What Can YOU Do To Help An Author?

As I near the end of the long process or writing and editing “Raised With Christ – How The Resurrection Changes Everything” my thoughts are beginning to turn towards the subject of how to make sure anybody actually reads the thing! I will be letting readers know soon how you can pre-order it. It has been amazing to me to see how some very kind endorsements have been coming in. I already shared two with you before, here are a couple more:

“Adrian Warnock has a passion to put the resurrection back in the centre of our proclamation. He understands that without a risen Savior there is no credibility to Jesus claims, no salvation through his death, no reason for Christian living, no explanation of the Church’s existence, and no hope of eternal life. This book challenged me to re-examine my own preaching to see whether there was enough of Christ risen in it.” Liam Goligher, Senior Minister, Duke Street Church, London

“An important reminder–for members and leaders in Christ’s Church–that the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection isn’t just for Easter. It’s for every day of our lives. Since Jesus rose from the dead, everything he said and did is not only true, it has a profound impact on how we are to live. This book not only reminds of that, it also points us toward meaningful application of this life-changing event.” Elliot Grudem, Senior Minister Christ the King Presbyterian Church (Raleigh, NC)

I am very grateful and surprised for endorsements such as this. In thinking about all this, however, it has also made me realise just how much ordinary people like you and me can do to help the success of any given book.
Here are a few thoughts of what you could do to help any author. If you feel like doing any of these things for Raised With Christ, that would be much appreciated, but I offer this list to help you think about how you can help other books too. We all have an influence, and especially in the Internet age can use it wisely for the sake of getting the gospel out.
So here are the ideas, if you can think of anything else do let me know as well:

1. The obvious one–buy or pre-order a copy for yourself!
2. Tweet, blog or facebook about the fact that you have just ordered the book (or just “retweet” someone else’s comment)
3. Tell both your offline and online friends about the book while you are waiting for it to arrive, and then again when you have read it. Don’t assume that everyone you know will have heard of whatever book, since not everyone reads blogs like you, and in any case, even those who do read blogs may not have read about whichever book you are thinking of.
4. Better yet, buy your friends or family a copy as a present.
5. If you know someone well who has previously endorsed books (ie written the “blurb” that goes on the back of books), speak to them about the book and ask them if they have heard of it, and offer to speak to the author on their behalf about getting them a review copy.
5. If you know someone who has decision-making power about stocking books in a bookstall, bookshop, or at a Christian event, again, speak to them about the book and tell them why you think they should stock it.
6. If you know someone who is responsible for reviewing books in Christian magazines, again speak to them about the book and suggest that they may like to write about it.
7. As you read it, think carefully about the book, and come up with your own comments or review of it. Whether you like it or hate it, write those thoughts out and let the author know by email or post (you can write to the publishers if you don’t have a work address for them). Many authors crave feedback and even successful ones get surprisingly little. Even if they don’t have time to reply in detail, I suspect that most authors would read and appreciate any and every email or letter they get about their book.
8. Post your thoughts about the book on amazon.com, your own blog if you have one, facebook, or twitter. Don’t think that your readership is too small to make a difference, that is not true. Also, increasingly authors will link to such reviews from their own sites so this will be a way of getting yourself more traffic. Negative reviews also actually help sales, bizarrely, so write truthfully, and if you really want to hurt a book, the best way is just to ignore it altogether!
9. If you have the influence with the right people, speak to them about possibly inviting the author to an event to speak about their book or do a book signing. Of course there are many challenges here, and many authors are very busy, but you never know, the idea might just work for them and for you.
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