You know the old saying: "When they say "it's not about the money"... you can bet that its about the money!"
The Book of Timothy offered the wise warning we all recognize: "Money is the root of all evil." And the wisdoms of the Proverbs are not ignored by the wise:
How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver! (Proverbs 16:16)
Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies. (Proverbs 20:15)
And I often hear Christian authors saying they write for an audience of one... God.
I love God.
God's not in the book-buying biz, and while I want my words to honor the God I love and serve, I want the mere mortals among us to buy books. Why?
Because business comes down to numbers. Anyone with a 401K or a Roth IRA or a pension pays attention to what's happening on Wall Street. Not because they love Wall Street... but because having some money is a basic need.
"Money can be exchanged for goods and services." (Homer Simpson)
Who's buying your books? Who's interested in your books? Who can you tempt with your style, your voice, your stories? As a pre-published author or a published author, part of our job is to examine the market, see what's selling, what's not and write the best book(s) we can. Writing is a joy... but it is also a business and should be treated as one.
I know... that sounds so stinkin' prosaic. And for a woman who tends to wax poetic when I write, this dollars and cents (sense!) talk isn't nearly as much fun. There's no poetry in talking finances!!! But for most of us, the reality is this: We want to write for a career. It's more than a hobby, it's a goal, and I'm 100% in favor of folks stretching as much as they can to reach their goals.
In the April 2016 Readers Digest, there was a great article by J.D. Roth (The Biggest Loser producer) about burning 7000 calories in one day. It was a contest, and the prize was an iPad. A single mother took the challenge. Her son wanted an iPad and she had no money for one. For 20 hours she exercised and worked out with her son cheering her on. She got to within 500 calories of the goal and the gym closed...
She did not give up.
She went outside and ran around the buildings until she got to that 7000 mark, to show her young son that she would go the distance for him. She won the iPad. And her son, now a high school football player, is being offered full ride scholarships. She set an example for him that he will never forget... to reach for the stars. Go for the gold. Go the distance.
I've always felt I had a calling. A calling to help heal women's hearts, to inspire them to reach for what might seem impossible. To try harder, because no one hands us anything, but I wanted the stories in context of romance because I love romance! LOVE IT! Romance, family values and healing hearts was the niche/genre I sought. These things matter to me and they are universal in a world run amok. So then the goal is to target your work to the matters at hand.
Writing For An Audience of Thousands.
I don't want my light-- or yours-- hidden under a bushel. (Doesn't that sound like T. J. Mackay last week?)
Recently Alicia Keys decided to go with no make-up. Imagine that, a mega music star who's had photos published on tens of thousands of websites, magazines, music rags and social media sites, has gone rogue on makeup and you know why? BECAUSE SHE WAS SO SCARED OF BEING PHOTOGRAPHED WITHOUT IT and losing face with her fans.
|No Make-Up Ruthy!!!! :)|
Proverbs 9:10: Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
There is no shame in wanting to have your words be published, or help others, or earn money. A calling can also be a profession. Ask any minister or priest or doctor or teacher...
And there you go.
Let your words honor your faith... but it's okay to reach for an audience. There's generally a lot of hard work and effort that goes into every published book, so don't feel guilty about being paid for what you do. And if you love, love, love your job???
ALL THE BETTER!
Hey, I've got some sweetness going on in the giveaway basket today! This is release week for "Their Surprise Daddy", my third Grace Haven book, and I love this story about two orphaned illegal immigrant children... and the crisis that brings two distant hearts together.
I've got two copies of "Their Surprise Daddy" to give away today, a perfect way to kick off "Easter Monday"!
Leave a comment and I'll put you in the drawing... and come on inside, grab some coffee or some sweet tea and tell me what unnerves you about this business... Or what you love about it! Feel free to talk here. It's just you and me.... and a cast of thousands. :)