Merry Christmas From Cheri Cowell

Now don’t turn me off before hearing me out. I’m not talking about the annoying and sometimes over-the-top commercial marketing all of us are tired of by now. I’m referring to the marketing God did that first Christmas to tell the world about His great gift. What do I mean by calling God’s work marketing? Marketing in the positive sense means sharing the good news about something so as to entice others to [join, buy, get, receive or] desire to have. There are three things we can learn from God’s marketing plan—three things you and I can use in our own speaking and writing.

First, God used targeted marketing. He used a star to guide the Wiseman or astrologers, as some biblical scholars call them. For the shepherds in the fields, He sent a host of angels to calm their fears and tell them what to do. To Mary God sent an angel and the wisdom and assurance of Elizabeth. And to Joseph He sent the unmistakable Word of God to help a good man make the right decisions. God knew His audience and spoke to them using the language and method best suited for each. Who is your audience? What is their language? Are they on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, do they belong to MOPS or Book Clubs?

Second, God sold the sizzle. For each person or group of people, God chose what would excite them and shared that. God didn’t serve the whole meal when only the appetizer was needed. To the Wiseman He said the star would lead them to the promised Messiah—He didn’t tell them about Herod and their need to avoid him on their way home until that information was necessary. Likewise, you and I don’t need to tell everyone the ten points we cover in our book or message when we are simply enticing them to enjoy a taste. What is the one thing they need to hear now, so later they will hunger for the whole meal we are ready to serve?

Third, God gave. Still the most astounding part of the Christmas story is that God gave it away for free. Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t charge for our books and speaking, but what are you and I giving away for free? I have found I’m unable to out-give God. I started by giving away bookmarks with a poem a friend wrote for the closing of my presentation, and people bought things from my book table that went with that bookmark. Then I took a leap of faith and changed my fee structure—I charge a flat fee per person for speaking which includes a free autographed book (and for retreats it includes the companion workbook, too). I thought back of the room book sales would be gone, after all everyone already had a free autographed book, right? Wrong. They wanted to buy a book for a friend “since they already had a free one for themselves…” God gave. How can you give away more in this coming year? Just try to out give God…and may you have a Christmas filled year!


Karen2009 Aloha from Karen, CAN Treasurer
A friend who is a promoter mentioned that people can easily do damage when promoting themselves. They may talk too long, push too hard, or sound like a carnaval barker. Listen to ads and what turns you off, as well as what piques your interest in a product. And our talk, as Scripture reminds us, should be seasoned with salt (lightly not forceful selling).


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IMG_4809 Tricia Goyer here:

I don’t often use the word “promotion.”
Instead I like to think of my efforts as “sharing the good news” of what has been happening with my writing. During the holiday season there’s no better way to do this than through a Christmas newsletter.

Below is my newsletter. There was a lot of good news to share, including good news about my book releases and my up-coming projects. I’ve found that my friends and family like to celebrate with me …. and they often share my books with friends. Yeah!


Goyer Christmas Letter 2010


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecc. 1:3

new baby, new daughter-in-law, new hometown, new house (twice), new college graduates, new job, new books, traveling to new places … and that’s just the start


  • In January we were chosen by an amazing birth mom to adopt her baby girl. Celebrate!
  • We also traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas where John had an interview with FamilyLife. God’s plan?


  • Good news. FamilyLife made John a job offer. We love this ministry!
  • We prepped our house and put it on the market. We also prepared for our baby girl.
  • Tricia’s book Songbird Under a German Moon (Summerside) hit store shelves!



  • Alyssa Catherine Marie Goyer was born on March 16th. Beautiful baby!
  • March 24th we loaded up our U-Haul, said goodbye to our friends and family and headed to Little Rock. It was hard leaving so many we loved, but we were excited to see what God had in store.


  • John starts working at FamilyLife. He feels blessed to work in such an amazing place.
  • Sadly Grandma Dolores decides to leave Little Rock. She moves to live with her daughter in California.


  • Tricia turns in her novel, Beside Still Waters. It’s her first Amish novel, due out April 2011.
  • Cory and Leslie graduate from Flathead Valley Community College with their AA degree. Congrats!
  • Tricia’s co-written book, Life, In Spite of Me (Multnomah) is released.


  • Tricia travels to Montana to research her Amish books.
  • Our family starts attending an amazing church … Mosaic Church of Little Rock.
  • Tricia’s novel, The Swiss Courier, co-written with Mike Yorkey is nominated for a Christy award and she attends the award’s ceremony in St. Louis.
  • Leslie turns 18. (She told me to include that!)


  • Cory marries Katie Curtis. Another amazing gift … a new daughter-in-law!DSC_9149-Edit

    Tricia is excited to have her co-written novel, Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington (Summerside) released!



  • Tricia turns in Praying for Your Future Husband, co-written by Robin Jones Gunn. In bookstores May 2011.
  • The Goyers move from their Little Rock condo to an apartment one minute from John’s work.
  • Tricia attends the final reunion of the 11th Armored Division to interview veterans.



  • Alyssa is getting bigger and bigger. Our baby girl is such a joy to us!
  • Nathan starts his junior year of homeschooling.

October IMG_4710

  • Leslie moves to Little Rock! John flies up to Montana and they drive down together.
  • Tricia finishes her edits for Remembering You, a contemporary novel about a granddaughter/grandfather trip to visit WWII battle sites. Due to be out September 2011.
  • Leslie travels to The Czech Republic to visit our Czech friends and our Czech daughter, Andrea.
  • Tricia starts Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) in Little Rock. Leaders join the cause and many young moms attend!
  • Tricia travels to Monterrey California to attend a Books and Such retreat.


  • Tricia speaks at Hearts at Home and gets to see her friend Marie in Rochester.
  • Tricia turns in her second Amish novel, Along Wooded Paths. Due to be out Fall 2011.
  • John is asked to be the Executive Children’s Pastor at Mosaic Church!


  • Cory and Katie move to Little Rock. Our family is together!
  • Alyssa learns to crawl. Forget Dora the Explorer … we have Alyssa the Explorer!
  • Tricia is working on a co-written novel with Mike Yorkey. She currently has two novels to write next year. Her third Amish novel, and a historical novel with Barbour. God is good.
  • Our Montana house is still for sale. Your prayers are appreciated!


Overall, it was an amazingly busy year. One year ago we never imagined we’d move to Little Rock, adopt a baby girl, or get a new daughter-in-law, but we are thankful. God has provided every step of the way. He is faithful!


Love, John, Tricia, Cory, Katie, Leslie, Nathan … and Alyssa!



Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, all – Ava Pennington here. I had planned to offer a greeting from warm and sunny Florida, but we’re in the middle of a cold spell (well, cold for us, anyway!). That’s okay, because the brisk weather just makes it feel all the more like Christmas!

My last several blogs have been about the launch party for my first book, One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God. Now that the book launch party was a success and my book has been available for two months, what’s next?

Once the launch party ended, there was still much for me to do. My follow-up list included the following tasks:

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