I get a lot of questions about the price of my book The Runaway Pastor on amazon.com. Several different booksellers are there offering the same book for various discounts (or premiums) as well as varying levels of shipping costs. Yeah, I don't know. All I can say is that I'm amazed at the intricacies of how this business operates. And, I guess I'm just glad that it does.
First of all, this online bookstore (known as the largest bookstore in the world) provides an easy way for a book to be purchased almost anywhere in the western world. They receive the mother of all discounts when selling a book, leaving publisher and author with a very small cut on the deal--so to speak. The large discount they get from the publisher is a small price to pay when compared to the service they provide. Besides, I have no illusions of making money on this book.
Second, the feedback system is amazing. Of course there is the review system. Readers are provided the opportunity to give each book sold there a rating between 1 and 5 stars, then they write and record their thoughts and put them up for anyone to see! If you have read the novel, and if you have ordered from amazon.com before, I would invite you to review the book there. Thanks to all of those who have.
Another aspect of the feedback system is something I'm just beginning to understand: The book ranking. Each day on the book's page at amazon.com there is a ranking that shows. At first these rankings seemed insulting. But there are millions of books in the system, and being ranked in the hundreds of thousands, isn't bad I guess. (I've had an occasional gust of the low 20 thousands.) This project is one with no marketing budget, no paid advertising, etc. So if it grows, it will be because one reader recommends it to another, and slowly it gathers a following.
My only hope is that the messages of the book will get through to those who need to hear it. Soon there will be questions for discussion at runawaypastor.com and bulk discounts from the publisher so reading groups at churches or elsewhere can discuss them. Each one will be keyed to a paragraph or chapter reading from the book. These questions give me hope that people will wrestle with the message of the book. (If you have a suggestion for a question, please send it in.)
Thank you for reading here. Occasionally I will update you about the book project at this place, and more often I'll just write about life from my perspective. Eventually I may use this site for the book, and start another to do such writing. At this point in my life, I feel an urgency for the message of The Runaway Pastor to get out there. And I'll follow that leading as long as I must.
(NOTE: Please check out Zee's blog. She is an incredible young writer I met when she was a little girl in Kiev, Ukraine. Just click on her name in the comment column, and follow through her info to her blog.)