Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is marketing boasting?

By Tiffany Colter

I want you to know your comments have totally messed up my plan!!! Laugh.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge planner. I plan my life weeks or months in advance and I don't do well when things change. Although I'm learning to adapt.

So when I saw the great comments left for me last Tuesday I had to change what I had planned on talking about [fear] and focus a bit on something else.

Cath presents an interesting problem. She lives on a tiny tropical resort island where there are beautiful skies, warm breezes...far away from the frozen tundra up here by Toledo, Ohio [I'm sorry...I am not sounding very sympathetic, am I? smile]

Seriously, what do you do when, for whatever reason, you aren't able to market with book signings, personal appearances and other more conventional forms of advertising?

This question is important enough that I'm going to ask a few people I know well who have faced just such a dilemma [in addition to what I've learned about marketing] and I will write a full blog on this later this month. So Cath, I haven't forgotten you. I want to give you the most thorough answer I can.

Now, Carla, yours is a question I hear VERY often in Christian circles. It truly saddens me that we have become so beaten down that we feel genuine pride [happiness] over a job well done is the same as the sin of pride. [thinking ourselves better than others]

First of all, there was rejoicing in the presence of the angels when we gave our life to Christ. God REJOICED over us. Isn't that incredible!! I celebrated when my little girls learned to walk and talk. And when they responded to my enthusiasm with their toothless grins and clapped their hands together with me, I didn't rebuke them.

I think too often we focus on God as LORD and JUDGE and forget that He is also a loving daddy who came down in the body of Christ to lift an adulteress from the mud as well as a forgive a sinful man who hung on a cross beside him.

When we are called to write our writing is a ministry and a calling. Our obedience pleases God. When that book goes to print God is excited with us. He is working through us and that makes him SO happy.

Now, I wouldn't encourage Christians to go to a local bookstore and say "See this Christian fiction book...Mine is better." But if God brings you to publication, you need to let people know your book exists.

"Let your light so shine before all men that they may see your good work and give praise to your father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

This verse comes at the end of the Beatitudes. A section of the Bible famous for its words about the meek inheriting the earth.

Now, I will not get in to a theological debate here. If someone does not agree that marketing our writing is scriptural then by all means, don't do it. However, I saturate my writing in prayer and I ask God to lead each story to the person who will be healed through it. God led me to a few different Christian novels 8 years ago when I was at a low point in my life. They showed me the love and power of God in a way I'd never thought possible. They took me back to the Bible, not because they quoted scripture, but because I became hungry for a God who could help hurting people.

That is why I am so passionate about the body of Christ pushing past their fear and focusing on stewardship.

I think that as all of you start to see my philosophy on marketing you will realize my goal is never to grow at the expense of another. I genuinely want to see the body of Christ bring their fiction to an even higher level. It has grown for more than five years.

God is blessing Christian novelists and he is blessing the world through Christian novels. What we need to do now is really build on our successes. We have the anointing of the Holy Spirit to guide us. We need to draw on that wisdom to write stories that honor God and then to get those stories to a hurt and dying world.

Wow, I get so excited when I start to talk about the goodness of God. It is just such a wonderful feeling to know that the God who spoke the worlds in to being is doing the snoopy dance when I get my first book deal. Isn't that AMAZING!!

So now I need some feedback on another issue. All of my other Writer's Rest bloggers have these cute names like "Mission Possible Monday."

What should I call this blog?? Today I called it "Name this Blog" but I want a better name to start next week. This blog will be about marketing and staying motivated as a writer. So c'mon everyone!! Let's get motivated!! Think of a name for this blog. I don't have a prize...just my eternal gratitude! :-)

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I almost forgot. I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching on "Get organized for Greater Efficiency" at the Christian PEN. The class will run online from July 21-Aug 11 and you can get full details here. Please help spread the word about this class. There is a fee involved but there are a limited number of scholarships available [and if you do not want to take the course, consider providing a scholarship for another author]. Registration will go through the beginning of July but I hope to have a fairly large class [30-40 if possible] so we can learn from each other.

I have to go, I finally have my plotline reworked for my WIP!!!

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter


Catherine West said...

Standing up and cheering!! I love this image of God doing the Snoopy dance. Ha! Yes, He DOES rejoice with us, doesn't He? Why do Christians inflict so much guilt upon each other? Don't we work hard for what we have just as much as the next person? Ugh.
Anyway that's a whole long rant that I won't get into.
Well, as for the name - I had suggested Tuesday's with Tiffany...thought it had a catchy ring to it!!
Whaddya think?

carlaspathways said...

Tiffany, thanks for posting more about this sometimes controversial topic. It suprizes me how so many of us feel called to write, but don't necessarily consider it appropriate to promote what God has called us to. It is like a Christian councelor getting trained, setting up an office, but not seeking clients to whom they may minister. Not sure if that is such a great analogy, but I do agree with your philosophy of stewardship. Matthew 15:16 is such an appropriate verse - to give praise to our Father!

Great news about your class, I'll be sure to mention it on my blog.

I like Cathy's idea for Tuesday's with Tiffany, but here's another suggestion: Career Track Tuesday.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, you guys are good!

I'm late getting to this. In line with "trying to get organized" I tend to do my blogging rounds in the early a.m. and missed this post yesterday. But certainly loved reading these two today.

I totally agree that God rejoices with us, just as much as he grieves with us. He's an awesome God. And it's true, we Christians tend to skew "positiveness" with "boastfulness". It's difficult, because often a very thin line prevails between them. It's all in one's perspective, isn't it?

I like both the name suggestions, but not to be lazy, I will suggest one myself. How about Marketing Tuesday?

Thanks for the great post, Tiff!

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter said...

Hi guys,

Thanks for the great ideas. I shall have to take this to my marketing team [That would be the hubby and our 4 daughters. wink] and ask their input.

Funny, I thought Tuesday's with Tiffany too [like Tuesday's with Maurey]. But I do like the marketing ring of Carla and Eileen.

You guys have given me much to think about. Hmmmmm