How Do You Define Success?

As an author or publisher, what does success look like to you? I have asked this question and pondered it a number of times on this blog over the years. For each individual the answer is different.

ride the white horse

Eddie Donnally is an independently published author and a member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). He recently wrote a book titled Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage, and Redemption. The book is Eddie’s memoir.

Eddie recently shared the following about his book:

I wrestled with God about writing the book at all. My past was past and the Lord had put me in a meaningful hospice and hospital chaplaincy. Why look back, I reasoned. It would be painful and not worth it. Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and finally said to God, “If you can put in my heart that one person will go to heaven through this book, I’ll write it.” God did and I wrote it.

Recently, working as a hospice chaplain, a team member told me about a long time race tracker I’ll call Jimmy who was near death but didn’t want to see a chaplain. I called, surprised to learn someone had sent him a copy of my book. He told me come by, but warned he wasn’t religious. During the visit, he sounded intrigued by my book, cited a long-past relationship with the church and asked questions. The visit ended with him saying he knew Jesus was God and in a prayer asked Christ for forgiveness. He found the spiritual peace the book invited. Three days later, Jimmy died.

No odds maker could compute the odds on Jimmy having my book. That one person in heaven I felt God had promised could not be mistaken.

Eddie is no slouch when it comes to marketing. He has invested time, money, and effort into marketing this book. Eddie understands the Biblical principle:

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14 NIV

Even if you define your success like Eddie, marketing is required to get your book into the hands of people so that they can “hear” (or in this case “read”) the word and believe. After all, God uses our efforts to further his Kingdom.

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