Marketing for the Humble-Hearted

Flikr Image by Florin Gorgan.

Flikr Image by Florin Gorgan.

I am honored to share a post by Carol Peterson today.  Her bio appears at the end of the post, and I’d appreciate if you could pay her a visit after you answer the question at the end of the post.  I really resonate with what Carol has to share as it is something I have struggled with recently in releasing my first book.  Whether you are a writer, a musician, a pastor, or something else.  We all have something worth sharing.  Carol’s words today address an important aspect of releasing what you have to share.

Marketing for the Humble-Hearted

Scripture reminds us to be humble. It tells us that pride is a “deadly sin.” We are taught to have the attitude of a servant.

Writers hope our books bring value or at least a joyful respite to our readers. But despite the buckets of sweat, the gallons of coffee and the trash bags of shredded revisions that went into completing our books, writing them remains the easy part of this business.

The hard part of being a writer is getting our books into the hands of readers so they can be helped or brought joy. It’s that marketing and promotion thing where Christian writers often stumble. How can we be humble while striving to promote our books?

The key is in the value we bring. If our books have no value, then strutting our stuff and marketing our books is indeed prideful. But if what we have written has the possibility of helping even one person, then we have the responsibility to do what we can to help that one person find our book.

To be a Christian is to try to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus didn’t sit in the corner of his house with a few friends and discuss the Ten Commandments. Rather, he traveled the cities and countryside, speaking both to the few and to the multitudes. Often the demands on him necessitated that he escape for quiet moments by himself.

Being God incarnate aside, Jesus did what was tough because what he had to say was important. He did the work of promotion, so to speak, in order to spread the Gospel. Because people needed to hear it.

Doing what is necessary—even if it is difficult and painful—is what having the attitude of a servant is about. A servant seeks to do what is good for someone else and sacrifices his own comfort for the benefit of others. Most of us writers are happiest sitting in a corner and writing. Doing the scary, hard, tedious work of marketing and promotion is all about sacrificing our own comfort.

Many of us Christians write as a ministry—to educate, entertain or inspire others. If we are writing in obedience, part of that obedience involves letting people know about what we have written—because people who need our books can’t be helped by them if they don’t know our books exist.

We come to the writing business to serve others. Part of serving includes promoting so we can reach the people who need to be served. In other words, part of a writing—or any other ministry—involves stepping out into the world. Following the example of Jesus.

Is there something you feel timid about doing? How might looking at it from the point of view of serving others empower you?

Carol Peterson

CAROL PETERSON writes teacher resources for kids and Bible studies for adults. Her latest series, With Faith Like Hers focuses on individual studies of women in Scripture for lessons modern gals can learn about their own character and circumstances.