I thought I needed a publisher. I had just finished writing my first book, Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey. So I sought out a friend in the publishing industry who represented one of the most prolific Christian authors of all times. He was helpful getting the book in front of several major publishers. Their feedback was similar - we don’t have a category for a fiction, golf, sport psychology, men’s ministry book. They turned it down. There was no one in the industry it seemed that could catch the vision. It was a major disappointment.
But God had another plan first. Donnie, a former professional golfer that I had helped while he was attempting to play on Tour, contacted me about that time. He had read the manuscript and was deeply moved. Unbeknownst to me, a friend of his had given him a Xeroxed copy of the manuscript. He said that he owned a printing company and wanted to print 1,000 books to give me for free as seed for our ministry. He also let me know that he had ten friends to whom he wanted to send the book and thus wanted the story in book form.
That led to a movement and the start of Links of Utopia Ministries. God became the publisher as people began to buy the book off of our website. Taking a cue from Donnie, I offered a ten-pack option. Literally thousands began to purchase ten books and distribute them to their friends
Eventually, the traction of the book caught the attention of another book agent. He listened to my story and caught the vision. He let me know that one of the largest Christian publishing houses had recently hired a new president whom he thought might have an interest.
I laughed out loud when he revealed to me that she played golf, that her husband was a golf-professional, and that they owned a golf course. Within a few days we flew up to see her and of course she caught the vision—she had no problem finding a category for our book. They have distributed several hundred thousand books to date while allowing us to continue selling them off of our site. It was a marvelous relationship.
If I had found a publisher on day one, I doubt our ministry would exist today. You would not be reading this Journey of Awe series and there would be no Seven Days in Utopia movie. Sometimes there is treasure in disappointment. I stand in awe of God’s timing and precision