You see, a salesman, I am NOT.
But my mom? Oh my goodness, she could sell a parka to a bear in the middle of July.
She just has this finesee with people, the ability to relate to them and sell them and put herself out there, regardless the consequences. She isn't the "sleezy" salesman type that pressure you... no, it's even worse.
She LOVES you into a sale. Oh yeah. You think she's the best thing since sliced bread and all the sudden your fingers are writing a hefty check for new granite countertops you didn't even know you needed. (Okay, not really, you probably wanted them in the first place but after a chat with my mom, you wouldn't even think of looking elsewhere.)
I.... did not get my mom's "selling" gene.
While I love people and love helping them, my sales pitch is more like, "Here is your price, I understand if you go with someone else though. My feelings won't be hurt."
I've never once held a job in sales... and it's a darn good thing!
Until this whole writing thing....
I SERIOUSLY find myself thinking (and sometimes saying...)... "I hope you like my book... but if you don't want to get it, it's totally okay. I understand."
Way to sell, Krista. Way to sell.
So what does a girl do who HATES selling things, is HORRIBLE at it, but really needs to sell a boat-load of books to keep in this whole publishing thing? Because we all know competition of fierce. ANYONE can write a book and plop it on Amazon now. I should know. I did it last month.
Yes, the first key is to WRITE A GREAT BOOK.
But if you write an awesome book and no one knows about it.... that is helping no one. But the solution isn't always a simple one to find.
So, in assessing my issue, I went to my mother for advice. Sure, she sells and designs kitchens and baths for a living, but that's kinda like books, right? Okay, it isn't, but still, selling is selling and I needed help!
I was giving her examples of some of the things I'd done so far. Things that were fully in my capability, that I felt confident I could do well. I did a blog launch party that went really well. Over 100 comments on my blog and about 4-5 times my normal traffic that day. I posted to a few FB groups about the book, resulting in a few sales. I'd begged on my author page, resulting in a few more sales. I'd linked to it everywhere I could legally link to it, resulting in a few more sales.
But then my sweet loveable mother called me out over my words.... things I felt confident I could do well.
You see, I was planning my marketing around ME. Around my little comfort zone. Around the areas I thought I could do easily that wouldn't make me uncomfortable or have to stretch myself.
I don't remember my mom's exact words, but her message was this.
God has not called you to stay in your comfort zone.
She also went on to pinpoint my biggest reason... that I have a debilitating fear of 1.) failure and 2.) rejection. Those are issues for another blog post though... and maybe some therapy!
The bottom line is this, though:
God has called me to write and market my books. To have them published and to be confident not in my own abilities, but in the fact that God can take me OUTSIDE of my abilities, OUTSIDE of my comfort zone, and can do more than I could ever dream.
And... if you know me, I dream BIG.
Here's another thing I've wrestled with in my heart.
I'm a FIRM believer that God has gone before me. It is not in my power to sell the number of books I need to in order to be successful. It just isn't.
But it's in God's power.
There is a difference between pressing forward IN THE POWER OF GOD and callasping in the dirt like a stubborn toddler and saying, "I can't do it! YOU do it, God, since you're the one who has all the power!"
Am I the only one who does that sometimes?? Sure, there are definite times when we need to let go and let God. But there are also times we need to cling to God, hop on his back, and go forth in his power and wisdom.
For me, book marketing is DEFINITELY one of those times.
I've done a (sadly) small number of things over the last week to try and get out of my comfort zone in this whole selling thing. Think of it like dipping my toe in the water to test it... then sitting on the side, feet danging, to get used to the cold water.
I can feel God behind me with this amazing grin on his face, ready to push me in if I don't take the leap soon!
Discussion: What about you? Has God taken you out of your comfort zone with your writing career yet? Are you holding back, using God as an excuse?
Take the plunge, y'all.
THIS post is part of my plunge. I was super hesitent to broadcast my struggles so honestly, but my hope is that God can use it to help others throw that towel and dive in.
The water grows on you after a few minutes. Or at least that's what my mom tells me!
Oh, and while you're at it... there's this GREAT novella called A Side of Faith you REALLY should check out. Word has it, the author is a bit kookie but has a side of fun to her.... :-)