I Am Writing a Book…

…and need your help!

I have written the first draft of an apologetics books focusing on ecumenical issues that divide Protestants and Catholics.

The working title is 50 Roads to Rome: Arguments for the Catholic Church from Faith and Reason.

Here is the trailer for the book:

In it I present fifty different arguments supporting the Catholic Church’s claim to be the Church that Christ established, specifically targeted toward Protestantism (versus, say, Eastern Orthodoxy). Each argument is easily understandable for lay Catholics and Protestants alike, drawing on history and those Christian beliefs that we share to demonstrate that the Catholic Faith is both the most reasonable and the most faith-full.

Through the help of a friend (who is both a better writer than I and more knowledgeable about what it takes to actually publish a book), I learned that gone are the days that a publisher markets your book and sells it for you; now, you have to work hard to sell your book before and after your publisher sends it to the printers.

And that’s where you come in! I need your help to get the word out and begin to build a ground-swell of interest in 50 Roads to Rome. Over the next weeks and months I will unveil more details about it and also solicit your feedback for its content. I really want to both strengthen fellow Catholics in their faith and to help our Protestant brothers and sisters come to discover the fullness of the truth in the Catholic Faith.

For this post, I would love to hear your ideas about:

1. What you would like to see in such a book (specific topics, format, etc.)?

2. Any thoughts you have on how to build interest in it (other than the blog)?

Please say a prayer that God’s will be done with it. And thank you for your kindness and support! In the immediate time-frame, you can become a fan of the book on facebook to follow its developments.

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31 Responses to I Am Writing a Book…

  1. leila says:

    Very exciting! In my opinion, there cannot be enough good Catholic apologetics resources out there. I will support you in getting the word out to those I know!

    What I would like to see (and you are good at this) is clarity! Simple and clear, even if the topic is complex. Make sure the terms are defined. In my experience debating Protestants, we so often speak past each other due to the inability to define terms well.

    As far as getting the word out: Facebook is a great avenue for that now, and if all of us promote it to our friends that way, and via email, that would be a start. Also, I found that writing an article for Catholic Exchange on my specific “passion” (Catholic Moms Matchmaking) brought over 1,000 hits to my website in one day. So, writing an interesting article and having it posted in the right forum is a great way to generate interest.

    Hopefully, you will have a website dedicated to the explanation and promotion of the book. Lots of neat possibilities with that.

    I will pray for the success of your endeavor!! I am sure I could use your book in my discussions with Protestants. I have very little time to engage in long debates anymore, but I would love to be able to give them a book to fill in the details that I don’t have the energy to provide myself!

    Blessings to you!!

  2. Steven says:

    I’m really excited about this book!
    We’ll be looking forward to the updates.

  3. Cat says:

    This is awesome! I’m always longing to study apologetics more thoroughly so that I can be better prepared to defend and share the faith (my husband is far better at intellectual debating than I so I’m trying to improve) so I look forward to your book and wish you good luck on its progress.

    I don’t have much in the way of advice, but if you can get it talked about on Faith and Family Live (since I think that’s how I came to your blog) you’ll reach a lot of Catholics willing to spread the word for you.

  4. Adam says:

    I have not seen anyone publicize his book more than this dude. Of course the book is now published but he was promoting it way beforehand. Check out the site for ideas.

    On the same vein, I’m also looking forward to this one.

  5. Karl says:

    Have you thought about getting the word out through Relevant Radio, or soliciting for interviews on podcasts? I know that there are several Catholic Podcasts out there that have very energetic followings.

  6. Roz says:

    I can’t wait for you to do this. My daughter has come under the influence of the neo-atheists and my son is a fundamentalist pastor (whom I respect but deeply disagree with), and I am grateful for the way Catholic thinkers are willing and able to tackle the Faith+Reason partnership better than anyone else.

    Regarding promotion, I have a number of ideas. These all would be best as you approach the publication date. I’m not convinced that creating buzz ahead of time is worth the effort because when people hear about it, they may want to see it right away.

    1) Establish and develop good personal relationships with the fraternity of folks who are writing good Catholic apologetics. Make them aware of what you’re doing. As publication nears, approach them for promotional reviews and quotations for the jacket.
    2) Leverage your network to get connected to Catholic media people like Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio and others who do interviews.
    3) Connect with Catholic bloggers. Comment on their posts, strike up conversations, ask their input, consult, etc. (Overlaps with #1, as you can see.) When publication time comes, ask if they’ll quote, promote, publish and interview, etc.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Devman says:

    I have a brief moment (children are asleep):

    These ideas are great! Thank you for offering them. My personality and temperament are such that I think that something should be discovered and valued for its intrinsic worth rather than promoted and hyped and marketed, so I don’t think in terms of how to market something–it just doesn’t occur to me, so this is of great help.

