Friday, June 3, 2011

Sell and Share Books that Last

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Like many writers and independent publishers, I am not crazy about marketing. But who can avoid it? You walk many a long mile to help what you invest heart, mind, time, and finances in, yes? And, you need to know why it seemed so important at the beginning, middle, and end.

My brother Gerald and I tried every standard professional marketing approach, with well-done sales items, to interest book buyers of Christian connections in our co-production, a re-release of C. H. Spurgeon's The Mourner's Comforter. Many Christian organizations and booksellers that we expected to be interested surprised us by showing no interest. Not a squeak. When I'd get discouraged over this, my brother would admit the same, and then say, "Jean, read the book! That's what I do." I loved that!  He knew I'd already read it multiple times. My original copy, which he had given me years before, was marked and softened from use. I knew, though, that he wanted me to turn to our new edition's pages and let the same text remind me of its glorious themes from Isaiah. And I would go, turn to a page at random, read little or much, and feel better. It never failed. And, for disappointment or discouragement in general, the texts of this and other books remain among comforts for such times. Isn't that part of many authors' desires, as they writer?

If you are discouraged about selling your books, read often what cheers you up and spurs you on. As my husband told me once, "Don't give up now. Your boat may be about to rise." We had seen The African Queen the night before, so I knew what he meant. I was able to laugh and cheer up once again. I hope you will be too!

I don't want to nag, but I hope you refuse to fill a room or garage with boxes of new books. Have only one box on hand, with ways to get more quickly. That way you won't have to panic and start shooting marketing buckshot wildly into the clouds. Take a long view, and if you have books that last, you might be surprised. I hope so.
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