Words from Another World

“Sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me!”

Wrong. As adults we’ve long since figured out that childhood nursery rhyme we sang to protect ourselves couldn’t be further from the truth. We no longer deny that words can be mighty painful. As authors, what both fascinates and challenges us is their power to change the world, and it’s all by Divine design.

scrabblePicture, if you will, the disciples of Christ sitting in an upper room waiting and praying, praying and waiting. Before leaving in the clouds, Jesus had promised to send them power to take His message to the ends of the earth. He didn’t tell them what this power would look like or how long they’d have to wait for it, only that they must.

Finally, after days and nights of waiting, after all the anticipation and questions surrounding this mysterious force Jesus had spoken of, after weeks of wondering what this supernatural aid might be and how they would wield it, God’s promise fire fell “as cloven tongues of fire.”

How strange. Fiery cloven tongues uttering words of an other-worldly origin.

I find it fascinating that out of all the body parts the writer could’ve used to describe this amazing scene when God’s fire power fell on man, He chose a human tongue. What a visual of God’s plan to employ these fleshy instruments of ours to speak from the understanding of one human to that of another, each one witnessing of the consuming fire lit in his or her heart.

That said, is it any wonder that we’re so strictly charged to monitor our tongues and the power of language?

How can we allow ourselves to use whatever words we want with whomever we want whenever we want, knowing that God has chosen these same tongues as holy messengers to take His gospel into all the world?

Hugs, Shellie

How to Market Your Work Without Running Screaming into the Streets

timeline_heartwideopenRaise you hand if you just love marketing and you can’t wait to get started promoting that book, blog post, or magazine article you’ve written?

I see.

Well, raise your hand if you would like that book, blog post, or magazine article you’ve worked so hard on to find its way in front of real life readers?

What a conundrum.

Or an opportunity.

It’s that perspective thing again.

Like so many of my author friends, I dislike the “look at me” aspect of marketing my own work. I feel like the youngest of three little girls vying for my parent’s attention at the annual elementary school open house.

“Look at me!”

“This is my desk!”

“That’s my drawing on the bulletin board!”pleasingus_heartwideopen

That may have been TMI–too much information. Y’all probably don’t say that anymore, do you? Forgive my outdated references. I’m never using the cool phrases at the right time. Ask my kids.

But we were talking about our love/hate relationship with marketing and I wanted to let you in on one of my game plans.

I read an article recently that gave some startling statistics on comparative “face time” our messages are given on the various social media platforms. Of course, I can’t find that piece again because I had fallen down an Internet rabbit hole and have no idea how I got there or how I climbed out. You’ll have to trust me: The amount of time a reader’s eyes “paused” on an image (and shared it!) just slayed the time the same reader spent on mere text.

Poor little words. (I love you, words!) Words are my life, too, y’all, but we need to be wise about using other media to get them some face time, which we hope will translate into sales, shares, and retweets, right? Right.

A few simple apps on our smart phones will help. I’ve used InstaQuote to show you Heart Wide Open_n1a few examples of what I’ll be doing when my next book releases. I would stop here and tell you about Heart Wide Open and how it will be in a store near you March 18th, 2014, but this is not the time or the place.

Along with InstaQuote, I used PhotoMarkr to add a copyright to my images before posting them on Instagram. Now, seeing as my Instagram is connected to my Twitter, which is connected to my Facebook, which is connected to my hip bone…wait, too far, again. The point–one share hits all of my platforms.

And since I composed the text so it just happens to fall into Twitter’s 140-character count (Oh, the intimacy_heartwideopenthinks we can think!) I can post the full text in Instagram’s status box and Twitter will get the quote. Then, if interested, Twitter friends can hit the link and see the Instagram image.

My intention is to create a file folder of these tweetables and the images in my spare time. (Insert maniacal laughter at the mention of spare time.) Seriously, it only takes a moment to make these images. I made these three in about ten minutes. As the release nears, I’ll share these with the publicity team at my publishing house and with anyone else who has agreed to act as an influencer.

We’re done here! I hope I’ve given you a marketing idea that you can build on without running into the streets crying. I’ve tried that, y’all, and it doesn’t do a thing for sales.

Hugs, Shellie

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