Would You Like to Be Donald Miller’s Co-Author?

We are publishing a new book by Donald Miller this September. It is called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In case you are not familiar with Donald Miller, he is the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz. His free-flowing narrative style and authenticity have made him one of our most popular authors.

top selling authors web site page

Recently, Don and his team came up with a brilliant viral marketing strategy, designed to boost pre-sales of the book. The idea centers around a prank in which you pretend to be Don’s co-author.

To participate, you go to a web page and enter in your name, email address, and a brief description of what it was like to work with Don on his book. It takes less than two minutes. For example, I said (tongue-in-cheek):

As a publisher, I personally write many of our biggest authors’ books. But this is especially true for Don Miller. After Blue Like Jazz, I realized this was the only way we would ever get anything else out of him. It’s about time I got credit!”

When you click on the “Make Me a Co-Author” button, the program creates your own special news page, complete with a picture of Don’s new book with your name as the co-author. It also has your quote about what it was like to work with Don. Here’s my page and my daughter, Marissa’s.

This is where the fun starts. From the news page, you can send a link to your friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter. I personally Twittered the link and received a variety of responses. Here are a few:

  • “Great. I can’t wait to read it.”
  • “I’m sure you added a great deal of value.”
  • “You really had me going there for a minute.”
  • “You’re being a little arrogant, don’t you think?”

Thankfully, most people got the joke. Regardless, it is a great way to promote Don’s new book—and have a little fun with your friends. It is just one of the way’s that we are aggressively experimenting with social media marketing here at Thomas Nelson.

By the way, the special news page also gives you the opportunity to read the first chapter of Don’s book and pre-order it.

To become Don’s co-author yourself, click here.

Question: Did you create your own page? What was the response from your friends?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Barbara

    Where is the link to create one of these pages?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Okay, that was dumb (on my part). I forgot to include the link. It is fixed now. I inserted it in two places in the post. Thanks for pointing this out!

  • Barbara

    Where is the link to create one of these pages?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Okay, that was dumb (on my part). I forgot to include the link. It is fixed now. I inserted it in two places in the post. Thanks for pointing this out!

  • http://www.davidteems.com/ David Teems

    I love this. It made me laugh, but the way you laugh at something inspired, laughing "with" it.

  • http://www.davidteems.com/ David Teems

    I love this. It made me laugh, but the way you laugh at something inspired, laughing "with" it.

  • Calum

    Love this idea. Nice to see a CEO so involved and understanding Social Media so well.

  • Calum

    Love this idea. Nice to see a CEO so involved and understanding Social Media so well.

  • Lorraine_R

    Interesting, unique, and mildly funny, but I believe deliberately posting lies on the Internet is not an idea of merit, especially for Thomas Nelson. Who could be proud of having a page in Snopes?

    ____On the other hand, the word "way" seems to be missing from your comment–"the only we would" –and you forgot the to post a link, so maybe your better self is not really behind this either. Best of luck on selling the book and I hope this ploy won't start a trend.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Deliberately posting lies? Have you played around on the page? It is very obvious that it is a funny gimmick to spread the word about Don's new book, while playing a little joke on your friends.

      In today's social media driven world, we HAVE to find ways to be "viral" to promote products and attract new audiences. I personally thought Don's idea was genius.

      And I laughed-out-loud when I saw Mike joining in on the spoof. It is great to work with people who have a sense of humor. I believe that too often we, as Christians, get stuck in the rut of taking ourselves too seriously.

  • Lorraine_R

    Interesting, unique, and mildly funny, but I believe deliberately posting lies on the Internet is not an idea of merit, especially for Thomas Nelson. Who could be proud of having a page in Snopes?

    ____On the other hand, the word "way" seems to be missing from your comment–"the only we would" –and you forgot the to post a link, so maybe your better self is not really behind this either. Best of luck on selling the book and I hope this ploy won't start a trend.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Deliberately posting lies? Have you played around on the page? It is very obvious that it is a funny gimmick to spread the word about Don's new book, while playing a little joke on your friends.

      In today's social media driven world, we HAVE to find ways to be "viral" to promote products and attract new audiences. I personally thought Don's idea was genius.

      And I laughed-out-loud when I saw Mike joining in on the spoof. It is great to work with people who have a sense of humor. I believe that too often we, as Christians, get stuck in the rut of taking ourselves too seriously.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Susan_Stewart Susan_Stewart

    Interesting, but I'm not sure it's a great promotion. I don't really want to put my name on a book I haven't read. I don't really want to falsely put my name on another writer's book – even if it is his idea.

    It seems to me that it can become a self-promotion. In other words, the person who uses the fake cover image and news page could use for their own benefit rather than to promote Mr. Miller's book.

    I appreciate that you and Thomas Nelson are breaking out of the "Christian" publisher's mold. But, this one doesn't have a lot of value.

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This is definitely a promotion for fans. I doubt seriously that anyone would use it for self-promotion. You don't have to look too far to realize it's a spoof.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Susan_Stewart Susan_Stewart

    Interesting, but I'm not sure it's a great promotion. I don't really want to put my name on a book I haven't read. I don't really want to falsely put my name on another writer's book – even if it is his idea.

