An Interview With Gloria Furman About Motherhood, Ninja Turtles, Burnout, and Crayons In the Microwave

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Gloria Furman is a mom, pastor’s wife, author, missionary, and ninth degree blackbelt (actually, not sure about the last one, but it wouldn’t surprise me). She recently wrote a book entitled Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are FullShe was kind enough to answer some questions about motherhood, ninja turtles, why she didn’t include 3-D pictures in her book, and why I should let my kids put Crayons in the microwave.

1) I haven’t read your book yet, mainly because I’m a guy, and it seems like it would be a little bit creepy if I was reading a book about motherhood. Or perhaps I’m just a terrible sexist. Either way, what is the main point of your book, and who is your intended audience?

The first intended audience is busy moms – and then anyone who wants some ideas on how to encourage the moms in their life. The main point of the book is how an eternal perspective changes the way we view motherhood.

2) Did you consider including any of those “Magic Eye” 3-D pictures in your book? If so, that might be a turn off to me, because I never could make the picture pop out, no matter how much I crossed my eyes.

I didn’t think about Magic Eye, but I did wonder if “Scratch N Sniff” pages would be helpful. I thought the sensory experience would really drive home my points about motherhood in the trenches. I had all kinds of scratch n’ sniff possibilities—juice box left in the car for a week, rotten strawberry in the couch cushions, all varieties of diapers, etc. But the publisher declined because this creative educational device isn’t cost effective for a trade book. Who knew?

3) To the best of my knowledge, you live in Dubai. To the best of my knowledge, Dubai is not in the United States (yet!). Based on your experience in multiple cultures, are there any challenges for Christian moms that are uniquely American, or Western? 

Answering this question succinctly is kinda tricky. When we moved to Dubai (which is in the United Arab Emirates next door to Iran and Saudi Arabia), our oldest child was a baby. Our three younger children were born here in the UAE. So, raising my children in a global city in the Middle East is certainly shaping my own perspective on motherhood challenges. Sometimes I don’t even know how my perspective has been shaped by this place until I am standing in an aisle at Target disoriented by culture shock.

There are lots of challenges I could pick from, but one issue that comes to mind is food and faith. So much could be said about it, but here’s a quick summary: I wonder if this is a relatively new challenge for Christian moms in the West. It used to be that I was only talking with my local friends about their religious diets. According to certain religious laws they can only eat particular foods prepared in a certain way. Their diet is one of the labels they wear. If the food laws aren’t followed then they feel embarrassed, guilty, and dirty. (For example, I had to reassure the guests at our daughter’s birthday party that the marshmallows were made of fish gelatin and not forbidden pig gelatin.) Of course, I am delighted to get to speak with women about faith and food from a Christian perspective (ie. Deut. 8:3, Matt. 6:25, Matt. 15:11, Acts 10:28, Rom. 14:23, 1 Tim. 4:8, etc). And in our church, when a woman is a new believer from one of those religious backgrounds then I expect that the topic of food laws will come up often. But nowadays it seems like I am having that conversation with more and more Christian women from the West who are having faith crises over their diet.

4) Do you often find yourself saying crazy things to your kids? It seems like at least once a day I find myself saying something like, “No you can’t stick Crayons in the microwave!”

You know, you could let your kids put crayons in the microwave if the crayons are grated on a cheese grater first. Your kids will think you’re crazy cool like their chemistry teacher. Just don’t put the cheese grater in there, too. I do say weird stuff to my kids. But I think what’s weirder is the stuff they say back. One of my kids told a visiting pastor who was our houseguest, “Be careful in this bathroom. Some people in this family don’t flush the toilet.” The other day I had to send one of my girls to the bedroom to “think about what she had done wrong” and she called out from inside, “Yeah, I’m alone! But I’m alone and free!” (Thanks, Frozen.)

