Become More Spiritually Literate

“You are today who you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” –Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Did you know that December is Spiritual Literacy Month?

December is Spiritual Literacy Month

This annual December observation was started by two authors back in 1996. Their goal was to encourage people to read spiritual texts.

What exactly is spiritual literacy? Literacy is the ability to read and write. It also refers to a person’s possession of education or knowledge in regards to a particular subject or field; such as being “computer literate”.

Therefore, spiritual literacy refers to possessing knowledge of “spiritual” things. This is something that people need, especially in our current culture.

You can use this Spiritual Literacy Month observance to promote the reading of your Christian book. After all, your Christian book can help people become more literate about spiritual things.

National Day Calendar reminds people that reading a book about spirituality, faith, or religion can have the following benefits:

1. It is good for your soul.

Reading a spiritual book will open your mind in ways you probably didn’t realize it could, and offers an uplifting, refreshing view of the world and universe we live in.

2. It will lower your stress levels.

Studies show that reading spiritual literacy can improve mental and physical health, as well as help keep you calm in stressful situations.

3. It will introduce you to a whole new world.

Reading these types of books can awaken you spiritually and mentally, and will open up your range of thinking and imagination to an entirely different level.The Women of Christmas

You can participate in Spiritual Literacy Month by reading a spiritual book, snapping a photo, and sharing it on social media using the hashtags:

  • #SpiritualLiteracyMonth
  • #SpiritualLiteracy

Encourage your friends and fans to do so also.

For Advent this month, I am reading The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. What will you read for Spiritual Literacy Month?

Related Posts:
Why Reading the Bible Matters
Hope: The Vital Message
Christianity and Book Sales in America

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Photo by Geralt.

Promote Your Book as a Gift This Month

Procrastination. It’s a problem for a lot of people.

Procrastination

Did you know that there is even an organization for procrastinators? It’s called The Procrastinators Society. The Society has a creed for procrastinators. In part, the creed reads:

The Procrastinator’s Creed

  • I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
  • I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
  • I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
  • I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
  • If at first I don’t succeed, there is always next year.
  • I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, many people procrastinate buying gifts until the last minute. A survey by PriceGrabber found that 41% of consumers shop for holiday gifts between December 21 and December 24 each year. One study found that 26 percent of these people admitted to procrastinating.

Promote your book as a gift.

This means that you still have time to promote your books as Christmas gifts and reap some holiday sales. In fact, experts estimate that 25% of books are purchased as gifts.

Spend this month capitalizing on those shoppers that procrastinate gift buying. Capture their attention to buy your book as a gift by offering one or all of the following enticements.

1. Free Shipping

Everyone loves free shipping. Some studies indicate that 58% of people purchase more items just to qualify for free shipping and 83% of people are willing to wait an extra 48-hours for delivery to get free shipping. Offer free shipping on book purchases for the holiday season.

2. Flash Sale

A flash sale is a special discount that lasts for a very short period of time. This type of sale creates a sense of urgency, helping your readers act now to buy a book. When offering a one- to three-day flash sale, include a countdown timer on your website. Make the countdown timer prominent to increase urgency, encouraging visitors to your site to buy.

3. Bundling

Offer gift bundles. You can offer your print and ebook together as a bundle. If you have authored more than one book, then bundle two or three of your books together and offer these for sale for the holidays. You can also bundle your book with a gift card or other item to entice Christmas shoppers to buy the bundle as a gift.

Studies show that many last-minute shoppers are hunting for bargains. In fact, 43 percent of last-minute shoppers said that they believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. So, offer an irresistible bargain on your books this month and grab some Christmas sales.

Related Posts:
Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Gifts
Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts
Market Your Book as a Gift

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens.

Do You Suffer from Fear of Public Speaking?

I recently spent some time coaching a woman who had high anxiety around giving presentations at work. Within the last year, this individual had started a new job. Her new position included presenting at least once a month to colleagues and coworkers.

Fear of Public Speaking

This woman was a professional with a Masters Degree. Yet, her anxiety around public speaking was getting the best of her. She described to me how her anxiety caused her to miss major points in a recent presentation. She also reported that the energy in the room seemed to shift during her presentations. She felt this was due to everyone in the room feeling the anxiety she was projecting.

