By: Todd Smith
Some people have it on their bucket list. I was not one of them. I never had a desire or a dream to someday write a book. In fact, as a pastor, I thought my weekly writing of sermons was all that I needed in my writing life. Then the perfect storm happened for me.
I had completed a preaching series on Psalm 23 that was received well by my church family. Spending eight weeks writing sermons on Psalm 23 gave me a deep passion for this majestic psalm of King David. Shortly after this sermon series, I read a book on the depression of C.H. Spurgeon. I had always known that he wrestled with days of melancholy, but I had no idea about the extent of his despair over his lifetime.
So I wrote a short blog on the issue of Christian depression, and the response was overwhelming. There were so many people walking through a valley of depression, and I felt this burden to help them in their valley. But a book was not something I had planned to write, so I was not sure how I could help these people.
This is where Lucid Books stepped into the picture. While scanning Facebook, I saw an advertisement for pastors to turn their sermons into books. What a grand idea! Even though much time and energy go into writing a sermon every week, it usually gets filed, never to be used again. The Sermon to Book concept was just the solution I needed—I could turn my Psalm 23 series into a book for those walking through a valley of depression.
After I spoke with Lucid Books about this project and idea, they were immediately supportive of the concept. This support was good news to me, as I had never worked with a publisher or turning sermons into a book. After being presented a few pathways for this project, I landed on one. The contract was signed, and a writing plan was established. They connected me to a very gifted writer and editor, and we worked on the project together. Since I had the sermon transcripts, I already had about 30,000 words and thoughts on paper. This provided almost 50% of the content that would ultimately be printed.
Over the course of the next year, we saw each chapter fall into place. A marketing plan was developed, and the cover design and website were created. The project was taking shape each week, heading toward a December 2017 release. Lucid Books took care of all the legal and administrative responsibilities to publish the book—this freedom allowed me to focus on the content with the editor.
The final manuscript was finished. No more wordsmithing and rereading. I submitted the manuscript to Lucid Books, where it went through a rigorous proofing process to make sure every edit was made and every quote documented correctly. In late November, the book went to print and was released in December. Lucid Books walked me through the launch and post-launch of a book, giving great guidance and recommendations to get the book out into the marketplace.
I can still remember the day when I received my books in those boxes. I had written and published a real book. I had become a published author. The quality was everything I wanted, as I did not wish to deliver a self-published look in any way. Lucid Books had delivered what they promised to deliver as the publisher. No bait and switch.
Today I enjoy hearing from readers all over the world about how God has used this book in their lives. This book has found them in some of the darkest valleys they have ever been. I see a whole new way I can use my sermons to have an impact and a longer shelf life. The “never going to write a book guy” has already started looking at book number two.
Based on my experience, if you have an inkling to write a book, just do it. Lucid Books is like Home Depot: you can do it, and they can help. Become a published author, so you don’t live with the \”shoulda, coulda, woulda\” plague.
Todd’s book Dark Valleys offers an honest, hard look at depression, sadness, scriptural truth, and the promise that God is your shepherd. To order a copy of the book, visit https://amzn.to/2kKpNNH.
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