NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a town just 25 miles southwest of Detroit lives a man whose gift of storytelling landed him the opportunity to share that gift with the world. William Sirls of Gibraltar, MI, has just signed as the newest fiction author at Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Sirls, who began writing a novel in 2004, shelved his story after he made the decision to turn himself in to authorities and spend 29 months in federal prison, convicted of wire fraud and money laundering. While in prison, Sirls began to understand what it meant to have a true relationship with God. Inspired by his developing faith, Sirls picked up his original manuscript and began creating a spiritual backbone to his novel.
With encouragement from family members, Sirls decided to self-publish through WestBow Press, the self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson. "I was looking for three things in a publisher—good editing, strong cover design and the ability to distribute," said Sirls. "WestBow, through the leadership of Alan Bower, exceeded all my initial expectations." WestBow and the author distributed 100 galley copies to readers who read and praised the book, and passed it along to others who did the same. All told, nearly 200 glowing reader reviews have been collected from that initial distribution. One of those advance copies landed on Thomas Nelson's reception desk.
"Our receptionist at Thomas Nelson is a voracious but particular fiction reader," said Allen Arnold, Sr. VP and Publisher, Thomas Nelson Fiction. "When Marjo read it and loved it, we knew there was something to look into."
Just weeks shy of the novel's going to press at WestBow, Thomas Nelson approached William Sirls about signing a multi-book contract with its Fiction division instead.
"William's path to publishing is certainly not common, but we're always in search of the best possible storytellers and think readers are going to love this novel. We're excited to have William on our roster," said Arnold.
Sirls' first novel, under working title "The Reason," will likely release in summer 2012 from Thomas Nelson Fiction.
Thomas Nelson, Inc. is the world's largest Christian publisher. The Company provides multiple formats of Bibles, inspirational books and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Live Event Management, Inc., a Thomas Nelson company, is the nation's leading producer of Christian live events. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information, please visit www.thomasnelson.com.
WestBow Press is a strategic self-publishing alliance of Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world's largest Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) — the world leader in the self-publishing segment. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication under the Thomas Nelson imprint. For more information, visit www.westbowpress.com or call (866)-928-1240.
SOURCE Thomas Nelson, Inc.