Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Blast From the Past

What better way to end the year than with a blast from the past?

I checked my PO Box yesterday and found an order for Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love. It was obviously from the ad that ran in Rural Missouri in 2007 when the book first came out. It happens occasionally. Someone is browsing through their old copies, come across the ad, and order a book.

This afternoon, I went into Facebook and saw where someone posted a note on a vote for my blog in Healthline’s contest, “Did you see the ad for Linda’s book in Rural Missouri?”  What? I had just gotten my Rural Missouri today. I pulled it out, leafed through it and there was the ad. Looks just as good as it did when the book was hot off the press.

The story of the anthology is a story in itself. I had never published a book before, but after joining the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guild, I learned a lot about self publishing. I married that with my fundraising experience and came up with the idea to get sponsors, publish a book of Alzheimer’s stories, and give the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association. I pitched the idea to the staff at the Mid-Missouri Chapter office and they didn’t think I was crazy, so I proceeded.

One small problem to overcome. How could I get the stories? I sent emails to all my Alzheimer’s contacts, posted on message boards, and spread the word. Then, Jim McCarty of Rural Missouri asked me to write an op-ed about Alzheimer’s and the anthology. Once it was published, the stories came pouring in. The Chapter made the selections, and I began to build a book of compelling slice-of-life stories about our friends and neighbors who met Alzheimer’s up close and personal. These were the stories of caregivers’ unconditional love and the courage of those diagnosed with the disease.

Sandy Jaffe, the owner of BookSource and an Alzheimer’s advocate I met at the Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, D.C., offered his expertise. He became my hero in this story. He hired a cover designer, found a distributor, and a printer. He called in favors and the book was published at no personal cost for me or the Alzheimer’s Association. Proceeds would be pure profit. Before long, we sold the first 1,000 copies and began the process for the second printing.

Just when I thought the books were about all gone, Sandy found some in his warehouse and sent them to me. So, luckily, I have plenty of books to fill any orders the ad might generate.

By the way, if you don’t get the Rural Missouri and would like to order a copy of Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love: The 110,000 Missourians with Alzheimer’s the information is on my Website at www.lsfisher.com, or you can send $10 + $2.50 shipping to me at PO Box 1746, Sedalia MO 65302. Please make your checks payable to Alzheimer’s Association.

Maybe the blast-from-the-past ad will bring in some funds for the Alzheimer’s Association to help them further their mission. As we leave the past behind and move on to a New Year, let’s each of us resolve to do our part to make this a better world for those who have dementia.

How can you join the fight against Alzheimer’s?  Lace up your shoes and participate in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s next fall, visit a loved one with the disease, help a caregiver, write your senators and representatives about Alzheimer’s research funding, or make a donation to your local Alzheimer’s Chapter. If each of us takes one small step, we can circle the globe with love for those with the disease and create hope for a world without Alzheimer’s.

copyright © December 2013 by L. S. Fisher

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