If You Buy Into Jerry B. Jenkins’ Other Ideas, Then He Has a Deal For You

Jerry Jenkins is one of the authors of the ridiculously-popular Left Behind series, and he now wants to help other authors self-publish their work

Jerry Jenkins

Jenkins said the new venture was the result of an “epiphany.” Despite the best efforts of his guild’s training, he said, not enough new authors have been able to land deals with traditional publishers, in part because houses continue to insist that authors have a significant “platform.” As a result, “good, passionate authors are ignored because they’re unknown,” Jenkins told PW.

That sounds… downright charitable… but there’s no way he’s doing this out of the goodness of his heart. I just don’t believe he’s capable of such a thing. What was his epiphany? “I need more money”? He’s made millions of dollars convincing people the anti-Christ is real and that the Rapture will happen. He’s an expert in selling bullshit. That has to be what this is, right?

Though having long discouraged new writers from self-publishing because “for too many years so [many self-published works were] awful—poor writing, little editing, sloppy proofing, bad covers” — Jenkins said he realized his school could help. The goal is to help authors “produce books that don’t look self-published, and at the very least could compete in the marketplace without their having to apologize for them.”

That would be great… but there has to be a catch… what’s the catch…?

Those applying to the guild’s Published program must submit part of their manuscript for evaluation. If accepted, they follow a six-month course — costing just under $10,000 — that includes mentoring by a published author. Copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, custom cover design, marketing advice, printing, digital formatting, and e-book file creation in all formats are included in the package. There will be a surcharge for manuscripts over 75,000 words.

Aha! We have a winner!

So it’ll cost you almost $10,000 to publish your book, money you’ll likely never recoup. (Not to mention freelance editors, proofreaders, and publicists can be found separately for far less money.)

When it comes to publishing, there’s a rule of thumb worth following: Money should always flow to the author, not the other way around. This is taking that rule and flipping it on its head.

The sad part is a lot of Christians will be duped into paying for this course because, you know, Jesus.

Jenkins has responded to the claims of this being a scam on the Publishers Weekly website:

Jenkins, of all people, would know that it doesn’t cost $10,000 to do the work he says his group will do.

It’s true that mainstream publishers aren’t taking chances on newer authors like they used to. If you don’t already have a platform, they’re less likely to take a look at you, so self-publishing is the only option for a lot of people. But if you’ve written something that’s decent, getting people to help you publish it is no longer as big of an ordeal as Jenkins makes it out to be.

Save your money. Hire a freelancer or three. Don’t waste it on this scam.

(via Slacktivist)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Lulu does it for a fraction of that, as far as I remember, though I haven’t looked in-depth at their numbers.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I’m almost done with writing a book I’ve been working on on and off since my Senior year in high school, about 2 years ago, and I know that editors and proof readers cost way less than that. My book, which is around 79K words at the moment, will cost through most editors around $1,200 to get it checked and some help critiques included.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    I’m going to self-publish onto Amazon just to be able to show publishers I can sell copies. Or I won’t, and I’ll have a few people interested in my book which is totally okay too.

  • Spencer

    I know you were setting it up for there to be a big catch, but i was still surprised — damn, 10000? That seems ridiculously overpriced.

  • Godlesspanther

    One word: Greedy.

  • Heather

    My 10 year old son, an avid reader, accidentally checked out the first book of the Left Behind series from the library. I hadn’t seen the book before he took it out to read it, and about 10 minutes in, he came downstairs and said “Um, I don’t think I can read this book. It’s some crazy religious story about the end of the world”. I’m proud that he came to that conclusion all on his own.

  • CanadianNihilist

    if Christians want to trow away 10k let them.

  • Duke OfOmnium

    You have to give the left-behinders credit, though. It takes genius, of a sort, to take a flaky theology and stretch into 16 best-sellers.

  • GretaChristina

    Speaking from experience, you do need to spend a certain amount of money for successful self-publishing. But 10 grand is beyond ridiculous. This is a scam, pure and simple.

  • asonge

    Your son has the maturity to recognize that Christian porn isn’t appropriate for children. I’m impressed.

  • Sindigo

    Good job on raising him. I hope I can do as well with mine.

  • cipher

    Scam? That’s a harsh word. After all, everyone knows Jesus was a free-market capitalist. All that stuff about selling what you own and giving the money away to the poor? He didn’t really mean it; he was tricked into saying it by liberals.

  • cipher

    Jenkins’ comment seems to have been removed from the website.