5) What advice would you give to a mom who knows she wants to pursue Christ in devotional times, yet is also in complete and total burnout mode? And by burnout mode, I’m talking, her son has the stomach bug and is vomiting everywhere, her daughter just remembered that she needs an organic, gluten-free, vegan snack for school tomorrow, and her dog just destroyed her best piece of furniture.

This is more an encouragement than it is advice, I guess. And I know it sounds backwards to say this, but I think burnout mode is one of the tenderest times when a mom can have communion with Jesus. We only think we want to look back on long day and say, “Nailed it! High five, Jesus. You and me make a great team with you being such a good cheerleader and all.” No, what we really want is to humbly trust in our loving Father who ordains all things, consciously give our burdens to Jesus, and walk by the Spirit who empowers us to walk in the good works God has prepared for us. Fellowship with God in the midst of burnout mode is an opportunity to say and believe: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).

6) When do you find time to write? Do you agree with Bill Cosby, that having kids causes brain cells to be destroyed? It seems like writing, taking care of kids, and being a pastors wife could be a bit tough.

What if instead of cells being destroyed, Mommy Brain is where your brain cells mutate into something more powerful and awesome? For example, turtles in a sewer are boring. But turtles who come into contact with radioactive goo and grow up to be teenagers… now that’s something special. Before I had children I didn’t have to use my brain for creative problem solving… like how to close a travel crib without using directions or dynamite. I also didn’t have to think about how I would talk to my children about how babies are made. And tell them about the persecuted church. Women have to flex their brains in different ways after they have children.

I find time to write because I find it be helpful and healthy for me. I guess I write all day long in some form or fashion. Before I had a smartphone with a notes app on it I would keep an index card and a golf pencil in my pocket. When the kids are in bed I have time to sit with my laptop and write full sentences.

7) Do you think that at times, Christian moms place unreasonable and unbiblical expectations on themselves? For example, feeling like all their kids need to be able to read Latin by age seven. Or something along those lines.

Even among moms who aren’t believers they can feel unreasonable pressure to have to be “the best mom you can be.” But it seems like the kind of pressure that a Christian mom places on herself has a spiritual spin: God is perfect so he demands motherhood perfection, therefore you have to be the best mom you can be. Also, the women in my faith community seem to be able to swing this particular expectation, so in order to keep up or fall in line with what is “biblical,” then I must, too.

One troubling thing that I’ve heard regarding unreasonable expectations is calling them “failures” that are accompanied by “guilt.” I’m not comfortable with putting things like human frailty and unreasonable expectations under the umbrella of things that require atonement. Do we really want to imply that things like failing to teach kids Latin have separated us from our Maker so that the sinless Son of God had to hang on the cross and suffer the wrath of God to atone for that sin and bear away that guilt? We need to be very thoughtful when we talk about expectations and striving for excellence in motherhood.

On a related note, I think as Christian moms we should spend more time wringing our hands about the things that separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, which are, precisely, nothing.

3 Ways to Support an Author You Like

origin_3192488394This post is self-serving. Many of you know I have a book releasing in July called The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, so yes, I am giving you pointers on how to support me. But I’m also asking you to support Stephen Altrogge, who has written several books and is nice enough to let me blog on his site. And these tips apply to any author, whether they are a NYT best seller or a self-published specialist in something. You might also find it to state some rather obvious ideas. Ok, but are you doing them? These three simple actions can have a remarkable collective effect on the success of authors and their books.

1. Buy their books

Thank you, Captain Obvious, you say. But think about it. You can borrow books. You can go to the library. You can have good intentions. But actually purchasing the books is the best way to support an author. It really doesn’t matter from where you buy from either. In these days of e-commerce, every sale drives more sales, bit-by-bit. The Amazon ranking goes up, more people see the book, more purchases are made, and the author gets his or her royalty. Buy the e-book, buy the print book, no matter – this is the single best way to support authors and books you enjoy.

2. Write reviews and rate the books

Aside from buying this is the most powerful tool you have to help authors. We live a day when customer reviews are enormously powerful. Think of apps like Yelp that help you determine where you will or won’t eat. The star rating and the reviews on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Goodreads are equally as powerful. If a book has ten ratings we think the author’s mom and siblings rated it. If it has twenty-five his college classmates joined in. But if it has fifty or one hundred? Those matter. Add your voice and help the book get noticed. Major e-commerce sites have systems that rank books more highly and publicize them better if they get more ratings too, so you are doing more than offering an opinion. You are creating leverage for that book.

3. Talk about it

Two facts hold true for book sales. First, the greatest obstacle to an author having success is lack of awareness by readers. Second, the greatest incentive to buy a book is a recommendation from a trusted source. If you talk up books you overcome the first obstacle by being the trusted source. Think back to a book like The Help. The author, Kathryn Stockett, wasn’t well-known. The publisher didn’t invest big up front (If they had it wouldn’t have done anything; publishers can’t make small books big, but that’s an issue for a different day.) What made that book a national phenomena? Conversations which became purchases which became reviews and more conversations. Talking is exponentially powerful when it comes to promoting books. You can talk in person or you can talk on Twitter or Facebook or your blog. Just talk. 

photo credit: gilles chiroleu via photopin cc

The Idea That Will Make Me A Millionaire

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I have a business idea that is going to make me millions of dollars. If you promise not to steal it, I’ll share the idea with you.

It goes like this. I’m going to gather all the living authors of parenting books together into one room. I’m talking Dr. Spock (is he still alive?), Dr. Phil, the people who wrote those What To Expect When You’re Expecting books, Paul Tripp, that lady who sneaks vegetables into her kids desserts, and every other parenting author. Then, I will invite parents throughout the world to attend this gathering of authors. And here’s the real kicker: I’m only going to charge one dollar per person. One dollar! How will I make millions of dollars if I’m only charging a dollar per person? Because every parent in the world will come. I’ll probably need to rent out a couple of stadiums, because this is going to be bigger than the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and Taylor Swift combined. How do I know every parent will come? Because I’m going to offer every attendee the opportunity to slap every parenting author in the face. Repeatedly. With something cold and wet, like a piece of fresh salmon.

Genius idea, am I right? I’m going to be filthy, stinking, diving-into-giant-piles-of-dollar-bills, rich. I’m finally going to be able to do what every rich athlete does: buy his mom a house. Granted, my mom already has a pretty nice house, but that’s beside the point. The first rule of getting rich is that you always buy your mom a house. I’m pretty sure that’s in the rulebook they hand out at gatherings for rich people.

Now, if you’re not a parent, my idea might sound somewhat insane, and perhaps even a bit pathological. After all, slapping is a tactic usually reserved for terrorists, guys who ask women if they’re pregnant, and people on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To the non-parent, the idea of slapping someone probably sounds a bit extreme. And you’re absolutely right; my idea is insane. But what you don’t understand is that every parent is insane, and would jump out of their suspenders at the opportunity to slap a parenting author in the face.

READ MORE ABOUT MY BRILLIANT IDEA IN MY BOOK THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM…

Who’s Better, Extroverts or Introverts?

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In 2012 Susan Cain published a tremendous book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’s Stop Talking. Her insights opened thousands of people’s eyes to how introversion works (including my own) and how introverts are often misunderstood or over-looked. Cain doesn’t waste time bemoaning anyone’s plight but rather explain all the ways introverts function uniquely and the distinct ways they are gifted and relate to others. As an extrovert, though not an extreme one, I found Quiet exceptionally insightful and helpful in my own work and relationships.

In the two years since the book was published introverts have moved from the background to the fore, especially in business and organizational contexts. No, corporate culture hasn’t shifted so 549105954completely as to value their contributions as it should. That will likely come on the heels of the perception change that has occurred. “Introvert” now carries a certain amount of cachet. Where it was once a term of perceived inferiority or oddity, now it’s a term of substance and respect. We aren’t quite sure why or how, but we know introverts are special.

