On Wednesday August 15, our new book, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness, will officially launch. Needless to say, I’m really excited. And with less than two weeks before its release, I wanted to take a moment and explain everything you need to know about the new book… and then give away a few advance copies to help with its promotion.
Publishers are very interested in the existing audience of their authors. They want to know the size of a potential author’s platform and the specific demographics. Publishers are, after all, in the money-making business and want to know their investment is going to result in profit. In this way, many publishers just pay authors for access to their audience.
But this book is completely different.
Group Publishing first approached me last spring. They had heard our story and the work we were doing at Becoming Minimalist. They believed in the message. And saw a valuable partnership opportunity. Over one year ago, they asked if I’d consider writing a book about minimalism for Christian teenagers – an entirely new demographic for me.
Shortly after the initial conversation, with little hesitation, I said yes. And I did so for several reasons:
- The invitation of minimalism is important for teenagers and young adults. The practical benefits are highly relevant to their lives today and in the future. And finding life in owning less at an early age will save many heartaches down the road.
- The book provides great opportunity to expand the reach of this life-giving message. Statistically speaking, Christian teenagers and young adults make up an incredibly small percentage of readers on this site. But utilizing the size and reach of Group Publishing’s network, Living With Less will provide an avenue to bring inspiration to a brand-new segment of the population.
- I feel uniquely qualified to write this book. In many ways, I have been preparing to write this book for years. I have worked with Christian teenagers in a variety of churches over the years (most recently leading one of the largest youth ministries in New England). I have communicated with teens specifically for the last 13 years. I have intentionally lived with fewer possessions for the last 4 years. And this book will combine both my full-time job and my favorite part-time hobby for the very first time.
Description: As I mentioned previously, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness, is written for a brand-new, relatively unreached market: Christian teens and young adults. The book invites teenagers and young adults to discover the practical benefits of living with fewer possessions. And I believe it approaches the subject from a fresh, new angle.
Most religious books written on the topic of materialism discuss the evils of consumerism and seeking the world’s pleasures. I wanted to write a book that didn’t just discuss materialism from a negative view, but praised minimalism from a positive view by clearly articulating the practical benefits of owning fewer possessions: less debt, less distraction, more freedom, more opportunity. I wanted to invite teenagers to embrace a more abundant way to live. I wanted to encourage them to rethink the teachings of Jesus Christ. And I wanted to use it as a springboard to call the American Church to start taking Jesus’ teaching on money and possessions more seriously.
It is important for me to note that the spiritual/religious undertones of this book are very prevalent throughout. I work hard keeping Becoming Minimalist free from specific religious philosophies and will continue to do so. I understand the message of minimalism holds benefit to all who accept it… regardless of spiritual preference. Because of that, I may allude to spirituality on this website, but I always steer clear of speaking in specific terms concerning it.
But again, this new book is different. It embraces many of the spiritual conversations and beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. If you hold to the same, you will greatly enjoy this book. If you are unfamiliar with Jesus’ teachings on possessions, you’ll probably enjoy seeing how they have shaped my view of minimalism. But if you are hostile towards religion, this book is probably not for you. And that’s perfectly okay.
Length: Living With Less contains 16,000 words which translates to 100+ pages in the physical book. It is short enough that teenagers and young adults who pick it up will be able to finish it quickly. But it is long enough to cover all facets of the conversation that I believe to be necessary. While it contains some material that can be found elsewhere (previous books, blog posts), almost 50% of the book is entirely new. And the sections that can be found elsewhere have been rephrased to connect with a younger audience.
Publisher: Group Publishing is based in Loveland, CO. Group Publishing is a respected leader among publishers who seek to equip and train church leaders and youth around the world.
Distribution/Price: Along with other book distributors, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness will be available through Amazon as both a physical copy (paperback) and a digital download (Kindle). The physical copy of the book will sell for $7.99 while the digital download will sell for $6.39.
Release Date: Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness will be released on Wednesday, August 15.
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Hi Joshua, I loved watching your trailer — you did a great job letting it communicate your passion and earnestness about this topic!
I teach high school English and love to see teenagers’ idealism. Can you point me to any resources that are not faith-based that I could share with my students? If not, I hope you’ll be creating some of those, too. :)
Susan Locklear says
Ive been reading the blog since I discovered it last year and I’ve been applying many of the minimal concepts, but it has been a slow process for me. I’m a collector. As a Christian, I welcome any additional advice, especially with a spiritual basis. I will definitely acquire the book for myself and to help influence the 200 young students that I teach each year.
Jennifer K says
Wow, just found you from a link on Courtney Carver’s Life On Purpose blog. I wish I’d thought the way I do now about stuff, back when I was younger. And, it is shocking to me sometimes how materialistic even many Christians I meet are. This book sounds fantastic!
Phuong Le says
I am interested in this book . It’s great to learn from you in person. I love that this book is targeted towards Christian teens
Don Bursell says
Wow, I would love to read your new book, and I’d also be happy to post a review on my “Irregular Online Newsletter” (www.donbministries.blogspot.com), my Facebook page, as well as with friends that share the same interest in living with less that I do.
