“I want to be on the New York Times best-seller list. I know everyone is going to want my book. It’s anointed.” I hear stuff like this from new authors all the time. Strangely, those who have been in the game for a while don’t say such statements. They’ve learned. Even the authors who have a track record with three or four books published (not just printed), don’t expect to be the next “Oprah book club darling.” Everyone who is anyone wants their book on Oprah.
I just smile when I hear the comment and pray, “LAWD, why me?”
I specialize in the Christian market because I believe in the message of the Gospel. That’s my mission – to market the message of the gospel to as many people as possible. So I run across tons of Christian authors. I encourage many to write their books. I even mentor and coach some through the self-publishing process. I always tell aspiring authors to write what God tells them – not what’s popular.
This is where it gets sticky. Even though God may give you a word to write and the book is published, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be the next TD Jakes or Joyce Meyer.
The book may be anointed but it still has to be sold through the world system – which is business. I try to tell authors “do not despise small beginnings.” Every business has cycles. Start up is phase 1 – and the most expensive.
Books are business. People pay money for books and when money is exchanged, there are expectations. People buy what they are motivated to buy – not necessarily what is “best” for them but what they desire. Advertising, marketing, publicity create desire.
Now, if an author were to print books and give them away – that’s another thing. No marketing is needed. But most want to make some sales and make a profit.
And it seems like some new authors even dream of being “rich and famous” and having people hunt them down for an autograph. Even Christians want to be a celebrity – some even a SUPERSTAR! Sigh.
But it take a well thought-out marketing plan, an accurate assessment of the target market, a good grasp of social media tools and a great deal of knowledge about how books are sold.
You don’t just learn that by being on your knees in prayer – thought a good book is birthed in prayer. The sales cycle is sustained and elevated by marketing skills, literary knowledge and promotion experience.
To really make a mountain of books move – you have to be smart and sharp. Getting information from a book coach or literary PR professional or a writing conference is key.
Ministry marketing pioneer, social media marketing expert and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” For a free MP3 of “What Every Author Should Know,” go to http://www.PamPerryPR.com. She’s also the creator of the ChocolatePagesNetwork, a social network for Christian authors and the Chocolate Pages Show on Blogtalkradio.
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