Writers have no problem making the huge sacrifices for a writing career or ministry. With barely a shudder we fork out hard-earned dollars to pay for that writing course, books on how to write, the conferences that are so necessary.
We scrape the barrel to pay for a website, book trailers, and we burn the midnight oil to actually write. I’m not the only writer who gave up a good position to pursue this tug—no yank—on my heart to write. We try hard to keep up the faith when we suffer rejections, and manage to persevere.
And we do it cheerfully because we feel called to tell others about Christ through the medium of story-telling.
But I discovered there is something even harder for a writer. Something that goes against the grain with the way God wired our literary and contemplative minds. It’s something we don’t discover . . . until we’re published.
I’ll say it right here . . . Yuck, yuck, yuck, I hate it. Oh Lord, I hate it. That’s a prayer, not a cuss. See . . . it’s italicized.
It used to be that if a writer was published by a bigger and more established publisher, he or she could rest on their laurels, trust in that marketing team to get their book visible to the buying public. But we all know the publishing world is changing—even authors with larger houses have to do so much more marketing than they used to.
In many ways their marketing isn’t much different than what a self published author has to do. The whole Ebook versus paper has re-drawn the lines on the playing field.
My publisher, WhiteFire, decided to release my book, Shadowed in Silk, in 2 stages. First as an E-book in May, and the printed book coming out on Sept. 1 as a printed version. I am now counting the days.
This gave me an insight into the woes of authors whose books are released strictly as E-Books. Because how does one make their tiny Ebook visible in what looks like a sea of Ebooks all shimmering on-line like a school of shrimp?
Again, I had to do the same as my contemporaries with the bigger houses. I began to contact the friends I’d made through blogs, I planted tiny seeds. I bought advertising...
So you’re saying, “Ah . . . so marketing is the hardest thing a writer has to learn.”
Nope, it isn’t.
The hardest thing a writer has to learn is to recognise, to accept, even embrace the yucky-ness of marketing. It feels pushy to be asking people to blog about your book. It feels horrible to ask people to write a review. But this going against the grain is to be a good steward of the gift God gave you.
The only way to get comfortable with that is to focus on relationships. Always put people first. Though the task is important to God, ultimately He will want to see us treating each other with love. And that will count more in eternity than the number of books we sell.
I hope you'll join in my happiness as I celebrate the release of my debut novel Shadowed in Silk as it comes out in paper format this September 1.
And Please drop by my website www.christinelindsay.com