Today marks the 6 month anniversary of birthing my first book, Every Bush Is Burning, into the world. Last year was a whirlwind of finishing up years of working on it, getting support from amazing Kickstarter backers who made publishing it possible–and all of that capped off on October 13th when we had the release party, which was so much fun it made my teeth hurt.
After that, I was so exhausted that I kind of went into a zombie-hibernation for a couple of weeks where all I did was work and sleep (and eat lots of leftover cheesecake from the party). And then one day I realized, “Oh yeah, it’s not over–it’s just getting started.” It had finally gotten loose from the confines of my soul and into the world to be shared.
So what has happened in the brief 6 months that it’s been a thing?
Honestly, a lot. And I am forever grateful for that.
Granted, it hasn’t been an overnight bestseller that’s made Oprah come calling and turned me into a cazillionaire (do you know how much you make off of a $0.99 Kindle version? Not much:)
But it has sold well so far. From what I understand, MUCH better than the average self-published book. And most people have seemed to really like it. Many have even liked it in the “tell everyone I know, buy copies for family and friends” way, which is SO encouraging. One person even told me that they sent a copy to a distant friend who was in the hospital recovering from an attempted suicide (at which I was blown away). Incredible.
A few people have gotten angry at it, and that’s okay. I expected that.
But MUCH more importantly, I think a few people have been, or are being changed by God–and the story was somehow used to play a part in that. I’ve gotten emails, messages, and even coffee and dinner with people as a result of it–some turning into legitimate friendships, with stories too staggering to share.
And that is the most humbling thing I could ever hear–not to mention the reason I spent years writing it.
So, on this 6 month anniversary, I am grateful beyond words for how God has already begun to use it. And I am praying and begging for God to continue to use it–for it to start some meaningful and much needed conversations–that will lead to change and hope and maybe even the repair of broken hearts and desperate lives.
So, here’s to that.
(Raise your glass? Don’t leave me hanging…)
If you want to be so kind, I would certainly appreciate any prayers you would offer in that regard.
And before I go, two more quick things:
ONE: Next week, in celebration of the 6 month anniversary (and to spread the word about the book), I’m giving away a Kindle Touch and some other cool stuff. Stay tuned…it will be fun and EASY to enter. Someone will be glad they did.
TWO: I’m very, very thankful for the people who have left reviews on Amazon, and I would love to part by sharing a few of my favorite ones here. Enjoy!
I was sucked in from the beginning of the story. Every Bush Is Burning is a great read that will make you think, cry, pray, and laugh. I read it in 2 days! Not afraid to talk about ugly issues, Clements has crafted a great story of redemption that you will enjoy. I highly recommend it! -Marshall G. Darley
I am not a reader. But I finished this book in about 24 hours. I loved it. An honest look at humanity, family, friendship and the church. Brandon Clements asked and answered many tough question of faith through the main character Jack. A great read for believers and non-believers alike. The story kept my attention from beginning to end, and made putting the book down very hard. You’ll have to read it if you want to know what the twist is (I never saw it coming). -Tom Walsh
Clements’ book surprised me. I thought it was one thing, a typical jab at the Christian establishment, and it turned out to be something different, a jab at what it means to be human and to long for love, but to come up short, the kind of jab that makes us all start looking, and maybe finding, that love we had forgotten. -Joe Bunting
This book is a feast of moments that make you laugh, make your eyes moisten and make you shake your head in complete agreement.
Rarely does a religious book work exceedingly well on the multiple levels of good writing and resonant theme and topic, but this one DOES. The prose is fantastic but the pace is fast and the narrative isn’t heavy-handed or preachy. It aptly addresses the issue of faith in a personal and general sense without devolving into Christianese. Any rational person, regardless of their belief system, would agree with most of the commentary on American Christianity that is sprinkled throughout the book.
I can’t wait to recommend this book to others and I can’t wait to read Brandon’s follow up. -Knox McCoy
I must say I had little by way of expectations for this young, unknown, first-time author. After the first few pages I was pleasantly surprised with his down to earth, easy to relate to writing style. And I was hooked! This storyline moved quickly, his characters’ human reactions were dead on and he managed to surprise even me, which is hard to do! This novel exposes two common issues in our society, emptiness and hypocrasy with great understanding and yet manages to inspire hope for those needing it. I highly recommend it to anyone testing the waters of Christian Lit (like me) and I look forward to reading more from this promising new author. -H. Conn
The book was a very raw and real look at how many in the US perceive the Christian Church to be today. It was sobering look at how our own selfishness destroys everything around us. I appreciate the author’s guts in making a human being sound human. It is a rare find to such authenticity in a book of this genre. Excellent read! -J. Stone
Nothing I seem to write about this book says enough to do it justice. It brought me to tears, caused me to sit contemplatively still, and woke my roommate up laughing. Brandon Clements doesn’t hold back and doesn’t pause to ask if you’re ready. -SomethingRed