By: Brian Smith
“What we are trying to do is help you rip out all of the bad wiring that has permeated your thinking and begin the process of rewiring your head and heart to help align you with how God wants you to play your sport.”
This past summer, I stood in front of 150 college athletes at Athletes in Action’s Ultimate Training Camp and said some variation of the above quote.
One of my passions is helping competitive athletes leverage their sport to grow in their walk with Christ and to use the platform that sports provides to make Christ known. This passion was the motivating factor behind my first book The Assist: A Gospel-Centered Guide to Glorifying God Through Sports. But when I heard myself use phrases like “rip out the bad wiring” and “rewire your head and heart,” I asked myself, “At what point in an athlete’s life does their theology of God and sports begin to take shape?
The answer to that question led me to write a children’s book that tackles this important issue at the beginning stages of a child’s theological development—and during their introduction to youth sports. I proposed my children’s book idea to Lucid Books, and they expressed excitement about partnering together for another project. Moving forward, I am passionate about the project, the publisher, and the process.
My upcoming book, The Star in the Stands, follows the journey of a young boy who is just starting to play youth sports. One morning, Hudson has a completely new experience at the game. A star is in the stands watching his every move! While the parents and fans in the stands continue to offer their usual tips and critiques, the star’s actions align more with what Hudson truly needs during the game. The star represents God and how He would act if He were physically present at the game. The fans in the stand need no introduction. They represent all of us parents who collectively contribute to the poor wiring. Parents may have great motives for expressing themselves during the games, but that does not always mean they use the best methods.
The star helps Hudson understand that its love and acceptance cannot be earned through sports. They are freely given.
It’s a vital message for children and parents: God’s love for us is not contingent upon how we perform in sports or in life.
I love working with Lucid Books. I had no idea what I was doing when I began writing The Assist. Lucid came alongside me, listened to my vision, put talented people around me to help shape it, and communicated clearly and honestly every step of the way. When I initially signed with them, I thought I was merely getting a label to publish my book. Instead, what I got was a master’s course in writing, publishing, and marketing. They helped me make a great product, yes, but they also gave me the tools and expertise to keep the momentum going long after the presale period.
Why am I choosing to partner with Lucid Books for The Star in the Stands? Simple. I trust them. It is not a blind trust, but one that was earned through the process of publishing my first book. Lucid Books is very good at what they do. And speaking of the process . . .
I’m an activator. When I get excited about something, I do it. One of my fears about putting my manuscript in the hands of a publisher was the uncertainty of when I would hear from them. I had heard stories of authors who spent years in the publishing phase. Lucid Books set a timeline on the front end of the process, and they communicated well throughout the process. They are still answering questions and giving me insights from that first book.
With Lucid Books, it really is a partnership—and it’s one that goes beyond getting the book published. Their process connected me with experts in each field who are both efficient and effective at their roles. Each stage helped me sharpen my vision for the book, identify my target audience, and market effectively to them.
At the end of the day, I don't think my children’s book is going to change the world. But, it is my way to use the gifts God has given me to contribute to His Kingdom for the good of others. I want to do it as well as I can.
And Lucid Books continues to help me do just that.
Are you ready to get started with Lucid Books? We’re here to guide you and support you every step of the way. Learn more about our process here. Get a FREE copy of our Partnership Publishing Guide to learn more about whether partnership publishing is right for you.
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