A few years ago I received a note from Jeannette Littleton, “Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers will be released April 10th with your two stories.”
Then the Publisher’s Assistant wrote, “We need your help. Every author is paid to help market.”
Lord, we could use the money, but I don’t know how to market. In the past, you placed someone in my world that wanted to use his or her spiritual gifts. Please, Father, give me that person now.
A few moments later, I heard the answer. “You have more expertise than you think. Hire yourself. You knock, I’ll open.”
“Is that you, Lord?”
“You said you planned to ditch your fears. Get serious about my plans for you. Spend more time talking to me about your needs and allow me the honor and glory.”
I prayed on the way to work. I felt giddy when I arrived at the office. My non-believing co-workers laughed at me when I announced, “I just hired myself as my promotional manager.”
The laughter ceased when I ditched my fear and marched to the cubicle of our company social committee chairperson.
“Nanci, I have two stories in this Cup of Comfort anthology,” I handed her my copy. “Is it possible the social committee will host a book signing?”
My stories in Cup of Comfort unleashed a dynamo in action. Every day I spent more time in prayer–kneeology production. Every day another door opened. My co-workers saw God in action.
One day I announced, “I have scheduled 6 book signings, 4 newspaper interviews, and 2 radio interviews.” An hour later I reported, “A patient just called about her bill and guess what? She is in marketing. She gave me tons of leads.”
Later, Peg, the host of my first book signing called. Before we hung up she said, “I have a degree in marketing, lets meet. I’ll coach and you’ll sell.”
What have I learned?
Pay your dues. I didn’t miraculously have the ‘know how’. I spent three years in study on FCW, Wordsowers, TWV2, and HACWN. I set goals, journaled praises, and wrote daily. I attended writer’s conferences, studied grammar, asked questions and accepted critiques.
Pray. “Kneeology” is promised production. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Ephesians 4:6 (NIV).
Pitch your product. In the past, I mumbled to my co-workers about my sales. Now I email my progress to friends and family. I have also become more vocal about my freelance status. I hand out my business card or a flier I just happen to have in my purse. My card says freelance author, but I know God calls me Freelance Missionary.
Praise Him. Allow the Lord to receive the glory. Being vocal about the answers to prayer has been an ongoing witness to others.
Follow my lead, hire yourself, tackle new ideas and brainstorm often. Then when you look in the mirror say, “Look out world. I’m a dedicated go-getter with my bosses highest good in mind. I might be untrained, but I’m willing and I have a great attitude.”
My stories in “Cup of Comfort” helped build my marketing skills. Who knows with the continual writing and the promise of another book coming out, I might end up on Oprah or Joyce Meyer. With the Lord, all things are possible.
To finish the story: Yes, I published in each Cup of Comfort until the publisher decided not to publish another one.
My stories have been published in many more anthologies also. What I learned with marketing Cup of Comfort became my stepping stone into real sales. I’m still an inspired go-getter.
Katherine J. Crawford, author of Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers, is published in sixteen compilations and numerous articles. Known as the Lionhearted Kat, she resides in Omaha, Nebraska. Visit Kat’s website lionheartedkat.com.Read her journal through breast cancer and the loss of her husband: www.caringgiver/visit/org.