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11 January, 2014

My Success Story So Far As a Self-Published Author – According to God



This is not a typical blog post, but when you walk and live in the Spirit, you do according to the Master’s wishes and commands because you are not your own.

A few months back when I published my book “How To Pray Through Depression & Loneliness” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E5MRSWC I was busy promoting the book all over the place. While the ads were not expensive, but when you tally them up, you find that in the end a lot of advertising dollars are spent for nothing because the sale of the book did not come close to cover my expenses.  One of the reasons I was scared of pulling the ads, even though they were not worth it, I just read an article with all the stats on how realistically speaking a self-published author can expect to sell a total of 82 books for each publication.   

Even though it was painful, I decided to stop and listened to God. Low and behold  within 100 days I sold more than 82 of my book “How To Pray Through Depression & Loneliness” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E5MRSWC   It was nice to watch because almost every day I was in the two digits on Amazon i.e #25, or 15 in the Kindle store. Yes, it is not a lot of books sold. But it was as if God was making a point through the learning process.  In fact, I was embarrassed to tell people about it because we are not talking about 1000’s of books here. But when you are a true believer in Christ and you are going forward with Him, you will find there is a consistency in your walk. What I mean is that God touches your life in the simplest and the smallest thing. It is as if all compartments within, have to merge into one identity. It does make sense when you consider that He knows you by name and knows every hair on your head.

The truth is, as self-published authors, when we go to our Amazon Kindle account and check the Month to Date Unit Sales it could be disconcerting. Keep in mind the category has a lot to do with the best seller’s rank much more than the amount of books sold. Anyway, as I moved forward to listen to God’s plan to teach me how to live a consistent Christian life, even in my book marketing process, I found that He convicted me for listing my book on a very popular secular site for Self-Published authors. I have to admit I did not like the fact that I was convicted when I saw a Christian book with the Cross of Christ on the cover next to another picture where the woman was wearing almost nothing. In fact, it was a picture promoting escorts services. I set out on purpose to locate Christian listings on this secular site which I will not name, and I found a few Christians there. I even said to God, why me? Why is it you do not convict someone who is a pastor to take off his book, yet you are busting my chops?  He then gave me a beautiful lesson about why some can and some cannot.

It would have been nice to keep selling approximately 25 of the same book per month. But I am down to 10 to 12 only on a monthly basis and I learn not to panic and trust His plan for me when I hit 5 to 6 days of “no sale” because out of the blue I will have a one day that makes up for it.  It is okay for now when you consider first of all I started in this business late 2012, and for now, the only real advertising I have done is through my Social Media accounts, my blogs and also I have been putting links within the FREE Kindles that I am creating for the http://mjandre.com/Free-Ebooks-Den/ which by the way once this site gets going, I intend to use those FREE Kindles as a marketing tool for all who join my ministry. This does not mean I will never advertise elsewhere, it simply means that I am now restricted by God to convert this ministry into something being done for His honour and glory instead of making it about my spiritual agenda and wishes. Above all else, He wants my motivation to be pure which means it has to be about serving Him first. So, this Book Marketing Coop site which address is http://christianauthors.net will be the place where I slowly move all other sites I owned. I am taking my sweet time because they are paid up for now I have no rush.  On a side note, I know the site should represent the name of the ministry, but, there is a trick in my madness and I like choosing a domain name that is SEO friendly and sometimes they might not match well with my ministry’s aspirations, so, I improvise.

On January 7 I had such a wonderful day with God as He reminded me several things and one of them was that He made it clear what He was teaching me how to merge it all together so that I could see with my soul, the difference between David being allowed to commit an unlawful act like eating the bread in 1 Samuel 21:5-6 and yet He burned Aaron’s sons to death for offering strange fire in Leviticus 10:1-7. I have to say it was all well with my soul and I can only be grateful to Him for caring about a worm like me.

Here is what I am driving at, in the next few days I will be posting some pages not as a blog post, but only on the community pages of http://christianauthors.net  Through those postings, the idea of the Book Marketing Coop will take shape a little bit more. I will be looking not for everyone, but only those like minded authors who walk and live in the Spirit to join me in putting things together. For instance, I will need people who are interested and have experience in virtual blog tour, a Social Media expert to oversee how we market to the Social Media out there. I will also be looking for solid and good Christians authors to mentor other authors, etc. And Yes, you would be wise to pray about it before jumping with both feet. Like me, I need you to see God as your Master in all this, and your sole motivation and goal is His honor and Glory.

In His Love and Service,
M. J. Andre