Once introverts were seen as shy, anti-social, even reclusive. They never spoke up in meetings and weren’t much fun at social functions. Subtly but strongly, those largely incorrect notions have shifted. Today’s introverts are seen as more reflective, thoughtful, introspective, and even creative. It’s well known that they aren’t so much anti-social as selectively social.

The flip side of this is the equally subtle shift in how extroverts are seen. Once extroverts weren’t seen as, well, anything. We were the norm, even the ideal, in business and social contexts: outgoing, talkative, decisive. Not so much any more. Extroverts have taken on the traits of impulsive, flighty, shallow, and insensitive.

I write in broad brush strokes to describe both Introverts and extroverts. These are stereotypes, traits I’ve seen and heard communicated in the numerous blog posts and articles written about being introverted in the workplace or the struggles of the introverted in various contexts. No stereotype is true for everyone in a group, but no stereotype arises from nowhere, either. So read these as broad perceptions, not indictments of any individual or disparagement of the whole.

Much of the perception shift seems closely linked to the old adage “It’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Introverts are seen as more insightful in many contexts because they speak less. Thus, their flaws and mistakes are invisible. This, however, is a matter of misunderstanding how people process ideas.

Imagine yourself in a meeting at work. Out of the five people in the room three are firing ideas back and forth, talking often and energetically. The other two are leaning over their moleskins taking notes or reclining in their chairs not saying much. What you’re seeing is not engaged versus disengaged employees. Rather you’re seeing verbal processors versus internal ones. Introverts, more often than not, prefer to get all the information and take some time to work through it before offering an opinion or making a decision. Extroverts talk through their thoughts. When I come into a meeting usually have a sense of an idea, but over the course of the conversation I might change that idea three or four times as I learn new information and am persuaded by others. This makes me neither flighty nor indecisive. It’s exactly the same thing the introvert is doing in her brain. I’m just louder about it.

However, when the introvert does speak her words carry serious weight. They are apples of gold in a setting of silver. Input that was once easily overlooked by the verbose extroverts it’s now perceived as a most valuable contribution. Whereas an introvert and I might have arrived at the exact same conclusion, my audible meandering route can often undermine my contribution. The introvert, after silent reflection, speaks, is heard, and is easier to respect for her care and precision.

God made extroverts and introverts for a reason. Each set of traits exhibits aspects of his character and each group is equally marked by sin. The point of this article isn’t to cry, “foul” on introverts. It’s to point out that what once was a problem in one direction (the overlooking and undervaluing of introverts) could easily become a problem in the other. Businesses need extroverts and introverts. So do churches and friendships. We balance each other so long as we respect each other and put forth the effort to understand one another. One is not better or wiser than the other, though each may be better at certain things than the other. Susan Cain was right to raise awareness of the contribution and significance of introverts. Now it is incumbent upon all of us to balance it rightly with the significance and contributions of extroverts, for the good of everyone.

photo credit: [1]an untrained eye via [2]photopin [3]cc

If You Are Going To College Or Sending Your Kids To College, Buy This Book


This is a guest post by Alex Chediak, professor at California Baptist University and author of the recently released book, 
Preparing Your Teens For College.

Why would I write a book on preparing teens for college?  Because while the link between higher education and professional success has never been stronger, and college has never been more expensive, too many of our children are starting but never finishing.  About 45 percent of those who begin at a four-year college haven’t completed their degree in six years. And about 70 percent of those who start two-year degrees will not finish them within three years. Meanwhile, among those who do graduate, about 70 percent take out loans, with an average amount of about $30,000 per borrower. And then they enter a harsh job market, one in which 25-32 year olds are more likely to be unemployed and make less money than any previous generation going back 50 years.

