When Life Gets Tough

Have you ever lost touch with old friends and suddenly have them contact you? It happens often in the Writing Life and is a great experience to reconnect. It happened to me yesterday and brought back some fresh lessons about the life of a writer and editor.

Several years ago, one of the books I acquired at Cook was a little book called When Life Gets Tough, Finding Strength in Times of Trouble by Henry Gariepy. Normally in my role as acquisitions editor, I didn’t edit books but that book had some special circumstances attached to it. The Salvation Army ordered 15,000 copies of the book with the initial print run and needed to have the book out in late February for a special world-wide mailing.  The Salvation Army version of the book included a different back cover and their red shield logo. In publishing, we call this a special sale and publishers love these types of arrangements. It’s highly recommended to any author because most of these types of sales come from the author’s leads. It’s the topic for another post on the Writing Life.

As an editor, I learned about the sale in late November and spent a good chunk of my Christmas vacation that year working back and forth with the designer on the details of this book so it would go to the printer on time and be available for the Salvation Army’s use. I was the editor of this little 80–page book. In this case, the book was produced before it could be promoted or sold into the bookstores through the regular channels. It was produced in an unusual fashion but released later in the year into the bookstores.

This little book includes 30 days of devotions to use in times of difficulty. Whenever there is a crisis, often the Salvation Army is present to feed people, provide clothing and spiritual strength. This book was designed as a resource to give away in these circumstances.  It’s a special book because almost everyone knows someone in crisis who needs encouragement.  Because of the original mass distribution of this book, letters came in from around the world about how it was being used and touching lives.

Yesterday Henry wrote to say the book was going to be released in paperback with the Salvation Army printing another 25,000 copies. I was thrilled with the potential.

If you are needing a word of encouragement, I recommend you get a copy of When Life Gets Tough. Keep it in a place where you will regularly turn to it and read it. It might be just the word that you need for today’s experiences.

One Response to “When Life Gets Tough”

  1. Stephen C. Weber Says:


    I ordered this little book via ebay because I enjoy all the writings of Henry Gariepy since I read “Songs in the Night.” I was not disappointed. In fact I share excerpts with people who are hurting since I hear often from people in distress through our corporate chaplaincy role as well as our ministry over the internet http://www.dailyencouragement.net.

    What an excellent little book. I must find a way to get hold of inexpensive copies so that we can simply hand them out or mail them to those having difficulties.

    Brooksyne Weber

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