Posts Tagged ‘Dan Buttry’

Tim McGuire coverWhen I visited my friend Tim McGuire last month, he was awaiting the publication of his memoir and we briefly discussed the challenge he faced in promoting it.

The conversation revived a blog-post idea that had been rattling around on my to-do list for more than two years, since Mimi published her novel, Gathering String, and I helped her promote it. I’m not sure I’m the best person to help Tim with this challenge. While we had some success, I wish we had done a better job on Gathering String. So I’ll share my advice as well as inviting yours: How have you promoted your own books successfully? How would you promote a book, if you had published one? How have publishers succeeded in getting your attention about a book that you later bought and read?

I also asked for advice from some authors I know, and I’ll share tips below from Robert Mann, Doug Worgul, Patricia T. O’Conner and Dan Buttry, as well as some of my own. Novelist Buffy Andrews and author Chuck Offenburger both gave me so much advice I’m breaking their responses out into separate guest posts for tomorrow.

I’m not sure what’s the best path for publishing a book today: self-publishing, as Mimi and Tim did (and keeping a bigger share of the proceeds) or getting a traditional publisher to handle your book (a difficult and not always successful path). Either way, you need to promote the book. An agent, who was willing to handle Mimi’s book but said it might take too long to get published going through traditional publishers, told her that, with rare exceptions, the author is responsible for promotion even when you get a traditional publisher. (more…)


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I haven’t blogged much here about the peace ministry of my brother, Dan. I don’t often vary from journalism and media topics here (when I wrote about Dan’s memoir, Peace Warrior, I examined the media themes he addressed in the book).

I’m not going to stretch to connect this post to the media, except to observe that in my religion-writing days (1998-2000 for the Des Moines Register), I spent an ungodly amount of my time covering conflict and outright hatred among and within religious communities.

So I’m proud of Dan and his work in peacemaking and conflict resolution, especially in interfaith reconciliation, and I thought I’d share this slice of it here. This is his August address to the North American Interfaith Network‘s Connect Conference that he helped organize and host in Detroit this year:

If you’re interested in the Common Word organization that Dan mentioned, he had the URL wrong. Check the link above, rather than the .0rg link he mentioned.

Here is a link to learn more about the film Dan mentions, The Imam and the Pastor.

Dan’s books on these topics:

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Interfaith Heroes

Interfaith Heroes 2

An earlier post here about Dan:

Brother Dan’s reflections on Tiananmen Square

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Peace WarriorAs much as I believe in the importance of journalism, I know I don’t have nearly the impact on people’s lives that my brothers do.

As I noted last year after the death of my nephew, Brandon, my younger brother, Don, and his wife, Pam, have adopted 11 children after having three biological children (Brandon was the second-oldest adopted child). I also have mentioned before that my older brother, Dan, is a peace missionary, both here and on the travel blog I share with Mimi.

Dan’s memoir, Peace Warrior, came out last month and I just finished reading it. Dan tells about his work teaching and practicing peacemaking around the world — from Burma, Georgia (Tbilisi, not Atlanta), Liberia, Nagaland, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Congo and on and on. I sometimes think I’ve seen a lot of the world as a journalist, but Dan has seen much more of it as a peacemaker. And he’s had more profound impact.

If you’re interested in world affairs or Christian missionary work or peacemaking, you might enjoy the book, though I don’t pretend to be a fair judge of it. I enjoyed it, of course, for other reasons. In a way, I was catching up with a brother whose exploits I’ve heard and read before (actually, I scanned his reports from his various travels more often than I read them) but mostly followed from afar. We visit a few times a year and I knew much of the story but the memoir told many details I missed or had forgotten. I’ve understood for decades the depth of Dan’s calling and commitment to peacemaking, but the memoir added greatly to that understanding.

I generally blog about media and journalism issues here, so I won’t focus on Dan’s peacemaking efforts but on a few of his occasional references to media coverage of the conflicts he became involved in. As a journalist, it was interesting to read an activist’s perspective on media coverage (or non-coverage). (more…)

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I don’t engage in a lot of Twitter memes. But I gladly joined the #beatcancer meme today.

As a two-time cancer survivor (colon in 1999, basal cell in 2005), I know that cancer is not a sure death sentence. But I also visited my father three weeks before his death from prostate cancer in 1978 and visited my nephew, Patrick Devlin, four days before his death from leukemia last month. The enduring memory of Dad’s death and the fresh memory of Patrick’s underscore for me that every time someone can #beatcancer, I should join the celebration. (more…)

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Christian PeacemakingDespite our shared heritage and upbringing, my brother Dan and I see the world from much different perspectives. I watch events with the detachment and analysis of a journalist. Dan, a minister and missionary, experiences the world with the passion of a participant

Our interests have overlapped considerably the past few weeks. I joined several other family members in the Kansas City area May 16, when Dan was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary (good luck getting your little brother to call you “Dr. Buttry”).

As I wrote recently, I learned after the commencement that Dan was joining me in that large and growing fellowship of cancer survivors (he’s recovering from successful surgery for prostate cancer on Monday; I celebrate 10 years since my successful surgery for colon cancer in August and I’m more than four years past removal of a basal cell skin cancer). 

And when I wrote this week about photojournalists covering the “tank man” of Tiananmen Square, I knew I had to share the story with Dan. (more…)

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Update on my brother Dan and his cancer surgery: The surgery today was successful. Dan’s tumor was removed and tests showed no sign that the cancer had spread. Thanks to all for your support and prayers. As I reported earlier, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer with early detection these days in 98.9 percent.

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This will be my column in the Monday Gazette:

Imagine the excited news coverage if a major medical journal announced that scientists had developed a cure for cancer.

Editors would splash it across the front page of every newspaper. It would lead the evening newscasts and talk shows would chatter incessantly about it. The word would spread instantly on Twitter and blogs.

That’s probably not how we’re going to cure cancer. But the dramatic progress we have made in fighting cancer is big news that doesn’t get the big headlines or generate lots of chat or tweets because it’s happened so gradually. (more…)

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