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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 i…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

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 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.

Comments (12)

  • Life is a vapor. We are here and then we die. What we “do” and who we “are” reverberates throughout eternity. I’m glad you are a friend Seth. I’ll keep doing my part to get out the word.


  • The problem is that Hallow Recipe book is just awesome. I made the best ghost cookies last night. Next time you write a book, you need some good cookie recipes in it. Just saying.

  • I’m honestly …how do I say it?…..pondering with excitement the results of so many catching the message and acting on it! It’s time to be adding more prayers as the book is being read. It’s only just begun….

    Gotta chuckle over Halloween Recipes and Joe’s recommendation. 🙂

  • It is a great book because the message is such a liberating message: “You want to go – because you’re supposed to go – and here’s how to make sense and purpose out of all of it.”

    It’s a message that lifts burdens and illuminates pathways, and I’m really glad that you spent all the time and effort to write it all down. I thank God for his message, and I thank you for the discipline and faithfulness to write down what you’ve heard.

    Andy and I have heard another message that is liberating as well, and it gives me to courage to write it down too. We’ll see how it goes!

  • I’m “ordinging” our copy for our Kindle Fire today…. Thank you for “sharing and caring” your love
    with and for us in Christ name.

  • The way I see it writing books is mostly about spreading ideas. Godin says, “Ideas that spread win.”

    So why NOT give it away — at least for a week?

    I love your generous spirit, Seth, and am thrilled this message is getting out to the masses. Your words deserve the attention.

  • Seth,
    I have only ordered one book besides the Bible by the case, and it was written by you (The Art of Listening Prayer). I am excited to be able to share what God has currently given you so easily, quickly, and affordably (free!?). Your generousity reflects God in you ;). Thanks so much for your obedience in writing it all down to share.

  • Thanks for honestly sharing your thoughts (and your book!) Andrew Murray’s book “Humility’ is a must have/must keep book for me because of just the reasons you mention. I remember once getting enamored of the fact that I was hearing God so clearly and prophetically…and while I was on my run (yeah- must be something about Him interrupting our runs with reality) I was suddenly getting ‘proud’ of the fact that I was letting Him guide me where I was going on my run to the degree that almost every stride I was asking Him ‘right, left or straight?’ and was hearing His answer. Suddenly it all vanished at the instance I had become ‘proud’ I was such a good listener that He could guide me each step. Yup, pretty crazy to try to claim for myself a gift that God was gracing me with, but I’ve never forgotten the foolishness of that moment. So, since you were transparent, I wanted to give the gift back as you triggered a similar memory.

    “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Act 20:24

  • Good one, Melinda! Yeah, we all love a winner. Amazing how our little egos get all inflated. I have an eight pound dog that acts that way. She gets all self-important when she’s been around me, the alpha dog.

  • Lately when the enemy of my soul plants false “compliments” in my mind, I reject them with the rebuttal: “Vain imaginations!” It seems to help.

    We all struggle with our ego. But it is not something to be annihilated as Eastern religion teaches. It is God-given and meant to be channeled by God for His purposes.

    Fame on a human scale seems to be a universal desire: it’s our need to be validated. But it is a heady elixir that often destroys those who achieve it, especially the young!

    John the Baptist gives us a model to live by: “He must increase, I must decrease.” The dying out of our ego and our own way takes us to the cross daily. It’s the only way to abundant life and lasting impact in this world.


  • Joe…could I get the cookie recipe? Seth, I am a different person having met you and Karen. You guys continue to loan me faith when I need it and your example makes me want to follow Jesus into the great unknown places.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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