    It seems to me that it can become a self-promotion. In other words, the person who uses the fake cover image and news page could use for their own benefit rather than to promote Mr. Miller's book.

    I appreciate that you and Thomas Nelson are breaking out of the "Christian" publisher's mold. But, this one doesn't have a lot of value.

    • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This is definitely a promotion for fans. I doubt seriously that anyone would use it for self-promotion. You don't have to look too far to realize it's a spoof.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jpruski jpruski

    What a neat and creative way to drive an audience to the book via social media. Genius!!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jpruski jpruski

    What a neat and creative way to drive an audience to the book via social media. Genius!!

  • http://gloryrumours.blogspot.com/ Brado

    Great promo Mike. What a laugh!

  • http://gloryrumours.blogspot.com/ Brado

    Great promo Mike. What a laugh!

  • http://writingtoserve.net/ Maria Keckler

    It’s interesting to see the wide range of opinions about Don's marketing idea. I echo Lindsey Noble's comment that we, Christians, often take ourselves too seriously and a sense of humor is a good thing. I saw the spoof earlier in the week and decided to go for it. I posted it on Facebook, and it was great fun. Several friends posted or emailed me with exuberant congratulations: "Did you really? That's just so cool…" Obviously they got so excited that they didn't even click "read more." My response: "Yes, just go and read the rest of the article." But at the end, we all laughed. It was great fun–lots of laughs and some opportunities for debate because in the process I found some avid Miller critics, which opened some lively and stimulating dialogue.

  • http://writingtoserve.net/ Maria Keckler

    It’s interesting to see the wide range of opinions about Don's marketing idea. I echo Lindsey Noble's comment that we, Christians, often take ourselves too seriously and a sense of humor is a good thing. I saw the spoof earlier in the week and decided to go for it. I posted it on Facebook, and it was great fun. Several friends posted or emailed me with exuberant congratulations: "Did you really? That's just so cool…" Obviously they got so excited that they didn't even click "read more." My response: "Yes, just go and read the rest of the article." But at the end, we all laughed. It was great fun–lots of laughs and some opportunities for debate because in the process I found some avid Miller critics, which opened some lively and stimulating dialogue.

  • http://www.jillsavage.org/ Jill Savage

    Sorry Michael, I'd have to disagree with you on this one. Dishonesty never wins. I saw a friend post this on her Facebook last week. She's in the publishing business so I had no reason not to believe her. Now I don't trust her. Personally I don't think it's creative or ingenious, I think it's deceptive.

    • http://www.steveoreno.com Steve James

      I agree, it is deceptive! However, I think anyone posting this story has an obligation to spill the beans at some point to their following, as Maria Keckler did. It creates a laugh and a conversation amongst friends.

      Remember, everything online should be subjective unless overwhelming evidence convinces you otherwise. I think I can deduce that this marketing idea is for the younger audiences. Yes?

      • Whipper Snapper

        Grandma Savage obviously didn't get it.

  • http://www.jillsavage.org/ Jill Savage

    Sorry Michael, I'd have to disagree with you on this one. Dishonesty never wins. I saw a friend post this on her Facebook last week. She's in the publishing business so I had no reason not to believe her. Now I don't trust her. Personally I don't think it's creative or ingenious, I think it's deceptive.

    • http://www.steveoreno.com/ Steve James

      I agree, it is deceptive! However, I think anyone posting this story has an obligation to spill the beans at some point to their following, as Maria Keckler did. It creates a laugh and a conversation amongst friends.

      Remember, everything online should be subjective unless overwhelming evidence convinces you otherwise. I think I can deduce that this marketing idea is for the younger audiences. Yes?

      • Whipper Snapper

        Grandma Savage obviously didn't get it.

  • http://www.Audrakrell.com/ Audra Krell

    I just did it and the huge congratulations are flooding in. Hopefully I'm not ruining my credibility as an unknown!
    I'm never one for deception, but always enjoy a good joke. This is all in good fun.

  • http://www.Audrakrell.com Audra Krell

    I just did it and the huge congratulations are flooding in. Hopefully I'm not ruining my credibility as an unknown!
    I'm never one for deception, but always enjoy a good joke. This is all in good fun.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    We can do better–the world uses deception to promote many things that are not good for us. Why should we be like them? The whole key to Christianity is to love truth. Truth is what sets us free, not dishonesty.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/kent_s kent_s

      So Patricia, indeed, let's do better– no more deception!! Gather the kids 'round and let's break the news on Santa and the Easter Bunny. The Truth will set them free.

      Oh how I try to embrace the many faces and voices of my brothers & sisters in Christ. I try and I try.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        I have seven children and I never once told them there was a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. We celebrated the birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and my children understand I do not lie to them. I do value truthfulness. What, we can't live in this world and be truthful. Why would anyone mock the words of Christ–the truth is what sets us free. Ever since I was a senior in high school back in 1969, my goal has to be true to God, to myself, and to others.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    We can do better–the world uses deception to promote many things that are not good for us. Why should we be like them? The whole key to Christianity is to love truth. Truth is what sets us free, not dishonesty.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/kent_s kent_s

      So Patricia, indeed, let's do better– no more deception!! Gather the kids 'round and let's break the news on Santa and the Easter Bunny. The Truth will set them free.

