Well, the day has come, folks, the day every author dreads, but one almost every author faces sooner or later. It’s the day you get the letter in the mail from your publisher announcing with regret that they have decided to let your book go …
::screams of disbelief and terror::
Yes, I got “the letter” the other day. It’s been four years since Losing God hit the market, and, as they inevitably do with almost any book, sales have slowed to a point that it no longer makes sense for the publisher to maintain a stock in their warehouse. They’ll sell off the rest of the copies, meaning you will soon find my precious baby going for like three dollars in the budget bin, right alongside my other baby, When Answers Aren’t Enough.
If this day had come, say, two years ago, I would have been depressed for weeks, maybe longer. But I read the news on Saturday with a remarkable (for me) sense of peace and acceptance. Everything has a life span. Nothing is forever. We helped a lot of desperate people in the last four years, and that really is the point.
I will be profoundly grateful for life that God let me fulfill a dream of publishing–not once, but twice. I got to write the books I wanted to write, working with two great publishing houses wth excellent teams of people. And now that both Losing God and When Answers Aren’t Enough are out of print (though Answers remains availabe in ebook and audio form), I feel freer than ever to pursue other interests and topics. And there really are some advantages to losing Losing God.
1. The rights for the book will likely revert to me, which means I can finally pursue a digital version of Losing God that has been held up for four years because I quoted some song lyrics in the text that InterVarsity Press did not have digital rights for. I can revise the book, editing out those lyrics, and finally have that version for Kindle, Nook, etc., that I’ve wanted for so long.
2. Revising means I can also expand, including an update that is badly needed, which will fix one of the primary weaknesses of the book. Though I talk extensively in Losing God about the benefits of seeking medical help for depression, I never actually took medication for my depression until after the story of Losing God ends. The book was off to the printer in the summer of 2008; I went on 40mg of citalopram (generic for Celexa) in the fall of 2008. Nothing about my entirely positive experience with antidepressants made it into the book. I can fix that now. I can also address questions regarding the possible effect my growing awareness I was gay may have had on my depression, since I wasn’t out and did not mention my being gay in the book. In truth, I don’t think homosexuality had much at all to do with why I was depressed, but the topic is worth exploring in a revision of the book.
3. In re-releasing Losing God as an ebook, I’ll be able to offer a less expensive and immediately obtainable resource for people who are hurting. If you have an e-reader, for a few bucks you’ll have instant access to the book. No ordering. No shipping. No waiting for the book to come in the mail. And I do believe ebooks are the eventual future of publishing. It’ll take a while for the industry to get there completely, but already I find myself avoiding books that aren’t available for Kindle, and I swore I’d never give up the delightful feel and smell of a new book. I suspect I am far from alone.
And then what? I really don’t know. People have asked if I’m working on anything new. Nothing definite. I do have an idea for a book that I’m excited about exploring. It would be very, very different than either of my existing books. In fact, it would be different from anything I’ve written, period. We’ll see. One thing I learned from publishing two books is that the real joy for me is not in the publishing part of it all. (I had a then-perplexing, almost total non-reaction when the first copies of both books arrived in the mail. I would have thought I’d have been ecstatic.) The fun for me is in the writing, in the communicating. It’s in simply laying out an idea and having someone read and engage that idea. Where that happens–in a book or just on my blog–is not so important to me. I don’t think I would handle fame well, so I’m not looking to have a bestseller (although, dang, the money would be nice.)
So, we’ll see. For now, stay tuned for updates on a possible ebook version of Losing God.
It’s here! The Korean translation of Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression is available for purchase. If you or someone you know speak/speaks Korean, are/is a person of faith, are/is depressed, and/or know/knows someone who is depressed–whew!–or if you just want to support a struggling author who has his first book published in another language, you can now order Losing God, the Korean translation, from one of these fine establishments:
I’m sure there’s a way to view those sites in English? Maybe? Question mark? They also have English email addresses and international phone numbers you can call to order. Or you can just order another English copy of Losing God. Who doesn’t need a few of those lying around the house? And it makes a great last minute holiday gift. After all, what says Christmas like Losing God?
Okay, maybe not, but you should order the book anyway. Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. Every time you order a copy of Losing God, Satan gets punched in the face!
Merry Christmas, y’all.
Thanks so much to all of you who took part in “Losing God on May 10.” Many of you blogged about the event, changed your facebook status to make others aware of it, and ordered copies of Losing God. Whatever role(s) you played on May 10, please know how grateful I am.
Each of you helped raise awareness about a serious mental illness that affects 19 million people in the US every year, and you offered hope to those afflicted by spreading the word about Losing God. As one who has battled the nearly-tangible darkness of depression, again, thank you.
If you could not participate on May 10, no worries. The date doesn’t matter. Make today a day for Losing God. Tell a friend about the book. Blog about it. Order copies cheap, cheap, cheap online. Become a fan of Losing God on Facebook to hear about future events. And of course, visit my website often for the latest news on Losing God, When Answers Aren’t Enough, and future books. Oh yes, I suspect there will be others!
