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Some people get nervous when their books release to the public and the reviews start pouring in. But the most nervous I get is when advance copies of my books go out to endorsers. Usually, I’ve hand-picked these first readers because either 1) I know them already and think the book will resonate with them, or 2) Their name carries such weight that I’m just taking a shot in the dark. Because you’ll never score if you don’t take the shot, right?
So you send your book out to famous people or well-known writers or whomever. In most cases, they are people I look up to. People whom I think are better writers, or more successful, or whatever kinds of self-defeating thoughts pop into my head. So I’m always nervous, because endorsers are people I so want to impress…and, at the same time, endorsers are people who are generally hard to impress. They are busy. Their time is valuable. They’re writing their own books or seeking their own endorsers. When my books hit their mailboxes, I’m always worried I’ll strike out. That these big-time voices will be unimpressed with my work and decline the endorsement.
Today I feel relieved. Stunned, happy, and relieved. Because the first endorsement for O Me of Little Faith just came in, and I would be plenty satisfied if this was the only one I got.
Because it’s from Phyllis Tickle. THE Phyllis Tickle. Legendary former religion editor for Publisher’s Weekly. Best-selling author of The Divine Hours and The Great Emergence. One of my favorite spiritual writers.
I sent a copy to her because of Reason #2 above. We weren’t acquainted beforehand, though we share a publisher at Jossey-Bass. I asked my editors there for an introduction. I had no idea whether she would agree to look at the book — or even like the book — but I was going to take a shot.
Her endorsement arrived today:
“Never before have I known of—much less ever read–a book about Christian doubt that is chocked full of laughter and sanctity, confessional candor and credible confession all at one and the same time. In fact, I did not even know that such a book could be written; but that’s exactly what Jason Boyett has done. O Me of Little Faith is the work of a devout, passionate, and believing doubter, and it has the ring of truth on every single page.”
Wow. I’m humbled, excited, and relieved. And relieved, and excited, and humbled.
Thank you, Mrs. Tickle. You’ve made my month.