Welcome Karen Baney! I always call Karen the book marketing guru because she seems to have both hands on the pulse of everything currently happening in best practices of e-book marketing. If you have a Kindle and this subject matter is important to you, her e-book, 10 Keys to eBook Marketing Success, is free TODAY and TOMORROW only! That's February 5 and 6, so download it and check out her sage advice.
Karen's thought-provoking article below may just spark a flame in your candle today:
Sometimes I’m amazed at the apathy of authors when it comes to marketing—especially Christian authors.
Hold on! Before you click away, give me a second to explain.
Like many Christian authors, I firmly believe that each and every book that I’ve written and published are the words God has called me to write. I take this responsibility very seriously. I know without a single doubt that He has entrusted me (flawed and frightened me) with a big task. My fiction works are somewhat in the “edgy” Christian category. My nonfiction stems from a desire to help other authors—most especially my Christian peers—learn the ropes of marketing.
Part of writing in the modern world means taking on the chore of marketing your own work. We all know this, yet we fight against it.
Before I get back to my opening statement, let’s take a look at Matthew 25:14 – 30 (NIV). Jesus is speaking here and the context is about the end times, but there are some other really good lessons to be learned. (Emphasis is mine.)
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey,who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Authors, you have been entrusted with a very special gift. The message in your book or novel is one that needs to get out.
The lesson we can learn from the first two servants is that they immediately went out and put their money (or talents in some translations) to work. They didn’t sit on the sidelines and complain. They didn’t hide behind fear. They didn’t hide behind a proclamation that they didn’t really see their work as a business, but it is more of a ministry.
Instead, the first two servants each went out and used their talents and doubled their money. What’s the hidden part of their success? Did they automatically know how to double their money? Did they have a few things to learn along the way? I believe they had a lot of learning to do. Anyone who has ever started a business knows how much work it is and how little they know and how they constantly have to learn new things. That, in my opinion, is what the first two servants did.
The third servant buried his gold in the ground out of fear.
Fear is such a crippling emotion. It stops us from doing many things. We can hide behind or let it take control and warp our view until we become completely ineffective.
Authors: stop letting fear win! Be bold like the first two servants. Learn how to market your work so you can best leverage the talents God has given you. It will be hard work. It will take time. It will take financial resources.
The Lord, your God, has entrusted this task to you. Go out and do something with it.
On February 5th& 6th, you can pick up a copy of Karen’s latest book, 10 Keys to eBook Marketing Success, for free on Amazon.