Saturday, November 25, 2017

Behind the Scenes

A book doesn't just appear out of thin air. There are a myriad of moving parts behind the publishing of a book. Each person who contributes something to the finished product is equally important. 

Let's say you have a manuscript...and you think it is quite good...fantastic, even. Aah, but you see your eyes have been looking at those words on the screen, or the paper, for weeks...even months. Just like the crumpled paper in the corner of the bedroom, which starts to look normal after some time, so are the tiny mistakes sprinkled through the pages. A forgotten word or misspelled word, due to hurried typing. A phrase which sticks out like a sore thumb. All of these 'mistakes' need attention, and who better to deal with them then an editor. 

Lisa Cerasoli of 529 books proved to be a God send. She worked seamlessly with Crystal Krachunis to produce the best book possible. Deadlines were met far in advance. Communication zipped back and forth with ease. 
Lisa Cerasoli

What is a manuscript- edited or not- without a printer? Well, basically it is a pile of papers on your desk which can never get into anyone else's hands. So this is where Gorham Printing entered the stage to 'save the day'. 

Before you can print the books, you need to figure out what your cover will look like. Glory Days Garage helped out with pre-designing the cover. They even came up with a great idea for a tote bag to use as a promotional tool. 

Okay, let's be honest. You can have a book...fully edited...nicely printed...but if you don't have any way to let others know about the book, this is a problem. It's the kind of problem which will result in boxes of books stacked up in a warehouse with nowhere to go. This is where Bart Cardea of East Carolina Creative stepped in. He produced a marvelous website for Seaward Publishing House. Bart worked tirelessly to make sure everything was ready when the book came off the presses. 

Of course, there are a lot of other 'behind the scenes' helpers. The ones who poured over designs, looked at various fonts, came up with ideas for formatting, etc etc. Yes, it is true, a book does not appear out of thin air. It takes time, effort and a whole lot of patience. One thing I know, when you hold the finished product in your hands-- it is worth it all!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Zero to Sixty

Phew....when did we go from zero to sixty...all in one breath. One moment I'm telling you how to set the company up-- and promising you I will be introducing the 'behind the scenes' elves who helped to make this possible...and the very next moment, I stop to take a deep breath...and WHAM...orders are coming in already.

I should clarify-- PRE-ORDERS- as the book has not even gotten off the press! A face book page is up and running-- people are liking- sharing- wanting to order. 
Its all very exciting and yet very scary at the same time. Thankfully, God has promised HE will never leave me nor forsake me. He didn't send me out on this new adventure all by myself. He continues to bring people along my path who have been a great help. (Yes I promise to introduce them in the next post) 
Pastor Crystal Krachunis

Crystal Krachunis has written an excellent book-- I am excited to see this book in as many hands as possible. This is not just a book to read for entertainment value, it isn't even just a 'self help' book- it is a life changing book. 

I would love to see a campaign started on Social Media with #RunYourRace tagline. Can we see how far this book will go without using the big companies such as Amazon...can we make this a grass roots sale that far surpasses the big company sales? 

The printer told me that the cover alone is a "new" approach-- doing a hashtag on the cover is not something normally done. So, I say, let's be different...why do we need to 'fit into a box"? We don't have to! So, after my deep breath...this may all be very scary...and exciting...but I would say, above all this is exactly the way it is supposed to be and I am excited to see what happens after my next deep breath!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Nuts and Bolts

So you wake up one morning and say, "Let's start a publishing company"....nope...not that easy. As with any business, you have to come up with a business plan....a budget....a goal. Of course you can have some fun choosing a name and figuring out your logo....and for like a second you can pretend that this is as difficult as anything will get. Give yourself a day or so to enjoy the sound of your company's new name. Enjoy the process of looking for a logo. After a brief period of enjoyment, jump back into the nuts and bolts of moving forward with your business....the real legal stuff....

Almost Legal

This is the tricky part. You will have to decide what type of company you want to start. Are you wanting to start a sole proprietorship? or an LLC? Or some other alphabetic combination? Once you have decided on have to register the company and make sure the name you have chosen hasn't been used before...and then you walk into a bank and you say, "Hi, I'm here to open an account."