      Oh how I try to embrace the many faces and voices of my brothers & sisters in Christ. I try and I try.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        I have seven children and I never once told them there was a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. We celebrated the birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and my children understand I do not lie to them. I do value truthfulness. What, we can't live in this world and be truthful. Why would anyone mock the words of Christ–the truth is what sets us free. Ever since I was a senior in high school back in 1969, my goal has to be true to God, to myself, and to others.

  • kstew

    OMG!!! (That's the "Christian" version…oh my gosh!)

    This simple little viral marketing tool IS deceptive, however it is about as harmless in it's deception as a surprise party.

    "My friend Steve invited me over to a Bible Study, but instead everyone jumped out from behind a couch and yelled, 'Surprise'! Now the level of trust in my relationship with Steve is forever shattered. Total and utter deception on his part".

  • kstew

    OMG!!! (That's the "Christian" version…oh my gosh!)

    This simple little viral marketing tool IS deceptive, however it is about as harmless in it's deception as a surprise party.

    "My friend Steve invited me over to a Bible Study, but instead everyone jumped out from behind a couch and yelled, 'Surprise'! Now the level of trust in my relationship with Steve is forever shattered. Total and utter deception on his part".

  • http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com/ Tracey solomon

    well I made my page, and since my friends know I am a writer, they were confused an sent many congrats.

    Of course I told them it's a mktg thing.. they should have known that Don wouldn't be a be a good co-author for my WIPS…"Missional Mothering" and "Been There Done that, Adventures of a Second Time Mom".

  • http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com Tracey solomon

    well I made my page, and since my friends know I am a writer, they were confused an sent many congrats.

    Of course I told them it's a mktg thing.. they should have known that Don wouldn't be a be a good co-author for my WIPS…"Missional Mothering" and "Been There Done that, Adventures of a Second Time Mom".

  • Bill

    Great googly moogly people – where is your sense of humor?

    I can only imagine the shock and outrage if those of you with negative comments ever stumble across <a href="http://www.theonion.com” target=”_blank”>www.theonion.com

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Wow. Interesting to see the variety in responses. If nothing else, the conversation around it is creating buzz… which could be a win in and of itself. :) I echo the sentiments about Christian’s taking themselves too seriously and laying down the gauntlet of calling it a “lie” to spoof but I think that can stretch far beyond a “Christian” issue. People in general taking things too seriously. The promo is obvious to be a joke when you click the link.

    I was surprised by one person above saying they no longer trust someone in the publishing industry after seeing the spoof on Facebook. That must mean they didn’t trust them much from the get-go if a spoof made them loose trust that fast.

    All in all I think it’s fun but I honestly doubt it will help pre-sell books. People can get too caught up in the potatoes and miss the meat. :)

  • Bill

    Great googly moogly people – where is your sense of humor?

    I can only imagine the shock and outrage if those of you with negative comments ever stumble across http://www.theonion.com

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Wow. Interesting to see the variety in responses. If nothing else, the conversation around it is creating buzz… which could be a win in and of itself. :) I echo the sentiments about Christian’s taking themselves too seriously and laying down the gauntlet of calling it a “lie” to spoof but I think that can stretch far beyond a “Christian” issue. People in general taking things too seriously. The promo is obvious to be a joke when you click the link.

    I was surprised by one person above saying they no longer trust someone in the publishing industry after seeing the spoof on Facebook. That must mean they didn’t trust them much from the get-go if a spoof made them loose trust that fast.

    All in all I think it’s fun but I honestly doubt it will help pre-sell books. People can get too caught up in the potatoes and miss the meat. :)

  • Donald Miller

    Don here…what we never expected in creating the site is that people would actually believe it. Especially since the coauthor themslves are the folks who are initiating the prank with their friends. so i think, unless a coauthor actually intends to "lie" to their friends, we are ethically fine. And even then, I doubt our many coauthors are seriously trying to lie, knowing they will only get found out. It is intended as a fun prank, and man, it's working. i love the responses. it's like april fools, every day!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

      Hi Don, thanks for sharing your views on this.

      I have a question, and I'm not asking it judgementally, I'm asking it because I really don't know the answer and I think it would maybe help with some of the arguments here:

      The Apostle tells us to be imitators of Christ. Many (if not most) Christians today agree with this, we should be imitating Christ in everything we do, as best we can…. so would Christ have done something like this? Would Jesus have thought that playing a trick like this on someone, or even playing an April Fool's joke, is OK?

      I don't know… it seems to me that Jesus had (has) a sense of humor, but would he consider any form of deception to be humorous?

      Maybe he would… what do you think?

    • Sheila

      I thought it was funny and creative. It was very lighthearted in it's approach. I didn't consider it lying….

      It's a joke, and a non malicious one at that. I posted it on my facebook because I do like Don's work and it was a fun way to find out he had written a new book. It was fun to share the joke with others.

  • Cece D

    I think it's kinds goofy and a bit dangerous in the face of all the intellectual copyright issues we face as writers/actors/creators. There's gotta be a better, even more creative way to market this book.

