MY BOOK MIGHT ‘MAJORLY SUCK’ for all he knew. That’s what Harry Nguyen, a California college student told me in an email on January 9, 2011.
But he bought the book, Complete Guide to the Bible. And he was reading it.
He wasn’t a Christian. He may not be even now.
But his email lifted my day and got my New Year off to a wonderful start.
See if you can tell why.
Harry gave me permission to post his email.
I just bought and read the one-page introduction to your Complete Guide to the Bible, and you’re right, it did fall into the hands of someone who does not understand church lingo, and did not grow up religious.
Oh, and it did catch my eye while “trolling aisles in a store.”
Obviously I haven’t read the book yet, and for all I know it majorly sucks; but after reading the intro I felt compelled to email you. Your introduction hit my situation right on the head. I am grateful that someone out there, who can write simply but not stupidly, took the time to put this together for someone like me. It is much easier and less daunting to start here than to just straight-up pick up a Bible.
Thank you, and I’ve “liked” your page on Facebook.
Oh yeah, if you’re keeping track of demographics or something: I’m a 21-year-old undergraduate student currently attending Chapman University in Orange, California. I am Vietnamese and grew up in Los Angeles. My parents are immigrants from the Vietnam War, and I believe both were Buddhist at some point, and neither practice now. They do some rituals whenever someone dies but that’s about it, and nothing about religion (theirs or anyone else’s) was taught in our household. I bought your book at Barnes & Nobles.
Harry H Nguyen
You can read the same intro to that book in a flip book I’ve loaded onto the Complete Guide to the Bible page of my website.
If, after reading that intro, you can tell me why this is my favorite email from a reader AND if you have never received a free book from me before, I’ll send you a signed copy of one of my two most recent releases: Illustrated Bible Dictionary or Bible Snapshots.
I have 5 books to give away to the first 5 readers to nail the reason.
Just post your guess in a comment box.
Go for it.
Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t post right away. I have to approve first-timers. But I’ll post them in the order they came.
By the way, after Harry read the Complete Guide to the Bible it he posted a book review of it on Amazon.
I think of Harry every time publishing colleagues tell me I should be writing for established Christians because they’re the ones who buy the books. And especially when that publicist told me that the people I write for are my “imagined readers.”
I don’t think I’m imagining my readers. I do, however, imagine a spitball up the side of that publicist’s head.
Don’t you hate it when people take something you’re passionate about and then poop on it?
But I’m giving away too many hints about why Harry’s note was my favorite email.
“I am grateful that someone out there, who can write simply but not stupidly, took the time to put this together for someone like me.”
I am not the writer, but I thought this comment spoke volumes. It shows you know—and respect—your audience, Steve.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Gail. The balancing act comes when publishers and their sales staff want respect, too.
I think one of the reason this was your favorite email is found in this quote”I think of Harry every time publishing colleagues tell me I should be writing for established Christians because they’re the ones who buy the books. And especially when that publicist told me that the people I write for are my “imagined readers.”
Stephen M. Miller
Very good. Thanks Amahyel.