I have been working on a writing project behind the scenes for the past three years. In 2021, I finished writing a book!
While I haven’t broadcast the book publicly (until now), I have told a handful of people about it. Want to hear more?
Here are the questions I usually get:
“What’s the book about?”
Young people possess excellent leadership skills, but they don’t always know it. Sadly, most young adults enter their twenties and still have trouble #adulting. I want to help motivate and equip young leaders to start leading today, so they don’t miss out on some of their most significant years of impact.
The working title is Too Young to Know Better. It’s the book I wish someone gave me when I was 20 and first felt a calling to plant a church. Next-generation leaders often experience the “maybe when you’re older” mindset. I hope this book inspires a new generation of Kingdom leaders.
A secondary purpose of the book is to help reinvigorate worn-out leaders. As we get older, we unlearn some of the valuable lessons of our youth. I hope that leaders of any age will learn and leverage the seven secret strengths that young people possess.
“Why write a book?”
Three and a half years ago, I was on vacation in Australia (it is a bit coincidental that I’m once again sitting on my parent’s back porch in Australia while I write these words). On that vacation, it rained almost every day. So instead of spending time at the beach, I sat around the house.
I didn’t want to work on “work” stuff, but I had to do something. So I started writing. Hill City Church just launched, and I was processing my journey as a young lead pastor.
It started as a long journal entry that I didn’t think anyone else would ever read. I soon had the rough outline for a book on my hands.
When I got back to Boise, I wrote in fits and starts. I read a few books written on similar topics. I even took an online course on how to get published. What prompted me to get serious about finishing the project was when my wife got pregnant with our third child. I knew if I didn’t finish the book now, I might not ever.
I don’t write because I like it. Writing is a discipline for me. Over the years, I have tried to grow as a writer because I know how vital written communication is. Words on a page are more quotable, highlightable, and #tweetable. A book can reach more people and last longer than any sermon I preach.
I think the message that God uses young people is worth sharing as widely as possible.
“Where are you at in the process?”
I finished the entire manuscript in August 2021—one month before Zoe was born! I wrote it to be a quick read (40,000 words). I want an 18-year-old to be able to read the whole book in a week without any trouble.
I’m still working on a few other aspects like citations and study questions at the end of each chapter. I’m anticipating significant edits or rewrites. The book proposal is solid and ready to send off to publishers.
I recently signed a representation agreement with literary agent Don Pape. He has over 30 years of publishing experience from Doubleday, Tyndale House, and NavPress. He’s worked with authors like Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, and Eugene Peterson. I’m so excited to be working with Don!
In talking with Don, my platform is the main thing I need to work on before we take the proposal to publishers. I have a reach of about 2,000 people between my website and social media. While publishers would love to see numbers around 10x mine, someone would probably give me a shot if I had a reach of 5,000.
“How can I help?”
If you are reading this blog post, you are already helping! Thanks! There are two main ways for me to grow an online audience.
1. Subscribe/Share the Blog.
I created this website and started the blog to build a core group of regular readers. If you haven’t subscribed, you can fill out one of the subscriber forms on the website.
Sharing a blog post on social media is a HUGE help. Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram stories all allow direct links. You can share blog posts whenever they come out or go back through old articles and share your favorite ones. Sharing with your friends on social media allows my content to reach new people I’m not connected with yet.
2. Follow on Social Media.
I have accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@joshuadbranham). If you are on any of those, we should be friends! I usually post about ministry, my family, random thoughts, and updates when a new blog post comes out.
These things might seem silly, but they are the main steps holding me back from publishing a book with a traditional publisher. Here’s why this makes a difference. If all of my Facebook friends suddenly followed me on Twitter, my total online reach would increase by over 1,000 (I currently only have 45 followers on Twitter).
Thanks for all of your support in helping me accomplish my dream of becoming a published author!
What else do you want to know about the book? Do you have any other ideas for growing an online audience? Let me know in the comments!
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