Best personal Banker: Anita Trujillo
When you walk into the bank- you hope that you will be met with someone who is sympathetic to the fact you are new to all this. Thankfully, I met Anita Trujillo, who practically held my hand throughout the entire process. She was cheerful and gracious;  while remaining efficient and professional. 

I think Wells Fargo needs to give Anita a resounding cheer for being the best personal banker ever! Believe me, in all my years of dealing with banks and personal bankers, she really went above and beyond the call of duty.

Once the bank accounts were set up-- then you start business. At the beginning it will look like the only direction the money is flowing is out.  You are paying the editor, the website designer, the printer....but I'm getting ahead of myself....that is for future posts.

There are others far more proficient than myself in the dos and don'ts of starting a publishing company. You should check out some of their advice and tips.

See what Erica Liodice has to say on her blog post "How to Start Your Own Publishing Company"  Her post is good because she covers all the angles- from self publishing companies to starting a publishing company to publish other people's books.  Shelley Hitz gives some excellent tips from lessons she and her husband learned on the journey of starting a publishing company.  Another post which has a wealth of information- especially in regards to the legalities of setting up the business and the tax side of things is done by Dave Chesson.
Ultimate Guide on How to start a publishing Company

I wish I could say I read all these articles before I started....I didn't. I did a lot of research over the past year. I asked a lot of questions. When I stumbled on these articles (and many others) I appreciated every word of advice given. I took each tip to heart, and studied to see if it was something that would work for my publishing company.

Well, I have to go and look over the proof copy which was just sent to me by the printers. I will definitely be blogging about them in upcoming posts, because they have made this publishing process that much easier. They have sent me the proof earlier than I expected. The company did an excellent job. I look forward to returning the Design proof form and getting things rolling for this first book to fly off the presses!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The reason for the journey

I was rereading the last post- and I realized I was not totally honest. I had said that the book being published was the reason I started the publishing company. It wasn't the actual reason- but it was the catalyst which set everything in motion. Sort of the big mama bird who pushed the baby bird out of the nest and said, "Go on...don't keep can fly..."

In actual fact, last year (2016), I was teaching a series on The Tabernacle of Moses. It was called "In His Presence" a study which came at the Tabernacle study from a different angle. When we were looking at Ex.31:1-4-- it talked about how God gave the wisdom and the understanding and all the knowledge for the craftsmen to work on the various things in the Tabernacle. We zeroed in on how God has gifted each of us to do things we may not even realize we can do. So we each went home to pray and ask God what He wanted us to do--- guess what He told me?

"I want you to start a publishing company"

And my reply.... "Excuse me, I think I have a bad connection here...did you say publishing company?"

After sharing this with my family and a few close friends, I promptly put it in the back of my mind where I thought I would never have to think about it again! (let alone DO it)...within a couple months, Crystal calls me to tell me about her book. And then you know the rest of that story! I don't think I would have had the courage to step out in this endeavor had it not been that I had that clear direction more than a year ago--- but sadly it took me more than a year to get myself aligned with what God had already told me to do!

Thankfully He is a patient and merciful God. He loves us enough to prod us....push us when we need pushing...and wait for us when we need waiting. I love His faithfulness!

So now the journey has begun and it is exciting to see how God has already gone before me and set up 'divine appointments'-- and taken care of things before I even think about them!

By the end of November we will be taking presale orders for the book. The book will be out by the middle of December, just in time for Christmas. We are excited to see this powerful book get into as many people's hands as possible! The message does deliver life-- and if this is the only book I publish, it will have made it all worth it to start the Seaward Publishing House.

God really is faithful. When He asks us to do something, He gives us the grace we need to accomplish the task before us. He also surrounds us with people and resources who are invaluable in getting the job done. I will highlight more of those people and resources in the next few blog posts. Maybe there is someone out there who is thinking about starting a company or publishing a book....some of these suggestions I send your way might be of help to you at this time.

*If you are interested in having a copy of the study of the Tabernacle- email me at and I will send you a free PDF version of the study.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

We Publish Life

"Take a deep can do this...

I know you don't know what you are doing....but you can do this...."

These words continue to scroll through my thought processes over the past couple of months. I have been taking a lot of deep breaths. I can't say I'm 100 percent sure I believe the "You can do this" part just yet. We will see how this pans out.

