Even after having written 6 books, it still feels weird to call myself an author. If someone asks me what I do, I usually say, “I sell prayer journals… (and a little quieter) and write books.”
I’m not sure why I still struggle so much with owning the title, but I do.
So it should be no surprise how I feel about signing books. 😳
I associate a signature with famous people like T-Swift (do people still call her that?). Someone who literally develops deformed writing as a result of so many autographs. Something that will sell on eBay for a pretty penny.
Why would I have any business signing a book I wrote? It felt a bit like I was trying to make myself bigger than I am. And if my elevator pitch is any indicator of how I react to being an author, it should be clear that this wasn’t my goal.
But one experience changed all that for me.
While we were vacationing in Serenbe, a small community in Georgia, for a month, we went to the town’s cute little bookshop, Hills & Hamlets. We don’t have many curated bookstores where I live so this was like stepping into my happy place. The covers were stunning. Topics unique and fun. I’m pretty sure the girls had their fill after just a few minutes and Tyler took them outside to play. But me? I strolled every aisle until I found a sticker saying the book was signed by the author.
I had to see it! This sweet little bookshop that was inviting me into a cozy secluded reading spot was also offering me an experience to feel connected to the author.
I honestly didn’t expect to buy it…I just wanted to see who this author was but it turns out, it was right up my alley. I hadn’t touched a fiction book in years, but here I was on a vacation with the sole purpose to slow us down (more on that in my book Led, Not Driven).
The book was called Save the Plums and was the journey of Ruth Reichl as editor of Gourmet magazine. Tyler had turned me into a foodie by this point so a book about food sounded exciting and I love the magazine world! I actually graduated in journalism, interned at a magazine in Philly in college, and really thought I was destined for NYC to work for a magazine.
Spoiler alert: That didn’t happen. A summer away from Louisiana and my family, writing about jeans, products, and parties wasn’t as satisfying as I hoped it would be. A job laying out the local newspaper wasn’t either, but it got the ball rolling to where I am today, so praise God for having a bigger plan than mine. Regardless, I was still fascinated by magazine design and editorials.
So I bought that copy and it’s still one of my favorite books to get lost in. Admittedly still not non-fiction but close enough for this gal. 😜
It led me on a nice little Reichl journey as I read several of her previous books.
After that, I understood why people sign their books. It’s a way to make a personal connection with the reader. It’s not because we think our signatures are special but almost like we’re getting to hand it directly to you. Is that weird?
I wish I could hand out books directly to readers and give mini pep talks about how I’m excited for you and what I hope you get out of the book.
- I want you to know this message is for YOU. You aren’t excluded because of past failures with the topic or because of current life challenges.
- I hope you feel seen and supported in your struggles.
- I hope you know that as you read, you are prayed for.
As I’ve thought about this more, I’ve thought about how I want to sign each book. Today, I thought I’d share what I’m starting to sign and why!
The Finishing School (2015)
My first book! I self-published this book after feeling for years that I was never destined to write a book, because it felt like too long of a process. I preferred writing newspaper columns, songs, and blog posts. But an idea struck me: I am such an avid reader, but often a lot of what I was reading about wasn’t sticking. What did it mean to actually use what I was learning in the real world? The title was inspired by the idea that, although we can feel like some of what we learned in school can’t be used in the real world, finishing school wasn’t for a passing grade, it was strictly to be practiced in everyday life. So I wrote 20+ chapters on topics I was reading about, like self-control, rest, contentment, Bible study, etc, and shared part of my journey, what the Bible said, and practical advice to make change happen. This book is due for a revision but if you don’t mind some typos and a few outdated references, I think it’s still really helpful!
HOW I’M SIGNING
When I first published this book, I would sign it “Let the refining begin!” A sweet reminder that at salvation, we were transformed but the Lord is continually working out our salvation and refining us as we know Him more and more! It’s also a sweet little nod to the refining that happens in finishing school.
Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday (2019)
First off, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday turned 5 on Sunday!! It’s been fun to see how this book has impacted so many moms and the narrative of motherhood! Motherhood is only getting more and more memefied. Just look at the reels!! 😬
My heart with this book was to remind us that, as believers who’ve been saved by grace, we are no longer relegated to the world’s sad definition of motherhood. We have a hope and new perspective and we don’t need to escape motherhood to find joy, we need to escape the world’s definition of it and embrace what God says instead. In the book, we cover 15 lies the world tells us and identify God’s truth instead. This is not a parenting book! I have two little girls so I’m not an expert on “what works”. It’s about how to experience motherhood differently.
