Dreams come true. Sometimes it feels like a nightmare when it happens, but sometimes it evolves into a better reality than the original dream. In many ways, the latter is what happened with my novel, Where the Water Rages.
When I began knocking on the proverbial publishing door, I had little direction. I used search engines and Twitter to locate the names of publishers and literary agents and I made daily inquiries. All the while, I had a dilemma to overcome. As I searched, I learned that many mainstream publishers weren’t interested in a book with Christian themes, and many Christian publishers wouldn’t touch a book that dealt with themes present in my manuscript.
One day, after receiving umpteen rejections, a publisher began to show interest in the manuscript. Of course, I was shocked by their interest, and as we began the ebb-and-flow of building a deal, I looked for any information on the company. I was unable to believe that a publisher would really be drawn to the project and certain that this was a scam.
I’ll tell you what I learned about my publisher, and then I will tell you why YOU should care.
Kharis Publishing is an up and coming publishing house located in Northwest Arkansas, it’s an imprint of Kharis Media LLC, the leading mass media corporation in Africa. The team at Kharis Publishing is “committed to social empowerment through publishing and literacy initiatives.” The publishing company operates with a two-fold goal.
First, because they recognize how difficult it is for minority and first-time authors to get published, without relying on self-publishing, their goal is to give a voice to such authors. Second, is their unique business plan. This is the part that affects you as a potential reader of Where the Water Rages, and it’s the part that left me breathless:
“The second goal is to empower orphans to take charge of their lives, by building resource centers or mini-libraries within their orphanages so those kids can learn, dream, and grow. For every book sold, we donate $1 towards establishing such resource centers.”
Yep, that’s right. For every single book sold, Kharis Publishing donates $1 to an orphanage.
Why do they do this? Well, it all comes back to Francis Umesiri. Born in rural Nigeria, Francis Umesiri spent each day walking 3 miles to retrieve water for his family, and then he spent the evenings reading borrowed books by the light of a kerosene lantern. The two men who loaned him books challenged him to read as much as possible and to write reports on what he had read.
Today Dr. Francis Umesiri is a Biology professor at John Brown University in Northern Arkansas and the founder of Kharis Publishing. He credits his success in academia with his love for reading and the individuals who took an interest in his life by loaning him books.
As you can imagine, when I learned this, there was no other publisher I wanted to be in contract with. The story I wrote about a little girl who is sold into the slave trade is fiction, but the frustrating reality is that this isn’t fiction for too many children. The innocents who are victimized most often come from living situations where poverty is rampant, and an orphan child living on the streets is an easy target. To a child in a third world country, an orphanage is representative of hope, as often their extended families do not have the resources to care for them. Orphanages give them a chance that they might not otherwise have, but children need more than just food and shelter. To distance themselves from a disadvantaged life, they need knowledge; they need books, computers, and learning materials.
The idea that my fictional manuscript could play a part in empowering a child, in bringing resources for learning to an orphanage left me breathless.
Now, the manuscript is bigger than me, as good is integrated into the sale of each book.
And this is why you should care. When you purchase Where the Water Rages you aren’t just keeping the wheels of big business spinning, as is often the case with larger publishing houses. No, you are supporting a publishing company who has made it their goal to be the difference in the lives of orphans. You are helping to build a library of books in an orphanage in Uganda, a place where it is difficult for children to acquire the books that are readily available in the United States.
One book, one dollar, every time.
Would you consider visiting Kharis Publishing today and purchasing a copy of Where the Water Rages?
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