Gathering Endorsements for a Book - A Lesson in Bravery

I thought writing the book would be the hard part. I didn't realize that asking gardeners, crafters, artisans, writers, CEOs and flat out famous people would be the REALLY hard part. When I first signed the contract to write my book (Crafting With Nature!), the first thing I pictured was the book in hand -- how it would feel in my hands and how it would look on the shelves. I thought about the writing, the editing (I was scared!) and even the selling of the book. What I did not picture was reaching out to those who have inspired me and who have paved the way in the Home & Garden arena for writers, photographers and bloggers. I learned how to be brave real quick.

It was kind of like painting a room, on day 3. The first coat is done, the cutting in is complete, the rolling has been done and you just have to do this last part to make the paint job perfect. (I will take a second to stop here and say that I admit I HAVE stopped at this point painting a room when it should have had a second or third coat -- for shame! I know!) I could envision the end result, but breaking out the paintbrush (again) and laying out the drop-cloths (again) and cracking open the paint with the screwdriver (again) -- just seems like a lot.  It seems like a large weight to be carried and if you procrastinate, the weight becomes a bit heavier.  In painting your own house, sometimes you might just give up. When writing a book, the publishers will not allow you to. Endorsements must be had!

Thus, I sat and wrote and researched and looked up old emails and wrote and wrote and wrote.  My dearest friends wrote back immediately with words of sweetness and vicarious joy. I could have kissed them all.  Then...then. The waiting game began. Would the "big" authors write back? Nothing like waiting on an email to come in to throw you RIGHT back to 8th grade waiting beside a telephone for the boy to call or waiting for that college acceptance letter to GET HERE with results. The waiting is the true hard part. The phrase "quaking in your boots"  felt quite apt.

The wait only lasted a few days and then the endorsements started rolling in. I was shocked and grateful and OH so happy. I'll admit that there were some blurbs that came in that made me jump around the room a bit. Nothing like a little celebrity-fever to make you act like a child, eh?

Those moments of "quaking"? They were worth it. The endorsements are in and finalized and the publishers have determined which they will end up using on the book jacket. Today, I want to share them all with you because I am grateful to each and every idol, friend and colleague that deigned this book good enough to write something about. I am proud of writing a book, but I daresay I might be prouder of this group of people standing behind me in support.

“This book belongs in the collection of every self-respecting gardener or crafter who takes great pride in creating something special with their own hands!.” Barbara Corcoran – Star of ABC’s Shark Tank 
Crafting with Nature brings me back to my childhood and all of the natural products and remedies I used to make.  The crafts look beautiful yet easy to do, and the photography is gorgeous! I cannot wait to dig in with my children!   Truly inspiring.
In a world where everything is packaged and made for us, this book is a breath of fresh air that reconnects us to our roots and natural resources. It's about time...this is how nature intended us to use it." 

For anyone whose creative spirit longs to connect with nature and its endless possibilities, Amy Renea’s beautiful Crafting With Nature is richly illustrated and dense with detail. With clearly written instructions and practical tips, this book is an absolute treasure and complete delight. I, and many others I’m sure, look forward to many happy hours Crafting With Nature. 

After years of struggling with how to be a better gardener, I was delighted to find Amy’s blog and began to turn to her regularly for inspiration and guidance in how to transform my struggling patch of soil into a retreat brimming with lush plants and blooms. In fact, I relied on Amy so much, she even became a contributor for my own magazine. Now, Amy has poured all of her tried and true tips and expertise into this book which, for me, has become THE reference guide for how to maximize my efforts in being a better gardener and crafter. She has demystified the steps and processes involved in sourcing supplies - no matter if they are from your garden or grocer - and provided simple, step-by-step directions to create usable art. This is garden and craft alchemy at its best! There is no question that this book belongs on your bookshelf, the only real question, is what are you waiting for, and which project will you dig into first?! 
Jennifer Carrol - Founder of Celebrating Everyday Life

“This book takes ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ to the next level of beautiful. Making fun from nature is a great way to live a little greener – a must have book for year-round crafting.” Shawna Coronado - Inspirational Speaker and author of Grow a Living Wall

"Crafting with Nature is an invaluable source of inspiration and information for anyone passionate about creativity."

Melissa Riker of The Happier Homemaker

"In a world gone plastic, Amy's practical step-by-step tutorials and stunning photos bring out my desire to get my hands dirty and make something beautiful again." Carrie Higgins of Making Lemonade

​“Reading the tutorials in this book can help inspire and enable gardeners and crafters alike to use their plants in new and creative ways”  Ball Horticultural
“Pinterest comes to your backyard in this nature-inspired workbook full of beautiful handmade items.  This book is a must-read for the creative folks who don't mind getting their hands dirty.” -Beth Bryan of

“So many people fail to USE the plants in their garden. Plants are so much more that just a bunch of pretty petals. Amy's crafty garden tutorials will help you discover a whole new layer of appreciation and pride in your garden.”
Rochelle Greayer - Founder of Pith + Vigor Quarterly and Author of Cultivating Garden Style

“The projects and photos in this book are so engaging! Crafting guru Amy Renea shows you how to make unique gifts you've never seen before."

"For the ornamental or edible gardener, curious forager, and enthusiastic crafter, Amy's book is an eclectic collection of fun, easy-to-follow projects using natural elements. She gives thorough recipes for things like creating your own fairy garden, canning your own jam, handcrafting holiday or everyday wreaths, and even making coconut oil at home from fresh coconuts! Interspersed with the crafts are tutorials for cement molding, wood burning, and growing your own ingredients (such as citrus and beets) — good skills to know for your own projects."
— Linda Ly, creator of Garden Betty and author of The CSA Cookbook

"As someone who grows lots of herbs and flowers, loves crafts and making natural products for my home, this book speaks volumes to me. What better way to be crafty than by collecting or growing the materials yourself? Amy has written a winner!"
Lisa Steele - Author of Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy Healthy Chickens and Fresh Eggs Daily

“A great read for anyone who wants to take their DIY projects to the next level. The book offers creative and practical uses for your garden bounty” Zapwater Communications​

"Amy is top-notch in the world of gardening and turning those lovely garden offerings into amazing crafts is just icing on the cake!  This book will forever change the way you look at gardening and will inspire you to try new things.  Spread your wings and fly into the garden of Crafting With Nature!"  - Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam

"Crafting with Nature is perfect for beginner or seasoned crafters who not only enjoy the outdoors, but wish to incorporate natural elements into their crafting.  From gifts to recipes to personal DIYs, Amy helps us recognize the supplies Mother Nature provides right in our back yard!"Julie Fiato of Redhead Can Decorate

“A must-read for anyone who wants to bring nature inside and create all-natural products to keep their family healthy.”
 –Stacey Pierson,Garden Media Group

"There's nothing like being able to make a project all the way from start to finish, including the materials! With the help of this book, you can do just that, creating masterpieces from things you've grown yourself or gathered from their natural source. It's a must-have for crafters of all ages." Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama
​"Crafting With Nature is the book I pull out for Saturday afternoons with my children. I love the practical knowledge, time immersed in nature, and the enjoyment we can get out of it. Thanks to Amy for such a fun way to learn about our world!"Janel Hutton of NellieBellie

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!

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Congrats, Amy!! I'm so excited for you. You continue to do big things and inspire.
Amy Renea said…
Thank you Susan!! MWAH!