Are you an author, blogger, or podcaster? Can I provide a tiny bit of advice?
Let me do so by telling you about two authors…
An author recently emailed me about reviewing his book. This is a summary of how our email exchange went:
Author: Hey! I love your blog. I just wrote a book, and I think your audience would love to read it. Would you buy a copy on Amazon, then review it on your blog? I would really appreciate it. The book is about how Christians should obey everything their pastor says.
Me: Ummm… First of all, do I know you? Second, how long have you been reading my blog? If it’s been for more than a month, you might have realized that the topic of your book would be the exact opposite of what my blog readers would want to read.
Author: I only read your most recent blog post, and I thought it was great. I’m an author and I want people to buy my book. You have a popular blog, so I want you to read and review my book. I think if you read it, you will see what the Bible clearly teaches about submitting to those in authority, and then you will be able to recommend it to your readers, and they will see the truth also.
Me: Tell you what … I will buy, read, and review your book if you buy, read, and review one of mine. Deal?
Author: Nah … I don’t have time for that.
I never heard from that author again, but I sometimes wonder how his book is doing …
Then there is the second author, Richard Jacobson. He recently published a fantastic book called Unchurching. I was pleased to write an endorsement for the book, and am thrilled to review it here on my blog, on Amazon, and interview him for my Theology.fm podcast (coming soon!).
And why am I happy to do what I can to promote Richard Jacobson’s book? Well, not only because I love what he wrote in his book, but also because he and I have developed a bit of an online friendship. He has been retweeting my posts for a year or more, occasionally comments here on this blog, and interacts with my posts on Facebook. In turn, I try to do the same for him.
And so because I knew him from online, and because I liked the videos and cartoons he publishes, I was thrilled to endorse his book when he asked and do what I can to promote it. It appears that John Zens, Felicity Dale, and Keith Giles feel similarly. They also endorsed his book.
And guess what? When Richard’s book came out, it debuted at #1 in it’s category! That is awesome! (Well done, Richard!)
Here’s the advice for authors, bloggers, and podcasters:
If you are an author, blogger, podcaster, or some sort of other creative person who wants to get your ideas out in the world, the very first step is to be generous with your time and energy.
Offer to help and serve others before you ever think of asking them to help and serve you. Comment on their posts. Share their books and blogs on Facebook. Interact with them on Twitter. If you know they have a book coming out, offer to proofread it, review it, and tell others about it.
Be helpful. Be generous. Be kind.
Then, much later, when you have book or podcast you want to promote, those people whom you have helped will be much more likely to help you as well.