Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Day 3: A Way of Escape
Happy Day of Thanks Everyone!
"For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." -Job 34: 21-22
I give thanks to God for always executing a way of escape from my enemies. When they come like a flood, God rises up and sets a standard against ALL of them and makes sure that I am hidden in his safety and security.
As you all know, I published my first book, “Thirty Days of Thanks: A Journey Towards Healing and Deliverance, several months ago. [If you didn’t know that, you should definitely buy a copy (www.thirtydayofthanks.com or Amazon or Kindle) and read it and gift a copy or several copies to folks for the holidays.] In the process of trying to get my book published, I was introduced to a “publisher” by someone I knew (Micah). Although I should have known better than to stand on Micah’s word about this “publisher,” because Micah knew her in a different capacity, I still connected with this “publisher” a few times to ask several questions about her business and the publishing process. Unfortunately, at the time, my questions about publishing were limited in scope because I had no knowledge, other than what I researched, about the publishing process. The publisher told me that she had worked with so many publishing companies and had over 25,000 distributors. Eventually, she told me about the packages that her company offered for their publishing services. It took me a while to commit to this publishing company because her packages were expensive for me; I was choosing a package that cost almost three thousand dollars. Because of my limited budget, the "publisher" agreed to adjust her lay away plan to six months for me. With my first down payment, full of excitement, I submitted my manuscript to her so that we could get to work. Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and I wish I knew then what I know now. This "publisher," was an absolute crook and much of my journey with her was a very lackluster and tumultuous experience. I think the most disappointing for me about this experience was that her company was a so called "religious" publishing company and she was a pastor. (Unfortunately, I got to see first hand why so many people stay away from folks who claim to be Christian in business dealings!) I paid her in full four months into my journey with her publishing company and it still took her more than the six months to produce my product. I had to repeatedly ask her to correct the same mistakes when she returned my galley to me. She was okay with having me view a product that she knew had errors and mistakes in it. One time she literally said to me, "I know there is an error in this, but can you look at it and let me know if you like it. I will correct it later." Why in the world would someone think it is okay to give your paying client/customer stuff that is not perfected? That made my blood boil. At one point, she was trying to get me to pay her $99 for ISBN number, which she got for free from Amazon. She was also trying to get me to pay her another $350 for book covers that I had already purchased from her. She never disclosed that I was paying her to do self publishing and that the many publishing companies with whom she worked was only one, Amazon. I found that information out the same week my book was actually supposed to be published. In my contract with her, she claimed that she would not take any of the royalties for my book. However, she set it up such that my book would be under her company's page on Amazon (not my own page), so she would be receiving my royalties and so that I would have to pay her company an extra fee per book to purchase my own books. In the package that I had purchased, she promised to give me 25 free books. Days before my book was supposed to be published, she said that she would no longer give me the 25 books because she didn't want to absorb the cost of what my colored book was. She said that she would drop publishing my book and I could go elsewhere if I wouldn't get with her new program. (She must have thought I was a complete dummy. Of course, she wasn't talking about a partial or full refund as she now planned to not publish my book.) The situation was a nightmare and it just kept getting worst! At that moment, I was trying to salvage everything. I had spent close to $3000 to complete this project and I wasn't going to have anything to show for it. I had my lawyer give me advice on how to proceed with her because I was ready to whip her behind South Bronx style. I tried my best to work with her so that we could get this book to the finish line but no matter how much I tried to work with her, I was met with a defiant, rebellious, contakerous spirit that had closed ears to what I wanted and how I wanted to proceed moving forward. (And I was a paid in full customer!) I gave her specific instructions that I wanted her to publish the black and white version of my book and that I would publish a colored charity version of my book later. Without my permission, she published and had the colored version of my book selling on Amazon. I was livid! I had resolved in my mind that she could keep the money that I had paid her, I just wanted to be done dealing with the likes of her. I told her that, at that point, all I wanted was for her to take make book off of her page on Amazon, take her company's logo off ALL my stuff and to give me all of the files associated with my manuscript. She kept playing games. And the more she played, the furious I became, until one day I said "God, I release her to your wrath!" She told me that she would give me my files in 14 days. On the fourteenth day, she had another excuse to prolong it and still hadn't expunged my book from her Amazon page. I literally had to go through Amazon's copyright infringement department and file a claim toward her so that they could make her take my book down. Amazon contacted her about the copyright infringement issue because I had the copyright to my on stuff. When she realized I wasn't playing with her, she got scared and tried to write me an email (I guess for proof to Amazon) stating that I had never paid her for her services along with other false claims and was telling me that she needed me to sign it to resolve our business dealings. I wrote her back calling her a liar and mentioned all that I paid and the other ways in which she tried to extract more money from me and told her when she corrected her fictitious email, I would sign it to resolve ALL of my dealings with her. (She must have thought I was a silly clown!) When she finally gave me my files, they were completely unusable and inaccessible, which I totally expected. That experience was a complete nightmare! As I said before, hindsight is definitely 20/20. The first of many red flags for me should have been the payment. One should never be paying a publisher to publish your book, the publisher should be paying the author to publish her book. As things got completely sour in the ordeal, I had a heart to heart with God and asked, "what in the world just happened? God, you know that I've dedicated this book to you and how much I have fasted and prayed for this project to be birthed into the earth. What is going on?" His response was, "daughter, you didn't understand it then but when she told you that she wasn't going to give you the books and that you could move on. That was me. I was providing a way of escape for you. Because the weight of my glory is on this book, I couldn't have anything defiled associated to it. I know you wanted to have a finished product and to salvage what you could but I had to make the experience so incredibly uncomfortable so that you would walk away and never look back. Her logo being on your book would be your endorsement. People who know you know your character and would run to her publishing company thinking it is something that it is not. I could not allow that." Look at how amazing and merciful God is! He was providing a way of escape for me because he knew the back story of the corruption happening in that publishing company to which I was not privy and the future repercussions it would have for me and those in my sphere of influence. God also told me in that prayer time that the publisher was no longer fighting against me, as she delayed giving me my files, but that she was now directly contending with God. He told me that every day I was to wake up and declare "This is Day _" because each day, like the Egyptians had to deal with a new plague as Pharaoh hardened his hearts, the publisher would experience her own punishment for a hardened heart. The blessing and miracle after this entire situation was that God completely redeemed the time. It took the publisher more than six months to prepare my manuscript for publishing. God, in his infinite wisdom, sent me the right information and people to help and taught me how to self publish my own book in 12 days. On June 30, 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, my book and gift to God, "Thirty Days of Thanks: A Journey Towards Healing and Deliverance" was birthed into the earth to bless the masses. Won't God do it? (As my cousin says, "won't he will!) He sure will and did. Today as we give thanks for divine ways of escape, I would like for you to bless the organization, Young Life Bronx Region--Bronx Young Lives, YL Bronx College,Bronx Capernaum-- (https://af113.younglife.support/gratitude-miracles-and-hope) monetarily or by volunteering because they give the love of Christ, hope and transformative futures to young people, people in college, people with disabilities and teenage mothers. If you'd like to learn more about Young Life, please visit their website at www.younglife.org. Love ya, Have a great day of Thanks!