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.
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|
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