While I’m happy and proud to have gotten to this point with the project, I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of all of you. Thank you.
Although I haven’t yet received substantive interest from publishers or agents, there’s magic in momentum and I have that magic now, and I want to put a full stop on this sentence of my life and get back out on the ocean. While I was initially disappointed (and angry) about the lack of response from professionals, my emotions were tempered when I walked into a dusty used bookstore with shelves packed from floor to ceiling. As I inhaled and smelled paper—paper that had spent just a little too much time in Florida humidity—it struck me that, behind every volume, there was an author and I’m confident that that many of those authors had traversed the same valley of despair as I in the process of getting their work distributed. The sheer volume of books available retail and online is astounding. While Heeling is Healing means a lot to me, and I hope it will to you too, it’s a literal (or, should I say, “a literary”) drop in the ocean.
While that trip to the local bookstore quelled my disappointment, it also left me feeling insignificant. At that point, I did the logical thing and started feeling sorry for myself. That sorry-for-myself mood lasted for a couple weeks as I was concurrently preparing Hazel James for our transatlantic attempt. Then, serendipitously I stumbled upon an old journal entry of mine from the morning after attending a lecture by the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. In the talk, Dr. Tyson admitted that he used to feel insignificant when he looked up at the night sky. His admission caught my attention because I too felt insignificant under the celestial dome. While I’m no astrophysicist, I know enough about space, deep time, and distances measured in light years, to realize how small any of us are in the grand scheme. However, Dr. Tyson went on to share that he was working on reframing his feeling of insignificance, to a feeling of connection. When stargazing he visualizes the atomic particles in his body as what they are: the product of the Big Bang. As he said so eloquently, “We are all stardust.” In that same way I’m trying to reframe my struggling-author feelings from insignificance to connection. Connection to a vast pantheon of writers—some well known, some as of yet unknown, some who will never be known.
With that preamble, here’s the deal: the release of Heeling is Healing is all-electronic and the manuscript can be downloaded from this web page in a couple different and convenient formats. While someday I will get Heeling is Healing into a printed and bound format with appropriate artwork, that day is not today.
From the financial perspective I ask that when you download a copy of Heeling is Healing you donate a minimum of $20 to Wayside House (home page here to learn more, direct link to donation page here). For those of you who have been following our hjsailing.blog from the beginning, you’ll recognize Wayside House as both the women’s addiction treatment center where I had asked that donations in Colleen’s memory to be directed, and the organization where Rhett served as Chief Development Officer. It’s a wonderful not-for-profit organization that provides services regardless of a client’s ability to pay. In addition, Wayside House is woven into the warp and woof of Heeling is Healing.
…but wait—there’s more! For every dollar that you donate, I will personally donate a matching dollar, up to a total of $10,000 in donations. What you say? Is this shameless self-promotion by Dan to “boost sales?” Has the frugal-but-borderline-crazy-Dan that I know finally lost it and rowing his boat with only one oar in the water? Time will tell on all of this.
If you enjoy Heeling is Healing and want to pass your copy on to others, feel free to do so. Just link them back to this site and ask them to make a donation. Also, if you know people in the traditional publishing and literary agency world that may want to work with me to create the physical incarnation of Heeling is Heeling, please forward the work to them gratis and I’d be happy to talk to them.
The Download and Donation Details
First of all, I’ve tested the downloads and formats as well as possible but there’s a limit on what I can do prior to making this post public. If you find problems or have suggestions to make the book more accessible, let me know and I’ll do my best to incorporate good suggestions.
There are two download formats available (PDF and Microsoft Word) to support any of three reading methods (printed, Kindle, Apple Books):
- Physical Printing – If you want to go old school and physically print the book on 8.5×11 paper, download the PDF version below. It will take about 100 sheets of paper double-sided. The big office supply and shipping stores offer self-serve black & white printing for about five cents per printed page—that works out to about ten bucks to print. All pages are numbered so binding is optional.
- Amazon Kindle – With the industry standard Kindle reader and app, you can read Heeling is Healing from most any device. Kindle also nicely handles the resizing of text for your device’s form factor (it’s physical screen size) and adjusts line wraps accordingly. After a bit of testing myself, I’ve found that the Microsoft Word file works best on the Kindle. While Kindle can also handle PDFs, I find that the PDF file’s formatting is clunky and confusing (e.g., table of contents looks awful, no page break between chapters, etc.). Bottom line, I recommend the Microsoft Word file for Kindle reading.
