No, I do not really have the time. But yes, I will absolutely help with your book launch!
I will show up to your launch events because I know how much it means for people to show up. Especially in a care-giving profession where the “ministry of presence” is part of both my roles as pastor and mother, being there for people at significant moments is something I do, but others rarely do for me. I know you are in the same boat, so let me be one who flips the script for you.
I will absolutely find the time to write you a blurb for a book proposal, be part of your FB group hashing out the idea, introduce you to my contacts and send out photos of me holding the book, recommending it to my friends on social media. If members of your launch team get free advance copies, I’ll buy extras to give away to friends, especially in other denominations or spheres of influence.
I will write you book reviews: on Goodreads and Amazon and anywhere else you want me to. You say human effort has to massage the algorithms for your book to become a “recommendation” to those who could really use it? And timing is crucial – it needs to happen in a rush on Day 1? Let me at those algorithms. Which of the online platforms I have written for could use a thoughtful book review? I am on it. Would you like me to introduce you to anyone I write for, to publish an excerpt? Consider it done.
Yes, to the cynics, there is a little bit of quid pro quo in supporting other writers. I do hope that when it is finally my turn to launch a book into the world, they’ll remember and be willing to help me out in their networks. Yet for the writers I know personally who do this, that it is about so much more than trading favors.
Going out of my way to join a launch team without being personally asked is also about the collective good, in my mind. Women’s voices and progressive voices of faith especially need to be amplified. I want people to know we are here, instigating conversations that everybody really needs to have. In spreading the news about your book, I am starting conversations I want to shape the public discourse, for churches I serve to discuss, for faithful-but-not-particularly-church-going friends to know exist. I want there to be smart, loving, insightful takes on adoption that influence how people think about our adoptive family. I want to interact with colleagues and congregants who can appreciate the beauty of pithy prayers that read like poetry for adults or children. I want my relatives who live in “red” states to have a source I trust, to read about faith and politics instead of disengaging. I want MORE influences showing the power of girls leading and busy people claiming sabbath and talking about the end of life in healthy ways. So I will promote Rosalind, Meta, Tracy, Angela, Ellie and Dana’s books like it is my job, to help however I can to launch them into the world.