If you choose not to send me a copy, that’s cool. I plan on buying an Amazon.com copy anyhow.
Thanks for all of your great emails, and short, simple ideas to minimalism.
Sai Kulkarni says
Thanks for this post.
Delighted to receive advance reader review copy. :)
Cory | The Maui Taoist says
Great concept! As a Taoist I know that Minimalism is a spiritual path, it is one of the key elements for Taoists. I think your book is a timely and important message to get across to the young people. The more “essential” we make our lives the closer we get to spirit. Anyone serious about their faith will appreciate that message!
Hey, I’m a Christian young adult who reads your blog!! Don’t worry. We are out here. And supporting you all the way!!
Isaiah 55:2. Says it all. Fantastic Josh. Kerin (Australia)
Cullen Carter says
For me, the proper way to get Becoming Minimal’s book, “Living With Less”, is by checking it out from the library.
However, I do feel like I’ll like it so much and keep it so long, that the fines I’d accumulate would be greatly more than the book itself.
Off to amazon right now…
Thanks for wriiting it.
Fortunately, I’m not a young adult anymore :) But I am very interested in the book. I’m interested to read about minimalism as it relates to the teachings of Jesus and Christianity.
As someone discovering religion at an older age, I can say that nothing turns me off more than attending a church where everyone is dressed to the nines, everyone makes a generous offering, and then goes home until the next week. Where is the community service? Where is the humble nature of Jesus? I’m really happy that you are promoting minimalism and giving from a spiritual perspective. It has been my experience that many churches do not practice what they preach in that regard.
Bobby Shaw says
Joshua, I am really looking forward to this. Your blog and books have really shaken me to my core when it comes to looking at how I have been living my life. Monday is my last day at my job where I’m a senior executive and thankfully I’m blessed to be able to take a step back and reassess what my contributions are to my family and community.
Looking forward to the journey. Thanks for challenging me along the way.
Can’t wait for the book! The book trailer is great, Joshua. The book is going to be fabulous. I can’t wait to read it and we’ll definitely use it as the basis for conversations with our children.
Many religions embrace the rejection of materialism. In fact, I think it’s a rather unifying theme between them all. And I think this is a good thing. I am religiously unconnected to any one belief — but I believe the tenants of many faiths are important and this is one aspect that our society could well focus on. I think it *is* important to draw a spiritual connection between materialism/minimalism and our lives today.
Aloysa @ My Broken Coin says
I would love to read it. No matter what market is targeted, I am sure a lot of us can benefit from it. I am a spender, attached to things, but at the same time I am obssessed with minimalism. It is a constant struggle for me: I want more but I want to try to live with less. :)
joshua becker says
I agree Aloysa. The target audience is a pretty small niche. But the message contained in the book transcends all generations. Hopefully, adults who read the book are just as challenged as young adults.
Diane Crane says
I am so excited to hear about this book. I will be ordering it asap. I have been a minimalist for about 1 year. It has been life changing for me. I can’t believe I bought the lie that more means happier. Not true.
Jill Foley says
I am excited for this book – the trailer is great. It’s great to “hear” you in person. I love that this book is targeted towards Christian teens – I wish I had first heard this message as a teen.
joshua becker says
Thanks Jill. I’ve heard my voice for so many years sometimes I forget that others haven’t. :)
Although I am an atheist, I just want to say that I appreciate that you keep your website and postings secular because I believe that your messages resonate with people regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. Agnostics and atheist teens and young adults are also a growing population that would benefit from your message. This group already realizes that questioning their beliefs and their culture can lead to deeper understanding of themselves and those around them, so it seems like a good target demographic for another book!
joshua becker says
Thanks Rhiannon. It’s a pleasure to have you as a reader. I appreciate your insights. No decisions have been made about future books, but there are definitely a number of segments of the population that would benefit from the message.
Wonderful! I’ve enjoyed your first two books and blog. You have inspired me to live with less and it has greatly benefited my family and myself. As a Christian, I’m especially excited about this new book. Who better to learn from than Jesus, one that could truly understand that we really don’t take any of this stuff with us!
joshua becker says
Thanks Jennifer. Hope you enjoy it.
This sounds like an incredibly useful and inspiring book. I look forward to reading once it is available! Having been a pastoral leader in a few youth groups in Australia I can definitely see a need for the book here as well.
So many young people are searching for a deeper faith and meaning than what has been currently served to them. Not all the teachings have been bad, just inappropriately delivered and cliched (read: stale). I can’t speak for America, but here in Oz, at least in my experience, young adults can see right through the inconsistencies and are looking for authentic reassurance in their journey. They want dialogue and honesty. They know that there is more to faith and relationship with Jesus than just trying to be a good person and abstaining from sex.
I think the impact of this book could become significant and further reaching than merely the States.
joshua becker says
I hope you’re right Naomi. This is not just an American-issue. It’s a people-issue… or at least a western civilization-issue.