Friday is for Book Updates
Crossbooks, my publisher, contacted me and said they wanted to Feature my book in an upcoming newsletter. Below is a copy of the interview questions and my answers. Pray that the book reaches many more people as a result of the process.
Picking a President is about character. It is about who we need to be if we are to recognize who we need to lead us. Specifically, it is a book that explores what the book of Proverbs has to say about how to govern well.
1. In your book, you suggest choosing political candidates based
on new criteria that focus more on character and integrity than
traditional factors like political party. What about the current
political landscape inspired you to develop this idea and write
Where do I start? The lack of character in many of the candidates for public office as seen in the last few election cycles and the revolving door into our prison system of former governors of Illinois, the weekly scandals reported in the news concerning ethics violations by elected officials, the blatant lies that each party throws into the collective conscious of the electorate every election season, the waste and fraud that both of the major parties seem to wink at and assume as normal. There is so much fuel out there for a book like mine.
2. Your book is written as a thirty-one day devotional. Why did you choose this format?
Well that is pretty easy. Every year I read through the Bible at least once, which means I read through the book of Proverbs every year. In addition, my wife has read the book of Proverbs every month for decades. All of this has led to conversations over the years that centered in character and nature of wisdom. One year in my reading, my mind was continually drawn to the repetition of words like King, governor, counselors, war, the poor, and others and it struck me that the book had a lot to say about how to govern wisely. Once I pulled out all the verses that seemed relevant I started to think that there might be a book to be written and then of course, Proverbs has 31 chapters and the idea became a devotional based on a 31 day format.
3. What is the best way voters can get an accurate understanding of the character, moral
fortitude, etc. of a candidate?
The book is sneaky. It appeals to the reader who might be interested in the whole idea of picking better candidates but the secret is to be a person who embodies the characteristics you want and need in a governing leader. The more we are what we want and need them to be, the better able we will be to recognize such persons for political office. I have had a number of readers contact me that they are using the book as part of the leadership development of men in their churches. That is encouraging.
4. With Election Day just a short time away, what one piece of voting advice would you give
to undecided voters?
Read the book! It will help to make you wise not just for this election, but for the next election as well. I think probably the best way to read the book is with others because some of the questions that it raises about candidates will be best answered by a group of people.
5. How was your own political outlook changed or reinforced from writing your book?
I think the biggest change was that I began to see the complexity of some of the issues we face in a democratic republic and the need to take each election very seriously. In addition, I was reinforced in the conviction that every vote matters
6. Why did you choose to publish through CrossBooks?
I published through Crossbooks because I had worked with Broadman & Holman (the parent company) before, for a previous book I wrote, and because I thought their experience would be helpful in both the production and the retailing side of the book.
7. What book marketing advice can you give other authors whose books cover timely topics?
Work hard to get your book out well in advance of what is “timely.” I think in some ways, I missed the best window, (my fault). I should have gotten it out earlier. That raises another piece of advice, write for the timely event but write so that your book has continuing relevance. My book is most timely before an election, but the day after the election it will still be relevant, because there will be another, and another, and another, both local and national, and so I wrote the book in ways that it will not become obsolete with a lot of dated material.
8. What are some of the successful ways you have been able to share your book with others?
E-mail announcements, Facebook fan page, BLOG posts, encouraging friends to share to their social networks key quotes from the book, book signings at local bookstores, back of the room sales at conferences at speak at, mailing copies to Radio hosts, encouraging people to write book reviews, etc. …
9. About how many readers do you think you’ve reached with your book?
I honestly don’t know. I haven’t gotten the first quarter sales figures yet, they will be coming out soon. It has been interesting to see the numbers go up and down on the Amazon.com rankings website. The Kindle edition has been popular and I know that some have sold in the Nook format as well.
10. Do you have any other ideas for future books?
Yes. I am working on one right now on INTENSELY LOCAL MINISTRY and another one tentatively titled THE ART OF BIBLICAL MEDITATION. Both of these are growing out of seminars that I have taught and my consulting work with young church planters seeking to help them be truly grounded in the word of God and effective in mobilizing their congregations to take the gospel beyond the four walls of their facilities.