The Only Story That Matters

july 013I was beginning to panic about my book sales. Despite my hard work and ceaseless efforts to promote my new book, I just wasn’t making a dent in the supply of books I’d bought from my publisher. Since I’d borrowed the money from our family savings, I felt guilty that I wasn’t refilling the coffer as quickly as I’d so optimistically assumed I would.

What more could I do? Post even more frequently on social networks? Write more guest blogs? Camp out on the doorsteps of radio and television stations to get their attention? Go into even more debt by hiring a publicist, in hopes he could convince people to buy my book? Beg the few bookstores still in existence to push my book at customers?

I didn’t do any of those things.

Instead, I asked God for help. I prayed for more book sales.

And He delivered.

Within days, I heard from two stores who had taken some of my copies that they needed more. Some event bookings I’d been pursuing for months finally came through, and I added them to my calendar. One night as I lay awake in bed, thinking about my book, I realized there was another market I could tap into, and the next day, I discovered solid leads for doing exactly that.

And then my daily Scripture devotional chimed in with Jeremiah 32:17.

universe“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

Yes, I was reassured and completely grateful for God’s generosity to me in the form of helping me sell more books as I had requested in prayer. I’d asked, and I’d received.

Praise God!

To be honest, though, I felt something even more compellingly: I felt chastised. I’d asked the omnipotent Lord, who created the universe itself, to help me sell books! Who did I think I was to even imagine He would care about a few hundred dollars in my life? It’s not like I needed a PLANET or anything. I wanted material success. I wanted to put some money back in the bank. I wanted God to make me feel better about a story I wrote. A story!!

Talk about putting myself at the center of the universe. I was humbled. Embarrassed. Aghast at my own egocentricity.

And, most of all, stunned by God’s patience with me, because this isn’t the first time I’ve let my selfish priorities slide in over what I know to be the single most important relationship of my life: my relationship with God.

It’s true – nothing is too hard for God, and that includes loving me…and you.

And really, that’s the only story that matters, isn’t it?


7 Replies to “The Only Story That Matters”

  1. I love your post, Jan. There’s so much out on the internet on how to market your book – twitter, Facebook, conferences, online courses, webinairs…it is all overwhelming and time consuming and no guarantee that any of this will work. I’ve noticed in the last year that there’s been a flood of people trying to cash in on the e-publishing business. After you’ve written the best book you could and done whatever you could to market it then I think that trusting in God is very sensible.

    1. Sensible and challenging, both, Carol! I have to keep reminding myself to not only trust in God, but to trust God. I have the best marketing Partner possible when I let Him do His job.

  2. Thanks Jan. This post was so timely for me today. I’ve recently published my debut novel on Amazon and am now hitting the down time after the initial buying flurry when sales have slumped. Having slogged away trying to get an agent for a number of years and received a lot of positive feedback and requests for the full ms but no takers, I decided to self publish. I’ve had consistent encouragement from God to use my writing talent but realise the latest disappointment has made me question Him and his promises and a pernicious root of bitterness had subsequently crept in. Your post today helped put my relationship with God back into the right perspective. Keep up the good work !

    1. Jackie, that down time is so tough after the high of getting published. Be assured even seasoned writers experience it…and then they get back to work on the next project.

  3. Great post, Jan. Surely God loves to see us come to Him first with any and all of those big heart-weighty requests. He’s already invested in our personal struggles, whatever that are, and wants us to toss Him our worries like hot potatoes. His mighty combination of love and power is the perfect solution to all our problems and struggles. I’m so glad He understands and cares, and that He hears and answers prayers. Rejoicing with you about the book sales!!

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