When I was a youth pastor in Florida almost 20 years ago, I felt the Holy Spirit impressing upon me to write a book. Who was I to write a book either then or now? Over the years, I have learned the beautiful sovereignty of the Lord who is able to work even through the ‘foolishness of preaching.’ Outside of Christ, there is none in the Body who is greater than another. The disciples were always trying to out-do one another and we are still doing it today in the church, but we don’t have to be someone great in the eyes of men to be used of God. The Lord can and will accomplish miracles of glory though we are lowly jars of clay. This is His gift to us. He wants us to be involved in His work. In His sovereignty, He is able to reveal Himself through people who are so imperfect and lacking that the work done through them can only be considered miraculous. As this lesson has sunk into my spirit, my insecurities of not being a good teacher of the Word or not being a good writer have begun to shrink. They are still there, but the Lord continues to help me overcome.
A little over a year ago, I finally published my first book, The Journey. It was a self-publishing project as this was my only path into this field without being the pastor of some kind of megachurch. I would say that this project accomplished its goal. It allowed me to work through the process and produce, market, and distribute my first published work. Though this was a financial nightmare and in some ways continues to be, I believe it was a learning process necessary for me to be successful in getting the Good News out to more and more people. So many of you read the book and have given great feedback. I can’t thank you enough. The Lord used my ‘foolishness’ to help many overcome emotional pain, find their calling in the ministry, and encourage those who had been searching for answers and I give the Lord all of the praise for what He has done through my work.
Through this, the Lord has continued to impress upon me to keep writing. I am currently writing two books. I write just a little bit each day. Well, I try to write at least four days a week for a little while, but the time for this does not always provide itself, but it is my weekly goal. As I have continued to write without really knowing the next process, the Lord encouraged me to begin to present my work to traditional publishers, rather than going through another self-publisher. I could not afford the financial burden of another self-published work. The first publisher that I sent my work to was Tate Publishing. They came back to me wanting to publish a 2nd edition of The Journey and I signed a Publisher for Life contract. This simply means that they are committed to publishing each book as I write as long as things go well. I don’t know if Tate Publishing is the next step or my final step in publishing, but this is a very good thing the Lord has done. The biggest difference between a self-published book and a traditionally-published book is that in self-publishing, they are simply producing for you the physical product and not much more. And they do this because you pay them to do it. A traditional publisher carries the full burden of producing the physical book along with marketing strategies and publicity for the book with no cost to the author. Praise the Lord! As a first time author with them, I was required to retain a publicist. I will have this publicist for every book from this point on. I was required to put a retainer down that was less than one tenth of the total cost of self-publishing and this amount will be returned to me after (hopefully) 2500 copies of my book are sold.
I am sharing this with all of you because this is very personal to me. I feel this is an extension of my preaching ministry. I write only what I have already preached. I want to exhaust my abilities working for the Lord in this way. I am asking for your help. First and foremost, pray for this ministry to reach its potential and surpass it. Secondly, to be successful writing and to maintain this arrangement with Tate publishing, I need to do the work required. The first step in this is a strong platform. Platform is the word the publishing industry uses to describe my sphere of influence as seen through social media, books sales, speaking engagements, book signings, etc. Building a strong platform begins with friends, family, and early-followers. And I consider all of you my friends.
I am asking you as my friends to help me increase my platform. If the Lord has used my writing to bless you or others you know in any way, please encourage them to ‘like’ my facebook page (www.facebook.com/leeyoungthejourney) and to subscribe to my blog (pastorlee.org). This would be a tremendous help as we gear up for this second edition of The Journey. If you have not yet purchased a copy, I am going to ask you to wait for this 2nd edition which may be out around Christmas time. Finally, if your pastor, no matter the size of the church, is looking to take some time off or would simply like to not have to preach one Sunday, have them contact me. Men’s meetings, marriage retreats, and regular services would all be great opportunities for me and hopefully the Lord would use me to help others in their walk with the Lord. Also, if you have a local Christian bookstore or coffee shop, please send me the information so I can have the publicist contact them bout a book-signing event. All of these will help me get the message of The Journey to more and more people. The publicist will contact the major bookstores directly.
I can be contacted through the ‘contact me’ page of pastorlee.org. If this doesn’t work, email me at email@example.com. Again, lift up this ministry as you pray. Pray the Lord will inspire words that will bring healing, encouragement, and reconciliation in me to help others draw near to Him. And pray for the next couple of books. One is about learning to trust the Lord enough to move straight into our blessings. The other is about marriage and romance. Pray for me as I continue to work on these.