I’m years behind the curve of understanding the impact that self publishing has had in the publishing business. I’m last one off the blocks in learning the ins and outs of social media. When it comes to technology and consumer electronics I like mine 5+ years old. I’m not in a rush here folks, so why do I feel so much pressure?
Pinning one’s hopes on becoming the next Jeffery Archer or Stephen King has probably slimmer odds than winning the lottery. Self publishing an ebook on Amazon means that the work in question has to be finished and polished. Such dilemmas. Looking at the offerings for advice on preparing a manuscript runs the gamut from: ask a friend who is an English teacher to read it, to: hire a team of editors, illustrators, marketers and publicists.
What if I choose none of the above? From my vantage point every strategy I have seen to date has really just one goal: selling books. Which is another way of saying: making money. What if I were to take that out of the equation? If making money has no bearing at all on my motivation, then why am I motivated?
With the ultra-connected internet of everything breathing down our necks let’s take a moment to think about cultural longevity. When kids were asked which would they prefer, a long-lasting stable career or to produce a viral video? Most of them chose the viral video. It would be pretty neat wouldn’t it? to have 1 billion views of a video of me tipping over a barbed wire fence and having my pants ripped off. Hilarious. Painful, but hey, it got 1 billion views.
The quest to go viral has become viral.
Given this backdrop, of multiple multimedia platforms able to reach about 1.6 billion people around the world, let’s think about this: would it be possible to have our ideas, characters and story, woven into the cultural fabric of our time? It is theoretically possible to have the entire collective consciousness of internet users be familiar with our product. It should even be possible to do this without either spending or making any money.
If it is possible to do this it would represent a breakage of the link between wealth and influence. Traditionally wealth would be necessary to have influence, and a great example of this is the Donald Trump Presidential campaign. Love him or hate him, the power he has to attract media coverage is because of the influence of his wealth.
Poor people have had great influence, to be sure. Jesus Christ for example. He feeds a deep spiritual need and give hopes to millions of people. Could that avenue be tapped? Could we find the spiritual truth that people today don’t even know that they need, and use it to become universally known? Would it be wrong?
These are interesting times to be sure. let’s not miss something blindingly obvious because we are trying to make money.
So we come back to the thing that has been bothering me. Jesus Christ gave to the church a great commission,
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the World. (Matthew 28:19,20)
Given the power of social media to reach out to people all around the world, it would seem that there is a moral imperative to use it to reach as many people as possible. Let’s face it, all this technology and the power of the internet surely has more value than to simply promote pornography, right? Plus, if our endeavor is within the will of God then His divine power and influence will be brought to bear. Imagine that, we can do like an experiment, a testable hypothesis indeed:
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:7)
Consider this my way of telling the world that I am beginning an evangelistic mission, preaching salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. On the internet, for free.