Thursday, August 7, 2014

Susan Lawrence
Do you want people to notice you?

Of course you do! We all do, but especially writers. We don’t write just for the thrill of exercising our fingers on the keyboard. We want others to read what we’ve written, to be uplifted, inspired and changed.

Many years ago, when I was focused more on shaping children than novels, we raised not only our biological children, but a series of foster children, too. For the most part, our oldest son, Benjamin, had no problem sharing his Mommy and Daddy, his home, his toys, and all the attention with foster siblings.

But one weekend we had some visitors with four children. All of us, my husband and I, the visitors, the foster children, and Benji were on our patio, so the little ones could play. Benji decided he'd had enough of sharing the spotlight. Everything he did, he would shout, "Yook at me! Yook at me!" His chubby hands would applaud his own efforts as he awaited our praise.

Even as mature adults, there is a joy in accomplishment, and we appreciate others recognizing our efforts. When an author gets a five-star review on Amazon, or when someone tells us how much they enjoyed our book (or article, or poem, or anything we’ve written,) it’s a tremendous rush.

 But is it okay to seek the accolades? Most in the business of writing would agree that it is not only okay, it is essential to a career. Writers, and those in many other occupations as well, are expected to promote themselves. It's called marketing. In the publishing world, it is deemed necessary to have a "platform" and "an Internet presence." We’re told we need to blog, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. Book tours, book signings, speaking engagements, and even guest blog posts draw attention to us – and our “product,” our writing. So how much self-promotion is okay?

In 2 Corinthians 10:17, the apostle Paul admonishes us, "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends."

In all that I do, I sincerely want to give God the glory. I also want to do everything possible to achieve success in the world of publishing. Translated, that means book sales. And marketing sells books.

So when does promoting my book become boasting? How much is too much? Asking for reviews? Sharing a good review on social media? Posting pictures of book signings? Quoting sales figures? When do we step over the line?

I'm not sure I have the answers to these questions. I have said, "I put my book in God's hands," but I still ask others to give Amazon reviews, I actively seek out book signings, and I use Facebook to talk about my book. But I make it my constant prayer that everything I do says "Look at my awesome God" instead of "Yook at me!"

Lighthouse Publishing, 2014
Susan Lawrence, a graduate of Kansas State Teacher’s College, taught special needs children for thirty-three years before retiring to devote more time to writing, speaking, and storytelling. She has published two family devotional books, contributed to three anthologies, and has written articles for various Christian publications. Atonement for Emily Adams is her first novel. Susan lives with her husband, Gary, in the woods of Iowa. She is the mother of three and grandmother of seven beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. Contact Susan at: srlauthor @

 Be sure to stop back tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Atonement for Emily Adams.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good thoughts Susan. I think it's the state of our heart before God. If we keep it before God, we should be ok. We can also probably tell by the fact that we'd rather die than do all that self promotion.
    LOL Love ya!


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