“When will your book be done?”

I have a love/squirm relationship with that question. After sharing a project, the upside is all of the cheerleaders and people who genuinely are excited. On the downside, if you don’t have a definite date to publish, you get to be shifty again and again with, “Oh, I’m working on it.”

And you know if you receive The Messy Middle letters, I first said the book would be written last December, then in January, then March, then April, then in early May it was done and entered the editing and rewriting phase.

Publishing a book can be a lot like having a baby. You know it will happen, you just don’t know exactly when or how the birth process for that baby will be. (Famous line in our family comes from my Grandpa Farley as he was having to reschedule a flight back to Michigan because I was not entering the world at the predicted time. “Now, when don’t know when the baby will be born, do we?” Eternal scream from pregnant woman ensues.)

“Now, we don’t know when the book will be published, do we?” Eternal, oh you get it. But today?

Go ahead, ask me. “When can I buy Getting Started: Making the Most Of Your First Year in Cross-Cultural Service

I’ll try not to smile too big when I say, “Today!!!!!!!”

The lighting isn’t the best in that photo, but it was a Sunday night and the proof copy had arrived that day. I was too impatient to wait for daylight!

Getting Started is on Amazon (both Kindle and print).

This is the fourth time I’ve launched a book and again I feel a bit like I’m saying to you, “Do you like my baby? Will you, my people help raise her? Will you stand with me in the good times and hard? Will you still like me even when she disappoints or does stupid things?”

And all the people said, “We will!”

You might wonder, That’s great, but I’m not sure what to do. What can I do? Here are five ways you can help with this raising of Getting Started:

1. Celebrate! Of course I hope this book sells decently because I truly believe that too often we believe that our stories don’t matter. They do. Getting Started is a traveling companion and guide for those in their first year and the hope is that if the first year goes well (or at least better) than all of the following years will benefit. Even if “the following years” are not on the field.

But if this books sells and I have no one to share it with, what have I gained? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. What is worse than watching sports by yourself and having no one to high-five? Nothing. Okay, there are worse things, but in that moment, it’s pretty low.

I’m high-fiving you! Woot, woot! If you weren’t here, there would be no book. I did it. You encouraged me. We did it. Let’s enjoy this moment.

2. May I boldly suggest, buy a copy of Getting Started? Purchased copies through Amazon are the only way that Amazon will start to recommend Getting Started as an “also bought.”

4. Suggest or give Getting Started to someone you know who is in their first year. The best way a book sells is through word of mouth. If you tell them and they know you, they are much more likely to buy it.

5. Leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It does not need to be five stars (though if that’s what your heart is saying, go with your heart!). Amazon is funny, she just likes to see the amount of reviews. The more reviews (even three or four star), the more she will say, “Hey, maybe I should tell other people about this book.” The goal is 75.

6. Tell someone about Getting Started. You know tons of people I don’t know. You know people living in Sweden or working at this church or for that organization. You know your neighbor’s cousin who is moving to Brazil or your former coworker who recently started his life on the field. You know mission committee members and pastors and counselors.

You might be a blogger who would like to interview me or write a review of Getting Started (I can offer a copy as a giveaway). Who could you tell about this book?


Three final thoughts:

  • If you want to buy Getting Started in bulk, leave a comment. I will contact you and we can work out a discounted rate.
  • I find authors who only talk about their books tedious. We get it, you wrote a book. How about living a life too?! My bias, I know. Later I’ll share a bit of the journey of this book and wanted to warn you in case you fear that every post is going to be about this book. It’s not. And I’m off to the Minnesota State Fair this weekend! How’s that for living a life :)?
  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If any book is a communal one, this one is. More than 180 people participated in a survey that informs Getting Started and for the first time ever a Launch Team has read the book ahead of time and helped more people be prepared for their first year.

This is not my contribution to the world. It is ours. Look what we’ve done.

Because today is a day of celebration! Leave a comment and I’ll draw three of your names and you can give this book to someone you know—yourself included :). I love this GIF because so often, cross-cultural service is a bit like being in an episode of The Office. High five to us!

As we launch this book and wait to see how God will use it, I want to end with the benediction I gave at the end of the acknowledgments:

I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3



P.S. One last time, here’s the link for Getting Started.

Leave A Comment

  1. Kris Gnuse August 29, 2019 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Excited for you, Amy, and all the lives that will be better for your wisdom and humor along the journey.

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      Amy September 3, 2019 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kris :)!!!~

  2. Liz Kamper August 29, 2019 at 10:12 am - Reply

    High fives all day long friend!! We just re watched the entirety of The Office, so I so appreciate Jim and Pam’s high fives! Thankful for you lady! Your baby is gorgeous and she might do stupid things (but I doubt it) and yes we will help with the care and feeding! heheh. And the State Fair?!? That is living the abundant life my friend! Enjoy!

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      Amy September 3, 2019 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      I’m half-way through rewatching The Office . . . and am reminded why it is such a classic :). High-five back!!!

  3. Amy Large August 29, 2019 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    FOURTH book already?! This is amazing, Amy, and I’m so thrilled for you. I look forward to purchasing even if I don’t win. This topic may not apply to me any more but I can hear you talking when I read your books. :-D

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      Amy September 3, 2019 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Thank you friend :)

  4. Elaine August 30, 2019 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! I wish I had this book before my first year! It will be such a blessing to lots of folks.

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