Monday, April 30, 2018

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 helter-skelter over each other at all occasions...I'm amazed at my lack of words at this moment.  My husband urged me to write something on Facebook, but I could not. I decided I would come in here and post something on this blog.

On Saturday night (March 24th 2018) I received a phone call from my nephew informing me of my eldest brother, Rick Seaward's tragic death. He had been down in Brazil preaching at a Conference when he met with an accident. When the news came, I had to inform my parents their eldest son had preceded them in death. I called my eldest sister to also give her the news. My family is strewn all over the globe, so all notifications were done via Facetime or Whatsapp video or phone calls. This is the modern era- so far away and yet connected via technology. I'm thankful for the ease of communication at a time like this.

The moment the public announcement was made in Singapore many comments, memories, tributes flooded social media on all platforms. ( In Memory of Rick Seaward FB page ) In reading the comments and the well wishes, I know he was more than just my brother. He meant so much to so many people all over the world. From capitals in the world to small villages. There could be books written about him and his exploits. But for now, I will just attempt to remember him as he was to me, my big brother.

I have memories of wonderful adventures. He encouraged me to ride an adult bicycle when I was just 7 years old- by putting my legs through the middle of the open frame so that both my feet could pedal the bicycle at a slant. Just picture this wee 7 year old- legs straddled through this huge adult bicycle- peddling at full force as she races down the back streets of Singapore. Every time I would yell ahead to him, "I don't think I can keep going"-- He would yell back, "You can do it!!" It seems like that was always our conversation throughout my life-- Him encouraging me to move into realms I thought would be impossible-- me thinking and saying "I don't think I can" -- Him reassuring me that I could...and lo and behold...I not only COULD...I did!! 

He was a great organizer even when he was younger. There was the time he organized the entire neighborhood to come for his variety show. Even the adults crowded in our next door neighbor's garage to watch the show. It was standing room only. Yes, even in those days he could fill a room!

When the Sunday school did a competition to see who could bring the most children. He won hands down with streams of children following him each Sunday. He strategized and targeted the local elementary schools. He couldn't have been more than 12 years old. I would have to check to find out exactly how many children he ended up bringing to Sunday school. It seems like it was over 50, but my memory escapes me.

As far as pranks- he was the King of pranks.  He and my two sisters would play pranks and they let us younger siblings join in the fun. The pranks were well orchestrated playing on the suspicions of the "pointianak" - a female zombie who was reported to come out of banana trees at night. My eldest sister would dress in a long white gown and she already had the long hair. Late at night, we hid behind the banana trees. When a motorcyclist,  or bicyclist raced down the dark road my sister would emerge from the banana grove. Invariably the person in question would scream and rush off in panic. Sometimes even dropping their mode of transport to run away. All of us would laugh with glee. I believe Rick came up with all the pranks. There were so many more.

He wasn't always playful, he knew how to be serious and caring when the need arose. When I was in the States for University, he visited me on one of his trips from Singapore and there was a Father-Daughter banquet at the school. He told me that he was going to go with me since my dad was all the way in Singapore. I was very grateful. Shortly after that, my studies seemed too overwhelming. I was attempting to finish a four year course in 2 and a half years. I told him I was planning on dropping out. He sat with me and mapped out my options. He showed me the pros and cons of my decision. Rick then said, "It's not my decision, but I would strongly advise you to not give up."  I was forever grateful for his wise advice, which I did listen to.

The majority of my life we have not lived on the same continent. I was 6 years younger than him. He left home for University at 14 years old - I was only 8. By the time he returned to Singapore, I was away at school in Penang and then on to the States for University. Somehow, even though we lived so far apart, God made it possible that he helped me in some major decisions in my life. He helped keep me from making major mistakes. One time specifically, I was about to make a life-changing decision and he said to me, "Connie, you've made one huge mistake, don't compound it by making another mistake." How grateful I was that he gave me that advice!

