Whenever I’m trying to prepare for a big event or launch a new book, the devil tries to attack my confidence. He does things to undermine what security I have been able to build up and I usually end up fighting off fear and frustration with a situation that I absolutely cannot control to any degree. For example, back in August Higher Ground Books & Media released a book called Chronicles of a Spiritual Journey by Stephen Shepherd. This is a wonderful book and I'm so happy that Stephen entrusted the publishing of his book to us. We got the book formatted and released and then, the problems began. The author ordered copies of his book from our author portal back in August and I went through the process of submitting the order to Amazon as I usually do when my authors order their copies. It all seemed like a normal transaction, but for some reason Amazon still has not been able to get these books to him. I've been on the phone at least five times a week since it became evident that they weren't going to honor their original delivery date. I've been promised that they would get the books out several different times and that a refund of some kind would be given once the order actually ships. The problem is that the books still haven’t shipped. So, we are currently at their mercy.
I feel like I have been through all of the stages of grief on this issue. Most of them today. I’ve gone through Denial, surely they’ll ship it today. Anger, why haven’t they shipped them yet? Or what is the problem with getting these books where they need to go? Bargaining, what else could I have done to fix this? Or God, can you please just fix this? Depression, I can’t believe this is happening. I’m just a wreck. And finally, Acceptance, I just have to let this happen the way it’s going to happen. I’ve done all that I can do. Yes, I’ve been through all of them. This is truly a loss for me. I feel like my hands are tied and that nothing I do is bringing about resolution. At what point do I just let it be?
I wish it were possible to just let it be, but I want Stephen's books to get to him and I'm sure he would really like to see them, too. Today, I checked the status several times and this morning, we were on target for delivery by 8 p.m. tonight. Later in the afternoon, much to my dismay, I saw that they had delayed the order yet again. Now, a minor delay is one thing. I can understand a few days here and there, especially since there was a hurricane or two and now the floods. But this is ridiculous and completely unacceptable. I have never had this kind of issue with them before and all I'm getting when I call are apologies and what appear to be insincere promises that they will in fact, ship the books.
The only explanation I can come up with for this is that the devil is hard at work trying to prevent this book from getting out there. In response to this attack, the only logical recourse I have is to send out a plea to my friends and family for prayers that this whole mess will be resolved. This whole incident has been wearing on me and it has really shaken my confidence. I work hard to maintain a reputation as an honest publisher, so when I tell someone they can expect their books by a certain date, I work very hard to meet those deadlines. I know that this may not seem like a life or death matter to anyone else out there, but incidents such as this one could cause significant issues for Higher Ground Books & Media and this publishing company is my heart. I've spent years growing the business and I know that this is what God wants me to do. This is the mission He has set for me. So, it makes sense that it would be tested time and time again. Thankfully, this particular problem doesn’t happen often. But once is more than enough. I don’t know when it will resolve, but I’m praying that it happens sooner rather than later.
With all of that said, yes, I do believe that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. By the time this is all said and done, I should be able to lift the weight of the world. Prayers are appreciated always. And if you’re so inclined, you could check out Stephen’s book while we’re waiting. You’ll probably be able to get yours within a reasonable amount of time.
Notes on the Five Stages of Grief taken from an article by Julie Axelrod. You can find more on that topic here.
47 Days of Self-Care is a blogging project that is being published between three different blogs owned by Author & Publisher, Rebecca Benston. Over these 47 days, she hopes to share thoughts and resources for better self-care. You can view related posts at Higher Ground for Life, at the Leading the Follower blog, and on the Higher Ground Books & Media blog.