Not to be blunt, but it’s up to you what happens with this book. I’ve done everything I can to promote it. And now I have to step back and see whether it will take a life of its own or not. Everything is contingent upon the enthusiasm level of my readers. This is like the scary moment when you have to take the lighter away from the fire you’re trying to start with wet wood because your thumb is getting burned by it. Will it stay burning on its own? I’ve been surprised twice to see my book climb back up to Amazon’s #1 new release in Christian evangelism when I thought it had begun its slow descent into oblivion. I know I need to let go of this process. But I have a hunch that maybe half a dozen or so of my readers really believe in this book enough to make it a priority, so I figured it was worth inviting your help very directly and offering specific suggestions for how to promote it.
With all of these suggestions, sharing a link to the book’s Amazon page as part of what you do is super-helpful.
1) Write a brief review on my book’s Amazon page.
I cannot stress the importance of my Amazon reviews enough. Amazon will automatically start recommending my books to people based on their selections if I reach a certain threshold of reviews. You don’t have to write an essay. It can be 2-3 sentences. If you feel like you can’t give it five stars, just be honest. For some reason, this is the hardest thing to get readers to do and it’s one of the most important.
2) Take a selfie with the book and recommend it to your friends in a Facebook post.
This is a very simple but hugely powerful marketing move you can make. If a dozen people did this, it would make a massive difference. My friend Kristen Marshall is such a rock star that she actually made a selfie with my book into her profile picture. Be sure to tag me if you do this so it goes out to my timeline followers too.
3) Take a photo of a page you liked and post it on Instagram and/or Facebook.
Photos of the book’s pages tend to get more shares than just quoting the text of the book. Let people see the parts that you underlined or highlighted the most. Please hashtag them #HowJesusSavesTheWorldFromUs or #DetoxifyChristianity.
4) Pull a quote from the book, tag me, and/or ask a question to start a conversation with your friends on Facebook.
This is the most time-intensive, I guess. My dream is for this book to create conversational space. The goal is to get people talking and thinking about how to detoxify their faith. I would so much rather have a thoughtful conversation about searching for a more holistic gospel than arguing with some troll about culture war nonsense. Each of my chapters have discussion questions at the end if that’s helpful. Just remember to tag me.
5) Retweet/write your own tweets with hashtags #HowJesusSavesTheWorldFromUs and #DetoxifyChristianity.
Early on I was doing tweets with #HowJesusSavesTheWorldFromUs or #JesusNeedsToSaveTheWorldFromUs but I’ve decided to adopt the shorter #DetoxifyChristianity as my official hashtag. It’s incredibly hard to build momentum on Twitter. Most tweets disappear in the twitterverse so quickly with nobody seeing them. Most people won’t be the first person to retweet something, but if it’s already got two or three retweets, then the power of suggestion takes over and it starts to snowball. You can give buried old tweets new life just by searching for them under their hashtag. If you want to make things super-easy, just go to this blog post that will automatically generate book-related tweets for you every time you click a button. Or if you’re creative and motivated, you can make up your own statement to put with one of the hashtags.
6) Talk to your pastor or church leader about doing a small group book study.
If you feel like my book would be helpful to people from your congregation, then ask whichever leader coordinates small groups. If you’re not sure you feel confident leading a discussion, I will personally coach you through it. I’m going to be creating a small podcast just for small groups reading this book with 13 short episodes for the introduction and twelve chapters. I figured a podcast is better than a video series because then your small group doesn’t have to meet in a space with a TV screen since all you need is a phone to play the podcast audio. If going for thirteen weeks feels like a doozy, then just do 2-3 chapters a week. They’re really short. Many people have told me they read the whole book in a single day.
7) Buy my book as a birthday or Christmas present for someone who might be healed by it.
The demographic I most wanted to reach with this book are the Dones, people who have left the church because they’re disillusioned. I’m also wanting to reach progressives who are throwing away more Christian orthodoxy than they really need to and/or don’t have confidence in their faith. I’m hoping I’ve written it in such a way that thoughtful conservatives could find a healthy, respectful challenge to consider. It’s stressful shopping for presents. It’s so much easier to just get your loved ones a book that shows you appreciate them. 🙂