I thank God that I have a hope that this is not the end for my brother. He has moved on and He is now rejoicing. For this, I am so thankful! Of course, with any farewell- even if it is for a short time, our hearts feel a loss. My loss here on earth is his gain.  He has won his race. He has gotten his prize. Now I know he joins those who are talked about in Hebrews 12: 1-3, "For now since so great a crowd of witnesses surround us let us run this race..." He is part of those witnesses as I continue to run this race. He is cheering me and so many others on. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

With a little help from your friends

I am very thankful for those who have been willing to come along side me in this new venture of publishing. Some are people who don't know the ropes themselves, but they are happy to be a support. Others I have sought out, are seasoned Publishers. What a delight that although they didn't know me before, they have taken the time to give me much needed guidance.

One such person is Suzanne Hartman who is a co-founder of castle gate press.  She took the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and to offer advice. Suzanne recapped a bit of her experience in starting a publishing company and it helped me to see that I am not alone in many of the things I have experienced thus far. 

On another note- the book is finally on Amazon. Go to Amazon and look for Run Your Race by Crystal Krachunis and you will now be able to order it from there. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Coming up for air

Is it really January? No, its not just January, it is the end of January. Where did November and December go? They were some kind of a blur. I vaguely remember book launches, multiple visits to the post office, family dinners, celebrations, etc etc. 

My sister came to visit me from the Himalayan region. I hadn't seen her in a few years. The visit was unexpected and it landed just about the time I was doing the book launch! Can we say, "Master Juggler of Time"?   

The book launch was amazing!  May I give a shout out to Mia Baerg - this is a young lady who is going to shake the world. There are some people you meet and you just know they are going to make a slighter bigger mark on this world than someone else. Mia is just that type of person. She agreed to help with the sales at the book launch and she helped to keep things running smoothly when we were converged upon by the masses.  

My husband stepped in to help with the sales as well. I thought everything was very organized. We had a line for people paying with checks, cash and credit/debit cards. How much more organized can you get than that? Well, no matter how prepared you are and how organized you are, there will always be the person who wants to stand in the wrong line. We were busy learning as we went.

Faith and Victory Church did a magnificent job putting the whole launch together. Balloons bobbed around, black table clothes gave an elegant look to the evening. Crystal Krachunis, the author of Run Your Race, made a wonderful speech prior to the books being sold. All in all, it was a fabulous evening. 

In our bright eyed and bushy tailed mindset, we saw every single book flying off the sales table. We saw ourselves driving home with empty boxes and immediately putting in a new order for books to be printed. The reality of the evening was many books were sold. We still had to bring home boxes which contained many more books. At the end of the day, the evening was a success. 

The books have continued to be sold online at the website. The original surge of books sales has slowed down to a dribble. I finally broke down and registered the book on Amazon- (do you remember my battle cry indicating we weren't going to go down that route?) Ah, yes, even the mighty have fallen. Well, apparently it is not as easy as just saying, "Hey I want to sell my book on Amazon"-- they made me fill out forms and send in my driver's license and business license. And then I expected a "Okay you are all set"-- no, I got a message that informed me I would probably hear back from them by the 27th-- that is today- so I'm keeping my eyes open. 

I know Amazon will not be the lifesaver for keeping sales up. This is where marketing comes in. I'm picking other people's brains. I'm writing to other publishers, business owners and start ups asking them how they do it. What tools do they use. My personal banker- you remember her, right?Anita Trujillo.  She suggested a great idea- she said I should approach some college students to see if they might want to hop on board as interns to do social media marketing. This would benefit me as the publisher and benefit them as they beef up their resumes for the future. 

 I would like to see another book published this year- 2018- but unless I can get this one completely off the ground and into orbit, I will have to wait a bit longer for the next project to be launched. If you have any suggestions which might help me get that dribble back up to the roaring river of sales we previously were enjoying, please feel free to send them my way!  Any and all comments are welcome.

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.

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...