Game Plan

I never quite know how to begin blog posts when I’ve been absent for a while. Howdy? My deepest apologies for dropping off the face of the earth? How’s it hanging? Maybe just a simple:

Hello. *waving emphatically*

I’m going to be honest with y’all up front and tell you that this post is part explanation, part plea, and part heartfelt apology. What I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and why it makes me cringe… Curious? I hope so. I plan to write a juicy tell-all today, a sensational post that bares all, names names and… Okay. Not really.

What I am doing is prepping you for the weeks to come. In just over one month, my next book releases. As I’m sure you already know, it’s called SLEEPING IN EDEN and I’m pretty tickled about it. What you don’t know is that my publishing house (Simon & Schuster) is in a dispute with Barnes & Noble (read more here). And as a result, my books will likely not be carried in any brick and mortar B&N stores. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is. That means no placement of my newest release in B&N stores. No front table or beach read table or book club table sightings of SLEEPING IN EDEN. No B&N workers hand selling my books to eager customers (and I have some lovely, loyal B&N workers who graciously do just that). No casually browsing racing into B&N myself to take pictures with my hot off the press book baby. *Sniff* I love Simon & Schuster and I love Barnes & Noble. I feel like the kid caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce. And, just like a kid caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce, I will certainly feel some of the repercussions of this dispute.

Why I’m doing this (telling you about such a behind-the-scenes issue) is because I want to prepare you for a whole lot of book talk. If you’ve been around my blog or Facebook page for any amount of time you know that I’m not a big fan of self-promotion. I’m not good at it and I don’t like it. But I kind of don’t have a choice this time around. So I’ve been working on some ways to help promote SLEEPING IN EDEN, and you’ll see a lot of them in the next coming weeks. There will be sneak peeks, giveaways, a book trailer, and more. You’ll hear me talk about the endorsements I received (and rave about the authors who were gracious enough to say nice things about my book) and watch me post little visuals like the one at the end of this blog post. Whew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Which brings me to…

Why this makes me cringe. Well, like I’ve already said, I don’t like self-promotion. But I also don’t like doing what I’ll undoubtedly be doing a lot in the next 4+ weeks: asking you to help. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of things that you can do to help me and other authors affected by this dispute. So, here I go, hat in hand, cringing all the while… Some ideas:

  1. If you see a Facebook status, Tweet, or blog post that catches your attention, “like” it. Share it. Comment on it. Send it to your friends in an email. As I’m sure you know, everything you like, share, or comment on in turn gets shared with your friends. If one of those friends decides to “like” it, the spark catches. You get the drift.
  2. Sign up for the giveaways that will be happening and alert your friends. For example, did you know that FAR FROM HERE (my last release) is only $1.99 on Nook and Kindle? It would be so great if people would hear the news and take advantage of this offer.
  3. Buy the book. So many of you have already done this and I am (and forever will be) grateful. Seriously. Every sale counts.
  4. Review the book. If you read it and like it, awesome. If not, that’s okay, too. Reviews can drive sales and help people make wise choices when they’re purchasing their next book. And if you have a blog? Consider posting your review on your own site in addition to Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, etc.
  5. Tell your friends. Word of mouth is still the most powerful tool we have. Most of the books that I read are suggested to me by friends who I trust. All the great reviews in the world pale in comparison to a good friend’s recommendation.
  6. Don’t take me too seriously in the coming weeks. I know I’m not all that and a bag of chips. (Believe me, I know.) And I know my book isn’t the best thing since sliced bread (like my cliches?). But I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place (nice, eh?) and I find myself in a sticky situation (ha!) where I have to go above and beyond my comfort zone. Believe me, I’d rather talk about adoption, orphan ministry, Liberia, the simple life, simplifying, family, kids, balance, and the best lasagna recipe in the world (I just got done making a double batch. Yum!), but for a little while I’m going to have to focus on another aspect of my life: my career. Thank you in advance for being patient with me.

Well, that’s my game plan for the next few weeks. I feel like we just had a huddle and we should shout “Go team!” Or something. I don’t know. This whole thing makes me feel all queasy and shy. But since I promised a graphic, I’d better carry through. Oh, month before publication, here we go…

All best to you and yours.




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