In 2005, so many people were starting blogs. I had no idea what a blog was, and I didn’t know if I was supposed to do one. I asked some other writers I was connected with what they blogged about. Someone told me to blog about my journey to publication. That was something I could do, so I started a blog.
Once a month for three months, I wrote a blog post detailing some part of my journey. And the three or four people who cared about my journey came by my blog. No. One. Else.
I had several contracts at that time, so I didn’t think I had time to keep up the blog like that for only a few people. So I did what I should have done in the first place. I prayed about whether I should blog or not.
God gave me the plan for mine. I was the first person to give away books on a blog. What God told me was for me to lift up and promote other authors, and He would lift up and promote me. Since that time a number of people have borrowed various aspects of my blog, but many of them do not have the results God has provided for mine.
Because I was following His directions, my blog has grown until it has over 8,750 hits per month, plus the feeds. And the blog draws a large audience of readers. That’s my target audience.
So when you’re planning the way to promote yourself and your work, the first place you should go is to your knees. We serve the God of all creativity, and He has a unique plan for each of us. He has recently given me new ideas of how to “enlarge my tent” in this economy.
We live near a Mongolian Grill owned by a Tony Chan. We eat there occasionally, and we’ve become acquainted with Tony. When he found out I write novels, he asked me to put him in one of my books, and I told him I would. The Tony Chan developed into a strong secondary character.
Today we ate there again. I asked him if he’d like me to do a booksigning in his restaurant when the book comes out. He was enthusiastic about us doing that. That’s a direction I wouldn’t have ever thought of moving, but I believe God’s hand directed me.
So get out of your box. Go where you can find new readers, no matter how strange it seems.
The first Tony Chan book is Mary’s Blessing, book two in the McKenna’s Daughter’s series, which released in May 2012. Book three Catherine’s Pursuit, which released in February this year, also has the Tony Chan character in it.
--Lena Nelson Dooley, multi-published, award-winning author