We have little control over the global economy, but we have tremendous influence in the training of our children. We can help them prepare to make the most of their college years (whether that means a four-year, two-year, or trade school program). Academic and professional success flow from character and maturity. And character and maturity flow from a God-mastered life, from the heart of a person who has bowed their knee to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Preparing Your Teens for College is about getting teens ready to leave the home and enter the adult world with the faith, character and maturity to be successful. It’s about training them not just for college but for the totality of their lives. The book is broken up into six sections: Character, Faith, Relationships, Finances, Academics and the College Decision itself. I talk about training teens to take initiative, accept correction, delay gratification and be firm in their Christian convictions while gracious towards those with other beliefs. I write about the importance of discernment in their choice of friends and the necessity of establishing faith-sustaining relationships. There’s a chapter about purity and intentionality with the opposite sex. I discuss how to help teens manage their money so that they avoid consumer debt and minimize any student loan balance. There are several chapters on teaching teens to study unto the Lord and use their high school years to discover and nurture their academic talents and interests. This helps them make an informed decision on whether to pursue a four-year college, two-year school, or some other kind of post–secondary education.

I’ve known many parents who feel like their teens tune them out. But even though our teens don’t always seem to care, the truth is that adult involvement—from parents, teachers, and pastors—influences them in meaningful ways. You can make a difference, and in this book I’m giving you the tools to do just that. You’ll find everything you need to have crucial conversations with your teens about the college years and beyond. You’ll be able to point out the pitfalls and highlight the opportunities.

Preparing your teens for college begins with you. Start today.

Alex Chediak (@chediak) is a professor of engineering and physics at California Baptist University and the author of Preparing Your Teens for College (Tyndale House Publishers, 2014) and Thriving at College (Tyndale House Publishers, 2011). Learn more about Alex’s work at his website.

Proof That I Can Write An Amish Romance Novel

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Amish people bring out the worst in me. Wait, that didn’t come out quite right. I don’t have any particular beef with Amish folks. They seem like nice, quiet folks, who live off the land and have a penchant for giving their sons prophetic names, like Ezekiel. What I should say is that books written about the Amish bring out the worst in me. Well, that’s not quite right either. I’m all for anthropological studies of the Amish people. I’m all for books about the history of the Amish. Heck, I’ll even take books like A Day In The Life of An Amish Boy.

The books that bring out the worst in me are Christian Amish romance novels.

Now, you, the astute and ever observant reader, may ask: Have I actually read any Christian Amish romance novels? No. If any of my friends saw me reading an Amish romance novel, they would mercilessly mock me and, in order to escape the merciless mocking, I would probably be forced to become Amish, which would be really hard for me because I like electricity and indoor toilets. But that’s beside the point. My opposition to Amish romance novels is deep-seated and existential. The fact that these novels exist is sufficient cause for me to oppose them. The fact that the “inspirational” book section of Wal-Mart is composed almost entirely of Amish romance novels, Joel Osteen books, and Guideposts devotionals is another reason I’m opposed to Amish romance novels.

However, despite the fact that I am not Amish, have never had an Amish friend, and have never read an Amish romance novel, I’m convinced I could write one. And given that Christian Amish romance novels are like high-grade meth for Christian women, perhaps I should consider penning a genre of the Amish variety. I could become the Christian version of Nicholas Sparks. Don’t believe I could do it? Then let me show off my skills.

TITLE: Forbidden Amish Love

 

Ezekiel was waiting behind the horse barn for her, just like he promised. The pale moon cast a faint glow across the rolling landscape. The wheat, which was almost ready to be harvested, rustled gently in the nighttime breeze, as if whispering a sweet lullaby. Samantha’s heart was anything but quiet. It hammered in her chest, like a blacksmith striking a red-hot horseshoe. Speaking of red-hot, Samantha was full of red-hot, yet godly love for Ezekiel.

