(Photo: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity)
Award-winning sports writer Ted Kluck wonders if he should feel embarrassed that he wrote the first faith-based ebook on the evangelical basketball star Jeremy Lin, which despite being cheaper than a Starbucks coffee has not sold well since it was released about a month ago.
Bethany House Publishers is trying to promote Kluck's book, Jeremy Lin: Faith, Joy, and Basketball. According to its press release, the book takes readers beyond the surface of this fascinating player, exploring everything that has made Lin one of the most unusual sports stars in years – including his alma mater, his race, and his faith – and concluding with what forces have shaped Lin into who he is today and what motivates him to keep striving toward his goals.
Amazon has featured the book since its release April 1. But "not very many people" have bought it, says the freelance writer specializing in sports and faith in a candid post on his blog, which asks, "Should I Feel Sheepish for Writing a Jeremy Lin eBook?"
Perhaps the book is not selling because Lin blew out his knee and was on the shelf for the rest of the season, the bestselling author writes. But, "he wasn't playing all that well even before the knee. Teams had figured him out, and his body was beginning to wear down."
Kluck, who has written eight books, including Dallas and the Spitfire: An Old Car, an Ex-Con, and an Unlikely Friendship, then says he feels sheepish about one thing. "He played sensational basketball for three weeks and then we all jumped on the bandwagon." He goes on to say he's glad he didn't write a lengthy hardcover book.
He says this should compel him and Christian publishers to ask, "Should we feel embarrassed about our three-week fling with Jeremy Lin?" We should have waited longer, he says, "before falling all over ourselves to make a hero out of this kid who, in his defense, did absolutely nothing wrong in all of this. He lived a dream, proclaimed the gospel when he could, and was manifestly 'himself' through all of it."
Was it an attempt to "make a buck off Jeremy Lin?" he asks. "It's what keeps people (like me) employed. It keeps food on our tables."
However, Kluck agrees that Lin's story was unique. "It was fresh. He was the rare thoughtful, intelligent athlete, and that made him interesting," he writes. "It was also a story that was chock full of gospel truth and reflection, which not only makes it interesting, but makes it worthwhile reading even if he is no longer lighting up Madison Square Garden… That's why good publishers (and authors) jumped at it."
Kluck finally asks if we are comfortable with "God deciding to NOT make Jeremy Lin into the next Tim Tebow or even the next Kurt Warner?" Maybe, he adds, "it's an opportunity for all of us to put our sovereignty money where our mouths are."
Kluck says he is still hoping for a Lin resurrection …"if only because it will help sales …and because it would still be great to see a nice guy (Lin, not me…obviously) finish first."
It's only $4.61 on Kindle, cheaper than a grande Mocha at Starbucks, he reminds.