“I’m doing all the right things, but the book sales just aren’t following.”
This is a common complaint I hear from self-published authors. When this happens, discouragement can quickly set in derailing continued marketing efforts. Some authors even get so discouraged that they give up.
If you feel this complaint could be coming out of your mouth, let me offer you a dose of encouragement.
When God calls you to write and publish something, he has a reason. Sometimes that reason can be more about what He wants to do in you through the process than what he will do with your book. Other times that reason may be more for a small, select audience that needs to hear the message in your book.
I remember when I was new to the self-publishing world and the reality of how hard selling a Christian book was began to sink in. I often felt like I was spinning my wheels but only advancing mere inches.
I had given a copy of my board book set, Baby Bible Board Books: Stories of Jesus, as a baby shower gift to a young lady in my church. This woman also happened to have a toddler. The next week, this mother approached me just gushing about the books. She told me that her two-year old daughter loved the books so much that she would take them to bed with her.
What a blessing those words were to my heart. That is exactly what I had envisioned when we designed the books. I wanted these books to help the youngest children fall in love with Jesus. To hear that God was blessing my desire for children to fall in love with him through my books provided just the encouragement I needed to keep on putting effort into promoting the books.
I think Deborah McCarragher would agree with me. Deborah wrote a book encouraging Christian women to continue to pray for the salvation of their unsaved husbands. Deborah tirelessly promotes her book. One of her readers wrote and told her, “After 11 years of praying for my husband, I had given up hope. God placed your book in my hands at just the right moment. Biblical material written for women under our particular circumstances is hard to find. Mission Possible is full of scripture and practical advice. Thank you for being a part of restoring my hope.”
After publishing her book Parenting Moment by Moment, Carla MacLachlan received this message from a reader. “God has used your teaching to challenge me to apply Scripture in my life in a way that is life changing. I now have committed to daily share who God is, share His Word, and share what He is doing in our lives with my daughter.” Exactly the purpose Carla intended for her book.
Tom Clarke published his book, A Garden of Love, to help people experience the love of God through flowers. Tom has run into roadblock after roadblock in promoting his book, yet God sent a reader to encourage him. This reader wrote, “My husband and I were touched by the depth of spiritual application for each flower in your book. God’s creation has so much it can teach us!”
Take encouragement from these stories. Promoting your book is not just a physical thing. It is a spiritual battle. There is a Prince of Darkness who does not want your book to bring glory to God.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV) Be encouraged today and persevere.