Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PUYB Chats with Davin Whitehurst, author of 'I Have Faith'

Davin Whitehurst lives in the beautiful high desert of Southern Arizona with his wife and son. He is releasing his first book "I have Faith" in May of 2016 but has so many more that are in the making. The motivation behind the books are deeply rooted from in his own past. He is a living testimony of Proverbs 22:6. Growing up in Southwest Kansas and in a Christian household, he was trained up in the way he should go. By the time he became a teenager, Davin turned away from God and left church. Fast forward into his late twenties and God brought him back with a powerful calling. He and his family have been faithfully serving at Seed of Abraham Christian Center International for over seven years now. Proof that when we teach our children the way they should go. When they get older, they know where to turn and will not depart from God. Davin wants each book written to be a resource that parents have to help train their children in the way they should go. He writes stories in a simple way that will be fun and practical for every child. He wants children to get excited about faith and the things of God.

His latest release is the children’s book, I Have Faith.

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About the Book:

Title: I Have Faith
Author: Davin Whitehurst
Publisher: Childlike Faith Publishing
Pages: 26
Genre:  Children

Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.

This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

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Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

In the beginning I began to seek out publishers and then looked at vanity presses also. I decided to rule them out. I decided to self publish and start my own publishing company instead.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I did some of the formatting of the ebook. I hired another company out of London to do the iBook version. I brought a kid in from church to my personal studio and we recorded the voice over for the ebook.

The process took a lot of trial and error. I got advice from a few people and for children’s books it is not like with a regular chapter book. After about a month of not getting the right product I figured out how to do the regular formatting myself and hired that other company. I know how to get it done now. My advice for authors of picture books, get a professional that specializes in children’s books. Lots of them out there say they can but cannot.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I looked at similar books and the price and then my distribution chain played a big role also in how much I had to charge to make a profit. I wanted to keep the price as low as I possibly could. Keeping the book affordable to parents played a big part in my decision.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I chose May 31st because it was the beginning of summer break for most children. I just thought that would be a good time to release the book. I did research and found sometimes children’s books are best in the later parts of the year, and then some say summer. So I went with summer.

How did you choose your cover?

The book cover comes from Romans 10:17 which says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ”. We get to hear those words through the bible. Danny sitting at his desk and reading his bible is a foreshadowing of how we can get faith, and how Danny learned about faith.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I revised as I went. I started off with the storyboard and then presented it to the illustrator. As that process started I then finalized the manuscript. In finalizing the manuscript we added the first two pages to the story and then pieced it all together. I am not sure how traditional that process is to most writers but it worked well for me.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?  

I have used bookmarks as of now. It is a great resource to have and pass out to people whether a book is purchased or not.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

I started researching book trailers and decided to make one. I have a lot of video editing experience and I created one myself. I have a couple others that I have not released yet but am looking forward to finishing those up and releasing those over time.

Here is the link: https://youtu.be/szx7gkd3-AE

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I am new in the publishing world but believe in the idea that giving free books through giveaways or contests is a way of marketing. I have not fully been able to analyze what has and has not worked for me just yet but we will see.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

1.      Make sure you have a plan for how your book is going to be sold. Are you going retail, online only or both? Do you have connections to make that happen? Be realistic in your goals.
2.      Budget, you need a budget.
3.      Marketing is key. If no one knows who you are or about your book, who will buy it?

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

1.      Always keep up with your marketing plan.
2.      Create engaging content through blogs and social media
3.      Keep moving forward.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I primarily did social media and some book signings. I was not going to be releasing the book until late in the summer but since I decided to self publish, everything was done and decided to release it early. This left me little time for my pre-marketing and pushed all my marketing to after the release, which has still worked very well. 

I setup a Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram account.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

This is a book that has an eternal principle. I plan on continuing the marketing plans and promotion of the book through different channels for as long as I can. Part of my plan is to create the app and other app games which are going to be interactive tools to help children learn about faith. I am hoping that this book will continue to sale year after year.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

I wrote “I Have Faith” with the concept that parents and children will come together to learn and develop in faith as a family. Faith is such a vital element in our day to day lives as a believer. The bible says that, God, through faith created the worlds. To me that is big. By faith God created the world. That means that by faith we create the world we live in. By faith we can create a world that is good or a world that is bad. This book teaches children where they can develop their faith and then through a parent’s guidance set them on a foundation of faith that is unshakable. Through faith our children can live out their lives to the fullest.

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