Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Not Yet a “Best Seller,” But On the Way

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end.”
Ecclesiastes 12:12

My book, In Defense of the Gospels, came out during the first week of January 2018, and was immediately available on Amazon. The book is a defense of the reliability of the Gospels as records of of the life and teachings of Jesus. As most authors do, I ordered a bunch of copies to make them available at my speaking engagements. Books bought in this fashion are generally not counted in Amazon’s running tally of book sales. Books ordered through Amazon’s website are carefully tracked, and anyone can find out how a particular book is doing because all books sold through its website are ranked on Amazon’s “Best Sellers Rank” that includes about five million book titles. Of course everyone wants to break into the top 100, but many books never go lower than the top four million.

A few years ago I wrote my only book of fiction, Text Messages From God. After the book had been out several months, in November of 2012, I was invited to be the guest host for Jan Michelson, the popular morning host on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, the largest talk station in Iowa (where Ronald Reagan used to broadcast before his television days and his political career).

Let me digress--In lining up guests, talk show hosts reach as high as possible, meaning they try for the most well known guests who will come on the show. The idea behind this is that people tend to listen longer when a guest is a famous person. Like it or not, America has created a cult of personality. What I found, though, is that some of the most famous people do not necessarily make good guests for the kind of show I like to host, namely one that is informative and on the cutting edge of what people want to know about.

For the show on WHO that I was guest hosting, I was able to secure an interview with Governor Mike Huckabee. Mike had recently written a book, Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett, that included letters to his grandkids about faith and family. I looked up his book on Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank and found that it had cracked the top 500 in sales. Then I went ahead and checked on my book Text Messages From God and found that I had cracked the top 4 million, coming in at something like 3,897,442. When I interviewed Governor Huckabee, I mentioned to him that his book was doing better than mine, but I only lagged behind his book by about 3,897,000 on Amazon’s Best Seller Rank. We laughed about that, and had a fun exchange.

As I write now in 2018, my book, In Defense of the Gospels, came out on Amazon just a few days ago. The only publicity as of this moment has been mentions on the Intelligent Faith website and the Ratio Christi website, and blurbs on Facebook and Twitter. I thought I’d check to see how the book is faring on Amazon’s Best Seller Rank, and saw that I had already cracked the top million, coming in at 923,472! For fun I checked on Mike Huckabee’s book that I’d interviewed him about in 2012. According to Amazon his book is 972,143 on the current Best Seller Rank. Wow, that means my book is nearly 50,000 ahead of Huckabee!

Of course I expect to promote my book through available channels, including radio interviews and print media. Once I begin promoting the book outside of the two websites where it has been mentioned, the book’s place on Amazon’s Best Seller Rank should continue to improve as the promotions generate sales on Amazon. I will have fun checking the sales figures from time to time, but more importantly, the more books that are sold, the more people are finding out that the Gospels are reliable records of the life and teachings of Jesus. That fact makes me much happier than outselling Mike Huckabee.

If you'd like to order a copy of In Defense of the Gospels, order here. 

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