I'm about to finish reading a new book by Kimberly Wagner called Fierce Women. This biblical womanhood/biblical marriage book explains how to be the strong, capable, and even assertive woman you were created to be while still being submissive and respectful toward your husband, soft and winsome to those around you, and pleasing to the Lord. I'll offer you a review of the book once I finish it, but I'm telling you already that it's masterfully written, timely, and compelling.
Which brings me to the point of today's blog post.
I like to help out a fellow author whenever I can; I know how challenging it can be to get the word out about a work you
feel like know God has placed in your heart and pen. You hesitate to toot your own horn, but at the same time, you didn't write the book just so it could sit in boxes in your garage. You felt compelled to write it because you feel others would benefit from the message.
Every author I've ever personally spoken to (all of which have been Christian writers by the way) have expressed genuine humility about their work mixed with a healthy dose of passion about getting it into the hands of others. They all relate to the common quandary of how to promote their work/ministry without appearing to promote themselves.
And that's where you (and I) come in. Have you ever finished reading a book, completing a Bible study, attending a conference, or watching a DVD and felt a volume of appreciation and joy well up inside? Have you ever recognized that God placed in your hands a special message you needed to hear? Have you been grateful that you bothered to read it, listen to it, study it or watch it because it actually changed your life or at least your thinking?
That's how I'm feeling about Kim Wagner's Fierce Women. And that's why I'm going to blog a review of her book. But there are other things we can do to help out an author or speaker when they minister to us as well. And I'm not too proud (or too humble) to admit that, as an author and speaker, I could benefit from your help in the same way. Whenever you come across someone who has answered the call to professionally minister to you through the written and spoken word, you can bet that they could use your help in getting the word out about their ministry.
Here's how you can help out an author or speaker:
- If you blog, post an honest review of their message, conference, study, or book. We don't expect you to lie or exaggerate. We just want you to tell others how our work worked for you and how it might benefit others.
- Post a link on Facebook. We would be glad for you to link your Friends to our "stores" on our web sites or our listings on any of the major Internet bookstores, such as Amazon or LifeWay or Barnes & Noble. Simply say a word or two about the book in your status update and add a link.
- Sing like a bird and Tweet about the conference, the book or the Bible study, even while you're still involved in it. Once again, you can include a link. A great way to stir up interest on FB or Twitter is to include a quote from our book or message that especially speaks to you.
- Leave a "customer review" for the author's book on Amazon.com and/or other bookstores. This is a huge help, not only in increasing awareness and placement in the "store," but also in appealing to publishers and event planners when we go back to the drawing table with a new work.
- E-mail the author or speaker with your assessment of the work. Give her positive words she can use in her "testimonies" or "what they're saying" pages on her web site or future promotional materials.
- Inform the gatekeepers. Do you know someone who selects Bible studies for her church's women's ministry, chooses the Christian novels and non-fiction books for their summer reading clubs, books speakers for events, or posts reviews on her blog? Then, by all means, tell her about the study or book you just finished and loved. Or tell her about the anointed and effective speaker you heard at the conference you attended. Simply pass it on!
- Add the book to your Goodreads shelf. You can copy and paste your "customer review" here, too.
- Write a review for a newsletter, magazine, newspaper or hosting blog such as All Access, a women's ministry blog.
- Buy the book or CD set as a gift for a birthday, holiday, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Friendship Day, etc. You may even be able to get the author to sign the book!
- Offer to distribute promotional items the author or speaker might have available, such as bookmarks, postcards, or fliers.
- Pin the cover of the book, CD, Bible study or DVD onto your Pinterest boards. Make sure to link back to the author or speaker's web site.
- Most importantly, talk about the book or conference or Bible study to anyone and everyone who may be interested. Tell them how it affected you and where they can get it for themselves.
Do you have other ideas for how to spread the news about a good book, message or study? I'd love to hear how you've contributed to someone's ministry by spreading the word. And thank you so very much to each of you who have spread the word about my books and conferences!
Labels: ministry, The Ministry Map, Women's Ministry