    There is, however, this one from an editor at Harvest House:

    Add me to those who know Jerry and can attest that this is not a scam. Frankly, as an editor who has had to reject many manuscripts for poor writing, only to see those books show up later self-published, I’m all for aspiring writers learning the ropes before they self-publish.

    This is a man who apparently thinks the Left Behind series is well written. One shudders to think what the stuff he turns away is like.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnny-Ward/100002466030200 Johnny Ward

    [Saw this on the net. It exposes rapture con men like Ice, Jenkins, LaHaye etc. Also Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."]

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know
    more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek
    New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the
    founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!

    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone
    holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his
    Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice
    belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including
    “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture.
    Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only
    “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected
    an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up
    Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google
    historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for
    documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read
    “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final
    conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV
    translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library
    (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib
    rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in
    the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers
    like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10.
    They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how
    the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.

    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible
    which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the
    margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life
    that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of
    Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal
    statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the
    Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola
    has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the
    founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement
    when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools
    have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D”
    issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees!
    Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of
    Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness,
    Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of
    Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic
    Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired
    Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End
    Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include
    “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in
    Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,”
    “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture
    Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the
    author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib
    rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnny-Ward/100002466030200 Johnny Ward

    [Hi again. Saw this also on the net. It bursts the nonsensical claim re Edwards.]

    The Real Morgan Edwards

    by George Wilson

    In 1995, in a 24-page booklet on 18th century pastor Morgan Edwards,
    evangelist John Bray claimed that Edwards taught a pretrib rapture in
    his 1788 book titled “Two Academical Exercises….”
    echoing Bray include Thomas Ice who wrote “Morgan Edwards: Another
    Pre-Darby Rapturist.” Edwards’ 1788 work can be found on the internet.

    In order to claim that Edwards held to pretrib, candidates for the
    I-can-find-pretrib-earlier-in-church-history-than-you-can medal –
    including Bray, Ice, LaHaye, Frank Marotta etc. – have intentionally
    covered up Edwards’ “historicism,” his belief that the tribulation had
    already been going on for hundreds of years. (How can anyone in the
    tribulation go back in time and look for a pretrib rapture?)

    Here’s proof of Edwards’ historicism and its companion “day-year” theory
    which can view the 1260 tribulation “days” as “years.”
    On p. 14
    Edwards described the Ottoman Empire (which was then already 400 years
    old) as the Rev. 13:11 “beast.” On p. 20 he defined “Antichrist” as the
    already 1000-year-old “popery” and the “succession of persons” known as
    “Popes” – his other Rev. 13 “beast.” He necessarily viewed Rev. 13′s
    1260-day period as 1260 literal years in order to provide enough time
    for his two “beasts.”
    On p. 19, while discussing “the ministry
    of the witnesses” of Rev. 11, he allotted “about 204 years” for their
    “years to perform” – years impossible to fit into a 3.5-year period!

    What about Edwards’ rapture? On pp. 21-23 he wrote about “the appearing
    of the son of man in the clouds, coming to raise the dead saints and
    change the living, and to catch them up to himself….The signs of
    Christ’s appearing in the clouds will be extraordinary ‘wars and rumors
    of wars, earthquakes and famines,’ &. (Matth. xxiv. 6-8.)….The
    signs of his coming, in the heavens will be ‘the trump of God [I Thess.
    4:16], vapor and smoke, which will darken the sun and moon [Matt.
    24:29],’…and also cause those meteors called ‘falling stars’….

    Right after his combined rapture/advent (!), Edwards said: “And
    therefore, now, Antichrist…will…counterfeit the preceding wonders in
    heaven…causing ‘fire to come down from heaven’….And that godhead he
    will now assume, after killing the two witnesses….Now the great
    persecution of the Jews will begin…for time, times, and half a
    Thomas Ice’s article on Edwards (see first par. above)
    quoted only the first 27 words in the above quotation, ending with “to
    himself.” This sort of unethical revisionism is constantly employed by
    many pretrib defenders.
    Not only had most of Edwards’
    historicist tribulation occurred before his combined rapture/advent, but
    his Antichrist kept raging for 3.5 years even after the Matt. 24 signs!
    No wonder his tutor advised him to correct his thesis!
    To read Edwards’ complete work, Google “[PDF] Two Academical Exercises…www.breadoflifebiblestudy.com.”

    For more info on Edwards, Google “McPherson Page” (click on a
    reproduction of “Cover-Ups”). Also Google “Deceiving and Being Deceived”
    by historian Dave MacPherson.