Don’t Lose Focus

The events in our world and our country in 2020 cannot be ignored. They are affecting all of us.  Yet, I would encourage you to not allow these events to sidetrack you from the message that God has given you.

Don't Lose Focus

I recently read a post by an influencer in the indie publishing world. This individual was advocating that indie authors take a break from marketing their books to spend some time dealing with the pressing issues in our country.

While this advice might be beneficial for secular authors, I don’t think it is good advice for Christian authors.

2 Timothy 2:4 says “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” In season and out of season means when it is favorable to do so and when it is not favorable to do so – or when it is convenient to do so and when it is not convenient to do so.

We are in an out of season time. There is pressure all around us to jump on the hot topic of the moment. Don’t get sidetracked.

It is easy to get dragged down by worldly concerns involving conflicts and fears. When this happens, we get distracted from the hope we have in Christ.

Do not lose your focus. As a Christian author, your gaze should remain fixed on spiritual things that offer the hope, security, and peace people need in this trying time.

Whatever your message was before the events happening this year, it is still needed. People’s spiritual needs have not diminished with current events—in fact, these needs are growing since churches have not been open and people have been isolated.

People are still struggling with relationships, parenting, finances, health problems and other issues related to Christian living and spiritual growth. They need the hope you offer in your books. Hope both for this life and the life to come.

So, I encourage you to not veer from the message God has given you. Your message is timely. Your message is needed. God’s word never goes out of season.

Related Posts:
Five Tips for Staying Focused
The Responsibility Rests on You!
Sticking to the Basics

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Photo courtesy of Elena Taranenko.

Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?

I sometimes run into aspiring authors who tell me that they will only consider a traditional book contract for their manuscript. I have no problem with this mindset. I understand that desire to have a book accepted after being vetted by an editor.

Are you doing these marketing activities?

However, some of these authors are holding onto the ideal of a traditional book contract because they believe that the publisher will market the book for them. They like the idea of just writing.

The truth is that authors—whether traditionally published or indie published—are largely responsible for the marketing of their books. In fact, one royalty-paying, Christian publisher states right on their website their expectations of authors. Here is what this publisher says:

Author must:

  • Have created a fully developed marketing plan.
  • Keep a web presence.
  • Be technology savvy.
  • Know how to copy and paste URLs.
  • Can search the web for answers and solutions.
  • Check email daily.
  • Participate in book promotions.
  • Reach out to fan base.
  • Never, ever give up the book!

These expectations are not unreasonable. If you are an indie published author, at the least, you should already be doing these things for your book—especially the last one.

Sadly, I often see indie published authors give up on their books too soon. Book marketing is long-haul trucking. You have to be in it for the long haul to see success.

In addition to the author expectations, this traditional, royalty-paying publisher listed what they would do to market each author’s book. Here is what this publisher says they will do:

Publisher will:

  • Advertise the book with Amazon ads and Goodreads ads.
  • Provide digital Advance Review Copies through BookFunnel.
  • Offer Rafflecopter giveaways of print and digital copies.
  • Submit your book for review to Publishers Weekly.
  • Offer the Kindle version of the book for FREE or 99 cents with Kindle Select promotions.

Trade Show Floor

To be honest, I don’t think this is much marketing support. I don’t see anything about providing the following marketing activities:

  • Press Release
  • Author Media Kit
  • List of Radio and Podcast Show Interviewing Authors
  • Trade Show Representation
  • Foreign Rights Representation

If you are a self-published author, then you wear both the author and the publisher hat. This means that these additional publisher duties for marketing fall under your jurisdiction. Ask yourself: Am I doing all these marketing activities for my book?

If you are an Indie author and you need support in marketing your book, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is here to help you. We provide support and information for marketing your book including reference guides for creating press releases and media kits, a list of radio and podcast shows that interview authors, and numerous cooperative marketing opportunities. Join today at

Related Posts:
A Book Marketing Recipe
Marketing Is a Mindset
Market Your Novel Like a Pro

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Are You Using the Right URL?

Your first impression depends on how firm your handshake is.” ~@Yushi

Presentation matters. I recently took my son to a new doctor for a consultation. The doctor entered the room with baggy scrubs and a Star Wars head rap and he barely touched my hand for the handshake. Within seconds my brain had formed an opinion.

Use the right URL.

My brain took in this information and made the decision that this doctor was not competent. Of course, these first impressions had nothing to do with this doctor’s competence. He probably just came from surgery. Clearly, he was a Star Wars fan. And maybe he was afraid of getting germs or just did not like physical contact, so he barely touched my hand for a handshake.

After talking with this doctor for a few minutes, my confidence in his knowledge and abilities began to grow. However, I had to make the conscious decision to give this doctor a chance because my brain had already made a decision based on my first impression.

As an author, you may or may not get time to change a person’s initial impression from their contact with you. It is important that you appear competent from the get go.

Being competent means that you have the necessary ability, knowledge or skill to do something successfully. You have a short window of opportunity on first impression to demonstrate to your audience that you are competent.

One area that I often see Indie author’s look incompetent is through the URL address they give for their book, especially an Amazon URL.

Frequently, an author will give a long Amazon URL like this:

What the author did was go to and enter in her name or book title in the search bar. Then the author clicked on the correct book that came up in the search, which took them to this long URL.



However, this is not the URL for the book on Amazon. Rather, it is a URL from a search for the book. Yes, the URL will take someone to the book’s page, but to anyone who understands URLs, it will look dumb. The second part of the URL starting with the word “ref=” is not needed.

The proper URL to use to direct people to your book on Amazon is the first portion that ends with the last 10-digits of your book’s 13-digit ISBN. The proper link should look like this:

If you want, you can make the URL even shorter by removing the book title in the link and make it:

If you are using an exceptionally long URL and are not sure what the correct portion is to use, then head on over to a URL shortening service and create a short URL to use instead. Free URL shorting services include:

Present a competent image in your use of URL links to purchase your book. Use the correct link or shorten the link for ease of use.

Related Posts:
First Impressions Matter
Why Should Someone Buy Your Book?
Amazon: King of Book Sales

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