Take Time to Love a Bookstore

The second annual Love Your Bookstore Challenge starts tomorrow. This year the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge will run Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 17.

#LoveYourBookstore

Love Your Bookstore is an industry-wide celebration of all brick-and-mortar bookstores across America. It’s a way for book lovers of all sorts to show support for bookstores.

We need Christian bookstores in America! Christian bookstores can be a shining light of Christ to a lost world. They provide a place for both seekers and believers to find encouragement through books and other resources.

As an author, the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge provides you an opportunity to get to know and support a local bookstore, as well as promote your books.

The Challenge encourages authors to:

  1. Visit a local bookstore during the challenge. Be a patron!
  2. Take a picture with a book you love or want to gift this season—or a picture of you with your book located in the store.
  3. Share the picture on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourBookstore.
  4. Then challenge your friends to participate in the #LoveYourBookstore as well.

I would also encourage you to make a purchase while you are in your local bookstore. Support these retailers who are an important part of the book-selling structure.

Christian Supply Shoppe

If you want to locate a Christian bookstores near you, you can use the Christian bookstore locator found on https://getitlocaltoday.com. Just plug in your zip code and it will let you know where a Christian bookstore is located near you. The site lists over 1,800 Christian stores.

If you do not have a Christian bookstore in your community (and many places do not), then visit a local independent bookstore. Last year, I drove 20+ miles to the nearest Christian bookstore for this challenge. Interestingly, this bookstore is not listed in the Get It Local Today directory. The store has a fairly sizable section devoted to local authors and a number of loyal customers. While I was there a number of local people stopped by including a pastor picking up his order.

Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The Love Your Bookstore Challenge allows you to put this verse into practice. Visit your local Christian bookstore this coming week and do good by supporting their endeavor.

You can share your plans for the #LoveYourBookstore Challenge below. I would love to hear from you.

Related Posts:
How Many Christian Bookstores Remain?
How to Get a Book into a Christian Bookstore
Why Christian Bookstores Are In Decline

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Hope: The Vital Message

Mudslides, floods, volcanoes, school shootings, plane crashes, sex scandals, embezzlement, and tragic accidents. The news if full of awful things happening both here in the United States and around the world. With all this negativity, hopelessness is a common commodity.

Hope is defined as “an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.”

Hope is in short supply in our world today. In North Carolina (where I reside), the suicide hotline receives 255 calls each day and someone commits suicide every six hours. That is a lot of hopelessness.

At the NRB Convention earlier this year, Vice President Mike Pence stated, “Your ministry, your message, your values are needed now more than every before. Every day, every hour, you speak strength to the heart of the American people.”

People are looking for hope. As a Christian author, you offer this message of hope. As Christians we know that our hope is not rooted in this world. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. People need this message.

Hope brings change. According to a new study by Barna, one-third (35%) of all U.S. adults say they have made a “big change” in their life because of a conversation about faith. Christian books spark conversations about faith and bring hope.

As an author, don’t lose hope. Your books are valuable. Christian books bring hope. They help people find or renew their faith.

Related Posts:
It’s All About Hope
Are You Staying True to Your Calling?
What Is Your Purpose?

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

What Will You Be Caught Reading?

May is “Get Caught Reading” month! What will you get caught reading this month?

Each year, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) puts together a cooperative catalog featuring products from our member publishers. This year’s catalog features 60 titles from 27 of our member publishers.

I invite you to click on the catalog cover pictured below to check out the great titles CSPA members produce! I am sure you will find within the pages of the catalog a new book to read this month.

Due to the number of beautiful book covers featured in the catalog, it may take a few minutes for the catalog to load. Please be patient.

CSPA Catalog Cover

Related Posts:
Have You Heard of Open eBooks?
Create Book Bundles for Gifting
What Are People Reading?

Bookmark and Share

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

We Want Your Vote!

If you read or sell Christian books, you are invited to VOTE for the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

pencil voteYou can vote online right now at www.BookoftheYear.net. Voting on the Book of the Year Award is open through March 31, 2016.

Although small publishers are often less well known than larger publishing houses, they produce fresh and innovative books to inspire readers or fill niche needs. The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award honors books produced by small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.

The 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award features 123 books in 14 categories.

The winners of this award are determined solely by the votes of Christian book lovers and retailers alike. The winners of the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award will be announced by May 1, 2016.

The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

What are you waiting for? Go Vote! And, invite your friends to vote also!

Bookmark and Share

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Creating Book Sales

I recently had an independent author ask me what Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) does to help “create sales” for authors. My response was that CSPA does not create sales; rather, the organization provides opportunities for its members to create sales.

Opportunity

Understanding how sales are created is important. Advertising in and of itself does not create sales. Marketing activities in and of themselves do not create sales. Both are simply vehicles by which sales can be created.

Sales are created by two things:

1. Meeting a need.
When you provide someone a solution to a problem they have, you can create a sale.

2. Creating a connection.
Sales are based on relationships. People need to trust that you have the answer to their problem to make a purchase.

It’s all about communication. You, the author or publisher, must communicate to your audience that you care about them and that you have what they need. In advertising and marketing, this is largely communicated through the written word. What you write in your marketing and advertising materials is essential in creating a connection and showing your audience that your book can meet their need.

Since Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) does not write marketing or advertising copy for our members, we cannot create sales. All we do is provide our members the vehicles through which they can get their message out to Christian book buyers.

For example, one marketing vehicle CSPA offers its members is BookCrash, a books for bloggers review program. Members of CSPA can provide Christian bloggers a free copy of their book in exchange for a review by the blogger on her blog and on one retail site. A review by a blogger does not create sales. It can, but that creating a sale depends on a number of factors including: the type of review the blogger has written, how much influence the blogger has with her readers, and whether she recommends that others purchase the book.

Even though CSPA does not create sales for our members, there are many benefits to belonging to a publishing association. These include:

  • Professional affiliations boost your professional image.
  • Membership provides you information on how to stay up-to-date and relevant as an author, publisher, and book promoter.
  • Organization benefits include affordable marketing opportunities and other cost-savings on services related to printing and promoting books.

If you want someone to “create sales” for you, then spend the thousands of dollars required to hire a publicist to help you create sales. If, instead, you are looking for more opportunities to create sales for your books at an affordable price, join a publishers association.

You can sign up to become a member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) today. The fee is just $90 for the 2016 calendar year.

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts:
There is No Magic Pill
Trade Shows: A Book Promotion Tool
Are You Using This Book Selling Technique?

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.