    I don’t know how to “break in” to radio interviews and such, but I will check into that. Also, I plan to re-purpose my old site to be focused on the book.

    Any more ideas are very welcome.

  8. Rachel says:

    I worked in cultural marketing for over 30 years. This is my advice. Aim especially at the “multipliers”, those people and organizations that would use your book as a tool to further their program by bringing it to others. Think: who needs this book in their toolkit? Try to write your book with these readers in mind. Look at your competition, and see where the holes are. And write with your target audience in mind. This should have an impact on the tone of your argument. For example, if you are writing for a young college crowd of religiously illiterate youth who want to know what Christianity is, you would right differently than if your target market were died in the wool Evangelicals. Knowing your reader and writing with that reader in mind, will help you to target your marketing. That will define where you go and what you do to promote the book.

  9. Nicole says:

    One link (about marketing) at a web site for writers–the whole site has good information to be mined.

    http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004545_02272008.html

  10. Devman says:

    @ Leila: Clarity and simplicity is something I am striving for in the book. I was once an Evangelical Protestant and so understand the different lingos within different Christian denominations. Also, I don’t go into Greek and Hebrew or anything like that–instead, all the arguments are very understandable to anyone. Thanks for the ideas; the website is in the works.

    @ Adam: I have been examining those others books’ sites and facebook pages for ideas.

    @ Nicole: I am reading that website now!

    @ Everyone: These are good ideas and will consider them all. It is a strange thing because on the one hand people will want to actually be able to buy the book once they get excited about it, but on the other there needs to be excitement and interest in the book before it is published, so it is kind of a catch-22/chicken-and-egg thing. Oh well, I’ll plow forward!

  11. Garret Graves says:

    Hi Devman!
    I would like you to change it from 50 Roads to Rome: Arguments for the Catholic Church from Faith and Reason. to Walk, Run or Fly from Rome: Arguments against the Catholic Church from Faith and Reason. That’s a better title. Oh, and change the content to Protestant (Catholic mumbles “which one, there are like 30,000″) Glad I could help!
    Thanks! Just a little levity for ya
    Garret

  12. Devman says:

    Garret, I like your honesty (and levity)!

    Seriously, if Protestantism is true, then I want to be there. There is nothing that I would like more than to publish this book and then to have a Protestant respond to the arguments and rebut them to demonstrate why Protestantism is where I should be. As I’ve told others: “I’ve been wrong before”; heck for most of my life I was an atheist. i want to know Christ and know him in the fullest, most true way possible, so I continue to seek the truth and ask for his guidance. If the Catholic Church is not what she claims to be, then I do want to walk, run, and fly from her, but for the past 9 years since becoming Catholic from being a Baptist Protestant, I haven’t been convinced that she isn’t what she says she is.

    We’ll continue our conversations; in the meantime, you should become a fan of the book’s facebook page! :)

  13. Meika says:

    This is my first visit to your blog (beautiful family, by the way), but I couldn’t resist commenting on this. As a Reformed Protestant, the two big roadblocks for me in even considering Catholicism seriously are: 1) Mary. I have the deepest respect for her and am in awe of her; I’ve even been known to pray to her (shh! don’t tell my Protestant friends!), but the discussion of her becoming a co-mediatrix with Christ skeeves me out. 2) A little broader concern, though related – teachings of the Catholic Church that seem to go beyond what Scripture teaches. The celibate priesthood is the first thought to come to mind, though there are certainly others.

    Best wishes. I’ll be reading with interest.

  14. Devman says:

    Hi Meika,

    Thank you for sharing these ideas with me and doing so with such respect.

    I can appreciate your two big concerns. As a Protestant, I felt similarly, though I didn’t even know about the discussion of Mary being declared “co-mediatrix” at the time. The other Marian doctrines seemed “bad enough” to me.

    I do not address the co-mediatrix belief directly in the book, but I do treat Marian dogmas (Mother of God, Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, etc.) at a high-level; they actually comprise one of the fifty reasons for the Catholic Church in the book. Two thoughts on the co-mediatrix belief: Firstly, it is not a dogma of the Catholic Church, but rather more like an idea being discussed and considered. If it ever is declared as true dogmatically (or even just strongly), it would have to be understood correctly, and no doubt it would be explained very correctly and precisely. For instance, Mary was dogmatically declared to be the “Mother of God” in 431 AD at the Council of Ephesus–that title strikes most Protestants very wrongly–but when understood correctly, the Church explicitly teaches that it does NOT mean that she was the mother of God in his eternal generation but rather the mother of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, who through her “yes” and the Spirit’s power became incarnate in her womb. Since Jesus is God, she is the Mother of God (and cf. Elizabeth’s greeting to her when she visits). I just use this as an example of how a title can _sound_ crazy but when understood correctly is true. In any event, I wouldn’t let that not-even-a-dogma-nor-de-fide-belief about “co-mediatrix” hold you back too much.