  • Donald Miller

    Don here…what we never expected in creating the site is that people would actually believe it. Especially since the coauthor themslves are the folks who are initiating the prank with their friends. so i think, unless a coauthor actually intends to "lie" to their friends, we are ethically fine. And even then, I doubt our many coauthors are seriously trying to lie, knowing they will only get found out. It is intended as a fun prank, and man, it's working. i love the responses. it's like april fools, every day!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

      Hi Don, thanks for sharing your views on this.

      I have a question, and I'm not asking it judgementally, I'm asking it because I really don't know the answer and I think it would maybe help with some of the arguments here:

      The Apostle tells us to be imitators of Christ. Many (if not most) Christians today agree with this, we should be imitating Christ in everything we do, as best we can…. so would Christ have done something like this? Would Jesus have thought that playing a trick like this on someone, or even playing an April Fool's joke, is OK?

      I don't know… it seems to me that Jesus had (has) a sense of humor, but would he consider any form of deception to be humorous?

      Maybe he would… what do you think?

    • Sheila

      I thought it was funny and creative. It was very lighthearted in it's approach. I didn't consider it lying….

      It's a joke, and a non malicious one at that. I posted it on my facebook because I do like Don's work and it was a fun way to find out he had written a new book. It was fun to share the joke with others.

  • Cece D

    I think it’s kinds goofy and a bit dangerous in the face of all the intellectual copyright issues we face as writers/actors/creators. There’s gotta be a better, even more creative way to market this book.

  • http://refreshmoments.com/ Mary Hampton

    I thought it was fun. I had fun coming up with my 'blurb' and got a kick out of people's responses. I did have to spill the beans fairly quickly as some people took it seriously, but once they realized it was a joke, there weren't any hard feelings–maybe because I talked about 'captaining' Don up and down the hills of Portland while he wrote on a pedal-powered laptop on the back of a tandem. That HAS to be a joke!

  • http://gloryrumours.blogspot.com/ Brado

    Come one folks, lighten up. I'd hardly consider this deception. It's a JOKE people! A little laugh courtesy of Don and Thomas Nelson. It's these kind of comments that really make me want to distance myself from the Christian community.

  • http://refreshmoments.com/ Mary Hampton

    I thought it was fun. I had fun coming up with my 'blurb' and got a kick out of people's responses. I did have to spill the beans fairly quickly as some people took it seriously, but once they realized it was a joke, there weren't any hard feelings–maybe because I talked about 'captaining' Don up and down the hills of Portland while he wrote on a pedal-powered laptop on the back of a tandem. That HAS to be a joke!

  • http://gloryrumours.blogspot.com/ Brado

    Come one folks, lighten up. I'd hardly consider this deception. It's a JOKE people! A little laugh courtesy of Don and Thomas Nelson. It's these kind of comments that really make me want to distance myself from the Christian community.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wmarkwhitlock wmarkwhitlock

    You are all free to have your opinions. My opinion is this is a joke. It's not a lie. It's sarcasm, parody, and satire. It's not even deceptive. It's no more deceptive than me taking a photograph with someone dressed as Darth Vader. Even if I wore an authentic costume/wig and the photo was shot against a green screen to place us in the movie, no one is going to believe that I was in the movie.

    Let's laugh at ourselves a little. Let's be filled with humor and joy. Let's have a good time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wmarkwhitlock wmarkwhitlock

    You are all free to have your opinions. My opinion is this is a joke. It's not a lie. It's sarcasm, parody, and satire. It's not even deceptive. It's no more deceptive than me taking a photograph with someone dressed as Darth Vader. Even if I wore an authentic costume/wig and the photo was shot against a green screen to place us in the movie, no one is going to believe that I was in the movie.

    Let's laugh at ourselves a little. Let's be filled with humor and joy. Let's have a good time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/brianayers Brian Ayers

    Very funny. Very creative. What a great marketing idea!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/brianayers Brian Ayers

    Very funny. Very creative. What a great marketing idea!

  • http://www.blomerus.org/ Marysol

    If the premise of viral marketing and social networking is all based on creating a "trust"… then this undermines the very medium you are trying to use.

    Clever, but perhaps needs more thought.
    Good discussion on your comments, really enjoying it.

  • http://www.blomerus.org Marysol

    If the premise of viral marketing and social networking is all based on creating a "trust"… then this undermines the very medium you are trying to use.

    Clever, but perhaps needs more thought.
    Good discussion on your comments, really enjoying it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kent_s kent_s

    Hey Don, keep the fun train chugging with the viral story. Have the marketing folks create a web page where we can all post the paragraph we added to the fake news story. It would be cool to see what trails people ran down with it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kent_s kent_s

    Hey Don, keep the fun train chugging with the viral story. Have the marketing folks create a web page where we can all post the paragraph we added to the fake news story. It would be cool to see what trails people ran down with it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Perfect analogy.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Perfect analogy.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for leaving a comment, Don. I personally think people need to lighten up!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      My question is where do you draw the line between truth and deception? A little is okay? It's not a matter of lightening up. Manipulating people through deception is the same as a con-game. I don't want to be conned, so why should I con others? And, I realize that I probably will not be popular on this blog. But truth is wonderful, and I am willing to take a stand for it.

