Linda Wood Rondeau

Preparing the Sacrifice

TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Monday, June 19, 2023 by Linda Wood Rondeau

 

“It should be the ambition of every servant of the Lord to glorify God rather than self” *

 

How do we market and still give glory to God?

Marketing our manuscripts and ourselves as an author seems to be an onus for many Christian writers in the modern Christian Literature industry. This is true whether we self-publish or use a traditional publisher. If our writing is limited to periodicals both online and print, we are required to share our published work through various avenues.

“Without the financial resources, we cannot keep publishing,” I hear editors say. This is a true statement. The way publishers, self or traditional, receive financial resources is through the sale of the books they publish. True that for some Christians, writing is a business rather than a ministry. Even so, ministries rely on financial backing as well.

Often, I’ve prayed, “Lord, I just want to break even, so I can continue my ministry of writing.”

As civil servants retirees, our living income is adequate to meet our food, shelter, and clothing needs with some discretionary income for quality of life. However, we must choose wisely as to where that discretionary income is spent. Travel to any extent is a luxury. How can I fork out dollars for advertising without significant intrusion into our budget?

And there’s the quagmire of needing sales to pay for advertising when my sales barely put a dent into my operating expenses. Using seed money from the sales of my manuscript for promotion just doesn’t seem viable when there is no pocket to begin with.

I sometimes feel I am less blessed than those authors with advances who happily splurge their successes across social media, though they do give credit to God. I ask the Lord, “Am I a failure in your eyes because my offering isn’t as successful? Am I a second-class Christian because my work has not been so blessed?” I argue with the Lord, “If I had an advance, I’d use it all for marketing.”

Satan had placed within me, a false view of the verse above. “Isn’t marketing a means to glorify one’s self?”  

Of late, the Lord has pricked me, faulting me for my negativity and lack of trust. He has placed my manuscript according to His good purposes. If He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (see Psalm 50:10), then doesn’t He have the resources to help my manuscript, written for His glory, to reach those He has destined to read the words He has placed on my heart?

I must not compare that truth with the sales numbers on Amazon.

When I have invested in certain promotions after prayer and consideration, the Lord reminds me how He has supplied the deficit through unexpected ways.

He also reminds me, before I invest, to examine if the investment will further glorify Him or if it is for vainglory. Since there is a lag of anywhere from three to six months or longer before I can realize the impact of a promotion, trust in my Lord’s provision is required. Often, his material provision will come, not through an immediate boost in sales, but through savings I had not anticipated.

Just as I tithe for the work of the church, I have begun to look at my writing investment as a type of pre-tithe, a faith pledge.

Christian writer, do you struggle with this concept of marketing as much as I do? How has God kept your ministry afloat in ways you had not anticipated? Feel free to share in the comments below.

P.S. FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

If you are one of many Christian authors with limited income, I invite you to the Facebook group, Christian Writers Co-op. The hope is that we will share our skill sets with one another, lift one another up in prayer, and offer support as the Spirit leads.

*William MacDonald, The Believer’s Commentary, Thomas Nelson 1995 p.1510 

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