When I first found out my book was going to be published I was ecstatic. I had dreamt about it for years but I didn’t really think much about what would happen if my dream ever did come true.
I had heard over the years, from authors, that the marketing aspect of the profession was the tough part. It’s not that I doubted that assessment but at the time I was totally focused on actually getting published and thought – gee, stop complaining, I wish I had such problems.
Getting the word out about the book is tricky and rather time consuming but last week I was blessed with a full week of indepth marketing activities. A school visit to share my message with an 8th grade class, a radio interview, a bookstore meet and greet, and a library event with 7 other authors.
These of course are great opportunities and I was thrilled to have them but for someone who would prefer sitting on the couch wearing pajamas and being creative from the comforts of her own home – these things are terrifying.
Standing up in front a room full of people to give a speech is one of the worst things I can imagine. Thinking on my feet while being asked unknown questions for an audience is something I’m completely terrible at. The added stress of having to do this while “on air” makes me feel like hiding under the bed.
The underlying theme of my book is about using your gifts from God to help others. This is a belief I feel passionate about but I can’t help but wonder if God is chuckling a little because while I spread the message of using our gifts I am having to face my biggest fears and use skills that are definitely not among my talents.
Before each event I prayed. I asked for God to calm my racing heart, to give me the right words to say and for God to – and I’ll quote my favorite TobyMac song here – “steal my show.”
Of course God was faithful and answered my prayers. Some events went better than others but with His grace I made it through them all.
To my delight those middle school students were sweet, attentive and had a ton of great questions. The radio interview was an interesting experience which I’m not sure I care to repeat but learned a lot if there ever is a next time. At the bookstore I did sit there most of the time with no one buying the book as a snowstorm howled outside keeping the patrons away but I survived it. And in the process I met some wonderful people and came away with some great ideas for my sequel. And at my library event, I was able to connect with some other authors who shared some marketing tips and was blessed by the encouragement of several friends who came to support me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable with this part of my writing journey but as I told the middle school students during my presentation – we don’t always know what God’s plan is for us but if we say yes he will always lead us in amazing ways. I said “yes” to this journey when I began to write The Perfect Blindside and I guess I should take my own advice and enjoy the incredible ride.