If you’re used to emailing yourself files to read on your Kindle, you can stop reading now as this will be old hat. If not, read on—I’ll provide a brief overview of the process with links to Amazon’s detailed instructions.
A lot of Kindle users don’t realize that, in addition to Kindle-format downloads from Amazon, a Kindle device or app can receive and process a file emailed to it. When you get a Kindle reader or download the Kindle app to a phone or tablet, that reader/app is assigned a unique email address in the format [prefix]@kindle.com. As stated previously, this functionality is easy to miss and consequently a lot of people don’t know their Kindle reader/app’s email address. In addition, to prevent spam being sent to your Kindle, it will only accept emails from your “approved contacts.” The detailed Amazon instructions here explain how to find your Kindle email address and also how to make your day-to-day regular email address an approved contact so it can send files to your Kindle reader/app.
One important note (and why I used “singular/plural” above) is that if you have multiple Kindle readers/apps, each will have it’s own unique address. The upshot is that you’ll have to email the Heeling is Healing file to every device on which you will want to read it. The good news is that Kindle does a nice job syncing your last-page-read across devices and apps so you can pick up where you left off regardless of the device you’re using.
- Apple Books – A great option if you have an iPad and especially if you use Apple Books for other reading (a.k.a., “Books”). I’ve found that the PDF is best for Books. The PDF file is formatted for 8.5×11″ paper and I find it easily readable on my 10.5″ iPad. Reading via PDF allows you to see the chapter headers on each page which helps with intra-book navigation.
To load onto Apple Books, download the PDF version of Heeling is Healing, navigate to where you saved it and open it via the free Adobe PDF Reader software (probably already on your iPad). Once the file is opened in the PDF software, a “share” button should be in the upper right corner of the screen (a small blue square with an up arrow). Click on the share button and select Apple Books (it’s an orange icon of a book and is titled “Books”)*. After a short pause, Heeling is Healing should be uploaded to Books and the Books app should start.
* In testing this, the one wonky thing I’ve found is that the Apple Books app seems to appear in different places on different devices. If you don’t immediately see it after you click the “share” button, look in the third row from the top in the “share” window (the row that starts with AirDrop, Messages [text], and Mail [email]). Swipe to the right and you may see Books in that row. If not, click on the “More” button (an ellipsis icon) furthest to the right in that row and scroll down and you should see Books as an option.
I’m sure there are other formats and reading apps available for the tech savvy. If you’re looking for an audio book version, alas you’re out of luck at the moment. That would be a fun project when I have some land-time and don’t have a transatlantic sail looming.
Please note that the Microsoft Word file is password protected. When you see that warning box, just click the button to open the file read only.
And now for the part to really feel good about…the donation to Wayside House.
Please click here to make your minimum $20 donation. On the donation page, please select the Colleen Coate Memorial Fund to help us with dollar-for-dollar match accounting. I’ll report on our progress in future blog posts.
While the above process has a few more steps than just going to an e-commerce site, clicking a button and getting the book delivered the next day, please be patient and remember that this approach allows us to support the mission of Wayside House with absolutely zero overhead, and thus maximizes our collective assistance to women who are facing similar challenges to Colleen’s .
To understand the power of our approach, consider the fact that only 5-20% of the price of a traditionally published finds it way back to the author. Doing the math…let’s say I were to receive the midpoint of that 5-20% and Heeling is Healing sold for $20 as a traditional book. I’d get $2.60 per book and I’d have to pay income tax on that and then I could donate the meager remainder to Wayside. Instead—with our approach—when you make the $20 donation and I match it, Wayside receives $40… about 20-times what they might get from me via a traditional approach. The answer is obvious and just as obvious, is that $20 is a minimum—the more you give, the more I give, and the more Wayside wins. As an added kicker, Wayside is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit so your donation is tax deductible.
If there are two things that our crazy, mixed up, modern world could use, it’s less overhead and more honor system and—together—that’s exactly what we’re doing.
I look forward to your feedback on the book. Again, I appreciate everyone’s support in getting the project to this point—I can’t thank you enough. Fair winds and following seas!