      • http://www.turkeycreekchurch.org/ Jeremy

        Patricia, what is your working definition of deception, manipulation and con-gaming? No one is intending to 'con' their friends or co-workers in believing they have literally co-authored this book. Con churches into speaking engagements under false pretenses. This merely a simple marketing tatic to raise interest in this book. (It's working and you're helping) :) It's not about lightening up and compromising, it's about truly understanding.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

          I'm not judging anyone–I'm just sharing what has been important to me. This world is full of marketing devices and many of them are based on deception. And, what someone intends is not necessarily what others perceive. I also take to heart the words found in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, "…They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (NIV). Truth and being truthful is so important to me, and my continual prayer is, "Lord, keep me in your truth."

    • http://residentialaliens.blogspot.com/2008/12/fantasy-and-christianity.html Lyn

      Now if he would have titled his book, "A Million Little Pieces Strewn Over A Thousand Miles" then that would have been deceptive. lol I still run across people who think writing fiction is a lie and a deception, sheesh. Thanks for the discussion so far. Fun. Posted a good commentary on Faith and Fiction at my blog, see link.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for leaving a comment, Don. I personally think people need to lighten up!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      My question is where do you draw the line between truth and deception? A little is okay? It's not a matter of lightening up. Manipulating people through deception is the same as a con-game. I don't want to be conned, so why should I con others? And, I realize that I probably will not be popular on this blog. But truth is wonderful, and I am willing to take a stand for it.

      • http://www.turkeycreekchurch.org/ Jeremy

        Patricia, what is your working definition of deception, manipulation and con-gaming? No one is intending to 'con' their friends or co-workers in believing they have literally co-authored this book. Con churches into speaking engagements under false pretenses. This merely a simple marketing tatic to raise interest in this book. (It's working and you're helping) :) It's not about lightening up and compromising, it's about truly understanding.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

          I'm not judging anyone–I'm just sharing what has been important to me. This world is full of marketing devices and many of them are based on deception. And, what someone intends is not necessarily what others perceive. I also take to heart the words found in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, "…They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (NIV). Truth and being truthful is so important to me, and my continual prayer is, "Lord, keep me in your truth."

    • http://residentialaliens.blogspot.com/2008/12/fantasy-and-christianity.html Lyn

      Now if he would have titled his book, "A Million Little Pieces Strewn Over A Thousand Miles" then that would have been deceptive. lol I still run across people who think writing fiction is a lie and a deception, sheesh. Thanks for the discussion so far. Fun. Posted a good commentary on Faith and Fiction at my blog, see link.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I couldn't agree more.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I couldn't agree more.

  • http://mikeymo1741.blogspot.com/ Mike Mahoney

    I think is was great. I had a couple of people duped at first, but they all caught on. One does not really have to search the page too long to see it's a joke.

    Donal'd makes a good point. No one is forcing anyone to do it. Those of us with good sense of humor are enjoying the creativity of the joke. Have some fun!!!

  • http://mikeymo1741.blogspot.com Mike Mahoney

    I think is was great. I had a couple of people duped at first, but they all caught on. One does not really have to search the page too long to see it's a joke.

    Donal'd makes a good point. No one is forcing anyone to do it. Those of us with good sense of humor are enjoying the creativity of the joke. Have some fun!!!

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    I have a hard time believing that anyone thinks there's really some kind of moral quandary here. Reminds me of the reactions to overly literal Christians back in the day to Steve Taylor's music. When did becoming a Christian cause one to lose all understanding of satire, spoofs and parody?

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    I have a hard time believing that anyone thinks there's really some kind of moral quandary here. Reminds me of the reactions to overly literal Christians back in the day to Steve Taylor's music. When did becoming a Christian cause one to lose all understanding of satire, spoofs and parody?

  • http://www.chriscrimmins.com/ Chris Crimmins

    In all fairness, those taken by the spoof might need a few days to release the embarrassment of being duped. Perhaps it is the same as having your fly down. Painting the spoof as a sin is, well outrageous. Thanks for the humor Mike.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Great comment!

  • http://www.chriscrimmins.com/ Chris Crimmins

    In all fairness, those taken by the spoof might need a few days to release the embarrassment of being duped. Perhaps it is the same as having your fly down. Painting the spoof as a sin is, well outrageous. Thanks for the humor Mike.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Great comment!

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    The website does reveal it's a trick. When you get to the bottom of the story and it says "Read more", it tells the person it's a prank.

    I think people getting wound up about this are a tad over-scrupulous.

    • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

      Darn those scruples. Can't have too many running around!

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com Ragamuffin

    The website does reveal it's a trick. When you get to the bottom of the story and it says "Read more", it tells the person it's a prank.

    I think people getting wound up about this are a tad over-scrupulous.

    • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

      Darn those scruples. Can't have too many running around!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Interesting… I hadn't actually noticed that.

    This is probably because I don't read everything on a page, I just scan quickly for the relevant information.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Interesting… I hadn't actually noticed that.

    This is probably because I don't read everything on a page, I just scan quickly for the relevant information.

  • http://nashvillest.com/ Morgan

    Hey everyone, I sent my cat to Mars, and she did a little dance! Check it out! http://urlzen.com/k41 Oops, I bet no one trusts me now…

    Sarcasm aside, the first time I saw a friend post the co-author article, I knew that it had to be a trick due to the absurdity of the friend that posted it. However, I wasn't easily able to find the part of the page where it reveals that it's just a prank. It should have been more obvious, but other than that, I have no beef. I can see where people who were "lied to" by friends in writing or publishing fields might feel a bit of distrust, because they had no reason to not believe it.

