I’m a little lost right now.
I’m almost done with a new project. I haven’t said a lot about it – mostly because I didn’t know how long it would take to get it done with most of my attention focused on the sequel to The Marian – but now it’s looking like I might actually release a book of devotions by the end of the year.
And I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.
I have no problem writing about my faith. That’s been the easy part. The hard part has been the nitty-gritty details that go into self-publishing a book. I don’t know the best way to structure a devotional. I don’t know how to position it against other devotionals. Mostly, I don’t have a clue how to get people to find it. How do readers even find new devotionals? I think I owned a copy of My Utmost for His Highest when I was younger, but I couldn’t tell you how I got it. I think that one just materializes on the bookshelves of all Christian teenagers at some point before they finish high school. Unfortunately, I have yet to master that marketing tactic.
I’ve had people ask me if I was ever going to compile some of the devotionals from this blog into a book, and my response has always been some variation of the paragraph you just read. Eventually, though, I realized my inability to market properly is a bad reason not to publish something.
So here I am, getting ready to publish a devotional with almost no knowledge of the devotional market. I’ve collected thirty of my favorite posts from this blog, polished them, adapted them to fit better in the context of a book, and attached Bible verses to each one. In that sense, it will resemble a devotional.
Of course, since I haven’t so much as read a devotional in at least ten years, it will probably deviate from the norm here and there. I’m hoping the deviations will fall more in the “refreshing and unique” category than the “odd and jarring” category.
I do know I’ve gotten several comments over the years about how stuff I’ve written in this blog has touched people’s lives, and if this book can do that for a few more people, the whole project will be a success.
It’s been cool going over these blogs. Some of them are several years old, and I can tell I’ve changed a lot since I wrote them – both in my writing style and my personality. I’ve written a lot about things I struggle with over the years, and the posts about those struggles have been some of my favorites to go back and edit. As I read a lot of them, I can tell I’ve made progress. I don’t think I’ve completely solved anything, but change tends to come so slowly in my life that it’s easy to miss it while it’s happening. Sometimes it takes looking back to where I was a few years ago to realize how far I’ve come.
The book itself will be available for pretty cheap. The ebook will stay at 99 cents, and the paperback will end up being as cheap as I can make it while still making a few cents on each sale. I don’t feel right charging much more than that when you can essentially read the whole thing on this blog for free if you feel like it. I’m basically charging a “convenience fee” so you can have these blogs all in one nice, neat volume.
I’ll be posting the introduction I wrote for the book on here sooner or later. If you’ve read and appreciated some of the devotional blogs I’ve written in the past, I’d love it if you would help me spread the word. The little research I’ve done makes me think the best way to promote this thing is through word of mouth.
And if you know someone who can make the book materialize onto people’s bookshelves, I’d be interested in talking to him as well.