Today is the day! Let’s spread some hope by spreading Losing God. It’s simple:
1. Order Losing God online today. (Amazon is likely cheapest.)
2. Encourage your friends to do the same.
3. Post this as your Facebook message (or tweet it): “Losing God today. You should too. http://www.mattrogers.us/losing-god-on-may-10/2010/05/03/”.
Remember to include the link so people know what you’re taking about. And thank you for your help with this. Every year in the US alone 19 million people battle depression. Thirty thousand commit suicide in the US each year. Let’s bring those numbers down.
NOTE: I accidentally just slammed my head into the corner of my own car door. I didn’t even know that was possible, but I just did it, so please excuse any grammatical errors in this post.
Monday is closing in. Get ready to spread some hope by ordering and telling others about Losing God. If you haven’t already, invite your friends to the Facebook event, “Losing God on May 10,” and then on Monday …
1) Order Losing God online.
2) Use your Facebook status (and tweets) to tell others about the event.
Have a great weekend, and pray for my head.
I get more questions about the cover of Losing God than almost any other aspect of the book. Kudos to InterVarsity Press designer Matt Smith for a truly fantastic, intriguing cover. The most frequently asked question–which I may never understand, given that I’m not a woman, and that that is clearly a woman on the cover of the book–is whether the person on the cover is me. For the record: 1) I’m male, and 2) I don’t own a red rain jacket, so no, that isn’t me. I don’t know who it is. The cover art for Losing God is a blending of two stock photos:
Other questions I receive:
Q: Did you design the cover?
A: Already gave this one away. Matt Smith at InterVarsity Press is the genius.
Q: Did you get to approve the cover?
A: No. The right to approval was not in my contract. I had that right on When Answers Aren’t Enough, not on Losing God. InterVarsity Press did, however, kindly show me the cover ahead of time, just to make sure I didn’t hate it.
Q: Do you like the cover?
A: I love it. I think Matt Smith did a terrific job. He had a tough task, depicting the malaise of depression without making the cover itself depressing. In my opinion, he succeeded brilliantly. Everything about the cover seems to work. The book is a simple story of one man’s journey. The cover art, likewise, is simple–not too busy, and with no fancy fonts. The dim, gray clouds are perfectly offset with a splash of bright red from the rain coat, drawing your eye to the book and preventing the cover from feeling oppressive or bleak. Compare Losing God‘s cover with that of many other books on your shelf–Losing God pops. It stands out.
I can’t wait to see the cover for the Korean translation that’s in the works right now. I’ll let you know when it releases.
May is Mental Health Month. Every year, 19 million Americans wrestle major depression. Thirty thousand commit suicide. To help spread some hope this month, you’re invited to the event, “Losing God on May 10.” It’s as simple as one, two, three.
1. Order Losing God online on May 10.
The 2008 book about depression and doubt is a great resource whether you’re struggling with depression, know someone who is, or just want to educate yourself about this terrible illness. I know some of you already own the book. If so, do you know someone you could get a copy for? Or would you consider buying another copy just to have on-hand (and to encourage the publisher to keep producing books like Losing God)? You can get the book wherever, but Amazon is probably cheapest, around ten bucks.
2. Invite your friends to take part in “Losing God on May 10.”
Pass along the link to this post, or click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends.
3. Use your Facebook status on May 10 to spread the word.
Post this as your Facebook status on May 10: “Losing God today. You should too. http://www.mattrogers.us/losing-god-on-may-10/2010/05/03/”. Make sure you include the link to this post so people know what you’re talking about. You can also tweet this if you have a Twitter account.
Thanks so much for your help. As one who struggled for years with the awful despair of major depression, I know there are people out there who will hear about Losing God through your efforts and finally find some much-needed solace. Thank you for being a part of that.
Amazon.com has added the audiobook edition of When Answers Aren’t Enough. (Hint: It’s cheaper than going directly to Audible’s website, even though the Amazon link sends you to Audible. Go figure.) Click here for the Amazon/Audible page that is cheaper than the Audible-only page. The audiobook edition is also available from iTunes.
Great news! The audiobook version of When Answers Aren’t Enough is here. You can download it from iTunes or Audible.com. Just search for Matt Rogers at either online store and you’ll find it.
Please help me spread the word, too. Could you blog about it? Post a link on your Facebook wall? Mention it in your Facebook status? Tweet about it if you’re on Twitter? If you know someone who prefers hearing books to reading them and who might find solace in what I’ve written, could you point them to the audiobook? You can even give the book to someone through iTunes. Look for the “Gift This Audiobook” link.
Thanks for helping me get out the word!
Just returned from Zondervan’s headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I spent a couple of days recording the audio book version of When Answers Aren’t Enough. While there, I had the privilege of meeting many of the folks who worked on the book. What a great bunch of people.
According to Brad Hill, who oversaw the recording, When Answers Aren’t Enough, the audio book version, should show up on iTunes and other sites sometime in the next eight weeks or so. Of course, I’ll let you know when that happens.