The Sacrifice Support Group Goes Paperback

Photo of paperback book cover of The Sacrifice Support Group:Lenten Drama and Discussion by Linda Bonney Olin

12/2/2013: Please note that some publication information in this article is obsolete. See the post dated December 1, 2013, for current titles, contents, and links. – Linda

Home at last! After a six-week sojourn in a house without high-speed Internet service, I finally can post the latest news.

Today The Sacrifice Support Group: Lenten Drama and Discussion made its début in an 8”x10” paperback edition. This large format makes reproducing pages easy and economical. A church or small group can buy a single book and give photocopies of the dramatic comedy script to the cast and photocopies of the handouts to the discussion participants. A bargain, right?

A month after Easter may seem like an odd time to launch a Lent-themed book, but I wanted to experience print-on-demand (POD) publishing firsthand before teaching a couple of related workshops at Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July. I had published the Kindle edition of The Sacrifice Support Group in February, so that material was a handy choice for my first POD venture.

I’m a do-it-yourself kind of gal, so I designed the book cover and interior pages myself and uploaded the files to CreateSpace, Amazon’s POD division. The only up-front expenses were ten dollars for an ISBN (a book’s unique identifying number) registered in my own name as publisher and about seven dollars to have a proof copy of the finished book mailed to me.

Of course, the do-it-yourself method costs time, if not money. I had to adapt the ebook cover to the print edition’s dimensions and add a back cover displaying the requisite back cover stuff. CreateSpace furnished a Microsoft Word template for the interior layout, which needed a lot of customization for this project. Luckily, I found online resources that explained display and text fonts, page numbers, running heads, and other print book elements that I hadn’t had to contend with when formatting ebooks. The most helpful site was Joel Friedlander’s, a mother lode of book design instruction and all sorts of advice for indie authors.

This afternoon I clicked the final button. Voilà! The Sacrifice Support Group instantly went on sale in the CreateSpace online store. Individual books will be printed when they are purchased—in other words, printed on demand. Within a few days and other online book retailers should list it, too.

In spite of the time spent and the steep learning curve, I had fun building a POD paperback. I hope that the finished product reflects my desire to place helpful content into a polished, functional, affordable book.


Try a Sacrifice Support Group for Lent

Photo of prohibited ice cream coneJust when it hits you how miserably you’ve failed on your New Year’s resolutions, along comes Ash Wednesday, kicking off another round of self-denial.

That’s the object of “giving it up for Lent,” right? Growing holier through suffering. A little bit, of course, not too much. Maybe promise to knock off the sweets until Easter.

That prospect doesn’t exactly invigorate your spirit? How about a new approach to the old custom of Lenten sacrifice? Maybe put a little more GIVE in “giving it up”?

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Faith and Freedom ~ Veterans Day

Photo of Corporal Clarence Bonney in uniform

Corporal Clarence Bonney at Camp Crowder, Missouri, before deployment to Burma

My father, Clarence Bonney, served his country for four years during World War II, much of it at a jungle airfield in Burma. As the man in charge of maintaining the field’s electric generators, he worked under dangerous circumstances to support airplanes “flying the hump” to deliver supplies to our troops in China.
Today I want to thank Dad and all the other veterans of our armed forces, who sacrificed their time, their health, and in some cases their lives, that others might live in freedom.

Faith and Freedom

As a Lay Speaker/Servant in the United Methodist Church, I had the opportunity to lead Sunday worship services this morning at my home church and our sister church a few miles away. Preparing for my Veterans Day message, I was struck by the parallel between the service men and women who put their lives on the line so the rest of us can live in freedom, and Jesus Christ, who gave up his own life so that we might live eternally in freedom from sin. Workers in Christian missionary service, as well as those in the military service, can be called into harm’s way, even to death.

To make that point more personal, in place of the traditional Gospel reading and sermon I chose to portray the Apostle John speaking as a traveling preacher in the year 44 A.D., eleven years after the crucifixion of Jesus. In this dramatic monologue, John reflects on the recent execution of his brother James, the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred, and on what James’s death meant to their family’s faith.

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