My adventures in marketing have kept me so busy; I barely have time to write. At one time, I had NOLA’s faith blog posted two to three months in advance. Not anymore. I recently looked at my calendar and realized I would miss my weekly post if I didn’t write something soon. This is why I decided that I would never pursue publishing a book.
With the advent of social networks and the explosion of electronic readers publishing houses are doing less for their authors. Today, many authors design and purchase their own marketing materials, schedule their own events, and spend countless hours on the internet friending, emailing, maintaining websites and searching for readers who might review their book. I have an advantage in the marketing arena because I wrote about people. Some of those people are in ministry and have helped me spread the news about Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot.
My first event took place at New Horizon Calvary Chapel. Dorothi, leader of the Christian Ladies Book Club, invited me to speak to the club. I asked her to wait until my book was released. In the interim, the energetic and enterprising Dorothi turned the invitation into a major event with eighteen authors. The attendance was reasonable for a first time event. I sold more books than expected, but could not have done so without the help of Dallas.
I met Dallas when I became a contributing author to the magazine she published. The magazine is on hiatus, but she continues to maintain the magazine’s website until God resurrects the project. Until then, she helps me when she can. Her help at Meet the Author was invaluable. I was able to leave the book table to chat with Ramona and learn how she sold 5,000 books in three years. I was also able to film Pastor John Raymond talking about The Bridge Radio which his church recently acquired. I returned to the book table and learned someone had paid for my $15 book with a $100. Fortunately, the event was over, and I didn’t need any more change.
The next marketing opportunity opened at White Dove Fellowship. Pastor Marquize invited me to make a presentation about Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot to his Wednesday night Bible study. I’d met Pastor Marquize when he was running for the United States House of Representatives. His story, which left me in awe of God, is told in the chapter titled “Friends”.
I left late and then realized the bridge was closed. I’d have to take the long way around. I hate being late. Service had started when I arrived. I sat on the pew with my box of books irritated at my tardiness and glad I had opted to read an excerpt from my book, which made it easier to control my tongue. Then Pastor Marquize preached the finest sermon on submission I have ever heard.
As service drew to a close, I set my books on the information desk for anyone who wanted to purchase a copy. I’d had trouble receiving credit card payments with my smart phone at Meet the Author and encountered the same problems. The kind customers dug though nooks in their purses for hidden treasure and others borrowed the needed cash. I now own an Ipad, which should solve the problem. My solution cost twice as much as I made that night. Welcome to marketing!