Today as I read Mary DeMuth's devotional ezine: Inside reNEWal - one of her articles (below) totally struck a cord with me. As a publicist, I'm constantly discussing strategies for marketing with my clients. While we'd love to do a quick one-time campaign that will Spread the Word (oh that it would work that way - nice to be famous overnight. :) ), it just doesn't (usually) work like that.
Often the successful author is the one who connects and build relationships with their readers. Yes, it takes time, but it is SO worth it! Mary's article sums it up perfectly! (oh, and be sure to subscribe to her ezine - it's AMAZING! You can sign up on her homepage.)
Mary's A Slow Burn (Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 2) just released last month (I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm waiting for time to slowly savor it. I LOVED the first book in the series, Daisy Chain (Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 1) - great story, great writing.) Read what people are saying and pick up copies for yourself!
Recently a friend said to me, "Mary, you're truly gifted at bringing people together." I smiled. What an amazing compliment! I do love to gather folks. I love creating and fostering community in all sorts of different ways. I love for people to meet other fascinating people.
After my daughter read The Tipping Point for class, she told me, "Mom, you're a connector." I sensed I might be after I read Gladwell's words. He asserts connectors are the people who "link us up with the world . . . people with a special gift for bringing the world together . . . a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack for making friends and acquaintances."
Although I struggled as a child in social situations, feeling small and awkward at times, God saw fit to deeply heal those insecurities enough to help me look beyond myself, to notice others, to see a friend who had a need and connect her to another friend who could fill that need. Recently my friend Ashley wrote, "One more thing ... you are the queen of networking queens. Do you know anyone who plays the Cello? Of course you do! You are Mary DeMuth, queen of the networking queens!"
I don't write this to draw attention to my networking or connecting prowess. There are many of you reading this who share the same gifts. But here is what I'm learning. This God-given connecting trait is not one that automatically helps me succeed as a writer. It's more of a gradual, piece by relational piece building.
And I'm finally seeing some fruit after years and years of connecting, networking, talking, interacting, and bringing folks together. The Lord reminded me of this yesterday as A Slow Burn launched. On the day of the launch, Amazon boasted 45 reviews. I've never seen that happen before. I believe the myriad reviews aren't a result of some fluke. I am guessing it's a combination of the years of work I've done behind the literary scenes doing two things:
Learning the ins and outs of writing well.
Learning the ins and outs of loving people well.
Again, I truly don't want to make this post a lovefest for Mary. But what I do want to do is encourage those of you who feel your own particular style of marketing and promotion is unseen. It may be. But with perseverance and diligence, over years, your efforts will eventually pay off. Just don't give up. Keep connecting your friends to each other. Keep listening to folks. Keep doing little things that don't seem to add up. Keep on your own you-shaped path, even if it doesn't look flashy or markety. Be you. Every day. And trust that God will bless the works of your hands.
Find out more about Mary, her books and her writing critique site, The Writing Spa here!