In April, my new book comes out. I’m excited about it. I want to talk about it. My publisher wants me to talk about it too.
But I’m caught between my excitement for the ideas in this book and my resistance to promoting myself and my work.
So that leads me to the question: Is self-promotion always wrong?
Is it possible to choose to not talk about one’s book in order to not appear self-promoting (a more subtle form of pride)?
Is it an act of bad stewardship to not blog about one’s work, effectively walking off the platform the publisher expects you to utilize?
Being willing to ask hard questions is a must. Do I want money and recognition? Do I feel the need for validation? Do I like it when I look successful? Or do I want people to learn more about Christ and honor him with their lives? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I pray that my heart is mostly concerned with the last yes, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
I can totally relate.
A friend of mine recently counseled me this way:
“Trevin, you are constantly pointing people to other books and blogs in order to edify and encourage them. You host interviews with other authors in order to get their books into the hands of readers. If you don’t ever talk about what you’ve written yourself, you run the risk of allowing your readers to miss out on edifying work you are putting out in other venues.”
I get that. And I know that publishers have a vested interest in my own self-promotion.
But I’m still conflicted about blogging about my book. Maybe that’s where I need to be. Maybe this is the Spirit’s method of rooting out sinful motivations and spurring me on to holiness.
Maybe God is saying, “I don’t ever want you to be totally comfortable with self-promotion, even if some promotion will result in more people buying a book that is beneficial to the church.” Maybe God wants me to remember that my motives are never completely pure, and even my best intentions are tainted with sin.
So here’s how I’ve decided to proceed: carefully and methodically. Over the next couple of months, I will blog once a week about Counterfeit Gospels. I’ll write about the book’s origins, what became of my initial idea for my second book, and how I settled on the six counterfeits that make up the book’s chapters.
Along the way, I look forward to introducing the concept of “the gospel as a three-legged stool” and getting your feedback. I’ll also tweet some lines from the book for Twitter followers. The hashtag will be #cgospels.
I’m grateful to those of you who choose to read this blog often and interact with the thoughts I post here. May our exchange of ideas lead to the type of iron-sharpening that edifies the Church. And may my work ultimately point past myself and to the King who deserves all the attention.