A Tip For Authors

Do you ever take the time to read the endorsements on books by other authors? I do and sometimes I wonder to myself ‘ok – so he/her knows their stuff – but what kind of person are they?’ You see I know of some authors / preachers / ‘big name Christians who are gifted at speaking and writing, but who can be complete jerks even though their book endorsements make them sound positively messianic!

No – of course I’m not going to name names!

But it was the reason that on my own book I had 2 endorsements from people who actually knew me well – the good and the bad. My long time friend Stuart wrote one of them and my co-pastor for 14 years, Ryan, wrote the other. I wanted people who could without a hint of ambiguity say ‘yeah – a good book and a good bloke. He does what he writes about’.

Interestingly in the world of Christian literature they may well be considered ‘weak’ endorsements as they aren’t ‘thought leaders’ or other writers who carry a measure of authority. They are very much ordinary people – both very gifted in their own ways – but they haven’t written books so they are possibly going to be perceived as less impressive.

I drew the line at these two men, but I did also consider endorsements from people in our local community – some Christian and some not – who could speak of who I am and what I do. A well written book can open up a whole world of ideas in a fresh way, and to some degree those ideas can stand on their own – which is why we can still read books by Yoder, Hybels and the like. But I really want to know that if a person is writing a book on integrity that they live with integrity, or a book on kindness – that they are actually kind. And no one knows that quite like those who are up, close and personal.

So there’s my simple idea for keeping it real in the world of Christian literature. No BS endorsements from the people who see you doing the stuff you write about. And if you cant find people like that then maybe you shouldn’t be writing the book.

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