A Spiritual Response

The year 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for the United States and much of the world. We have experienced a worldwide pandemic and political and civil unrest in America.

A spiritual response

Coronavirus Pandemic

Authors across the United States as well as the world have been impacted by the pandemic. Shutdowns have greatly restricted authors ability to promote their books. Book launch parties, book signings, book tours, and author speaking engagements have been cancelled.

Numerous authors have lost income from these cancelled events. In-person author events and speaking engagements sell books. Not all conferences and speaking engagements have transitioned to a virtual venue, leaving fewer avenues for authors to promote their books this year.

Political and Civil Unrest

The United States has been tremendous political and civil unrest resulting in the burning, looting, and destroying of property and businesses. These activities have a large cost to society. The cost to repair and rebuild the damage, as well as the loss of business, means fewer discretionary dollars for people to buy books.

While books still sell in a depressed economy, they do not sell at same numbers as when the economy is robust. Authors and publishers book sales are and will continue to be impacted by effects of both the pandemic and the unrest in our country.

The Response

As Christians, our response should be to pray. We need to be praying for our country and our leaders on a daily basis. We must cry out for God to heal—both from the coronavirus and from the unrest that is rocking our country.

Religious leaders around the country are seeing the need for collective prayer and fasting. I encourage you to take part in these events. Two events that you can be involved in are The Return and Eleven 11 at 11.

1.  The Return

Jonathan Kahn, a best-selling Christian author, has spearheaded a national and global day of prayer and repentance. This is an event for Christians to fast and pray at our Nation’s capital on September 26. The event will feature a live simulcast for those who cannot be in Washington D.C. Christian leaders are encouraging all Christians to fast and pray that day, wherever you are. You can learn more on the event’s website at https://thereturn.org.

2.  Eleven 11 at 11

I was made aware of this event at the NRB Convention earlier this year. This event aims to have millions of believers all across America gather, Bibles in hand, to stand side by side and appeal to heaven and to declare that God is the God of this nation. You can learn more about this event on the event’s website at https://www.eleven11at11.org.

I hope that as a Christian author, you will take part in one or both of these events. Our struggle is not with the physical world, but with the Spiritual world. Our best weapons are prayer and God’s word. Let’s employ these to defeat the enemy and continue our Kingdom work.

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Photo courtesy of Nathan Damlao.

Just Show Up

Over the many years that I have worked with authors, I have interacted with writers of every personality type—both introverts and extroverts.

Showing Up Brings Opportunities

I have observed:

  • Authors who are excellent sales people and can really sell their books.
  • Authors who are go-getters and can network and make fabulous connections for sales opportunities.
  • Authors who are quiet, yet are able to connect one-on-one when given the opportunity.
  • Authors who are very introverted and don’t converse much with others.

The one thing these authors had in common was that they “showed up”. By this I mean, they accepted an opportunity for exposure and showed up.

Common wisdom says that showing up is 90% of success. Why? Because simply showing up opens up more opportunities.

Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) recently represented Members of the Association at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Convention. The authors that attended were diverse in their personality, skills, and abilities when it came to marketing. Yet, each came away with new opportunities just because they came to the show and made themselves available.

CIPA at NRB

These authors experienced:

  • Multiple interviews with media for radio shows and podcasts
  • Invitations to appear on television shows
  • Invitations to speak at conferences
  • Discussion about purchasing books in bulk to use with a ministry

Prior to the convention, I spoke with an author who was considering attending with Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). He ended up deciding not to attend because he wasn’t ready to promote his book full-time. I assured him that he did not need to be committed to promoting his book full-time to be able to reap the benefits of attending a convention and gaining more exposure for his book.

This author still decided not to attend. As a result, he missed out on a great opportunity to make connections and receive more opportunities for book promotion and sales.

If you are an introverted author who is not comfortable “selling” your book, don’t let that stop you from showing up. Look at events like trade shows, conventions, book fairs, book signings, and even media interviews as simply an opportunity for people to learn about your book and your message. You don’t have to sell. You just have to show up and answer questions.

Next time an opportunity for you to showcase your book comes your way, just do it. Show up and allow God to work.

Related Posts:
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It Takes a Step of Faith

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It Takes a Step of Faith

The big break! It is what every author longs for. Whether it is connecting with the right influencer to drive sales, securing a foreign rights or film deal, or landing on that national television show guaranteed to bring big exposure, every author dreams of that deal that will take them to the next level.

Step of Faith

Yet, often these breaks come in unexpected ways. Usually they come only after an author takes a step of faith. God meets us when we move out in faith.

Consider examples from the Bible. The Israelites had to follow God’s instruction to march around Jericho each day for seven days before the walls fell. Gideon had to trust God and reduce his army from 32,000 men to 300 men to have victory over the Midianites. Esther had to believe that God had made her queen for a reason and risk her life by going to the King without a summons to save the Jewish people.

Each took a step of faith. This means that they did something without being assured of the outcome. They risked and God showed up.

The same is true for you as an author. You also may need to step out in faith and take a risk before God opens a new door or shows you the next step.

For most authors and publishers, attending a trade show is a step of faith. Money is spent and time is taken from a busy schedule to travel and attend a trade show without any guarantee of a return on the investment.

Authors and publishers who take this step of faith have no assurance that they will secure additional sales or deals as a result of attending a show. Yet, time and time again, I have seen divine appointments happen at trade shows for attending authors.

Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) recently returned from the National Religious Broadcasters 2019 Proclaim Convention where we represented CIPA Members who attended the show with us. Each one of these authors took a step of faith in attending the show—and God did not disappoint. He showed up and great connections were made.

CIPA Members made the following connections:

  • Radio and television interviews with invitations for more after the show.
  • New platforms to take a podcast or radio show to the next level.
  • An invitation to teach at a Bible school in India.
  • A connection with a film maker who wants to create a documentary.
  • Request for rights to translate a book into a foreign language to be published and distributed in another country.

These connections are not magic. Each author will need to follow up and tend the invitation or idea that was discussed. And more opportunities may still come for these authors from the books that were placed in the hands of influencers at the show.

Where is God calling you to step out in faith with your book? I encourage you to take that step. Pray over your action, commit it to God, and watch with anticipation to see what God will do!

Related Posts:
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Photo courtesy of Daniel Reche.