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About this time last year, a friend of mine convinced me that I need to pitch a book idea to some publishers along the lines of the purpose of this blog: helping pastors and church leaders better understand, reach, and serve Millennials.
So, last June, I finished a 15-page book proposal and a 10-page introduction and sent it around to some publishers. It took a lot of work amidst what was already a busy time…and nobody offered me a contract. It was deflating, sure, but I work in publishing, so I understand how the game works.
Relatively-speaking, I’m a nobody, and in most of the publishing world today, you’re not going to receive a contract unless you have a massive following and/or you have had success selling previous books. I have neither.
Well, I have this blog, sure, but I’m not a very big deal, and I have never published a book before, so it’s hard to convince publishers to take a chance on someone like me.
“Pitching” myself is somewhat difficult, though. It’s uncomfortable to push myself onto others. Because, I think I have something I can contribute to help pastors when it comes to reaching a certain section of the population, but I have a hard time “believing in myself” sometimes, too. I suffer from impostor syndrome, which is basically the fear that no matter how much you “achieve” you’re actually a fraud that’s fooled people into believing you’re the real deal.
So, after offering my idea to three or four publishers last year with no success, I had a renewed interest in trying again the last couple of weeks. I updated the proposal and sent it to a couple of publishers again.
This time, someone was interested! So, let’s answer a couple of questions you may have, if you’re interested:
Generally, the book is along the same lines of this blog, like I said above. It will be a hard-copy resource for pastors and church leaders to use in their ministries as a sort of guide to understanding Millennials, reaching unbelieving Millennials, and serving those Millennials who are already in the church.
I won’t be recycling blog content or anything like that—it will all be totally new—but it will be along the same topical lines of this blog and what I’ve been trying to do with it all along. I’m excited to be able to offer pastors a physical (or e-book, if that’s how you roll) resource they can purchase for their staff, instead of trying to email blog post links around to their staff members.
The publishing house that took my book is called Rainer Publishing. Dr. Thom Rainer is the President of LifeWay Christian Resources—so, he’s my boss. His sons, Art, Sam, and Jess are the three co-founders of Rainer Publishing. I am thrilled to be publishing with these guys for a number of reasons. Here are just three:
1. Rainer Publishing exists to serve the local church.
This is how Rainer Publishing explains what they do on their website:
Rainer Publishing publishes books specifically for the health of the local church. Our authors focus on providing clear and concise books that can be grasped by church leaders and members alike. Many of the books provide practical guidance for the local church, while others deal with biblical and theological issues in a way that can be understood by most Christians.
As you can imagine, my book idea works in nicely with what they are trying to do. It’s a great fit. I want to serve the local church with a book, and they want to serve the local church by publishing books. It’s perfect. A lot of publishers have dozens of audiences and goals in their publishing. Rainer Publishing and I share a singular goal: helping the local church.
But, there’s a second reason I think publishing with Rainer Publishing is the right fit.
2. Dr. Thom Rainer and his son, Jess, published The Millennials in 2010.
I read The Millennials by Dr. Rainer and Jess the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college in 2011 before I knew who either of them were or that I would be writing a blog about Millennials five years later. Somehow, I picked the book up on Kindle for a couple of bucks and read it on my breaks at work over the course of the summer.
I became fascinated with generational study because I read The Millennials in 2011, and now, Dr. Rainer is (tentatively) going to write the foreword for my book, and Jess is part of the team publishing it.
In The Millennials Dr. Rainer and Jess produced one of best, earliest books analyzing the Millennial generation. My hope is to build off of their work, producing a brand new book that, I hope, can be the most helpful guide for reaching Millennials with the gospel.
A third and final reason is:
3. Rainer Publishing is the home of some of my friends!
In just the last year, my friends Brandon Smith and Jonathan Akin published books with Rainer Publishing. Brandon published Rooted with J. A. Medders, and Jon published Preaching Christ from Proverbs. I am so happy that I get to publish with the same publisher as these guys. There are plenty of other great writers with Rainer Publishing, too, and you can check out some of the other books here.
So, that’s what’s going on!
My manuscript is due in about a year, but these things can move around quite easily. I don’t think I’ll have a problem getting the book written by next June, but life happens sometimes, so we’ll play it by ear.
For now, nothing changes! I really won’t talk about the book much on here until we get close to release sometime around a year or so from now. Until then, let’s continue learning together!