Open Road Press

Wheels of Wisdom Tour

The Wheels of Wisdom Tour T-ShirtDid the title “Wheels of Wisdom Tour” catch your attention?

If you followed our blog over the past month, you read some stories about our bicycle tour in Michigan and Wisconsin. It’s time to explain to you why it took us so long to broadcast the name of our tour. When you announce a tour after it has occurred, something is up!

Most of our followers know that we track our tour mileage and stops. We normally refer you to a trip log and a map when we kick off the ride. However, this time, we kept these in the background.

Wheels of Wisdom Tour Map and Log

Why haven’t we shared the trip details with you yet? Well, Debbie and I have been harboring a secret! And now we’re about to unveil it.

First, though, you can find the Wheels of Wisdom Tour trip map here and the log of trip mileage here.

What’s in a Name?

You might be wondering why we’ve named our ride around the top half of Lake Michigan the “Wheels of Wisdom Tour.”

After 10,000 miles of prior bicycle touring, we’d discovered that the road faithfully imparts not only miles but also wisdom and truth. A spiritual journey always seems to accompany the physical one.

During our tours, we took notes along the way. We recently sifted through our musings and extracted the succinct traveling vignettes that come pre-packaged with lessons. We share them with you and the world in our latest book, Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit. You will hear more about the book in the days ahead.

A Long Publishing Process

Those of you who lent assistance on this book project know it’s been a long haul. Compilation, writing, and editing began almost two years ago. The cover was designed nearly one year ago. Three professional editors and two designers took turns at honing the project.

In January, we decided to toss our book of life lessons into the ring for consideration by agents and traditional publishers. Simultaneously, we pitched for some pre-publication reviews and endorsements. The latter exercise bore good fruit, as you’ll see. For example, a favorable review in June from Publishers Weekly seemed a worthy bonus to justify the extra time and effort.

It’s difficult to find an audience with traditional publishers and agents unless you’ve already established a strong track record of book sales or come with a household name and a large following of potential book consumers. We have neither. Nevertheless, a screening service for the publishing industry recommended our project “based on the uniqueness of [our] content and [our] fresh, accessible style.” We also found some “back doors ajar” and received some consideration from some major publishers.

An acquisition editor at a large Christian publishing house showed some interest in Wheels of Wisdom. Ultimately, however, only a hybrid publisher–one that was unwilling to bear the entire publishing risk–offered a contract for the project, which we eventually declined. With a distributor to both general and Christian markets, we think we can shepherd the book well on our own.

Debbie took the above T-shirt photo on a return trip from a Michigan Laundromat. It suggests we might have launched this book to market during our tour in July. We had most of the goodies already in our bag, but the book hadn’t yet been printed. We were also transitioning to a new distributor. Without the fanfare you might find there on a Sunday afternoon in autumn, we signed a distribution agreement near Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, home of the Green Bay Packers.

We Value Your Loyalty

While the book’s official launch announcement is forthcoming, it seems fitting to share the news with you first. Thank you for following and reading our blog. We hope you’ll consider taking Wheels of Wisdom for a spin. Stayed tuned for more details about the book, including a special promotion we are calling “Book Launch with a Cause.”

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