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Help me get my Christmas Book to the Marketplace!

Hey everyone...

Thank you all so much for enduring the seemingly endless pleas for financing of this project. I feel embarrassed having to even do this, but this is what Kickstarter was designed for and I REALLY want to get this book out there.

I'm going to get pathetic for a moment and share something with you about this book that I haven't brought up. Underneath the unique aspect of Christmas and the heartwarming stories...there is a very personal need to see this book succeed. Let me explain...

I wrote this book while I was homeless. If you can even begin to imagine what it is like to be a parent and be homeless and to have your daughter at Christmas with that as a backdrop. Morgan and I had always had Advent calenders that we kept...one at my house and one at her moms. The Christmas I wrote these stories (2009) was the first year that she no longer believed in Santa...and no longer cared to do the Advent calender. It was hard for me. My daughter was growing up and doing it with me living in a car. I felt like the biggest loser there was. I wrote these stories out of some sliver of hope that I could regain the magic of the Advent calender just one more time...more for me than for Morgan.

So I tried to imagine myself in that cave on the night that Jesus was born. How would I react to Him? What would I say? How would he be any different from my daughter on the night she was born? What would Joseph and Mary be like? What came about was 24 different scenes. 24 different people who find themselves in that same nativity scene on the night Jesus entered this world as a baby. How did they react to Him? What effect did the baby King of Kings have on this variety of souls that I placed in that cave on that scandalous night?

The end result was an amazing collection of stories. There are 24 in all...one for each day of the Advent. Each one touching and moving and emotional and different from the others.

Publishing this book would be a small measure of redemption for the heartbreaking hardship I endured as a homeless father. This book was born out of the worst of that very bad period of time. I want it out there as a testament to what God can do during the stormiest times of our lives. I have lost much...more than I might ever regain. Some things I know I never will regain. The moments with Morgan...the quiet and comfort of my home. Time raced forward while I was trapped in that desert of homelessness, and while God used it to bring about an entirely new life for me...still a hole remains where certain memories should be.

Please help me get this book to press. Please help me find out if what I believe is God-given talent is as good as I believe it is. Please help me redeem that 4 year block of my life and squeeze something very very good out of it.

Thanks everyone who has already helped and those who will. This will be the final update until our deadline.

This book has been pretty highly regarded for the two Christmases I self-published it. Now it is time to get it into the hands of the bigger market. So I need your help. The video explains more about the project and you can read excerpts at www.ragamuffinchristmas.blogspot.com

Thanks everyone...

Craig

FAQ

  • That's a very logical question. Here's the deal...in the old days, a publisher signed an author to a book deal and this included covering all the cost of production. There is a lot that goes into the finished product. Editing is a huge cost. The editors are mostly freelance and charge by the word. (Editing on my book is $500) Then there is layout and design. You might not notice it but a book is really a carefully crafted little piece of art. A badly designed book is unattractive and hard to read. Everything from paper color to where pages break is carefully mapped out. Then there is formatting. Books are made in standard sizes and each size has it's own characteristics. You have to know ho to place every word, chapter heading, page number and indentation in exactly the right spot or the finished product looks "off". With the advent of "e-books" there is a whole new level of formatting to be done. Each reader (Kindle, Nook, iPad etc) has it's own distinct format. So there is no universal type. This is something I tried once and it failed miserably. Most important...there is distribution. Many people think an author just walks into Barnes and Noble with a case of books and asks for a shelf to put them on. It doesn't work like that at all. Bookstores buy from a distributor. They never buy from the author. Occassionally a local author can find his book on a "Local author table" at the B and N where he lives but it won't be in their system and it won't be available throughout the chain. LUPress has distribution through Ingraham Books...the largest book distributor in the world. In addition to all of this...authors used to get a nice advance against royalties. That NEVER happens anymore unless you are in the top 20% of all authors. Finally...LU Press has it's own in-house marketing and publicity department. They will make sure I am out there, speaking wherever they can book me, making people aware about the book. These services I listed all cost money and most publishers nowadays require the author to cover these costs out of pocket. So that is why I am doing this campaign. The more I raise above the $5000, the more promotional materials and marketing they will do for me.

    So I hope this explains the need for this campaign. And I hope you'll help me get the story of a very special Christmas out into the hands of a lot of people this year.

    Thanks

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    For anyone wishing to be so generous...all of the items mentioned in $250 donations PLUS...a book signing at your church or local independent bookstore or other reasonable venue. Plus a signed copy of "out takes" (a chapter written for the book but not used in the final edition") Transportation to and from the venue plus accommodations must be provided from Nashville TN.

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