It’s my birthday! 34 big ones.
It’s the only day of the year I get to ask for things and not feel guilty about it. So here I go:
It’s tough sledding aspiring to be a first time author in today’s Christian publishing industry. Publishers will only take on books they think will sell. You can have the best content on earth, but if they don’t think enough people will buy it, they aren’t biting. In the Christian publishing world, you typically have to be a megachurch pastor or the head of a well known organization to get one of these book contracts. Because if your church has 10,000 people in it, there’s a good chance a few of them will buy your book. Well I love my church, and it doesn’t have anywhere near 10,000 people, but I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon! And no, I don’t think my content is the best content on earth, but I do think it’s worth publishing. My book is about finding identity in Christ in an over-sexualized world. We all live in an over-sexualized world and many of us are getting chewed up and spit out by it. I was for a long time and there was nothing in the Christian publishing world that helped me at the level I really needed it. God led me though an amazing journey centered in the good news of Jesus that has revolutionized how I’m able to live healthy and faithful in a still very sexualized world. And I’d like other people to know about this and find this path for themselves. So there’s two ways for me to get published: one is to go work for a megachurch, the other is for you to give me some birthday presents!
I’m not planning on leaving my church, so I hope you’re feeling generous. Here’s my wish list:
1. Encouraging words, when applicable – Getting rejections is tough! No matter how you tell yourself, “I’ll be able to handle the rejection that comes with being a first-time author,” it’s still really hard to handle. It hurts, it makes you think you stink as a writer, and it makes you want to give up. If I ever write something that is helpful to you and you think to yourself, “I wonder if I should tell Noah this?” You should tell me! Random flattery is no good. But specific encouragement about a writing that helped you grow is like 10 gas fill ups on a cross-country drive–it goes a long way.
2. Share my stuff. This is the only way I’m going to get published. I was very close with David C. Cook and Discovery House, at the final stage, and close with Zondervan as well. Many editors said “let’s do this!” but the final group, the group that predicts if this will sell or not, gave it the thumbs down. Since he’s not a megachurch pastor, he needs a billion blog hits a second and since he doesn’t have that, we can’t have him. Or something like that…but the reality is, there are some very practical things you can give me for my birthday that would bring more traffic to my blog, which would show a publisher that someone might actually buy my book. Here are some of those gifts:
2a. Pick a recent article and share it on your Facebook page. Or, pick an old article and share it on your Facebook page! Do this every week or so. There is a nifty “Topics” button at the top left of this page. You should click it and find a topic that sounds interesting to you, then find an article that sounds interesting to you, then post it on Facebook or Twitter!
2b. Listen to my podcasts. I put a lot of work into two podcasts: Choppin it Up and Behind the Curtain. Choppin it Up is about race. If that interests you, click and listen. In Behind the Curtain, I interview ministry leaders about what it’s really like to be in ministry leadership. This is to help you if you are in ministry leadership, and also to help you know how to pray for and treat your ministry leaders better. Check it out! The best way to listen to podcasts is go to your podcast app on your smart phone, type in “Noah Filipiak” and you’ll find all my podcasts (including my Crossroads Church sermon podcast), click to subscribe, then listen from your phone while you drive your car or workout. And of course you can listen from your computer too, using the links in this paragraph. (And yes, you can combine 2a & 2b: you can share my podcast links on Facebook!)
3. Join my Author Newsletter. This bad boy only goes out 4x a year and relates specifically to my publishing pursuits. It’s for people who want to help see my book(s) get published. Publishers like to see big quantities of subscribers here so if you can add one more to it, that’d be a great birthday present!
Happy Birthday to me! Thank you to everyone who have been so helpful and encouraging to me up to this point. We’ve been soooo close to getting a publishing contract, got a good feeling that 2017 is going to be the year!