“I knew you would come,” whispered Ezekiel when he saw her. Ezekiel was tall and broad, with thick, muscular arms that were strong enough to tame a wild stallion and gentle enough to tame Samantha’s wild heart. His eyes were blue and thoughtful, and his hair was brown and lustrous (not to be confused with lustful). His hair, though cut in the absolutely bizarre way that Amish men cut their hair, was still beautiful, like that of newborn colt. Samantha wanted to touch it, but didn’t because Ezekiel was wearing a straw hat…

YOU CAN READ THE REST OF MY BRILLIANT NOVEL IN MY NEW BOOK, THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM: THOUGHTS ON FOLLOWING JESUS, AMISH ROMANCE, THE DANIEL PLAN, THE TEBOW EFFECT, AND THE ODDS OF FINDING YOUR SOUL MATE. 

The Day Has Arrived! The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Is Officially Available!

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The day has officially arrived! My latest book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Thoughts on Following Jesus, Amish Romance, the Daniel Plan, the Tebow Effect, and the Odds of Finding Your Soulmate, is officially available! And for this week, it is only 99 cents!

Here’s what some people are saying:

I wanted to stand up and cheer! Oh wait, sorry, I was thinking of Kevin DeYoung’s book. This one made me a bit sick to my stomach. – J.I. Packer

Farewell, Stephen Altrogge – John Piper

This guy is clearly the exception to my ‘friends are friends forever’ rule. – Michael W. Smith

If you like this book, you can keep this book. – Barack Obama

Okay, all joking aside, I am very, very excited for the release of this book. It’s definitely different from my previous books. This book is a collection of essays which gives you a glimpse into the strange and wonderful world of my brain. Basically, this book allows me to be Willy Wonka and you to be Charlie (or perhaps Augustus Glut). In this book I take a close look at a number of topics, including:

  • What really matters amidst the insanity and chaos of parenting.
  • Whether Jesus would be in favor of gun control.
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Daniel Diet and Ezekiel Bread.
  • What we should make of the meteoric rise and fall of Tim Tebow.
  • The statistical odds of finding your soul mate.
  • The strange phenomenon of Amish romance novels.
  • And other various topics.

Here’s what some really kind reviewers have said:

Stephen has that particular ability to make you think hard and laugh hard in the span of a few words, and these essays are no exception. He softens the impact of his messages with his blend of humorous pop-culture references and real, honest cleverness. While it is a quick read, it is also a fantastic one. – Jeff Miller

In this book I found myself sharing many of the same thoughts recently and unable to put them to paper so I was glad to see Altrogge hit on several of them in this short book. Singles should get the book just for the Soul Mate essay alone. Parents would do well to get the short book just for the parenting essay. – Zach Probst

Stephen Altrogge does it again. Full of humor, wit, biblical truths, and a good does of reality, Altrogge cuts through much of the “cotton candy” that gets attached to Christianity, and brings us back to a few of the basics. An enjoyable and thought provoking read. – Kelsey

Stephen Altrogge is a funny guy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I’m over 50, a stay at home wife & mom to four almost all grown kids. So, while I loved the humor and the spiritual applications, reading it aloud while my 18 year old son was my chauffeur for the morning errands (perks :) , HE was also smiling and enjoying it (and he’s not a nerd!). Later, reading it with my 21 and 16 year old daughters, they also really enjoyed the humor. So, you will laugh, but you will also be challenged by the directness and reality of this author. He’s really not trying to impress anyone, so it seems, except for His Lord and Savior Jesus. Seems he really honors God’s Word quite a bit, too. Great book, I highly recommend it for all. – Donna Wenger

What are you waiting for? Get the book!

And would you be so kind as to share the goodness on Facebook and Twitter? Simply copy and past the below status:

  • Get Stephen Altrogge’s new book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, for only 99 cents! http://amzn.to/1i3kAHl

Why I Prefer Indie Publishing Over Traditional Publishing

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Tomorrow, my latest book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Thoughts On Following Jesus, Amish Romance, the Daniel Plan, the Tebow Effect, and the Odds Of Finding Your Soul Mate officially releases.

As most of you probably know, I’ve had the privilege of publishing two books through traditional publishers (man, talk about a pretentious sentence!). I’m really grateful for all the people I’ve met and all the neat opportunities that have come through working with traditional publishers.

