thank you ALWAYS for your patience and support. Yall have been so gracious and I am so grateful for you. I literally couldn't have gotten to this point without your help, so many blessings and thanks to you!
I'll keep you posted on more details as I see my book and work to get yours to you. In the meantime, I've included a picture of the final proof of my softcover book for you to see. Blessings!
Aloha! Well, it's April, and as you read this update, the question on most people's minds is probably: when the heck is this book of Hannah's coming out? Trust me, it's my daily question, too.
Here's where things stand: writing, editing, and endorsements are all finished and submitted. My cover design is planned and ready to put into action with the design team, BUT, we can't move on until everything dealing with the text is in. I think I mentioned that before when I was waiting on endorsements, but after I submitted the endorsements (a few of which are listed at the bottom of this post), the publisher reviewed my manuscript and said that I can't move on yet because of licensing.
Basically, whenever you quote a certain amount of song lyrics (either a percentage or more than 4 lines), you have to legally get permission to do so through a licensing company. Given that I love music and quote many songs throughout my book, that's presented a challenge. Figuring out who owns which rights to each song was a fun task—especially when a couple of the songs are owned 50% by one company and 50% by another, so I have to pay prorated fees to each and they operate completely differently—and then getting permission has been a whole new challenge in itself. One of the companies is awesome—I got licensed back in January within 24 hours of the request. The other two major publishing companies have been frustrating to work with. The past three months have seen many unreturned emails and phone messages, and while my annoyance has built, I've tried to remain kind and accommodating since, in the end, I DO need these companies to agree to let me use their song lyrics. So it's been a "Hi, could you please get on this sooner since you said it would take a few days and it's been a few months and no one's returning my calls or emails and I'm almost ready to fly to Tennessee to ask the song writer myself...and also I appreciate your help and think you're great and doing a good job" kind of balance.
At this point, I'm calling or emailing every other day because, while licensing four songs for my book is not the companies' top priority, it is mine, and I'm going to do whatever I can to help this happen. In this frustrating period of waiting, I've had to stop and remember to pray and ask the Lord to help me navigate all of the details and let everything fall into place. Funny how every time I have to stop and say, "Okay God, I am completely dependent on you because there's nothing I can do," He shows up. Often that's meant that right after that when I call the licensing company, someone actually picks up and helps me! So, my strategy is to continue (kindly) bombarding them with communication but especially to pray and seek God's timing and open doors as we're SO close and yet stalled.
I'd love your prayers for these final details to fall into place—for open doors and quick processing, for the licenses to be granted, and then for the design details to wrap up smoothly. Legally, my options are to wait for the final licenses or to pull those sections altogether, which I don't want to do because they were important to me both during my story and now. I'm sorry to be reporting on a lack of progress, but as much as it's nagging at me and frustrating me, it's been good to open my hands back up and realize that God has gone before me and made a way for this whole endeavor so far, so I have to remember to keep trusting Him as everything wraps up.
Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and support. I still believe in this and absolutely feel like I was supposed to do this, so thank you for backing me along the way! If you have questions—or if you know people in the music publishing industry and want to help me bombard them with kindness—please let me know! Blessings, Hannah
Praise for What in the World are You Doing With Cancer?
“This chronicle of one young woman’s battle with cancer offers a powerful reminder of the hope we have in Christ regardless of our external circumstances. Hannah offers encouragement, insight, and resources to help navigate the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis with poise and a passion to bring glory to His name. I trust that Hannah’s message of hope and courage will inspire you and anyone you know who is walking through a season of trials.”
-Joe White, president, Kanakuk Kamps
“Hannah McGinnis faced her mortality head on when she received a diagnosis of cancer her senior year in college. This young woman’s story of courage and faith in the face of a terrifying disease is an encouragement to any of us who are coping with inexplicable loss.”
-Peggy Wehmeyer, former correspondent, ABC News
“Hannah McGinnis is the real deal. She honestly shares her journey through cancer with the strength of an athlete and the faith of a saint. Her story is not so much about her victory over the disease as it is about her trust in Jesus that is an example to any of us who face the realities of life. Follow her story with cancer. She can lead you to a deeper trust in God that will strengthen you through whatever you face today.”
-Gene Wilkes, Ph.D., senior pastor, Legacy Church, Plano, TX and author of Jesus On Leadership and An Angel in the Flame
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