  • http://nashvillest.com Morgan

    Hey everyone, I sent my cat to Mars, and she did a little dance! Check it out! http://urlzen.com/k41 Oops, I bet no one trusts me now…

    Sarcasm aside, the first time I saw a friend post the co-author article, I knew that it had to be a trick due to the absurdity of the friend that posted it. However, I wasn't easily able to find the part of the page where it reveals that it's just a prank. It should have been more obvious, but other than that, I have no beef. I can see where people who were "lied to" by friends in writing or publishing fields might feel a bit of distrust, because they had no reason to not believe it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    My experience may not be indicative of most.

    I wrote my paragraph and when it was ready, I noticed I'd written too much. The last sentence was cut off. I got no indication that would happen and now it was too late to change.

    I ended up starting over, this time using a different e-mail address. Just saying it might be helpful to make the cursor force you to stop once you've reached the maximum characters for wordy guys like me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    My experience may not be indicative of most.

    I wrote my paragraph and when it was ready, I noticed I'd written too much. The last sentence was cut off. I got no indication that would happen and now it was too late to change.

    I ended up starting over, this time using a different e-mail address. Just saying it might be helpful to make the cursor force you to stop once you've reached the maximum characters for wordy guys like me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    Check that. Now I'm trying a third and final time. I was too long the second time too. Doesn't look nearly as convincing if you're words are cut off.

    I guess I need to learn to be more succinct.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    Check that. Now I'm trying a third and final time. I was too long the second time too. Doesn't look nearly as convincing if you're words are cut off.

    I guess I need to learn to be more succinct.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Arsenault Chris Arsenault

    Actually, when I first hit the page I was confused, because it looked so much like the NYT or a legit news source. Hard to tell nowadays given the diversity of sources.

    I think the creative team assumed people read web pages like they read linear books or distinct newspaper articles, but not everyone does that. I'm used to rapidly scanning context to see if it's worth a longer read, and if not I click away. This was just confusing because I trusted Michael, and he's been very sincere on transparency and trust.

    So when I finally read Michael's customized paragraph I got the joke, but I really had no idea it was an automated joke because nothing showed up before I closed the page.

    Perhaps after continually being on-guard to protect against Internet theft, with Ponzi schemes, the financial and economic meltdown and with state and federal politicians that say one thing then do another, I've grown too skeptical. Apparently I'm not the only one.

    My 2¢.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Arsenault Chris Arsenault

    Actually, when I first hit the page I was confused, because it looked so much like the NYT or a legit news source. Hard to tell nowadays given the diversity of sources.

    I think the creative team assumed people read web pages like they read linear books or distinct newspaper articles, but not everyone does that. I'm used to rapidly scanning context to see if it's worth a longer read, and if not I click away. This was just confusing because I trusted Michael, and he's been very sincere on transparency and trust.

    So when I finally read Michael's customized paragraph I got the joke, but I really had no idea it was an automated joke because nothing showed up before I closed the page.

    Perhaps after continually being on-guard to protect against Internet theft, with Ponzi schemes, the financial and economic meltdown and with state and federal politicians that say one thing then do another, I've grown too skeptical. Apparently I'm not the only one.

    My 2¢.

  • Sarah Iveson

    I can't believe that this has been taken so badly by some, with responses being bandied around such as deception, lying, untrustworthy, un-Christian … really??? I honestly can't see how anyone could have taken this for anything other than what it is – a bit of fun for Don Miller fans and their friends. This might also have the effect of promoting the book, but to be honest I reckon that anyone who follows Don's blog (or whatever medium they reached the co-author page through) would have been chomping at the bit to buy the book anyways. Come on folks, God blessed us with a sense of humour for a reason – use it!

    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo

  • Sarah Iveson

    I can't believe that this has been taken so badly by some, with responses being bandied around such as deception, lying, untrustworthy, un-Christian … really??? I honestly can't see how anyone could have taken this for anything other than what it is – a bit of fun for Don Miller fans and their friends. This might also have the effect of promoting the book, but to be honest I reckon that anyone who follows Don's blog (or whatever medium they reached the co-author page through) would have been chomping at the bit to buy the book anyways. Come on folks, God blessed us with a sense of humour for a reason – use it!

    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    *snicker*

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    *snicker*

  • http://www.twitter.com/kitdoc Kitdoc

    It was not only a good bit 'o fun and something that stirred a bit of creativity, it was also something that ultimately gave gory to Him.
    Here's my co-author post: http://is.gd/108BQ

    This was an example of taking something and using it in a Godly fashion, that serves Him, regardless of what might have been the original intent.

    See John Piper's latest on social networking media: http://bit.ly/S9qwp

  • http://www.twitter.com/kitdoc Kitdoc

    It was not only a good bit 'o fun and something that stirred a bit of creativity, it was also something that ultimately gave gory to Him.
    Here's my co-author post: http://is.gd/108BQ

    This was an example of taking something and using it in a Godly fashion, that serves Him, regardless of what might have been the original intent.

