Friday, May 1, 2015

Sometimes Publishing Does Move at the Speed of Light—The Story Behind While My Soldier Serves

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The story behind While My Soldier Serves.
As many of you know, I spend a lot of time on this blog encouraging writers to NOT think of themselves as the exception to the rule. I have also been very up front about the fact that in general, publishing moves at the speed of a sleepy snail. These facts can be very discouraging for writers. So today, I’d like to share an encouraging story of a time when publishing moved—not at a snail’s pace—but at a pace more approaching the speed of light.

The Story Behind While My Soldier Serves
This book was born out of two books originally contracted with Thomas Nelson back in the spring of 2013. They subsequently cancelled publication of those books in January of 2014.

Fast forward to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2014, when I signed with a new agent David Van Diest. He and I spent the fall, hashing out ideas I had for books to pitch. I mentioned the cancelled books and he suggested I combine them into a single volume and we pitch that book idea.

The process of pulling together the proposal took us until November and it was the week before Thanksgiving when he was finally able to send the proposal to a handful of publishers. To be honest, I protested the timing of the submission. I knew only too well that publishers don’t normally do a lot of work between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But David knew what he was doing.

Less than 3 days after the proposals were sent
out I was signing a contract with Worthy Inspired.
Less than three days after he sent the proposals, we had our first offer from a publisher for the book. By December 1, 2014, I had signed the contract with my dream publisher, Worthy Inspired for While My Soldier Serves.

And they announced their plans to fast-track the book. Their goal was to have this book in stores by mid-May, 2015. The official release day is now slated for May 12. They have met their goal and actually surpassed it.

I didn’t even know such a thing was possible in six short months.

Not only was it possible, Worthy performed this publishing miracle with style and grace. Every aspect of the journey from manuscript to book was handled with amazing professionalism. They even managed to include me in every part of the journey, from cover design to layout.

And as many of you witnessed on social media, this book of my heart arrived at my house this past Monday! It’s currently available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In addition, there are also brick and mortar stores where it’s already on the shelves.

Beyond that (as if that weren’t already enough) I learned last week that the book has sold out, just through advanced sales and retail orders, so it’s gone back for a second printing.

I never expected to be the exception to the rule. Truly I feel like the publishing version of Cinderella.

So why share this process when so often we’re not the exception to the rule?
I want to make sure that none of us ever forget that there are exceptions to the rules. God can step in at any time and make even publishing march to His pace. It’s so easy to be pessimistic in this business that I think we need to remember that dreams really do come true.

Help me celebrate my book launch!
Help Me Celebrate
To celebrate the great things God has done and is going to do, I’d like to include you in my celebration. I don’t do a lot of give-aways here on the blog, but today I’m going all out.

I will be giving away two signed copies of While My Soldier Serves and two $10 Amazon gift cards. All you have to do is leave a comment in the section below.
NOTE: I’ll close the entries on Sunday night, (May 3) at midnight, and announce the winners on Monday, May 4.

If you’d like to do more to help me celebrate, here are some suggestions to help me spread the word about this book:

1. Post a review on Amazon. To be accepted, the review only needs to be 25 words long and the more reviews a book garners, the more likely Amazon is to promote it. So it would be a HUGE help. Here’s a link to the Review Page for While My Soldier Serves.

2. Share this post and/or promote my book on social media. Truthfully, these first few weeks are key in building a following for this book. Prayer for our military is vitally important and I would love to be part of a building a chorus of prayers rising to Heaven on behalf of these brave men and women and the families who love them.

3. Sign up for my newsletter. I have a great following on social media, but haven’t spent as much time growing my email list, so I could use some help there. (The link to sign up is in the sidebar at the top of this page.)

4. Visit me at my local book signing. If you're in the Greenville, SC area, I'd love for you to visit me at my book signing on Saturday, May 23 1 - 3 pm at LifeWay Christian bookstore on Haywood Road. 

But none of the things listed above is mandatory to be entered in the drawing for the book or the gift cards. I love the community we have here on The Write Conversation, and I’m excited to be able to offer you all the opportunity to win something.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Help former military mom @EdieMelson celebrate WHILE MY SOLDIER SERVES (Click to Tweet)


  1. Hi Edie -

    Congratulations! I've seen one or two other authors on the fast track, but it is rare. Your book is timely for this point in our history.

    God bless,
    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

  2. P.S. I've tweeted and shared your post on Google+.

  3. Congratulations, Edie. I rejoice with you. Our Lord is a Mighty God in all things!

  4. Congratulations That is so wonderful I am going to share this on twitter

  5. Congratulations, Edie. God's timing is always perfect!

    1. Marjorie, Cherrilynn, and Joan - Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement! Blessings, E

  6. It was exciting to watch your fast-track journey unfold! Couldn't have happened to a better book or a better friend! I love you and am so proud of you!

    1. Vonda, you were with me every step of the way and I KNOW I couldn't have made it without you! Hugs, E

  7. Edie,

    Congratulations! Doing the happy dance with you and for you! :-) Love when we can celebrate with others in authentic ways. Sharing on Twitter and Google+ as well.

  8. Edie, you know how happy Candice and I are for you. Not only is Worthy an amazing publisher, but David Van Diest is an awesome agent. I hope someday to share a similar story.

  9. I thought of you on Monday when my son announced he was going to enlist. For years he's said he would never join the military, so it was a surprise.
    My peace comes from knowing the hours I've prayed for him and that I want him, where God wants him.
    I'm thankful for people like you, who are there for people like me, as we wrap our heads (and hearts) around sending our child into a war torn world.

  10. I've tweeted your super words of encouragement. I've pinned your blog as blogs for writers, blogs for encouragement and books worth a second glance. Hope this helps. were not an overnight success. those years of blood, sweat and tears paid off. You have a wonderful personality and a stellar reputations. That all helps in the process. Congratulations. And from a retired Army Officer let me say "thank you."

  11. Edie,


    Thank you so much for this inspiring story. It just goes to show that something new can come into the world.

    Best wishes on all the fun promotion stuff you're diving into now!


  12. Congratulations, Edie. I tweeted. Wishing you all the best.

  13. Edie, it has been so exciting to share this journey with you. You are a great mentor and are so deserving of this fast forward process. Can't wait to get a signed copy! Congratulations!

  14. Congratulations, Edie! I'm so happy for your long-overdue success that you've worked so hard for. How exciting it is to hear about your journey, and how encouraging to the rest of us "dreamers."

  15. Congratulations on the book and I love the cover. I have taken a sneak peek and it is an amazing collection of prayers for those with loved ones in the military. I'm glad you decided to write another military themed book because our support for soldiers is so important.

  16. Congratulations, Edie! It is always wonderful to see a success story. Sometimes God sends us little surprises, as we know it is all about His timing rather than our own. I am happy to share info about While My Soldier Sleeps on FB. P. S. Thank you so much for all of the valuable information you share on your blog. Blessings!

  17. Congratulations. Glad you have this story to tell.

  18. Congratulations, Edie! And thanks again for all your helpful posts!

  19. Congratulations, Edie! Thanks for sharing your story! Very encouraging!