More Than One Way to Pitch a Book

I had just arrived at the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL, and placed my book, The Cheesehead Devotional, on the consignment table. A man named Bob Hostetler picked up a copy.  I said, “That’s my book”, excited that already someone was buying it, or so I thought.

He replied, “I’m going to pitch it tonight.”  I was pleased, noting he held several books in his arms.  We chatted a few minutes and then I hurried off to my first workshop of the conference.  When I arrived for the evening meeting, I learned that Bob Hostetler was the featured speaker for the conference.  He’s co-authored several books with Josh McDowell and written many other well-known books and articles.

His message was to not allow discouragement to keep us from writing what God has called us to write.  He showed humorously how comparing ourselves to other writers is not helpful.  He began picking up books of workshop speakers and making comments on how his books just didn’t compare.  His comments brought lots of laughter.  Then he picked up my book and said, “Now Judy here has written The Cheesehead Devotional . . . That is just wrong!!!” and threw (pitched) it across the room!  It was absolutely hilarious — everyone roared, including me.  I was so surprised, but I so understand that non-Packer fans have their issues. I found out later that Bob is a Bengals fan — explains it.

The next day, I told him, “Bob, I’m going to use your name — that you pitched my book.  You told me you’d pitch it and you did.”

He replied, “Judy, you can tell them I was compelled.”

I added, “And it was a big hit.”

The humor surrounding my book continued throughout the week.  The director of the conference listed the titles of Bob’s books one evening before he came up to speak.  When she got to the book, “Quit Going to Church”, she paused, then said, “Now that’s just wrong!” and threw it on the floor.  Again, it brought the house down.

At the editor’s panel, editors were asked to describe the type of books they were looking for.   Eddie Jones, senior editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, who published my book, explained that they published devotionals that addressed a particular niche or specific wound. He went on to mention my book saying that it addressed the particular niche of the Green Bay Packers.  Another editor leaned over to his microphone and added, “Or a specific wound”. Again, a ton of laughter.  I don’t remember his favorite team, but obviously not the Packers. A small football war beginning??

To cap off a great conference with wonderful teaching, great networking, new friends, and so much laughter, I received the  Best New Writer 2013 award at the Saturday night banquet.  As I went up to receive the award, very surprised, one of the organizers of the conference shouted, “Now that’s just right!” I am very honored to receive the award, and thank God for all His goodness to each of us.

So if you want to pitch a book, realize there may be many wonderful results. And if you want to read the book, check it out on Amazon.


Those Rascally Critters!!

I had to brake for a turkey crossing the road the other day.  It was so sad.  I rather enjoy braking for deer as they are so beautiful to behold.  Yes, it’s so dangerous to hit a deer, but when it’s a turkey, I actually consider hitting it.  Turkeys came on our property once and totally demolished a bird feeder.  One flew through a neighbor’s window and almost destroyed his kitchen before destroying itself.  He came home to find the mess.

I have flower gardens, so I don’t want turkeys.  I also don’t want deer eating my flowers, and that’s one reason we have a dog.  She does a great job shooing them to the neighbors.  I apologize to them once in a while for that.  We had one dog, though, that was so mild-mannered that the deer would come up and eat his food. Wish we had a picture of it.

The creature at the top of my list of those not allowed is the red squirrel.  The grey squirrels are abundant, and my husband spends a great deal of time designing methods to keep them off the bird feeders.  Quite comical.  We even had those nocturnal flying squirrels once.  A red squirrel, though, is destructive.  They have gotten into our shed and shredded things as well as chewing up a seat in the boat.  Plus, they chatter.

I decided to follow Jesus’ example when He spoke to the fig tree and told it that no one would eat its fruit again. The next day it was dried up from its roots.  So, I started talking to the red squirrels.  I told them that they were to no longer live on my property, that it was not their home, that they needed to go somewhere else and have a happy life, but they were not to remain on my property.  I didn’t yell, I just spoke very firmly.  It took about five weeks, but they left.  The next year it only took two or three weeks with those that came.

I think we went a couple years with no sign of red squirrels.  Then two years ago, one came and he was sassy.  He would chatter at me when I was outside like he was telling me to get lost.  I calmly told him to leave as it was my property, not his.  I did throw a couple rocks at him — he was really annoying.

About the same time a raccoon visited.  Now I kind of like raccoons.  My brother and a friend found two baby raccoons next to their mother who had been hit by a car.  Each took one home.  My brother named ours Yunior.  Yunior would walk down the sidewalk between my brother’s feet.  Mom would not let Yunior in the house but Grandma would.  Her house was old and had pipes outside the walls.  At the joints of the pipes there were drips so she kept a pan there to catch the water.  We would give Yunior crackers and he would wash them in the pans.  We kept him in a dog house with a cage outside its door.  My cousin and I would lay on the ground with our heads against the cage and let Yunior play with our hair.

My husband, however, was not quite so fond of raccoons and borrowed a live trap from a friend.  He put some bread in it and placed it behind our little pond about 30 feet from our door.  The next morning he woke me to tell me we got the raccoon.  I ran downstairs and opened the door to see it.  As it lifted his head, I was saying, “Oh aren’t you cute.  Wait, you are not cute.  Lee, it’s not a raccoon, it’s an opossum.”  We laughed and went out to see it.  By then it was trying to play dead, so we joked that we could no longer see it.  Lee loaded the cage into the car, drove to the other side of the peninsula and released it.  We were hoping that someone over there wasn’t catching critters and bringing them over by us and releasing them.

That night, Lee put some meat in the live trap and the next morning the young raccoon was in there.  Now, he was cute.  I love those little bandit faces and inquisitive eyes.  This time, I went with Lee to drop the little guy on  the other side of the peninsula and hoped he would have a happy life.

So, mission accomplished.  Lee set the trap out where it had been and we thought no more about it until the next morning.  Our dog was going nuts out by the trap.  I went out and who would be there, but little Mr. Chattering Red Squirrel.  I tried to contain myself.  I said, “Hello, Mr. Red Squirrel.  I think we had a talk about this, that you needed to leave, so I’m glad you have accommodated us so nicely.  I hope that you have a long and happy life where we take you.  You could have left yourself, but, as I told you, this is not your home anymore.  I do apologize for throwing the rocks at you.  That was not my best moment.  But, having said that, it is time to say goodbye.”  Yes, Lee took him across the peninsula.  We wondered if we should have banded them all to see if they came back, but we’ve had no opossums, raccoons, and thankfully, no red squirrels or turkeys since then.

Spring has just sprung and I am looking forward to sitting out on my patio by our little pond and viewing only birds and grey squirrels.  I may have to exercise my faith and authority again, but in the meantime I will be content to see raccoons, opossum, deer, turkeys, and red squirrels at places other than my property.  I will continue to talk to the animals.  They listen.  And, if need be, I will tell them where they cannot be.

Our voice of authority is a real voice.  It is, of course, for more important things in our life than just pesky animals, but animals provide great practice and some funny stories.  Read Mark 11 and learn how important what you say is.