Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Edge Induced Cohesion:
The Journey Begins: A Walk Of Faith
by Lynn M. Strong
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Spiritually fed, spiritually led and poetically said. When Lynn Strong found himself forced into early retirement at age 58, he felt utterly lost. In desperation, he turned to God and prayed for answers-for guidance on this unplanned detour. That day, he surrendered his all and vowed to serve the Lord as never before. The Journey Begins: A Walk of Faith is a collection of poetry that reflects Lynn’s personal and spiritual journey. Inspired by the Spirit as God led him each day, the poems are simple and accessible, yet filled with raw emotion and a joyful celebration of faith.
There are times where knowing something about the context of a book makes it more enjoyable to read. This short book, about 90 pages in length, was written by the author when he was put on early retirement at the age of 58, and struggled with feeling old and unappreciated, and having a hard time finding good work again. What he did was something remarkable, and wonderful, and that is writing this particular short book and sharing with the appreciative readers of this book his own reflects and thoughts and poetry. As someone who has read many books from this publisher , this book definitely gets self-publishing right, and that is by providing something other people are going to want to read. There are a lot of people who struggle with growing older and being forced into early retirement, and this book is short enough and well-written enough that it would be a comfort to many people and an encouragement for them to write about their own thoughts and feelings and to share their own struggles with the negativity involved in feeling like the purposes of life have been reduced by a lack of work.
After an introduction, that explains the genesis of the author’s writings, this book consists of more than 40 reflections with a particular format, given a title and with three verses or short passages from the Bible, a commentary of one to three paragraphs, and a short poem made up of quatrains with an ABCB rhyme scheme that sound like the metrical psalms popular in many English-speaking Protestant churches. The titles generally give a fair picture of the contents: Help Us Lord, Old Age, Power Monday, Our Walk / Your Way, Keep The Faith, In The Press, and Thoughts In Mind are some examples of the contents provided in these pages. The contents are all very straightforward–this is not deeply symbolic and mysterious poetry but rather direct and often didactic poetry written in the first and second person. As someone who has read more than my fair share of really bad poetry, it is nice from time to time to read poetry that has no pretensions and that manages to convey its point straightforwardly. Those who read this book will not be in any mystery about what the author is talking about, and are likely to find some encouragement in the author’s words as well as the choice citations from scripture.
The title of this book gives the indication that there is likely to be more material from the author yet to come. If, for example, this is the beginning of a journey, there may yet be more volumes of writing from the author, and that is likely to be enjoyable. The author has been married to his high school sweetheart for 40 years and has also been involved in prison ministry, both of which are spoken of here in the book, and both of which likely can provide the author with insight for further books. Perhaps having begun his writing with this particular volume, the success of these efforts will encourage the author to future books, which, if they are as good as this volume, will likely also be encouraging and pleasant to read. The author strikes the reader as someone who was likely not encouraged to be a writer during his youth, and as a result the author appears not to have spent years practicing work. It is noteworthy that it was a crisis of retirement that prompted the author to begin to write, and one can only hope that he found as much peace and enjoyment writing this book as others are likely to find reading it. The world can always use more people who write honestly and well.
[ reviewed by Nathan Albright of Edge Induced Cohesion ]
Here’s what another reviewer said:
At age 58, Lynn M. Strong was forced into early retirement. He felt lost, desperate, looking for guidance…. Lynn turned to God and his prayers were answered. He surrendered himself to the Lord and was filled with these poems and verses that are written in his book, The Journey Begins.
I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to review this book. As I read each poem I could feel the difficulties that Mr. Strong faced and I could feel how God’s love and guidance lifted him and help him along the way. As I read the poems and the verses I could feel the Lord lifting me from a time of sorrow that I had been placed inside. I know God is there for each of us. Loving us… helping us.. we just need to give him our all. That’s exactly what Lynn Strong did and in his book you feel the love of God as you read each page and enjoy his beautiful soul.
– Amazon Reviewer Amy
Thanks for reading! Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!
Self Publishing Advisor