    See John Piper's latest on social networking media: http://bit.ly/S9qwp

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    It's cracking me up that people say that this undermines trust. Really? I knew Christians were gullible, but this is over the top.

    For the record, that was a joke.

    Also, didn't your mother tell you never to trust anything you read on the internet?

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com Kayla

    It's cracking me up that people say that this undermines trust. Really? I knew Christians were gullible, but this is over the top.

    For the record, that was a joke.

    Also, didn't your mother tell you never to trust anything you read on the internet?

  • Jennifer

    Funny reading all these comments and hearing people's reactions. Personally I think it's pretty apparent it's "all for fun" and not meant to be deceptive by any means. Maybe you should put a disclaimer at the bottom.

  • Jennifer

    Funny reading all these comments and hearing people's reactions. Personally I think it's pretty apparent it's "all for fun" and not meant to be deceptive by any means. Maybe you should put a disclaimer at the bottom.

  • kstew

    I created a JibJab elf video this past Christmas…boy, were people surprised to find out that I am NOT, in fact, and elf.

  • kstew

    I created a JibJab elf video this past Christmas…boy, were people surprised to find out that I am NOT, in fact, and elf.

  • kstew

    or, AN elf.

  • kstew

    or, AN elf.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JoeJestus JoeJestus

    Sounds interesting, very creative, now we just have to see if it accomplishes it's intended goal of increasing Pre-Orders. Any chance you can keep us up to date on that?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JoeJestus JoeJestus

    Sounds interesting, very creative, now we just have to see if it accomplishes it's intended goal of increasing Pre-Orders. Any chance you can keep us up to date on that?

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    I'm beginning to wonder if these posts about "deception" and "lying" are parodies. Please tell me they are.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      Mine aren't. I value truth, and I ask God to help me be truthful because lying is so easy. Above all things, I want to be faithful to God.

      • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

        I value truth too. I also value a fun parody and sense of humor. I hardly think playing an innocuous prank on your friends until they get to the bottom and click the "Read More" link and it tells them it was a joke is some assault on truth.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

          I have a sense of humor, too–but not at the expense of other people. Many hurtful things are labeled as jokes. Back to the marketing ploy, to each their own. I personally just try to be diligent to keep away from using deception.

          • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

            How is this hurtful? Are you also against costume parties, message board aliases (like Ragamuffin) and the like?

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

            Listen, I'm not anyone's judge. My part in this discussion is to share what is important to me and truth is. I am looking forward to the day when all of this will be moot, and Isaiah 25:6-8 will come to pass. Marketing strategies aside, God loves us all and His love is absolute–perfect, complete, and real.

  • Charlie Reid

    it was a great promotion! i got several responses that said that they had pre-ordered the book… I was just trying to have some fun. True, a few folks didn't get it, but they have no life anyway!

    Keep up the creativity!

  • http://thoughtsfromaragamuffin.wordpress.com Ragamuffin

    I’m beginning to wonder if these posts about “deception” and “lying” are parodies. Please tell me they are.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      Mine aren't. I value truth, and I ask God to help me be truthful because lying is so easy. Above all things, I want to be faithful to God.

      • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

        I value truth too. I also value a fun parody and sense of humor. I hardly think playing an innocuous prank on your friends until they get to the bottom and click the "Read More" link and it tells them it was a joke is some assault on truth.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

          I have a sense of humor, too–but not at the expense of other people. Many hurtful things are labeled as jokes. Back to the marketing ploy, to each their own. I personally just try to be diligent to keep away from using deception.

          • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

            How is this hurtful? Are you also against costume parties, message board aliases (like Ragamuffin) and the like?

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

            Listen, I'm not anyone's judge. My part in this discussion is to share what is important to me and truth is. I am looking forward to the day when all of this will be moot, and Isaiah 25:6-8 will come to pass. Marketing strategies aside, God loves us all and His love is absolute–perfect, complete, and real.

  • Charlie Reid

    it was a great promotion! i got several responses that said that they had pre-ordered the book… I was just trying to have some fun. True, a few folks didn’t get it, but they have no life anyway!
    Keep up the creativity!

  • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    Oh, just so no one gets upset later…my name is not really Ragamuffin and I do not look like St. Patrick. Full disclosure.

  • http://thoughtsfromaragmuffin.wordpress.com/ Ragamuffin

    Oh, just so no one gets upset later…my name is not really Ragamuffin and I do not look like St. Patrick. Full disclosure.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Ah, there you go, stay on that page for a little while and the 'Stop the presses' message automatically pops up… That cancels out just about any argument.

    Before the message popped up, my main misgiving was that it was too real… I couldn't look at the date and see that it was an April fool's joke, there was nothing on the page which gave me a hint that it was untrue – no ridiculous headlines or little visual clues. That's what bothered me. If the co-author quote was a serious one, there was nothing that gave the game away, unless I started clicking on stuff, which I don't generally do.

    For me it's probably a control issue. I like to have at least a fighting chance of working out when I'm being tricked online.

    Michael's page was ok, I had a chance there because I know he's not an 'unknown author'. His daughter's page – I had no chance there. I don't know her, so if that was the only page like it that I had seen, it could have been true for all I knew.

