Hello from Ava Pennington, CAN Secretary. I’m enjoying the fall weather in south Florida, which, of course, for us, just means temperatures in the high 80s instead of the low 90s!

I’m sure I’m not the only person to see subject lines like these in my email inbox:

Check this out!
New discounts!
New Prices!
Get it now!
Order now!


Then there are the more deceptive subject lines such as:

Delivery Status  Delivery Failure

Or the ever ominous:

What are you doing in this photo?

I didn’t ask for them. I don’t want them. Still, they show up, dozens and dozens each day. Annoying at best, severe time wasters at worst. Continually dodging spam filters and presuming upon my interest. I would never do that to anyone else…or would I? Would you?

Published authors don’t just write, we market our books, too. But marketing is not a series of emails or Facebook posts shouting, “Buy my book!” Those who try the “hard sell” know their appeals often land down a black hole. We don’t even hear the faint chirp of crickets in response to our pleas.

Marketing is about relationships. Offering value. Meeting a need. Creating a desire for what we have to offer. And only then can we suggest our books…to entertain, educate, or encourage readers.

As part of “Take Your Author to Work Day,” CAN members are in the process of contacting Christian bookstores to propose author events for Christian Store Week. But it’s not enough to offer to grace a store with our presence for a book signing. Bookstores are in the business of meeting the needs of their customers – that’s how they will sell books. We need to be in the business of meeting the needs of the bookstores – that’s how they will sell OUR books!

Now, if you’ll please excuse me…I have a bunch of emails to delete.

Join the conversation: How are you communicating the value of your books in meeting readers’ needs?

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