What would possess a 56 year old woman to wake up one morning and decide she is going to start a Publishing Company? A Publishing Company which actually publishes someone else's books. A company which has taken on an investor who 'believes' in the company.

"Take a deep can do this..."

You've figured out that the 56 year old woman is me...and I'm the one who has chosen to set sail on unchartered waters. Let me introduce you to-- Seaward Publishing House...where "We Publish Life"

What did I know about publishing? I only knew the side of publishing from the author's view point. Aren't they the people who help find an editor? Aren't they the ones who told me that I have to meet deadlines. Magically one day this mystical company send me a proof copy of my book-- at which time, I swoon-- hug it to myself and hope that I'm not dreaming!

So what did I know about publishing? I am beginning to discover, I knew very little. Almost nothing, if I'm honest. Over the past 2 months I have been on a roller coaster ride of a huge learner curve. I've had to hire editors, set up bank accounts, seek out printers...all the while rechecking the balance sheets to make sure I don't go over budget. The banker who helped me set up my 'small business' account asked me, very cheerfully, "What made you choose to start a Publishing Company"

I looked at her across the desk and wanted to say, "I must have been crazy!"....but instead, I said, "Because I came across a manuscript which was just too incredible to not see published...and since no one else wanted to publish it...I decided to seek out investors and to start this company"

Of course, the explanation is not that simple. For more than a year, I had known I was supposed to do this. Even before I read the great manuscript, I knew deep inside I wanted to see a publishing company that published books with meaning. There was this growing desire to see books that would speak life into people. I wanted to publish books that talked about real life and at the same time changed people's lives. About the time I was tossing this around in my head, a brilliant woman, Pastor Crystal Krachunis, showed me a manuscript she was working on. I was blown away- it was exactly what I had been thinking about...publishing life!

Over time, she would show me bits and pieces of what she was working on and I encouraged her to send off the manuscript to publishers. She did. I sat with her and worked on sending them to more publishers. All responses were encouraging, but everyone had other projects they were working on. One company responded with ...yes we will publish - but it will be 'co-publishing' for such and such an amount. Sigh. Neither she or her husband had the funds for such an endeavor. Finally they said they were going to self publish....just 500 books for a first run....they could afford that.

"Just let them do can't do it....don't even offer..." my mind screamed at me.

I talked to several people hoping they would be willing to invest in this book. Finally I found an investor. I called up Pastor Crystal immediately and said, "Would you be willing to entrust your book to me- I would like to publish it"  And thus the adventure began!

Will you join me on this journey? The book is scheduled to come out just before Christmas. I will be blogging about this process. I will be blogging about my life. I will blog about the great editors, printers, web site designers, bankers, who have helped me get this far. I will be blogging about other books-- books that have long since been published, books that produce life.

Be on the look out for more....and remind me to breathe every once in awhile.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

....And then there were more...

We started with two. It didn't take long for us to add three more to the mix, making us ongfamily5 for quite a long time. Before we knew what happened, we had added 3 more to the mix. In 2010, the first little person arrived on the scene, bringing our grand total to 9 human beings.

By the end of 2016, we all crammed together into a delightful getaway house in Gig Harbor, Washington. I looked at the little human beings who now outnumbered the adults. It hit me that we are in the process of creating our own tribe. We have reached a grand total of 17 human beings- 8 adults and 9 children.

Ong Family Reunion 2016*
Picture credit: Melissa Letham, Photographer
Our time filled up with fun gingerbread house building, games, just sitting around talking while holding one or another little one. Often times we were running after a 'getaway' baby, or trying to calm down two or more kids upset about something or another. It didn't matter what we did, as long as we were doing it together. One family had flown in from North Carolina...another family jumped into their vehicle at the end of our time to drive across 27 States in around 3 weeks. Still another family flew off to Hawaii shortly after our get together. We treasured the 2 days we were all in the same place at the same time. We are also thankful we were able to get a lovely family picture taken. (thanks to....Melissa Letham, Photographer, Tacoma, WA)

*Faces blocked out due to privacy issues with foster care.

Where do I begin?

(written on March 28th 2018) For someone with so many words...words that just tumble out even when they are not wanted...words that jump h...