What Happens When a Book Hits the Shelves?

Mar 23, 2017 by

12417768_10153211908102134_5502292641085442703_nMy friend Susy Flory took this picture exactly one year ago today, during a breakfast, “Happy Release Day” party at Mount Hermon. I’d never worn a tiara before!

As my friend Marci put it, the conference had felt like an extended baby shower. I couldn’t think of a better place to be on Release Day than where I grew up as a writer, with friends who’d prayed for and loved me through the life-altering years that became the material for Suddenly Single Mom.

How appropriate that I signed my first copies at the conference Autograph Party.

Then I went home and waited to see what God would do with the book that I still had a hard time believing flowed from my own life.

I had a surpise book signing with Bible study friends and the most fun launch party ever!

IMG_2019Thank you, WINGS!

12993403_10209213214591868_2641706192634944832_nThank you, Cheryl and everyone who came!

12985364_10209218811051776_2623524864149274487_nAnd the award for Cutest Center Piece goes to…Cheryl Thompson! Yay!

Nathan kept asking me when I would be on GMA. That didn’t happen, but I consider what did happen just as exciting, more even.

Every woman in the Divorce Care class at Community Presbyterian got a copy, thanks to my Bible study group and another generous person at the church. “Your book is making a difference,” meant more to me than being on a television show! (Not that that wouldn’t have been fun.)

People asked me to sign copies for friends and family members who were going through divorces.

One of dad’s cousins had an opportunity to give a copy to an overwhelmed single mom, who walked into the church office where she works.

One of my aunts kept copies on hand so she could give them to women who needed a reminder that, even though their lives were crumbling, God saw them.

A friend sent me a message saying she’d read it after a difficult loss, and even though she isn’t a single moms, the book encouraged and ministered to her.

I got to take copies to the church family that supported me through my first year-and-a-half as a single mom, and tell them that their example was showing others how to support a woman through abandonment, divorce, and rebuilding a life.

img_0026-3I love these ladies so much!

I found out that many didn’t consider this a book just for single moms, but one for anyone experiencing loss or unwanted change.

A friend wrote to me in tears, and said my story was moving her to be more sensitive toward single mothers and those going through divorces.

I had the incredible privilege of having women I’d never met, who’d read the book, trust me with their stories.

Other wonderful things happened too, like spotting it in bookstores, stumbling upon nice reviews, and seeing it on a list of recommended books for single moms. I got to do some fun interviews, speak at a local church and at the one I used to attend, participate in a book fair, and send signed copies as surprise gifts to friends of friends. A couple of weeks ago, a blogger friend tagged me in her weekly podcast, where Suddenly Single Mom had come up in the discussion. I almost cried when I listened to it.

“Your book helped me so much” still makes my day, especially when the message comes ten minutes after I’ve decided that nobody cares about it anymore and I’m a fraud who can’t write. (Writers tend to be dramatic.)  I continue to pray that God will allow women to receive or find it at their exact moment of need.

“Your book helped me so much” still makes my day... Click To Tweet

This one-year anniversary doubles as a reminder that we really have no idea what will happen once a book hits the shelves. We can’t predict which books will take off and which ones will end up on the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble (please, Lord, no) any more than we can predict what our lives will look like six months from now. Compared to some bestsellers, Suddenly Single Mom has led a rather quiet life—kind of like mine—more about relationships than big splashes. But it is pointing people to the Source of hope, so who can’t be thrilled about that, and so grateful?

Happy Birthday to the book I never expect to write but am so thankful I did!

IMG_2109Happy Birthday to the book I never expect to write but am so thankful I did! Click To Tweet

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  1. Congratulations on helping so many people!

    You’ll never know what a difference in the world the people who read your book will make in the future because of reading it. Maybe their children and children’s children will change other people’s lives because of how your book changed the mothers who read it.

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      Thank you for this reminder, Jan! I would love for this to be the case.

  2. Can it possibly have been a whole year?? I’m in that brigade who see your book as applicable in so many situations–you are open and funny, even when dealing with the hard stuff. Love you and your book!

  3. Marilyn Hilton

    It’s a beautiful book filled with wisdom and heart. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      Thank you, Marilyn! If I’d thought of it earlier I would have had balloons made!

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