Marketing and the Great Commission

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Originally published by ACFW Colorado’s The Inkwell Blog.

There’s a persistent feeling among Christian authors that marketing is somehow dirty. We write stories we hope will touch others, bring them comfort, challenge them. We may even feel that we were called to write with a Christian worldview or to bring others to Christ.

But marketing our writing? That’s where the enthusiasm over our calling fizzles out.

Personally, I write inspirational fiction because I can reach far more people in print than I can in my day to day life. Sure, I come in contact with dozens of people every day, and I may even share my faith with some of them, should the opportunity arise. As a writer, though, I can reach hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. I can touch far more lives through the written word than I ever could in my day to day life.

So why wouldn’t I want to get my message to the greatest number of readers possible? If I have something of value to share, one that could potentially impact lives, isn’t it wrong to restrict that message to shoppers who might happen across a display in a Christian bookstore or see it on a list on Amazon?

As Christian writers, it is our duty to market our work. Not for own glory or our own pocketbook (though let’s face it, we’d all like to jump up and down over a good royalty statement), but because we’re doing God’s work. If that is true, we shouldn’t shy away from spreading that message to the furthest reaches.

Jesus said, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19). He didn’t say, “Go and make disciples of only readers who shop at” Those of us who don’t explicitly write salvation messages aren’t off the hook either. Portraying characters with a Christian faith, or even just a moral viewpoint in today’s “anything goes” culture, can have an impact of which we may never be fully aware.

Over the next several months, I will be conducting a marketing boot camp to make sense of all those buzzwords and help you think about marketing your work in a consistent and professional manner. At the end of each week’s post, I will give you an action item to complete or a question to answer before next week’s post. By the end of the series, you should have a solid framework for creating your own marketing plan.

This week’s action item: Why do you write inspirational fiction? What message has God called you to deliver?

Next week: Defining yourself as an author

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