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Topping the best seller list with a free book

I had my 15 minutes of Warholian fame yesterday. Thanks to our awesome launch team and people like you, Kingdom Journeys hit #1 on Amazon's list of religious books. So far, we've "sold" 13,000 copies in three days. The deal is that this book that normally retails for $13.99 is …
By Seth Barnes

KINGDOMJOURNEYS 3I had my 15 minutes of Warholian fame yesterday. Thanks to our awesome launch team and people like you, Kingdom Journeys hit #1 on Amazon's list of religious books. So far, we've "sold" 13,000 copies in three days.

The deal is that this book that normally retails for $13.99 is a free Kindle download this week. So get it while it's hot, folks (here's the link).

I'm still sorting out what I think about this unexpected success. But here are a few thoughts:

Certainly, I'm deeply grateful to and humbled by those who have given their time to spreading the word about the book to others. Most of them are relative strangers. This book and I deserve nothing from them. What they're doing is like an Amish barn raising, a custom that's become all but extinct in our fiercely independent culture.

The message that God has given us a tool – the tool of a journey where physical reality and spiritual reality begin to intertwine – is a powerful one. I've seen it change the lives of thousands. I've seen it foster greater depths of intimacy with the Father for so many people

Messages like that are like the gospel itself – good news. They shouldn't cost money, so we made it free. I've dumped thousands of dollars into publishing this thing, so the souvenier edition of the message – the 250 pages of paper – will cost money. We'll see if there is a market for such a thing.

Yesterday as I was running, thoughts about the popularity of the book filled my mind. Paradoxically, a number of those thoughts were connected to the very "false self" that the book debunks. The book has nothing to do with me as a person, my intrinsic value, or what God thinks about me.

Yet, the murmur of these thoughts began to grow louder in my mind as I ran. "Wow – you're quite the author," "Look at how successful you are," etc., etc.

It's the temptation all of us who have success face – the temptation to replace reality with thoughts about self-importance. Like an obnoxious drunk at a party, the ego wants to dominate and throw itself around. You have to fight it or it will suck you down and those thoughts will actually begin to replace your normal thoughts. Let it go to long, and you can begin to lose yourself.

The good news for most of us ordinary human beings is that success is very difficult to sustain for long. Today's 15 minutes at #1 becomes the basis for tomorrow's disappointment as books like "Halloween Recipes" takes its place.

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