Dennis Ellingson is the author of numerous books on several topics. He is an herbalist and serves in Christian ministry. He grows an abundance of herbs and other plants, and he loves to be out in the fields, forests, and deserts of the West, foraging for all God has provided.
Known as The Herb Guy on Facebook, Dennis maintains a page dedicated to the subject of healing herbs and beneficial plants. There he shares healthy living tips and devotional thoughts.
Dennis and his wife, Kit, divide their time between Oregon and Arizona. He speaks, leads seminars and workshops, and conducts outings on the subjects of his books.
Dennis is the author of three Cladach titles:
We asked Dennis Ellingson to tell us about his success in selling books and reaching readers. Here’s what he said:
Event after event after event . . . Blessed and busy. I have been published now for eighteen years. But the last few years have been busier than ever. Many factors contribute to all this author activity. I’m now long established and known locally and through social media. I have nine books in current publication, that present interesting subject matter, and that touch readers. And certainly the great Hand of the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts.
For a long time now I have believed these two things:
- If you write something that matters and is helpful, God will use it.
- You are your own best salesman.
And you better be, otherwise you may have closets full of unopened cases of your books! The reality is this: I may need to spend more time selling than writing. But if I believe what I wrote will help people, then that’s a great motivation.
Because of the subject matter of most of my books, events can be built around them such as lectures and workshops. The plant-centered books lead to walk-and-talk outings and tables and booths at community festivals. These events help sell books, I meet interesting people, and my author life expands beyond anything I realized or anticipated.
A local history book I wrote expanded my knowledge of an area we live in. But more than that, it put me in touch with wonderful people I may not have met otherwise. Some of these people who helped in my research are now best friends to my wife and me. One such regular phone conversation with ninety-year-old Selda always ends like this for Kit and myself; Selda always says, “Love ya, honey.” It means the world to us!
I have been doing plant walks at the internationally famous Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona. I get to do “The Plants of the Bible Walk”. Can you think of any more fitting thing for an herbalist and retired pastor to get to do?
Opportunity may come knocking. But prayer for direction, the willingness to get out there, to knock on doors, and even to suffer a little failure now and then—sure pays off.
Dennis Ellingson (back, center) leading a group of women from a local church in Arizona, on a “plants of the Bible” walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
(Photos by Kit Ellingson)