    Now that I see the 'Stop the Presses' message pops up, I like it – a lot.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Ah, there you go, stay on that page for a little while and the 'Stop the presses' message automatically pops up… That cancels out just about any argument.

    Before the message popped up, my main misgiving was that it was too real… I couldn't look at the date and see that it was an April fool's joke, there was nothing on the page which gave me a hint that it was untrue – no ridiculous headlines or little visual clues. That's what bothered me. If the co-author quote was a serious one, there was nothing that gave the game away, unless I started clicking on stuff, which I don't generally do.

    For me it's probably a control issue. I like to have at least a fighting chance of working out when I'm being tricked online.

    Michael's page was ok, I had a chance there because I know he's not an 'unknown author'. His daughter's page – I had no chance there. I don't know her, so if that was the only page like it that I had seen, it could have been true for all I knew.

    Now that I see the 'Stop the Presses' message pops up, I like it – a lot.

  • Sheila

    And fun to introduce the book to friends.

  • Sheila

    And fun to introduce the book to friends.

  • http://www.thatselbert.com/ thatselbert

    I loved the joke, although when I sent the page to my mother… well, I had to stop her from saying how proud she was of me. "No mom, it was a joke"

  • http://www.thatselbert.com/ thatselbert

    I loved the joke, although when I sent the page to my mother… well, I had to stop her from saying how proud she was of me. "No mom, it was a joke"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    Hark! It is possible! You can have a sense of humor and eschew deception at the same time!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    Hark! It is possible! You can have a sense of humor and eschew deception at the same time!

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  • Diane

    I think it was just silly. Applauding those here who expressed their opinions without disparaging comments about other people.

  • Diane

    I think it was just silly. Applauding those here who expressed their opinions without disparaging comments about other people.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

    OH MAN, this is hilarious – I think my co-author quote seemed tooooo real, especially about hooking up with YOU at re:create. I am almost panicking at the # of "congrats" and "that is amazing, congrats" tweets, retweets, and facebook messages I'm getting! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. I've gotten 3 phone calls in 5 minutes of people who are "so excited" for me! HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

    OH MAN, this is hilarious – I think my co-author quote seemed tooooo real, especially about hooking up with YOU at re:create. I am almost panicking at the # of "congrats" and "that is amazing, congrats" tweets, retweets, and facebook messages I'm getting! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. I've gotten 3 phone calls in 5 minutes of people who are "so excited" for me! HAHAHAHAHAHA

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  • http://www.kenwords.com/ Ken Summerlin

    Brilliant marketing idea and fun, too!

  • http://www.kenwords.com/ Ken Summerlin

    Brilliant marketing idea and fun, too!

  • http://donnysramblings.com/about/ Donny Pauling

    Being a Christian doesn't have to me being humorless. I posted my own "co-author" page on the day Don Miller made his twitter followers aware of it. Several people were fooled and when the congratulations were rolling in and I was replying "make sure to click the 'read more' link at the bottom to get the rest of the story" not a single one of them got angry.

    It's okay to have a sense of humor, people. Pull the stick out. Seriously.

  • http://donnysramblings.com/about/ Donny Pauling

    Being a Christian doesn't have to me being humorless. I posted my own "co-author" page on the day Don Miller made his twitter followers aware of it. Several people were fooled and when the congratulations were rolling in and I was replying "make sure to click the 'read more' link at the bottom to get the rest of the story" not a single one of them got angry.

    It's okay to have a sense of humor, people. Pull the stick out. Seriously.

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  • Jason K

    I think this is great. I did it and posted it to Facebook. As far as Marketing and Advertising is concerned, you have to go with the trends. Deception is what you make it. For those that feel this is truly deceptive, I would charge them with really delving into themselves to find out if they are doing a service to Christians by forcing us back into our little cookie cutter finger-pointing molds of judgement or if they are honestly just inwardly ticked they didn't think of this first! Ah, see, truth prevails! Now, I must get back to my part-time job of impersonating Larry Mullen Jr. We have a world tour coming up!!! And, by the way, Donald, U2 trumps The Cure ANY day!

  • Jason K

    I think this is great. I did it and posted it to Facebook. As far as Marketing and Advertising is concerned, you have to go with the trends. Deception is what you make it. For those that feel this is truly deceptive, I would charge them with really delving into themselves to find out if they are doing a service to Christians by forcing us back into our little cookie cutter finger-pointing molds of judgement or if they are honestly just inwardly ticked they didn't think of this first! Ah, see, truth prevails! Now, I must get back to my part-time job of impersonating Larry Mullen Jr. We have a world tour coming up!!! And, by the way, Donald, U2 trumps The Cure ANY day!

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  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org/ jeff

    Fascinating – I like Don's response.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org/ jeff

    Fascinating – I like Don's response.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org/ jeff

    Just posted one and have people that are disowning me for lying to them.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org/ jeff

    Just posted one and have people that are disowning me for lying to them.

  • http://www.uwsp.edu/ATHLETICS/mbb/05-06/index.htm Pointer Men’s Basketball

    Maybe you should change the blog name title Would You Like to Be Donald Miller’s Co-Author? to more suited for your content you write. I loved the the writing even sononetheless.