Determined to Change:
One Man’s Journey from Darkness to Redemption
Nick Chandler is not your typical forty-seven-year-old man. Born in Copeland, Florida in 1961, he’s seen more heartache in his lifetime than many of us could even imagine. The ninth of twelve children, he grew up in a world of poverty and abuse that led him down a path of danger and heartache, including drug addiction and seven prison stays.
At age forty-six, Chandler was tired of his destructive, rollercoaster lifestyle. He decided he had the ability to use his understanding of the struggles that are real for many people into a constructive change in the world. What followed his decision to turn it all around is the truly inspiring tale of a man who took the opportunity to make a positive difference and dedicated his life to helping others do the same.
“He realized that to change his circumstances and his life he needed to change himself,” said Jeanette Billings, Chandler’s fiancée and co-author of Determined to Change, his autobiography.
Chandler knew he had to share his story for those who want to make a positive change in their lives but doubt their ability to do it. Chandler and Billings started writing Determined to Change, knowing it could make a positive influence in the lives of many. With an awe-inspiring story to tell, Chandler and Billings were unprepared for the publishing challenge that awaited them.
“We had fairy tale hopes that, because our story was so great and powerful, publishers would be scrambling to us. That was just a fairy tale. We found that regardless of how hard we tried to get our book published, there were many more nos than yeses. So after sending hundreds of query letters to book agents who never seemed to be working on our type of book, we started looking into self-publishers,” Chandler said.
Together, Chandler and Billings contacted fifteen self-publishing companies. They listened to salesmen drone on and on about services and prices, until they finally contacted AuthorHouse.
“Instead of starting out with price points or services, AuthorHouse wanted to hear our story! We wanted complete control over our story. We didn't want an editor watering down our book. AuthorHouse provided us with complete control, the necessary resources, and a great royalty percentage per book. It was a win-win agreement,” Chandler said.
After signing their publishing agreement, their experience with self-publishing continued to be all they had hoped for.
“AuthorHouse walked us through the entire publishing process from book layout to cover design and copywriting to ISBN assignment. They worked with us to develop a marketing plan that fit our budget. They have taught us how to take advantage of many free resources as well. Their connections to the booksellers, such as Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, Amazon.com, and countless others are priceless,” Billings said.
With a published autobiography in hand, Chandler founded Determined to Change, Inc. His non-profit organization helps children and young adults pursue education, stay drug-free and crime-free, and pursue their artistic talents. Chandler has happily dedicated his life to helping at-risk youth avoid walking the hard path that he took.
Billings is proud of Chandler and works as vice president of Determined to Change, Inc. She’s passionate about his story and has worked vigorously to promote it.
“We have received tons of publicity, both locally and nationwide. We have been asked to appear on local talk radio. We have had news articles written in Southwest Florida’s largest newspapers. We have been contacted by film production companies, non-profit organizations, addiction counseling services, and many more businesses and organizations that want to hear our story and promote it because of its relevance,” Billings said.
Chandler and Billings feel that AuthorHouse provided them with a valuable platform to launch their book from.
“I believe that much of our success is attributable to not just our great story, but the knowledge that the AuthorHouse staff gave us in how to market our book,” Billings said, “We highly recommend AuthorHouse to anyone who is passionate about his or her story or book. AuthorHouse will provide you the services and resources necessary to make your dream a reality.”