Fifteen years ago (I thought it was ten, but Miska had me do the math and bam! it’s 5 more than thought), I began my blog. For the past decade and half, most every Monday, I’ve scribbled a few words and posted them. This work has been my delight, and though some weeks the words may be lithe or fiery, other weeks they’re dinky and plain. It’s like our lives, isn’t it? Sometimes it revs; sometimes it putters. But the way forward is simply to keep moving, keep working, keep loving. Over these years I’ve slowly connected with you. Some of you are friends in the flesh. Some of you have become friends from a distance, with your emails or comments or Facebook connections. Some of you are quiet souls, but you’re there, reading. And I’m grateful.
I’ve always thought of my blog as one way that I can offer a small, simple gift to the world: a few words that I hope somehow contributes to the world’s beauty (rather than its desecration). I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded, but I’ve worked out of my desire to contribute something toward your own hope and joy. I pray that, here and there, you’ve found light and goodness in this space.
However, today is the day when I bluntly ask you to do something for me in return. Though it’s been 9 years since I’ve published a book, these longer works sit at the heart of what I have to offer as a writer. And yet, my books have received less than lackluster attention. The fine folks at Eerdmans have taken another gamble that they won’t lose their shirt on me, and they’ve published my first fiction: Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church. And cue the fireworks: It’s released today. Amazon, big boys on the block as they are, actually started shipping books early, but the book is finally available nationwide today. It’s a party!
And I will not mince words: I need your help. Publishers talk about how important a writer’s “platform” is, and while there’s obvious truth to this notion, I’ve never much liked the word or the energy that surrounds it. The reality is that according to the Powers that Be, you are my platform. You are the people who (I hope) believe in my writing, find meaning in it and believe it’s worthy of being read. However, we are small in number. And I need your help especially today and then over the coming few weeks. I really don’t have any backup team; you’re it. If you think that my books should continue, then I need you to throw a little weight my way.
Here’s what you can do:
Buy the book. A straight up ask. I give away most of my words for free, but these words I need you to purchase. You can find Love Big, Be Well at Amazon, Hearts and Minds Books or your favorite local bookstore. And if possible, it helps to buy books today, as we launch it into the wide, wide world.
Consider purchasing the book as a gift for your pastor, friend, sibling, aunt (heck, your deranged neighbor who stares in your windows at night – at least it will keep him occupied for a couple evenings). It’s like $13 at Amazon (and Hearts and Minds is offering a 20% discount), and if you buy a couple copies, you get free shipping. I mean, you might as well spend the money on this Christmas gift rather than a new toe-ring for Grandma or a new fidget spinner for the cousins.
Send an email to a few of your friends who you think might be interested and tell them about the book. Lots of people are looking for new books as we move into the holidays, and most of us snag the books that people recommend to us. If you want someone else’s recommendation to pass along, you can use either of these images I’ve shared or you can tell them that some reviewers have compared it to Wendell Berry’s fiction or to Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead. Or better than all that, you can just tell them that a guy you know named Winn has written a book you think they might enjoy.
Review on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes and Noble. Especially Amazon. The more reviews, the more people see the book; I don’t know how this magic works.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for your help.
11 Replies to “The Day I Ask for Your Help”
Winn, I am visiting via John Blase and Seth Haines who always sing your praises. Launching my own book for the season not three weeks ago I am buried in the same process as yourself. However, when the dust settles I will send forth my hard-earned bucks towards Amazon and order this fine book.
Many blessings to you (p.s. I’m a huge fan of your work at InTouch Magazine. Just sayin’. Your words go out in more places than you’ll know).
thank you very much, Jody. And I hope your book flies off the shelves.
Being a witness to your friendship with John, I preordered your book and got the ship notice yesterday. I rarely read fiction but have lots of friends that do. Because you asked, I’ll be a megaphone. May your words be multiplied.
“Because you asked…” I like that. I’m glad I asked. Thank you.
I ordered the book yesterday and can’t wait to read it. Your posts are always a welcome respite, thought provoking and heart changing. Thank you for your gifts in written form.
Thank you, Mary.
Pre-ordered your book based solely on the basis that I love your blog and how you craft words. I was so delighted to receive it early. I am truly sad that I am almost done. I just ordered a copy for my pastor as I know he’ll enjoy it immensely. Please keep writing, your words make our faith so winsome and beautiful.
Grateful for your blog and thrilled to learn of the book. Ordering now. And I will share. Your perspective (and gift for expressing it) are sorely needed in our world today. Thank you.
You are generous, Cathy. Thank you.
You indeed have given beauty and truth to the world, Winn Collier. Friends gave me a copy of your book and I just completed it tonight, enriched and encouraged by another sweet, deep drink from the well that satisfies. I recognized the voice because I read your blog occasionally. But now I have a fuller understanding of your heart as a pastor and several church terms and practices, all of which has expanded for me what I read in Psalms 16: As for the saints, they are the excellent ones in whom I delight. Thank you, Pastor Collier , for all that it took for you and Miska to write and publish this book, and thank you, our Father! For there is no good apart from you.
Thank you, Jacky. I really appreciate your kindness here. Thank you for reading.