Is There A Need for Books for Women in Ministry?

Here's how my publisher appointment went...

I met with a Publishing Company and a Literary Agent last Friday and Saturday to discuss my book.  It was encouraging.  It was discouraging.  But ultimately, it was enlightening.  I was encouraged by the publisher.  Discouraged by the agent.  And enlightened as to why I’ve only been able to find two other books written by women preachers for women preachers.  Here’s what happened…

20160311__F6A0401_21 copyI walked into the room to find a contemplative white-haired gentleman sitting across from a small round table with a black tablecloth.  He had one leg crossed over the other and was intently looking at something on his phone.  As I began to sit down, he noticed I had arrived and reached out to shake my hand.

He asked if he could see a One Sheet.  (a condensed book proposal – which is the details of a book)  He took my One Sheet, put his finger to his lips and gave his head a little nod as he read the chapter outline of the book.

Mr. Meyers: Tell me about this.

Me: When I started in ministry, I looked for books by women for women to help me navigate becoming a preacher, and later a pastor, (from a female perspective) and I couldn’t find any.  Many women are called to preach, yet there are very few resources to help us get started in what is a male dominated field.  There are many books for preachers but very few from a woman’s perspective.  I encourage women to take what they love to do as a hobby and turn it into a ministry and I encourage them to be open to the call to preach and even to pastor.  

Mr. Meyers raised his eyebrows, nodded his head and said, “I agree your book is needed.”  Then he asked a question I was prepared for thanks to meeting Kristin Funston who had met with Mr. Meyers last year.  Thank you, Kristin!  He asked, “How many books do you think you can sell?”

Me: That’s a good question.  My online presence is still very small but I’m working on that.   I write a blog and have a Facebook page.  My best opportunity to sell books will come from speaking.  I will speak anywhere from 15-20 times in a year – some of those being repeat requests.  

Mr. Meyers:  When will your manuscript be complete?

Me: I’ll  have it completed in 6-12 months.

Mr. Meyers:  Not all bookstores will sell this book.  (explanation below) 

Me:  I understand that.  But the need is still there.   

Mr. Meyers:  Is your email address on this?  (It was)  I’m going to take this back to my team and we’ll discuss it.  Here’s my email.  Keep me updated on your progress.

Me:  Thank you, very much, Mr. Meyers.  I appreciate your time.

Appointment with Literary Agent

In a nutshell…. the agent basically said no publishing company would publish my book because it was written by a female preacher encouraging women to enter ministry.  You can see why I was glad I talked to the publisher first.

I’ve been thinking about this…

I know that women preachers – especially pastors – are fewer in number.  I get that we’re not a big market.  And I get that publishing companies and book retailers have to sell large quantities of books to make money.  I get all that.

But we still exist and we still need resources.  We still need other women to come alongside us and encourage us.  Guide us.  Tell us what to do and what no to do.  Tell us how to manage being the only female in normally male board meeting.  Tell us what the Bible really has to say about us keeping silent in the church.  And give us permission to be brave, step out and step into our calling to preach the gospel.

We need resources.  And there are some resources out there.  The Junia project, for one.  But there aren’t many books written by female preachers for female preachers.  I’m not saying they’re not out there.  I just couldn’t found very few.

That’s why when I was given a list of publishing companies to choose from at the She Speaks Conference for writers and speakers I chose Leafwood Press.  When putting together a book proposal, you have to include comparisons.  You have to list books that are similar to yours and tell why yours is unique.

When I got to that part of my proposal, I had a hard time finding books written by women pastors for women pastors.  In fact, I never found one written by a female lead pastor.  But I did find two written by women preachers encouraging other women preachers.  You know who published them?  Leafwood Press.

Now, I don’t, at all, assume that means they will want to publish my book.  There is a lot that goes into that decision on their part.  But it does mean that they get it.  It meant the world to me to have Mr. Meyers affirm that fact that what I have to say is needed – whether he publishes my book or not.  At least he gets it.  They get it.

Here’s what was so enlightening…

All this time I thought there weren’t any women writing books for female pastors.  But could it be there just isn’t anyone publishing them because the market is so small?  I don’t know.

But I know we’re out there.  And I know there are enough men and women who believe in us, and support us and are cheering us on that we have to keep writing.  Keep speaking.  And keep encouraging one another to fulfill the call of God on our lives to preach.

Somehow this book will be published.  I don’t know how it will all come about but God does.  He fit too many pieces of this puzzle together for it not to come together.  But here’s what I want you to know…

I don’t want to publish this book to mark another item off my bucket list.  It’s not just so I can have a product table at speaking events (though I will).  And it’s no so I can put “author” on the title of my Facebook page.  It’s much more than any of that.

Like I told Mr. Meyers….

Many women are called to preach, yet there are very few resources by women for women to help us get started in what is a male dominated field.  There are many books for preachers but very few from a woman’s perspective.  I encourage women to take what they love to do as a hobby and turn it into a ministry and I encourage them to be open to the call to preach and even to pastor.

The books I’ve read for preachers and pastors, in general, have been excellent.  Helpful.  But a woman navigates this ministry differently than a man because she’s created differently.  All I want is to help the women who are out there and know they are called to preach.  Who are struggling with their biblical authority.  Who are wondering if their call even lines up with the Word of God and how to move forward once they have the assurance it does.  That is who this book is for and what this book is about.

The answers to these questions are laid out in the story of my life.  The book is not a memoir but the best way for me to show a woman how to “get into the ministry” is to show her.  So… I open my life and show her how God did it for me.

What now?

I’m going to revamp my website to highlight my speaking engagements.  The best way for me to grow my platform (which is what the publisher wants to see) is to get more email subscribers to my blog and more followers on Facebook.

Here are a few ways you can help grow my platform – if you’d like to give a girl a hand:

  1. Subscribe to my blog
  2. Follow me on Facebook
  3. Share my blog posts (you’ll see the share button)
  4. Share my Facebook posts
  5. Comment on my blog or Facebook Page (it shows people are interested)
  6. Book me to speak at your church or women’s event

Y’all have been such great support and I appreciate all your words of encouragement.  It really helps fuel my fire.  Please keep sharing my blog posts and visiting with me on Facebook.  I’ll keep writing content and preaching the gospel and pray that it blesses you.

Much love and thanks,

Gwen ?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Is There A Need for Books for Women in Ministry?

  1. Thanks for sharing this experience. I have a God given desire to publish the book I am writting as well. When I started to research how, it was a bit discouraging. You are keeping the faith and I am standing in agreement with you. Please keep the updates coming and I will try to help you, as best I can, build your online presence. I think highlighting your speaking engagements is a great idea. I will be praying.

    • Thank you, Misti! I appreciate your encouragement. Keep at your book!

      I had an interview with another publisher over the weekend you may interested in. This company is currently taking unsolicited manuscripts and would be worth contacting. The publishing company is Hear My Heart Publishing. You can contact Beth Wilson. If you’re interested in more info message me on Facebook and/or checkout the website. It’s a great company.

      Don’t get discouraged. Keep writing. Our stories, insights and experiences are worth sharing to help others.

      Blessings on your book, Misti!