HOW I’M SIGNING
When the book came out, I signed every copy with Soli Deo Gloria. I was adamant that this book, my first traditionally published and exposed to a much bigger audience, wouldn’t be about me but would point others to the Lord. That is still my heart for all my books but it was super important that I reminded myself too. Also? I really hope that as we become the mom friend who has a joyful and authentic perspective on motherhood our friends won’t think we’re supermom but that we’re simply relying on the Lord for every bit of strength we find.
Fresh Start for Moms (2019)
This 31-day devotional on motherhood released the same day as Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday! I really wanted to have an actionable book that, after reading all the important content in Grumpy Mom, answered the question, “How do I make this stick?”. To do that, the short daily devotional has some morning and evening questions. Many repeat throughout the 31 days because we’re trying to change our negative tendencies and to do that, we need positive repetition.
HOW I’M SIGNING
I haven’t had a specific inscription for this book yet, but if I could share one thing with a weary momma, it’s Romans 12:2, which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The Lord knew how we could be pulled down by lies and the world. He knew we’d need to renew our minds in truth. You aren’t beyond hope!
Springboard Prayers (2020)
Springboard Prayers is a book of 125 prayers that I wrote to be a jumping-off point to your prayer time, hence Springboard. 😉 We have prayers for specific times of day, places, circumstances, emotions, and even prayers for our prayer life! Here are some examples:
- For vibrancy–when I get bored in prayer
- When things are eerily good
- For my neighbors
- For the dining room
HOW I’M SIGNING
Since this is a book of actual prayer, I actually don’t sign these. This isn’t about my story to you. I pray it’s a book that becomes helpful words for your prayer time with the Lord. These also come shrinkwrapped to protect the pretty chambray fabric so that helped confirm to leave this one alone! 😉
Note: These are sold out now but should be back in May/June!! You can sign up to get a notification when they are back in stock here.
Pray Confidently and Consistently (2021)
This is what I’ve called my legacy book!! After 8 years of talking prayer with thousands of people, I wrote a book about how to overcome the 15 most common obstacles to our prayer life. Some are practical. Some are internal doubts or lies we believe about prayer. All in all, it’s based on the verse Hebrews 12:1 which says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” In the intro, I share two visuals. One of me running in our church halls as a kid and feeling like I was going so fast, I’d literally take off the ground and start flying! It was amazing! Then I shared the visual from The Biggest Loser show when contestants who had lost a ton of weight must put on the equivalent of their starting weight and slowly take it off till they are able to run without the extra weight. It’s emotional and such a beautiful picture of how we can run without all the weights we’ve put on our prayer life. My hope is that this book will help you run unencumbered to the Lord!
HOW I’M SIGNING
On the inside cover, it says,
You’re not alone in your struggles to pray.
You’re not alone in your doubt and insecurity.
You’re not alone in your desire to “get it right.”
As you pursue a life of prayer, run with perseverance–
free, unencumbered, confident, and with your eyes
always fixed on Jesus.
It reminded me that that really is what I hope people remember. That we are not alone or the only ones struggling. You’re not alone. We run together!
Led, Not Driven (2023)
This book is perhaps my most unique and hard-to-explain. It’s basically my diary of learning to slow down. In 2018, I chose for my word(s) for the year, Led, Not Driven. I documented the experience and it’s more of a place to help process different thoughts and spur conversation in your own journal or with others instead of presenting complete ideas on the topic. In some ways, I think it could actually be the most helpful in this format because it challenges us to make this process our own.
HOW I’M SIGNING
This book was supposed to come out in 2020. It did not. I tried to rush it actually and realized I still had some learning to do. In fact, I still do. So what I’ll be inscribing in this book is On a journey. It’s a reminder to you that I’m on this journey with you too. AND it’s a reminder that we aren’t blazing for a finish line and can slow down as we remember the significance of this journey, right here, right now.
I also think gifting someone a book signed by the author makes it extra special! If you want to send to a friend and include their name in the book, leave their name in the notes section as you check out and we will personalize the signing! Just know it may take a bit longer than normal to ship out! 😉