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Advent Illustrated Update + FAQ

Oh friends. What an amazing and overwhelming few weeks it’s been for me. What started as a challenge on my blog turned into a Facebook group with 880 people, which turned into an eBook and a print book soon to come. All in less than two weeks.

It seems we have some catching up to do.

As some of you know, I recently launched the Bible journaling challenge Advent Illustrated. Bible journaling is a fun and creative process in which people write, stamp, paint, draw, and scrapbook in the pages of their Bibles as a means of connecting with scripture. When I created the challenge and the Facebook group, I expected a total of maybe 80 people to sign up – at most, 100-200. Within three hours of posting the blog post, I had reached that milestone. Within days, we were at 600, then 700, then 800 people.

The next step was obviously to write a book.

Advent Illustrated - Sara LaughedAdvent Illustrated – Book cover

Over the course of six days, I wrote a guide to the challenge. Three of the chapters are modified Bible journaling posts from my blog, so that people reading the guide didn’t need to scurry back and forth from the computer. But the meat of the book is in the last two chapters, where I lay out five plans for the challenge (ranging from one to six days of Bible journaling a week), and shared a daily verse, context, and prompt for every day of Advent (except Sundays, our “grace days”).

Originally, the guide was only going to be available as an eBook; but when it turned out that many people in the group preferred the option of a hard copy, I turned to self-publishing. Which means that my little book will soon be available both as an eBook and as a paperback book on Amazon.

Oh. My. Goodness.

So now that we’ve caught up, I thought I’d use this time to answer some questions that I’ve been getting about the book and the challenge.

Advent Illustrated - Sara LaughedAdvent Illustrated – Sara Laughed

I thought the challenge was going to be on your blog. What will happen now that it’s a book?

Originally, I was going to post a calendar of all the scripture verses, plus a creative keyword, here on the blog. That’s still happening; now, there’s just an additional guide with more detail and resources that you can use to follow along.

Which verses will we be doing?

I’m so excited to share them with you! Here they are, for the first time.

Advent Illustrated Schedule - Sara LaughedSchedule for Advent Illustrated – Sara Laughed

What’s the difference between the eBook and the print book?

Great question! It comes down to a few things:

  1. Accessibility. The eBook can be bought and downloaded by anyone, anywhere. The print book can only be bought by people to whom Amazon can ship.
  2. Size. The eBook is 8.5 x 11″. The print book is 6 x 9″, meaning it fits in a purse or backpack.
  3. Cost. The eBook is $2+. The print book is $13.99.

What are the pros and cons of the eBook?

The best thing about the eBook is it’s accessible. You can download it no matter where you live, and have it immediately starting on November 2st. It’s also inexpensive, at $2+. This means that you can pay $2, or you can choose to pay more as a donation to the project and to the charity that we as a community will be voting on (more on that later). Lastly, 50% of the proceeds from the eBook will be going to a charity organization. Definitely a bonus in my book! (Ha, ha.)

What are the pros and cons of the print book?

What’s great about the print book is that it’s compact, portable, and something you can actually hold in your hands (I much prefer reading in a book to reading on a screen). The main downside of the book is the cost. At $13.99, it is more expensive than the eBook. I had to make it this price because it is printed in full color, which raises production costs by quite a bit. If you cannot afford the price of the print book, or if you live internationally and do not have an Amazon near you, I recommend the eBook.

How long is the book?

The eBook is 52 pages; the print book is 64 pages. The content is the same; the difference just comes down to formatting.

What if I can’t afford the book, but want to participate in the challenge?

I want this challenge to be accessible to everyone. Everyone. If you can’t afford the $2 that the eBook costs, please email me at sara@saralaughed.com and I will email you a copy of the eBook, starting on November 1st. I hope and trust that you will only use this option if you truly need it!

Which charity does the money from the book go to?

We are currently voting in the Facebook group between the Children’s Cancer Fund, Camfed, and Reach Out and Read. Join our Facebook group and vote! The vote ends on the first day of Advent.

Does any money from the print book go to charity?

Yes! I can’t guarantee 50% because I need to cover production costs, as well as fund future projects like this, but a small portion of the proceeds from the print book will also go to the winning charity.

Advent Illustrated - Sara LaughedAdvent Illustrated – Sara Laughed

When will the books be available?

The eBook is currently available for pre-order here. It will be released on November 1st, 2015. The print book will be available at Amazon.com. I am aiming for a release date of November 1st, 2015, as well.

Where can I buy the book?

You can buy the eBook here: http://gum.co/adventillustrated

You can buy the print book here (this is an affiliate link): http://amzn.to/1kdDsdl

And here: https://www.createspace.com/5818887

Can I see a sample of the book before I buy?

Yes! You can see a sample of the book here.

I have another question you haven’t answered!

Awesome! Comment below or ask it in the Facebook group and I will do my best to answer it.

In the meantime, thank you all for your support for this project. It has been a labor of love, and I am so excited to share it with all of you.

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

  1. kelly roberts says:

    What a willing servant you are to respond so quickly and make yourself available to community! Can’t wait to start this! I’m in awe of your creativity and willingness. It says a lot about being a vessel for God to use! Thank you!!

  2. Amynta says:

    Awesome! Looks like a great way to get into the holiday spirit! What is the format of the ebook, so I’ll know what reader I’ll need for reading it? Will it work on my kindle? Does it have color pages, or just black and white text so that I know what reading format is best. Thanks! This sounds like a hoot!

  3. Peggy says:

    WOW, This is so awesome Sara!!! Congratulations … on this instant book and all! We don’t know each other at all, and I know nothing about Bible Journaling but love ALL I see. Your Advent Illustrated is a spectacular idea and really ingenious of you. Very inspirational, I’m intrigued.

    I have a couple of basic questions (since I’m out of the country, in Mexico): 1) will the ebook be available at Amazon (ever)? If I get books, or anything, I have only used Amazon in the past… still don’t trust the internet for payment stuff so this is why I’m curious.

    2) on the new website – Advent Illustrated – really beautiful; is there a way to go back on the Days? … since this is Day 4; I’d like to see the first ones. I don’t think I’ll be attempting this now either to learn Bible Journaling but I’m really inspired to try in the future when I can afford all the right tools …
    I have problems with regular pens bleeding through the pages of my Bible, so I can’t imagine this yet; looking forward to checking out these new format Bibles for this.

    update: I figured this out … on the calendar (I clicked and wah la)

    You’re quite ambitious and cleverly artistic. Good plan and wishing the best season of Advent and Christmas as you quiet your heart, illustrating His Word! Thank you for all you’ve done and will be doing. I stumbled across you from another blogger that does Bible Journaling and currently has a new book, yours was listed at Amazon below her Advent journal one, so finally I googled and ended up here.

    Bless you ~ Peggy

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