How Pastors Become First-Time Authors Without Typing a Single Word
As a pastor in your community, do you have a God-inspired book idea that you’ve been wanting to develop, but just haven’t yet? Maybe you haven’t become an author for one of these valid reasons:
- “I’m too busy running our church to write a book”
- “I’d rather spend my free time with my family”
“I have inspired ideas but lack the writing skills”
“I wouldn’t know how to turn my sermons into a book”
If so, perhaps you’ve considered working with a ghostwriting and publishing agency. Now, I know the term “ghostwriting” can be a bit mysterious. That’s why I’m going to do my best to demystify the 5 stages that every agency should be able to help you with, which are:
Ideas and Extraction
Writing and Editing
After reading this, you’ll know what it takes to join forces with a team of writing, publishing, and marketing professionals who will take your sermons—in whatever form they’re in—and develop them into a book, launching your book ministry. But first …
Why Should a Pastor Transform their Sermons into a Book?
In spreading the gospel, you already have an immense impact on the world. But if you don’t have a book to augment that impact, you’re missing out on a remarkable way to reach and impact thousands of lives.
Even if your selflessness and compassion are through the roof, even if you already have a thriving congregation, even if the Lord’s inspired words have touched hundreds of thousands of followers through your sermon series on YouTube—without a book emblazoned with that title and subtitle you’ve been dreaming about, you’re not taking full advantage of your unique position.
Done right, a book can become a powerful extension of your church’s outreach strategy, encouraging readers to connect with Christ’s teachings. In ways unlike videos, keynote speeches, and other mediums, a book can deeply communicate your best ideas to people who need it most.
Have you experienced a life-changing series of events that you can’t get out of your mind? Do you want to share your story with the world so that others can learn from your ministry successes and failures? Maybe you want to write about your approach to serving out of the abundance of your heart, or about your battles with pride that ultimately led to greater things. Or perhaps you want to write about how you view the future of your ministry and the changes you want to see.
You probably aren’t aware of the invaluable content that you carry with you because, to you, your sermons are old hat, they’re just you being you. But to others, they could change their life. And not just one life. Hundreds of thousands of lives. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
As a leader of your congregation, you’re doing something worth writing about. And it would be a shame to rob the world of your biblical insights that help others on a practical level. The possibilities are endless. Whatever the topic, books are the consummate vehicle for delivering your ideas, arousing interest in the Word of God and His will, and helping you reach more and more souls in your faith-filled community and also across the globe.
So let’s begin! Here are the typical phases that all pastors will experience when bringing a book to life via a ghostwriting agency.
The Ideas and Extraction Phase
The Ideas and Extraction Phase
As you refine your ideas in the Idea and Extraction Phase, exploring what you want your book to be, your ghostwriter will draw out questions like:
If your ideal reader Googled your book, what phrases would they type in?
What specific statements of value do you want readers to glean from your book?
What other ends (e.g. promoting a ministry, generating leads to a podcast, inviting people to your conference, acquiring speaking engagements) might your book be a means to?
What insights into kindness, prayer, forgiveness, etc. do you have that people will benefit from?
Which of your best stories have enriched your congregation and could enrich your readers?
What real-life examples from your ministry would you like to use?
The Writing and Editing Phase
In this phase, your ghostwriting agency meticulously transforms all of your sermons into a book, asking themselves questions such as:
Is this holding the reader's attention?
Is my writing straightforward and easy to understand?
Am I showing the reader why this is not only relevant to their faith but also important to the those they love?
Is my writing inspiring the reader to think deeply about these ideas and possibly even take action on them?
This phase also involves sending feedback back and forth with your ghostwriter, all with the goal of making your book better. Likewise, you’ll work with an editor, a proofreader, and a fact-checker to ensure that your book is just right.
The Publishing Phase
Hooray! In this phase, your ghostwriting agency designs your book cover, writes your book description, and publishes it wherever good books are sold. This includes a bunch of technical stuff, such as linking your book to the right categories and keywords so that it shows up optimally in search results.