What I Didn’t Know Before I Wrote a Book

I work in marketing for a publishing company. I help market books for a living.

When I received news that my book, Ministering to Millennials, was live on Amazon the other day, I texted a friend and said, “You think I’d be better at this, but now that it’s available, I don’t know what to do.”

In the spring of 2014, Trevin Wax and I were having lunch in the LifeWay cafeteria when he said I should write a blog on how evangelical pastors can better minister to Millennials.

I balked at the idea…hard.

“It’s so cliché to talk about Millennials,” I remember saying to him, “I just don’t wanna be ‘the Millennial guy.'”

Well, here we are.

I Didn’t Know

The summer between my sophomore and junior year of college was largely spent in the sweltering hot halls and classrooms of Most Precious Blood Catholic School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I was teaching summer school because I got the job when I was still planning on pursuing a career in teaching high school English.

On break between classes one day, I saw a free Kindle deal on The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer. It looked interesting. So I downloaded it. Why not? It was free.

Again, this was the summer of 2011. I was 20 years old, not yet a junior in college. Let’s travel back in time to see what I didn’t know back then:

I had no idea who Thom and Jess Rainer were. 

I didn’t know what LifeWay was other than a bookstore at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

I didn’t know LifeWay Research existed.

I didn’t know that I would decide to pursue seminary after college.

I didn’t know I would haphazardly apply for a job to manage Ed Stetzer’s blog.

I didn’t realize that getting that job would require my and my new wife to move to Nashville, Tennessee.

I didn’t know Dr. Thom Rainer was the President of LifeWay Christian Resources.

I didn’t know my favorite blogger to read in college, Trevin Wax, worked at LifeWay.

I didn’t know he would ask to mentor me in writing and thinking and life.

I didn’t know I would start a blog about Millennials.

I didn’t know that reading the book on the Kindle app on my phone in between teaching summer school classes would eventually lead me to write a book of my own on the same topic.

I didn’t know that Dr. Rainer would be willing to write the foreword to the book I didn’t know I would write.

Reading The Millennials the summer of 2011 did not immediately inspire me to do anything. It did not make me want to work at LifeWay. It did not make me want to write a blog about Millennials. It did not make me want to write a book.

But the Lord surely used it to lay the groundwork for a lot that was to come in my life, unbeknownst to me.

How the Book Came to Be

In the spring of 2015, my friend Jonathan Howe and I walked to The Gulch from LifeWay to eat lunch at The Pub. He was craving the pimento cheese burger they have there.

At our lunch meeting, he told me I ought to try writing a book along the lines of my Millennial blog, which was about a year old at the time.

I thought he was crazy, but he said I should at least try. So, I reached out to a couple of friends in the book department at LifeWay to help me figure out how to even propose a book idea.

One was kind enough to give me a proposal template. I filled it out, which was A LOT of work, and prepared to send it to publishers.

I sent it to about five publishers through some connections with friends. I knew it was unlikely to be accepted by anyone, but I put so much work into the proposal, I had to give it a shot.

All of the publishers turned me down, including B&H, the book publisher at LifeWay. (I knew they would, but I had to send it to them to be sure.)

After everyone passed on it, I dropped it for a year and just kept blogging.

Then in the spring of 2016, I decided to try again. This time I passed it around to a bunch of smaller publishers that were a bit more realistic than the big ones I tried before.

The guys at Rainer Publishing were kind enough to accept me that summer, and I began working on the book right away.

I will write more on the writing process later, but I turned the book in around June 2017 and have been not-so-patiently waiting for it to be released until now.

How to Purchase

This book is not going to be a bestseller, and I am more than OK with that. But many have been asking me about how to get a copy or even how to get a signed copy (weird). Here are the two best ways:

From Me (Preferred)

I would prefer if you purchased the book directly from me for $15. 

It’s more expensive than Amazon, I know. Because I have to pay to ship it myself. I prefer if you purchase it from me because it gives me a higher return than if you buy it through Amazon, who takes a cut.

Also, for the few family and friends who have asked for a signed copy, this is your best bet. I can grab it out of the box, sign it, and ship it.

If you want to purchase it from me, please email me here. Or reach out to me on social media.

From Amazon

If you want to pay only about $12 for print, or about $6 for Kindle, you can purchase it on Amazon here.

I buy all my books from Amazon, so I understand if you want that sweet, sweet two-day shipping and lower cost. No judgment here. It just doesn’t help me as much.

Regardless of how you purchase the book, an Amazon review is always helpful. Please leave a review on the book if you have a chance to do so.

Thanks for all of the support on the blog the last four years. I hope that the book is helpful for those of you who want to read it.