Marketing and Platform: It’s Not About You
For seven years before getting my first book contract, I attended two to three writers’ conferences a year. I took copious notes in every marketing class, and when I returned from these conferences, I was a good little student. I followed the directions I was given and did everything they told me to do. Everything!
The result: I spun my wheels in a million different directions and spent a ton of money. I had some successes, but I also failed miserably. One day after tweeting, posting, blogging, and writing marketing copy, I finally said to God, “There has to be a better way.” His response was, “Yes, there is. Are you willing to listen now?” I thought, Yes, I’m willing to listen because I am worn out.
During the next six months the Lord and I went through an immense process. I took my notes and handouts from the conferences and covered my office floor with them. I put them in stacks. I made notes, diagrams, and outlines. As the Lord and I worked together, the main message I kept hearing from Him was, “Marketing is not about you. This is not about you.” But my notes appeared to be about my book and me. So how could this be about my book and me, and then not be about me? I wrestled with this, much like Jacob wrestling with God in the Bible. By the end of the six months God showed me some incredible things.
The truth is it is really not about you, your book, your speaking ministry, and your platform. These are tools–they are not the message. In our pre-conference class, we will explore concrete ways to make this not about you. We’ll learn the two big questions authors must ask themselves. And we’ll learn how to apply the answers to everything authors and speakers will use to communicate the message God’s given each person.
These concepts apply whether you plan to publish one book or multiple books. These are the same concepts whether you go the traditional or independent publishing route. They apply even if you don’t plan on publishing a book. In fact, they are the same concepts used in most successful marketing endeavors when Christians are in the driver’s seat. They are at the heart of what Jesus did when He showed the disciples what to do to spread the gospel message.
When I learned these truths, I began to tell people and they offered to pay me to teach them what I’d learned. I didn’t have my publishing company then, and I didn’t even know what to charge, but I began to share with others these truths. Eventually, I was offering marketing retreats and personalized coaching. Then my publishing company took off (that’s another God-story), and I hired others to coach using these principles. If you want to learn how to turn marketing into ministry, I hope you will join me for our pre-conference class, Marketing and Platform. Sign up for an appointment with me. I cannot wait to see the lightbulb go off in your mind as you are set free from it being all about you.
Cheri Cowell is the Founder and Owner of EABooks Publishing, and the author of Marketing as Ministry: It’s Not About You or Your Book. She is also both an independently and traditionally published author, including the award-winning 365 Devotions for Peace (Zondervan), and Parables and Word Pictures Bible study (AMG Publishers). Her other books include Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life (Beacon Hill), and the One Story, One Mission, One God Bible study. She’s published over 500 articles and countless devotions. With her experience as an author and as a publisher, Cheri has a unique approach and abundant grace when working with authors to bring their dreams to reality.