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February 24, 2007
As I reach the end of the assigned writing period for my book (my official deadline is April 1) I am increasingly aware that writing a book, though in many ways a private pursuit, is also a pursuit that depends on an increasingly wide group of others. I have had to open the book to more and more people, seeking feedback, suggestions and so on. I’ve even turned to the readers of this site a few times and intend to do that again today.
First off, I have to begin thinking about finding people who might be willing to endorse the book. The process works something like this:
- I am now ready to begin asking people if they would be willing to consider endorsing the book.
- After I have finished writing the book but before it has been edited I will actually send the manuscript to those who are willing to read it.
- Those people will read it and, if they feel so inclined, will write an endorsement.
It’s that simple. Now I know that people are busy and am aware that some who say they will endorse it will no doubt have it fall off their list of priorities. As per my publisher’s wishes, I need to find at least five people who will endorse it.
Endorsements serve to give a book credibility on at least two levels. First, there are the words of the endorsement. These provide a quick word of praise for the book so that a person who pulls the book from the shelf can get some idea of what others think of it. Second, there are the names of the people who provide the endorsement. A potential reader will be more likely to read a book endorsed by a person he respects than a book that is endorsed by someone he does not respect or that is not endorsed at all. Or so the thinking goes.
The general strategy with endorsements is to determine what type of person would benefit from reading the book and then to gain an endorsement from someone who will appeal to that audience. So if I wanted to get my book in the hands of middle-aged Southern Baptist women, I would ask Beth Moore for an endorsement. If I wanted to put it in the hands of atheists, I’d ask Richard Dawkins and for cyclists I’d ask Lance Armstrong. And so on.
I have been attempting to identify the most natural audience for this book and have then been attempting to think of people who would best reach that audience and who has the highest profile within that audience.
So here I appeal to you. If you can think of an audience that would or should read the book and a person whose endorsement may be useful in promoting the book’s usefulness to that audience, I would love to hear your suggestions.
Additionally, as I wrap the book up, I would be interested in hearing any questions you may have about discernment that you think the book should answer. I do believe I have covered many different angles and also know that I cannot answer every possible answer and address every possible issue. Still, if you do have questions or concerns about discernment, feel free to post them and I’ll see if they would fit the flow of the book.
Thanks in advance!