Monday, March 15, 2010 Customer Reviews: Remembering Isaac: The Wise and Joyful Potter of Niederbipp Customer Reviews: Remembering Isaac: The Wise and Joyful Potter of Niederbipp
So, I was signing books at the Lehi Costco today and I had several people who stopped by to thank me for the book and ask about book three. I also invited them and now all of you to fill out a reveiw on Amazon .com. It is easy and its free and will take just a few minutes. All you have to do is click on the title of this blog entry and it will take you right there. Then all you have to do is click on the button that says, Create your own review. Then just follow the prompts. I really appreciate your help in spreading the word. Cheers, Ben

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Progress-slow and steady

Question: How to you go jogging two weeks ago and get a bruised tail bone without falling and still can't sit down without pain two weeks later? I must be getting old and fat.
I was repremanded by a couple of blog readers for letting too much out about book three. Sorry. I wont do that. I thought I might just write a bit and tell you all where I am. I am on page 106, which is not nearly as far as I hoped to be. I have had to stop my writing and concentrate on what is making me money. I will be participating in Art and Soup, a fundraiser for Community Nursing Services which takes place every year at the Sheridan Hotel in Downtown Salt Lake. That runs in two weeks from Tuesday to Thursday. That is always a big money maker for me and since I am still a potter who relies on that income to sustain me and my book writing efforts, I have felt compelled to make pots. I am hoping to give the book more attention next week and then after the show. Tonight, I am up late, firing a kiln and trying to catch up on emails. I might write a bit too, eventhough I usually dont do well if I dont have at least a couple of hours to concentrate.
I want to thank those who have written their reviews on Amazon and encourage you to share your feelings about the book with the world via a book review on either Amazon or Goodreads.

I am feeling lately like I have too many hats to wear. I would like to take the time to look for an agent, but I feel more compelled to finish Becoming Isaac before I do. Still, I think there has to be an easier way than spending so much of my time signing at Costco. I enjoy getting out and meeting folks, but I will tell you--it is not easy selling books to people who are grazing on the free samples or there to buy groceries. I have heard some of the lamest excuses, seen thousands of diverted eyes, been ignored, been chewed out, wanted to quit about fifty times, etc etc. This is different for me--I feel like I am starting over. People know me for my pottery and people drop by my studio all the time to buy stuff, but signing books is a different beast. Sometimes people treat a $12 book as a lifetime marriage. Granted, $12 is more than it used to be for most folks, but, hey, it comes with a free self-propelled movie. That's got to be worth ten bucks all by it self, right? I dont know. I'm still trying to figure people out. Last week, on a Tuesday, I signed 95 books at the Murray Costco. On Monday I went back and only sold 50. I cant figure it out, but I will tell you, signing books can be wonderful one day and the sincerest form of drudgery the next, depending on the day, my attitude and the people in the store.
Tonight I spoke to a book club on the south end of the valley--Nice group, very supportive. I enjoy these experiences--they make me stretch and reflect on the journey these books have been for me. I have been speaking to 2-3 book clubs every week since January and have a busy schedule ahead, but if you have a book group who would like to hear me talk about the story behind the story, let me know.
When I was signing on Monday, I had a nice old couple come in and buy both my books. They explained that they had just returned from Guatamala City with a tour. Someone on the tour was reading my books and telling everyone on the tour that they needed to buy them. (I'm pretty sure it was not a relative. :) ) Anyway, thanks for spreading the word. It makes the drudgery of selling books more pleasurable when I hear stories about how people are responding to the books. Thank you.
If anyone cares, I will be at the Bountiful Costco on Friday and the Orem Costco on Saturday, from noon to six. I will try to blog again soon. Cheers, Ben

Monday, March 1, 2010

Slow and steady-97 Pages in.

The last couple of weeks have been hectic. My distributor signed me up to sign books at Costco 4 days a week and then I signed myself up to speak to 3-4 book clubs a week and I've been trying to make pots to get ready for Art and Soup and I went on a two day vacation over Presidents Day to visit an old roommate and his family in Boise so I could spend some time with my kids who have been neglected. That is a really long sentence. Needless to say, I have not had the time I would like to have to spend on the book, but today marks the beginning of a new month and a new signing schedule. This week, I am signing only twice and no more than three times in the coming weeks. Hurray, I will have time to write.
Since my last blog entry, I have only written fifteen pages, but I plan to make some progress this week. I see the road opening up and I have been encouraged by many people coming up to me at book signings and others at book clubs who are connecting with Isaac in very intimate and personal ways. It seems the books are touching hearts and making people think and dream and act more selflessly. I think that's a good thing. There have been many who have emailed me or written reviews on Amazon that help me realize that I need to keep going--that people are waiting and anticipating to see what happens next in the lives of the characters they have learned to love as friends and neighbors. Thank you for your kind words. I love hearing from you.
I am writing tonight because I plan to spend the day tomorrow writing and don't want to be distracted by my guilt that I haven't updated the blog in so long. I have found that it usually takes me a good hour to be able to get into the groove of writing before magic starts happening and since I don't want to stay up late, you get a blog instead of some progress on the book--sorry.
Becoming Isaac continues to take twists and turns that I had not anticipated last month or even last week. I am constantly being surprised. Many people have asked me if I know the ending and am just filling in the stuff between. Man, I wish I knew how it was going to end, but I don't, not really. There are lots of things that need to get tied up and brought together, but I only have about 120 pages left to do it and I'm realizing I have my work cut out for me. I will tell you that Amy just ordered her wedding dress and Jake officially proposed, so those of you that wrote me worried that Jake was going to dump Amy and go for Alice can sleep and little easier tonight :)
Like I have mentioned in the previous entries, writing this third book has been a very emotional experience as so many of the the things from the previous books are making more sense to me as the truth of this book is unfolded. So many things are tied together, interconnected. I am talking more about truths than I am about personal relationships. I feel like every time I write, I am exposed to a new truth or a new understanding of an old one. This book has made me a better father and husband and made me want to concentrate more of my time and efforts on loving my family and working on building stronger friendships with those I love the most.
So things are moving, sometimes slower than I would like, but I think I am still on track to have the book finished by June or July.
Thanks for spreading the word about Isaac. I hear from people everyday who want the book because someone they love and respect told them how much they enjoyed it. Word of mouth is amazingly powerful. When I was signing up in Ogden last week, the book girl there said my books were the best selling books they have. Word of mouth has made that happen and I thank you all. I have yet to turn a profit on the books, but I am getting close to breaking even and that is encouraging. I spent 65k last year between printing, layout, editing and design. That is a lot of money--money we had been saving for years to build onto our house. My wife, Lynnette, believed in me and the book and so we jumped in with both feet, believing good things would happen. I mentioned in a previous blog and in both my books, I never wrote these books with the intention of becoming rich, but as a business owner, I never wanted to lose money. My faith has been weak at times and I have had many days and weeks of discouragement, but I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I feel like God has compelled me to write and given me the words to say once I finally agreed to move my feet. The answers have always come when I needed them and though they have often been hard to swallow, the truth has made me free and filled my life with joy. Thank you for sharing with me in that joy. If you feel so inclined, I would love for you to fill our a review on Amazon or tell a friend. Cheers, Ben