I’ve always hated the hard sell. Of all the things I love about being a writer, marketing is the hardest part. Even though I think my books are wonderful, full of life-giving words, hope, laughter, and solid content, it’s still hard to sell my own stuff.
Two things have me thinking about this. One, I received an email from someone wanting to know the best ways to market their book. I felt like a fraud even answering, much less giving advice.
Who am I? A little known author who valiantly studies, researches, and writes every day. Then I edit and rewrite, and rewrite. I love my work and can’t imagine doing anything else, but there’s not a lot of monetary reward. I write to craft a product that will glorify God and rightly represent His heart and Word, but selling is difficult. How can I advise when I feel like a poor example?
The other reason I’m thinking about sales is because there’s been an individual who’s been pushing me pretty hard to buy their products. They love them and think everyone else should too. I feel the same way about mine.
But not everyone wants to buy my products—they don’t like them on Facebook, leave comments and reviews, or come to hear me speak. And it hurts my feelings a little. Especially when they even refuse freebies.
I’m not peddling quilts, tickets to a one-time sports’ event, or organic produce (which are all good things I like and support). All those are great, but they don’t last. After all, I’m selling LIFE! “How could anyone reject my babies?” I cry. Why would anyone not want to buy?
But I remind myself not everyone is a reader. They don’t all appreciate my writing style. Not everyone is interested in the message I offer—choosing to walk with Jesus every day with faith, courage, and commitment.
Then I think of our Father, God. He freely gave His Son so we could be released from the power of sin and death, to walk a new and glorious life with Him. Yet many people don’t buy into His offer of a lifetime. They say they’re not into religion. Don’t have time to invest. That it costs too much. They say they’re using other products right now that better suit their needs. And God grieves. “How could they reject my Son?”
Yet He continues to make Jesus available to all who will give Him a try. No gimmicks, no sales, no changing the product to attract today’s customer. Because the product is already perfect—always has been, always will be. But only a few will discover the eternal life Jesus offers.
In a sad way, that makes me feel a little better about my book sales. My product may not be perfect, but I give it my all every day—each book, every article, every post, contains a little of the un-matchable JOY our Father gives. For those who will buy, they lead to God’s greater gift of love like nothing they’ve ever experienced before. That’s customer satisfaction. And so, like my Father, I continue to peddle my wares, hoping to draw all who will come to Jesus Christ.
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
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