… according to me, of course!
I’m sitting here doing page layout on My Life Story by Becky Lynn Black. As I was doing that, I read small portions. I don’t read much while I’m doing page layout. What the text says is less important than how it will look, so my brain is in a different mode. I was both appreciating portions of the book that I did read, and asking myself a question: If you didn’t know Dave Black, and just received this manuscript cold, would you have published it? I’ll answer that later.
In glancing at a page in layout, I saw this:
… what I found in these Bible majors were men who were as spiritually shallow,
vain, and frivolous as the rest of civilization!
Over the course of the day, I’ve worked on publicity for a philosophy text, I’ve worked on the cover for a book on preparing sermons, and I’ve followed up on items on several other titles under preparation. If my schedule holds, later today I’ll be reading a manuscript on process theology, and laying out a study guide to a book about the Lord’s prayer. The authors of this material vary a great deal in their theological perspectives. Some would consider these differences to be among the essentials of the faith. What is it that attracts me to these manuscripts? I work for myself. (Well, I think God might well challenge me on that, but though I try, I don’t want to claim divine inspiration for my actions.) I don’t have to publish anything I don’t want to.
Here’s the answer:
- They mean it
- They’re not willing to stay in the shallow end of the spiritual pool
Oh, I put that one twice.
I think that if we are truly committed to Jesus Christ and passionate about following him and serving him, he will find a way to teach us.
What will never work is apathy.
That’s the biggest divide. Those who really care and those who don’t.
I want to publish the people who really care. I want to find the readers who really care. I want to help them care more. I want to help myself to care more and be more effective. It’s never enough!
To answer the question I asked myself, I have no doubt that the answer is yes. I think this is a manuscript that too many editors would look at and say, “Who was Becky Lynn Black?” In the pages of the manuscript I would have found the answer, had I not already known. You can find it too.
Of course, as a publisher, I want you to buy the book. Take that as given. But what I really hope you’ll do is share your testimony. Tell people what God has done in your life. Place that task above all the theological debates. I don’t mean that you need to compromise your principles. People who are truly committed don’t do that. But make your primary story be about Jesus Christ in your life. I think you’ll find that story does more than anything else.