“You cannot make a difference in someone’s life if you do not have entrée in that life.”—George BarnaName awareness facilitates potential book sales. That fact stresses wannabe and published authors. If you’re feeling like a nobody, consider the surprising results of a Barna Research survey.
Major Christian Authors Are Widely Unknown, Even Among Christians
Rick Warren’s New York Times bestseller and blockbuster, The Purpose Driven Life sold 25 million copies. However, three out of four adults (72%) have never heard of Warren, including two out of every three born again Christians (63%).
James Dobson has sold tens of millions of books. His radio program reaches the largest audience of any religious personality. However, almost six out of every ten adults (57%) have never heard of Dobson; in fact, nearly half of all born again Christians said they don’t know who he is.
Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling fiction Left Behind series, has sold more than 70 million books during his career. Despite his writing success, he is unknown to three-fourths of adults.
Joel Osteen, who just landed a multi-million dollar book contract and has sold millions of books, is unknown by two-thirds of the adult public (67%), and unknown to born again adults (57%).
George Barna pointed out, “One of the reasons that the Christian faith is struggling to retain a toehold in people’s lives is because even the highest-profile leaders of the faith community have limited resonance with the population.”
And My Point Is?
Don’t stress. Authors can be responsible to build their platforms, websites, blogs, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately, I believe that being published is in God’s hands, not mine. My responsibility is to write the passion He places in my heart.
1 Samuel 2:8 and Psalm 113:7–8 reminds us Who is in control of our destiny: He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people and has them inherit a throne of honor.
Our culture is full of needy people. Reject Christianspeak. Connect with timeless wisdom. Disconnect from those who want you to support their agendas. Avoid putting an unrealistic, super-spiritual face on faith. Confess your fears and struggles to trust God. Admit weaknesses. Allow your writing to resonate with real people struggling with real hurts, needs and issues.
Humility opens hearts. Honesty breeds trust. Hope changes hearts.