    Regarding your second concern, I handle the celibate priesthood explicitly in two or three of the fifty reasons. I look at it biblically, historically, and practically, including an examination of its rejection during the Reformation.

    Your feedback is very helpful. I so desire Christian unity and hope that this book might aid in that prayer of Christ’s. God bless! Feel free to become a fan of the book on facebook to see more updates.

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  16. Jack says:

    Hi – just a note to say I think you have a great subject. I am a former LC and have just finished my memoirs – book is ready for publication. You are way ahead of me: you have a title! Meanwhile, I’ve been exploring writing a blog (monkwhostolethecow.com) and I have been quite amazed at the contacts it has produced. Whether or not you intend to go the self-publishing route there is a lot of good information about marketing your book on the POD websites. As a father of grown children, I think there is a real need for a book to explain the Faith to Catholic young people who, shall we say, are not fanatics. They don’t truly understand what they believe and they are turned off by the ultra-conservative approach> That has to be a huge market – especially the parents like me who would buy it in a heartbeat. I would go ahead and start promoting now – with a dedicated website, blog, and articles on sites your target audience reads. I’ve followed your blog and I wish you the very best!

  17. Anthony Whistler says:

    I would love to help. My contact info is on my FB page.
    Would love to get together the next time that I’m in Austin.
    Lots to share, & bridgebuilding/promoting worthy people & causes is one of my charisms…this is definitely an overqualifier.
    More than anything, I’ll be praying for you & your endeavors.

  18. Devman says:

    Anthony, we gotta get together! I’ll contact you through facebook.

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  20. Nohahim Ben Elohim says:

    Greetings,

    You say the title of your book is called 50 ways to Rome and yea so there just may be, but there is only One Way into the Kingdom of God and if I recall correctly Rome isn’t on the way. I too am writing a book; actually a Book Series. The First Book is done. I am a 48 year old street preacher from Hornell and I have come as the Brother of Jesus Christ as the messenger to the seven churches (religions of the world) to tell them that they ALL are wrong and that there is a whole other “God” and “Jesus Christ” other than what any religion teaches. That ORIGINALLY it was Michael as “the LORD” or YHVH in the Old Testament appearing time and time again to the forefathers of Israel and not God or Jesus Christ and that it was Michael who is the once Archangel and Lord of hosts for God that FEEL and became the “Shining one” Lucifer! That mankind, not even you have ever gotten the first three chapters of Genesis right and there is a “God” that is Elohim that man has been missing right from the start and is not the same as this “YHVH elohim” of Ch 2-3.

    PEACE! LOVE! HAPPINESS! and God!
    The Brother of Jesus Christ
    Reverend Nohahim Ben Elohim

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  22. Spencer says:

    Devin,

    This book sounds interesting! As someone who got his first introduction to the Roman Catholic vs. Protestant debate by reading heavily Protestant church history books on Martin Luther and reading a -lot- of James White, I can offer one piece of advice which would probably make the book better for all readers:

    I would really suggest addressing sola scriptura, strongly, and reading “Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith” before doing so. (You can look it up on Amazon; it comes in three volumes. Enough penitential reading for years of Lents! ;) ) That’s considered by more than one people to be the best modern work on sola scriptura. It’s certainly one of the most comprehensive, and if you addressed some of the arguments presented by the authors, as well as by Reformed apologists like James White and James Swan, it would lend a lot of strength to your book.

    Pax Christi,

    Spencer

  23. Devman says:

    Thanks for the great advice, Spencer.

    I’ve read James White reference that book in Scripture Alone. One reason I haven’t picked it up is that I’ve read William Webster’s The Church of Rome at the Bar of History and found it quite lacking. I do reference that book in my manuscript (but the subject is Webster’s admission that baptismal regeneration was universally taught in the early Church and thus the Church “went off the rails” from the very beginning).

    I’ll have to consider your idea at greater length. Part of me feels like delving deeply into something like sola Scriptura would make the book less accessible and too focused on specific details of one topic (albeit a core one of Protestantism). Nonetheless, your recommendation that this would be valuable carries weight.

    One last note: I made a blog post about this recently, but James White in the book I have from him also calls the Scriptures the bulwark of the Faith, and the name of that book is the same “Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith.” I don’t understand why they use those words when the only thing in the Scriptures referred to as the “Ground and Pillar” is not the Scriptures but the Church.

    Thanks again!

  24. David Meyer says:

    Good luck, Looks like you could do a cool DVD for it too.

  25. Devman says:

    Thanks David, and may Christ bless you in your discernment.

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