By Suzanne D. Williams
I’m going to give you the best key to successful marketing you will ever read. It’s so simple, and yet we as Christian authors fail to use it to our advantage. Because we do have an advantage. We have something that enables us to spread word of our writing, draw in readers, and push our books to great success.
Let me ask you a question. Have you prayed over your book? Now, I’m not talking a “please, God, please” prayer. I’m talking the fervent prayer of a righteous man, a prayer based on faith in God’s ability, willingness, and power to help you. (Jas 5:16) I’m talking a bold in-your-face prayer. (Heb 10:19)
“Wait,” you say, “can I pray that?”
Absolutely, you can. First, God said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mt 7:7) He told you to ask, and he promised answers in the asking. (v8) However, He was specific about how to ask. He said, “Ask in faith, nothing wavering.” (Jas 1:6)
How do you do that? You find a Scripture and apply it to your situation. God has promised success and prosperity in numerous places in the Bible. Joshua 1:8 promises “good success” to the man who mediates (or spends time in) the Word. In 3 John 1:2, we find God wants us to prosper “above all things.” But I especially like the story of Joshua in Genesis 39:3. The Bible says of Joshua’s success, “And that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”
That’s pretty amazing!
“But, I’m not Joshua,” you say. No, you’re not. You’re greater even than he was. You’re a child of Almighty God, washed in the blood of the Lamb, who sacrificed Himself to save you.
Salvation is all inclusive. It’s more than just your soul. It’s your job, your finances, your health, your children, even your dog. And also your books. God didn’t do a half work, but completed what He came here to do. In light of that, how can you not claim His promises over your writing? If He gave you the story, if you obeyed Him in writing it, then He will bring it to success.
Yet in all things we do, we often put Him last. We strive on our own, using social media, blog articles, and any other manner of getting the word out there and our books into the hands of the readers, forgetting all the while our greatest weapon is to let God do the promotion. He said we can have “exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Eph 3:20) So we should take Him at His word, stand, and having done all to stand, keep standing. (Eph 6:13-14)
Of course, along the way, there’ll be naysayers, those who don’t appreciate our work, or come against it in some fashion. I’ve seen this quite a bit with one of my stories in particular, and to be truthful, I struggled with that. I kept asking God why. And He showed me that I need to stop worrying about why and instead, once again, turn back to what He said in His Word.
Jesus gave us the answer in Matthew 5:44. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Ah, blessing the enemy. I admit, this is the hardest thing to do, but it is also the most important because it has a two-fold effect. First, it removes the pressure from you. The devil can no longer hold whatever the negative situation is over your head as a threat. I mean, why bother you with it when it doesn’t bother you at all? Second, if every time something similar crops up, the person causing the trouble gets blessed instead, that’s not to the devil’s benefit.
“But I lost money.”
“But he hurt my reputation.”
“But my ratings went down.”
But Romans 12:20-21 says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Overcome evil with good and sew your prayers, and sometimes your books and your money, into the life of someone who needs it. Give them a blessing and move on. Then raise your hands to heaven, and thank God for your success, and let Him do His part. He is, after all, the best marketer there is.
Suzanne D. Williams is a native Floridian, wife, mother, photographer, and writer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors.