Christian Fiction Readers! You’re Invited to a Book Launch!

Hello, reader friends!

What does the September 14 release of my new book, The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World have to do with you? To help the book make a bigger splash, I’m recruiting friends, relatives, and avid-reading strangers to join a limited-time book launch team. Interested?

What in the world is a book launch team?

The main goal is to quickly reach Christian readers (especially young adults) with news of the new novel and accumulate at least 25 reviews on Amazon. Any book that is getting reviews looks more promising to potential readers than a book with only none.

What will the launch team do?

If you reply that, yes, you are willing to participate, I will email a FREE, no-obligation digital copy of the book in whichever digital format you choose (epub, mobi, pdf). This is your chance to read The Next Fithian in advance of everyone else. After that, I hope launch team members will do 3 things:

  • Write a short, honest review to be placed on Amazon, B&N, or another e-tailer sites—thumbs up, thumbs down, or “so-so.” (Don’t pretend to like the book if you don’t. But even a lukewarm review contributes toward the 25.)
  • Help spread the word about the book. This can be in person or on any social media sites. 
  • Share ideas and brainstorm additional ways we might further expose the book to readers. I’ve created a private Facebook group, “Rick Barry’s Next Fithian,” and will invite anyone who decides to help out. There, I will share insider information about the book, and you all can share fellowship, jokes, memes, and your own ideas for introducing others to The Next Fithian. I’d also like to have drawings or prizes for active Fithian Launch Team members. I want this to be fun, not work!

How exactly do we “spread the word”?

I’ve created a list of ideas from other authors’ launch teams. If you become a Next Fithian Launch Team member, I’ll email you the list. No idea is hard, but you pick & choose whichever ones you’re willing to do. (Examples: Post a photo of the book to your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, whatever. Or email your library to recommend they buy it for the collection. Even simple efforts can reach many eyes.) I’ll provide the list of ideas plus graphics. You simply choose whichever ones you like and do them however you want.

Is this really worth my time?

I don’t expect to earn a ton of money from The Next Fithian. That’s not why I wrote it. But today’s young believers enjoy entertainment brimming with action, adventure, excitement, and danger (e.g., Marvel movies). But they also need clean, inspirational stories with a positive role model. By promoting The Next Fithian, you’ll be nudging them toward a faith-filled adventure starring a relatable Christian teen. This book is more than just an exciting adventure. It’s a story that ministers to hearts. 

Victoria S., a teen volunteer reader whom I’ve never met, declared this about the hero: “Rankin is exactly the kind of protagonist we need—he’s mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature; intelligent; and compassionate.”

How long will my commitment last?

I imagine most of the ideas on the list will take only a minute or so to do. Still, we’re all busy. So let’s plan to wind down around September 18. (Or whenever we hit 25 reviews on Amazon?) Only you decide how often you’ll plug the book and how. Some days you might be too busy or forget. I understand.

Can I share this invitation with a friend?

Absolutely! Feel free to share this invitation with any believers who enjoy reading. Especially if they might like Marvel-type action & adventure stories with a wholesome twist. If they accept, they, too, can get a free ebook and join the Fithian Launch Team.

How do we contact you?

Easy. Use the Contact form on my author site:

Questions? Feel free to ask. But for now, THANK YOU for considering this invitation to join my Fithian Launch Team!


~Rick Barry

P.S.! In case you didn’t catch my blog post, here’s a link to “The Next Fithian: The Story Behind the Story.”

Advance Review of The Next Fithian:
“I have to say, sci-fi is not my usual pick; however, I’ve loved the author’s previous books, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad that I did! The ‘ordinary teen’ approach is amazing as it allows people to put themselves in Rankin’s shoes and be challenged as well. Sure, we may not be transported to another dimension, but are we ready to “…give an answer always to every man that asketh…” in our everyday life? This book was a different sort of adventure, but a good one. Well worth the read.” –Stephanie Clapp, Booksprout

Now Available — Free ARCs of The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World

Hi friends! I know some of you love to read, and some of you readers enjoy being among the first to read new books. But do you know about Booksprout? This is a site where authors offer readers a limited number of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of the ebook version of their upcoming release. The only “catch” is that, if you sign aboard and download an ARC, then the folks at Booksprout (and the author 🙂 ) hope you will jot a brief, unbiased review of the book online. I’m offering 20 free ARCs of The Next Fithian, and 2 of them have already been downloaded. Only 18 left!

Want to learn more? Just follow this link, and they’ll explain what to do:

If Christian science fiction isn’t your style, please consider forwarding this offer to a Young Adult reader who might be interested. Thank you!

Rick Barry

Covers - The Next Fithian

The Next Fithian: The Story Behind the Story

Years ago, I received an unexpected phone call. Michael Ross, then-editor of Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, asked me to brainstorm a big, bold adventure for teens: “Maybe fantasy. Maybe science fiction. Maybe both mixed together. I don’t know. Just make it big!”

Such an intriguing challenge! I accepted the assignment and developed a 3-part Christian sci-fi story, The Next Fithian. Those three installments reaped enthusiastic reactions from readers. However, after Part 3, that assignment was done. I moved on. 

As years passed, my Fithian characters refused to let me forget them. They kept coming to mind, urging me to create an exhilarating, novel-length adventure for them. At first, I refused. I was giving priority to my novels about World War II airmen. 

Gradually, though, I noticed something. Whenever I attended homeschool conferences to sign books for shoppers, teens visited my table to chat. What were those teen guys and girls wearing? T-shirts. Specifically, T-shirts portraying the Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk . . . It was obvious what kinds of adventures these young adults were into. I began to wonder—what kind of uplifting novel could I pen for Christian fans of the Marvel universe?

In reply, my thoughts jumped back to The Next Fithian, a story brimming with action, adventure, danger, faith—plus a positive role model. This time, I yielded and began brainstorming ways to extend the original 5,400 words into an 80,000-word sci-fi novel with a Christian worldview. I didn’t want simply to create a gripping adventure. I wanted to give readers something unique. I wanted to touch their emotions, to make them laugh, to make them cry, to inspire them, and make them ponder things they had never considered before. I also wanted to transport them to another world where they might see better how to live in our own real world. 

Responses from volunteer readers give me hope that The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World will appeal to diverse readers, both teens and adults. One teen, Kaden E. wrote, “WOW! I just finished the book, and boy was it fantastic!” Another teen, Victoria S. declared, “Rankin is exactly the kind of protagonist we need—he’s mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature; intelligent; and compassionate.” Adult test reader Marali S. emailed, “I enjoyed this!  You must write more!” Another, Jude U., wrote, “I pronounce excellence! The ‘romance’ was sweet and just enough.” A mix of other test readers gave similar encouragement. So, even though my target audience is young adults, I hope adults will also enjoy it, just as adults enjoyed 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame. 

Of course, no novel fits every reader. But even if Christian sci-fi isn’t your style, pause and think—do you know someone else who might like such a story?

If you do read The Next Fithian and enjoy it, please tell others. That’s really the #1 compliment any author can receive!

How to get a copy

Actual sales begin September 14, but pre-orders begin now! To be among the first to read it, pre-order a copy HERE for a paperback, or HERE for an ebook.