Independent Publishing Saga Takes a New Turn With 20th Anniversary Edition of "Forgiveness"

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Veteran independent publisher launches crowd-funding campaign for the 20th anniversary edition of beloved book about forgiveness

Forgiveness enables a clearer understanding of human nature, perseverance in the face of adversity, and enhanced creativity.

A long-running legend of independent publishing has taken a new direction with the announcement of a crowd-funding campaign by Fearless Books, an independent house founded by author and editor D. Patrick Miller in 1997. The campaign launched on the Fearless site at is designed to restore the best-selling momentum that Miller’s book THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS enjoyed two decades ago – before its original publisher halted that momentum in a peculiar demonstration of bottom-line decision-making.

First launched in 1994 as "A Little Book of Forgiveness," Miller’s work was initially published in hardcover by a mainstream New York house. After selling 25,000 copies in just a few months, the publisher quashed the title because of an internal marketing decision that the edition had been underpriced. While it was making a profit for the house, that profit was less than it might have been with a higher price point. Rather than re-price and launch a new edition, the house discontinued the book. Miller was not informed of this decision for a full year, despite his repeated inquiries about why the edition was disappearing from bookstore shelves nationwide. Then the publisher retained the rights for five years, keeping the book out of circulation until Miller could launch his own edition in 1999.

Since 1999, the work has seen two more editions under the Fearless imprint, including the revised 2009 version entitled THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS. Along the way, Miller became an experienced boutique publisher, launching ten titles including the best-selling title THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE UNIVERSE by Gary Renard in 2003 (now published by Hay House, with 200,000+ copies in print in 20 languages). He also works as a manuscript editor and publishing consultant for publishers, agents, and authors through Fearless Literary Services.

“As a publisher myself,” he says, “I don’t begrudge any house the need to make strategic bottom-line decisions. I’ve killed some of my own books when I felt they were not reaching enough readers to have a reason for being. But in corporate publishing, the bottom-line attitude is generally insensitive to the rights of authors – including their right to make a living and eat. Small independent houses have to watch the bottom line too, but as a rule they factor in the well-being of their writers… especially when the writer owns the house!

“I still help new writers approach the publishing mainstream when it seems appropriate,” Miller remarks, “but I do educate them about what licensing your rights means.”

Miller also feels that the survival of the book owes to its subject matter. “People tend to mistake forgiveness as a manipulative surrender or an attempt to excuse human flaws, errors, or even crimes. My experience over many years is that forgiveness enables a clearer understanding of human nature, perseverance in the face of adversity, and enhanced creativity.”

The Fearless Books campaign seeks $50,000 to launch a 20th Anniversary Edition of THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS that will include a hardcover edition at the original 1994 price of $12.95. Paperback and digital editions will be reduced in price from the current versions. In addition, 5000 paperback copies will be reserved for donation to prisons (where the book has been historically popular with workshop leaders) and certified nonprofit organizations working in recovery, rehabilitation, and health care.

“I’d like to see this book finally become the best-seller it started as,” says Miller, “but I’m not trying to make every penny I possibly can. With the help of interested supporters who will be thanked in the new edition, my intention is that this book reaches many, many more readers at reduced prices, continuing and increasing the good work it has always done.”

Miller is making a free digital copy of THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS available to potential donors through the e-book provider Smashwords. The “Seven Steps of Contribution” offer perks including personal coaching sessions with the author and signed copies of the new hardcover, to be released in late 2013.

For more information, see the crowd-funding campaign page at

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