The burden of book marketing can bog down the flow of fresh ideas bursting from my fingers, because it’s like a heavy yoke (and that’s no joke). It floods the atmosphere with doubt. And so, I wrote this poem about it:
Goliath’s Marketing Monopoly
“Behold the giant standing in your way.
How will you ever get him to obey?
“Behold his stack of books is so well read
That yours cannot compete with it,” they said.
“You must jump through the same hoops he once did,
If you ever want to pop that stupid lid
That’s sits atop the path to your success,
The glass ceiling that’s been causing you such stress.”
“To fashion a best seller takes much sweat,
So with your muscles you must lift the debt
You owe yourself regarding your great book
At which, it seems, nobody cares to look.”
“As an author you must form a strategy
Geared at launching your monstrosity.
Because you cannot make it fly for free,
Much grunt work you will need, most certainly.”
But must we heed the ogre and cave in,
Putting on his armor with a grin,
And taking all his insults on the chin?
To say he’s always right – is that no sin?
Had David donned Saul’s armor to slay Goliath, he wouldn’t have gotten very far. Had he tried to kill the giant with a javelin, he most likely would have missed. That’s because such weapons were too unwieldy for him. He hadn’t tested them. Instead of approaching Goliath the same way Goliath approached him, with a weight of fleshly pride and a mouthful of insults, he armed himself with godly fear and a true humility. He leaned on God for wisdom and let the Holy Spirit guide his stone.
And why can’t we as authors do the same?
For example, what if we redefined success to fit the gifts and callings God gave us? What if we came up with new, out-of-the-box methods of book marketing instead of copying someone else’s version of a platform?
I am beginning to think that for me, personally, word of mouth is a better key to gaining readers than a website. That’s because people tend to take more notice of my artwork than my “smart work.”
So, why can’t I use cartoons to promote my work? I’m a whole lot better at that than trying to explain verbally to somebody why he or she should read my book.
And when it comes to writing, I value quality over quantity. And that’s what I value when it comes to marketing too. Mass mailings? I have no idea how to do them. But God has given me a passion for my message and He does answer my prayers. I believe He led me to the right publisher – speaking of which, my editor sure put up with a lot from me. After numerous edits, they sent me the proof and I found all sorts of things that needed changing.
I was like, “This part sounds strange. Why did I word it this way?”
That’s my talent, you see. I’m picky. Good clean copy tops the list of my priorities when it comes to book marketing, because if I don’t like my product, how can I convince someone else it’s a great read? Unlike my favorite extrovert who could sell the broad side off a barn (for lack of a better analogy), I simply can’t sell anything I don’t believe in. That’s why, instead of paying for a package that provided press releases, radio interviews, and so forth, I spent money on professional editing. I needed to know I had a great product before I put it out there.
Now I need to market it, and to market it I need a platform – a platform that conforms to who I am and what I’m called to do. I’ve tried socially media, but very frankly, I need more friends to make it work. So, that’s what I’m working on now. It may not be your approach, but that’s fine, because book marketing shouldn’t be a burden. It should be a joy.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30, KJV
So, let’s have fun with it, shall we?