The fear of public speaking is common. The majority of people report that they fear public speaking more than spiders or even death itself. Studies show that three out of every four people (74%) suffer from speech anxiety. One statistic I read said that the fear of public speaking has a 10% impairment on wages.

For authors, speaking is an effective platform for selling books. Because people buy books from authors they know. Authors who speak often sell more books.

Yet, many authors suffer from speaking anxiety. They dislike being the center of attention and talking in public. The thought of doing so makes them want to run for cover.

What was fascinating for me was watching the transformation that took place in the woman I was coaching. Through identifying and tweaking some underlying faulty thoughts she had about her presentations, we were able to dramatically decrease her presentation anxiety.

Glosphobia: Fear of Public Speaking

The false assumption that this professional was struggling with was that she had to be the expert. For her, that meant that she had to have all the answers. Maybe you feel the same way.

This belief is a huge burden. My client knew she did not have all the answers, so when she gave a presentation, she felt like a fraud.

Here’s the truth: You don’t have to be an expert to speak to groups of people. The purpose of a presentation is to share information or knowledge that you have—including a personal experience and what you learned from it—with a group of people. That’s all.

Having all the answers is not required. All that is required is your authentic self, sharing what you know. This small thought shift can make a huge difference. And it is an important one. It is even important for you, as an author, in your writing.

You are not called to have all the answers. You are called to write what you know.

When you are part of God’s Kingdom, this is all that is required—sharing what you know. What people do with what you share is up to God. The outcome is in his hands.

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Self-Publishing Keeps Growing!

The descendants of Abraham are “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12). It’s beginning to feel that the same is true for the number of books published.

4,200 book published every day

Self-publishing is showing no signs of slowing down. Bowker, the agency that assigns ISBNs to books, just released their data on the number of self-published books for 2018.

1,547,341

That is the number of PRINT books that were self-published (including small publishers who produce less than 10 titles a year) in 2018 in the United States. This is a 46% increase from the 1,060,821 PRINT books self-published in 2017.

This means a self-published PRINT book is published every 20 seconds in the U.S. That is over 4,200 books self-published a day!

These are just the figures for PRINT books. This does not include books that are published as ebooks only. Nor does this number include the books that are published by traditional publishing houses.

Here is the kicker: 1,416,384 of these books were published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)—formerly CreateSpace, which existed until the end of 2018 when it was folded into KDP. This means that 91.5% of all self-published PRINT books are published through KDP.

Fierce Competition

With over one million books self-published in 2017, 2018, and again in 2019, the number of books available for sale keeps growing exponentially. Books are not going out-of-print much anymore. The sheer number of books available to read or buy boggles the mind. This means that every year any given book is competing against more and more titles.

books

In fact, many readers are beginning to experience overload. They have more books to choose from than they can conceive. Scientists believe that while the presence of choice is appealing in theory, in reality, people find more and more choices debilitating.

This means that for the self-published author, selling books is harder. The book marketing techniques that have worked for years no longer have the same power to persuade people to buy your book. More and more, a personal connection with an audience or standing out in some significant way is required for a book to sell.

If you are a self-published author, then you need information and tools to be as effective as you can be at promoting your book. It is not enough to just write and publish a book anymore, you also must take the time to learn how to market your book effectively.

CIPAChristian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is one resource available to self-published (indie) authors who need guidance in marketing Christian books. The Association provides its Members with information and tools for success in publishing and marketing Christian books.

You can take advantage of CIPA’s Fall Membership special. For just $105, you will receive Membership through December 2020. Sign up to join today at https://www.christianpublishers.net/membership/become-a-member.

Related Posts:
New Record: One Million Self-Published Books
Your Book: A Needle in a Hay Stack
What Influences Book Purchasing Decisions?

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Photo courtesy of MontyLov.

 

Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Gifts

Did you know that 42% of Americans start their holiday shopping in November?

Now is the best time to start promoting your books as great Christmas gifts. Here are six ways you can promote your books as Christmas gifts.

Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts

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Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts
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