However, in recent years I’ve made the conscious decision to move away from traditional publishing and into indie publishing. Most people think this is a relatively stupid idea. Or, they associate indie publishing with terrible authors who can’t get published by traditional publishing companies. But there really is a method to my madness. There are some very specific and concrete reasons I prefer indie publishing to traditional publishing.

IT’S WAY MORE FUN

The truth is, for me, indie publishing is way more fun than traditional publishing. The reality is, publishing companies need to make money on the books they publish. I don’t fault them for that. After all, no money means no company. The downside to this is that publishing companies can’t afford to take risks on books. They need to know that they’re going to at least make back the money they spent publishing books. Again, nothing wrong with that.

However, what this practically means is that publishing companies tend to be primarily concerned with platform. If an author has a big platform, he can get published (see Jefferson Bethke, etc.). Or, if an author writes a controversial book guaranteed to raise the hackles of large numbers of people, he or she can also get published (see Rachel Held Evans, Rob Bell, et all.).

I have all sort of books I want to publish that don’t quite fit into the mainstream of Christian literature. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum is more in the vein of David Sedaris and Dave Barry than John Piper. I want to publish a collection of short stories. I want to publish a novel that doesn’t conclude with everyone getting saved and the marriage being rescued and the football team winning the championship. Indie publishing lets me follow my imagination wherever it may lead.

IT’S WORKING REALLY WELL FOR ME

Without going into specific numbers, I can say that indie publishing has been really, really good to me. My last release, Untamable God: Encountering the One Who Is Bigger, Better, and More Dangerous Than You Could Possibly Imagine, has sold very well. The reason for this is simple: I have fantastic friends who have really helped me promote the book. I don’t have a marketing team. I don’t have a video team to help me create controversial book trailers (ala, “Farewell Rob Bell”). I just have a lot of great friends who have helped spread the word about my books.

Going the indie route has also allowed me to be really generous with my books. I’ve easily given away over 20,000 copies of my book Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff. That simply wouldn’t happen if I had gone the traditional route.

So am I done with traditional publishing? Not necessarily. But I’m having so much fun right now going the indie route, I’ll at least pause before I consider signing with a traditional publisher.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHOULD I GO INDIE? SHOULD I STAY WITH A MAINSTREAM PUBLISHER? ALL THOUGHTS WELCOME!

I Need 100 People Who Want A Free Book!

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Over the last several months I’ve been writing my face off. Last month, I released a book entitled Untamable God: Encountering the One Who Is Bigger, Better, and More Dangerous Than You Could Possibly Imagine. The response to that book has been absolutely fantastic. I’ve sold a lot of copies and gotten tons of great reviews. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! You have read my books and sent me so many encouraging words.

Now I’m getting ready to release a collection of essays entitled The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Thoughts On Following Jesus, Amish Romance, the Daniel Plan, the Tebow Effect, and the Odds of Finding Your Soul Mate. In this book I talk about:

- The insanity and pressure of parenting.

- The rise and fall of Contemporary Christian Music.

- The Amish romance novel phenomenon.

- The ridiculous absurdity of reality television.

- The Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin effect.

- The statistical odds of finding your soul mate.

- And a number of other topics.

In preparation for the March 4th release, I need 100 people who want to read the book and write an honest review on Amazon. The book is relatively short, so you shouldn’t have any problems reading it before March 4th.

If you want DIGITAL review copy of the book, simply fill out the form below. The first 100 get a copy!

Thanks so much for your help!

Win A Copy Of Untamable God!

I’m giving away ten freshly minted copies of my new book, Untamable God: Encountering the One Who Is Bigger, Better, and More Dangerous Than You Could Possibly Imagine.

I’m doing the giveaway through my favorite booksite, Goodreads. If you’re not a user of GoodReads, what the heck are you waiting for? If you are a member, enter the giveaway using the form below. Happy reading!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Untamable God by Stephen Altrogge

Untamable God

by Stephen Altrogge

Giveaway ends January 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win