Here is the very quick version of the publishing saga of my book, I’m OK-You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop.
1. I have my conversion experience.
2. I get intensely interested in helping my non-/anti-Christian friends understand how it is that just because I suddenly became a Christian doesn’t mean I also suddenly became a homophobic, misogynistic, narrow-minded moron.
3. I write my (short/funny/awesome) Christian apologetic, Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang: Why I Do the Things I Do, by God (as told to John Shore).
4. Penguins (and you simply wouldn’t believe how much I’m skipping here) gets published by Seabury Books.
5. I find myself wanting to discuss the relationship between Christians and Non-Christians, particularly relative to the idea that in busily endeavoring to fulfill the Great Commission, we Christians almost necessarily break the Great Commandment.
6. I write I’m OK-You’re Not.
7. NavPress buys I’m OK-You’re Not (in 2005).
8. The week before the manuscript for I’m OK is due, almost everyone in both the editorial and marketing departments of NavPress walks off their job.
9. I’m OK gets published by what’s left of NavPress.
10. A three or four-person clique of hardcore fundamentalists begins attacking I’m OK (via, mainly, writing disparaging Amazon reviews about it, which also helps them attract attention to their struggling online business selling evangelical t-shirts and coffee mugs printed with slogans like “Die and Fry!”)
11. Someone on the board of directors of The Navigators (which owns NavPress), comes through the offices of NavPress, spots a copy of I’m OK lying on a desk, and picks it up.
12. That person is severely displeased to learn that the publishing arm of the traditionally very evangelistic Navigators has published a book all about why Christians should stop evangelizing.
13. NavPress informs me that they’re going to pull all the copies of I’m OK back from book stores, remove all references to the book and me from their website, and literally burn all their remaining copies of I’m OK.
14. NavPress pulls all copies of I’m OK from bookstores, and removes me from their website.
15. I’m OK begins to sell anyway.
16. Foreign rights to I’m OK get sold.
17. Despite publicly disavowing me, NavPress continues to fulfill orders for I’m OK.
18. I purchase from NavPress all right to, and the remaining thousand or so copies left of, I’m OK, the final three boxes of which are right now in my garage.
19. In the past four days (as I write this) I sell, package, and ship to individuals who have ordered them thirty-five signed and inscribed copies of I’m OK – You’re Not.