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From Cheri Cowell's desk:

In preparing for a weekend retreat I'm hosting on Marketing for writers I came across these social media stats. If you need a push to join the social media bandwaggon, perhaps these social media stats will help you decide to jump on board.

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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!


Headshot glassesFrom Written Word to Spoken Word

Tips by author and speaker Cheri Cowell

One of the most frequent questions asked of me at writer’s conferences is “If I speak on my book and tell them everything that is in there, why would they then buy the book?” When I first began writing and speaking, I was fearful of the same thing. However, I quickly learned three valuable lessons.

1. Lesson One: Don’t Speak on Your Book- Speak on a Topic for Your Target Audience

You’ve seen it on television, the “expert” author who’s every other word is, “In my book…” Even worse, they tease the audience, only giving two of six tips “available in their book.” These self-promotional gimmicks rarely cause someone to run out and buy the promoted book, and often has the opposite effect, causing resentment not future readers. The solution is to not speak directly on the information covered in your book, but instead look through your book for jumping off topics.

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Author Members

Agers-Brooks, Anita

Arrington, Candy

Atkins, Narelle

Avey, Sydney

Baehr, Dr. Ted

Banks, Marlene

Barker, Dianne  (CAN secretary, Blog Oversight)

Beach, Shelly

Belk, Twila

Breslin, Kate 

Bly, Janet Chester

Boeshaar, Andrea (Facebook assist)

Bowman, Crystal

Breidenbach, Angela (CAN president, Pacific NW Regional Coordinator)

Breslin, Kate

Brownley, Margaret

Burkhard, Linore

Callentine, Dr. Lainna

Cassel, Katrina (MTL spotlight volunteer)

Cosgrove, Julie (Blog asst. coordinator)

Cowell, Cheri

Cunningham, Peggy

Daly, Jane

DeArmond, Deborah

Dennis, Jeanne (Pinterest coordinator)

Diorio, MaryAnn (Book review list coordinator)

Dooley, Lena Nelson

Eckles, Janet Perez (Prayer team, Munce article asst. coordinator)

Farrel, Pam  (Blog asst. coordinator)

Ferrell, Miralee

Fessenden, Dave

Finger, Catherine

Florea, Jesse

Fox, Grace 

Franklin, Darlene 

Gilden, Linda

Gillespie, Terri

Glahn, Sandra

Goldfarb, Linda (Regional Group Coordinator)

Green, Jocelyn

Greene, Anne

Griggs, Winnie

Gustafson, Eleanor

Hamaker, Sarah

Hanna, Doreen

Hanscome, Jeanette  (Facebook page coordinator)

Harling, Becky 

Harris, Kathy

Harris, Leann

Helms, Elaine

Hodgson, Mona

Hostetler, Robert

Howard, Kathy

Hubler, Marsha

Hynson, Lori

Ide, Kathy

Johnson, Jackie M. (Prayer Team)

Johnson, Kimberly Rose

Jordan, Lane P.

Kern, Jan

Kozar, Linda (Public relations director, website volunteer assist)

Kyle, Sherry (Blog asst. coordinator, New release announcements)

Lazurek, Michelle S. (Kids’ Day coordinator)

Leon, Bonnie

Lindsay, Christine

Ludwig, Elizabeth

Martin, Torry

Mathis, Susan G (CAN vice president, newsletter co-editor, CO regional leader)

Matthews, Dianne Neal (Prayer Team Leader)

McCabe, Ginny (Asst. to treasurer)

McDonough, Vickie

McHenry, Janet

McMenamin, Cindi

Mehl, Nancy

Melson, Edie

Miller, Kathy Collard

Mowery, Janelle

O’Hare, Annette

Ondov, Rebecca

Orchard, Sandra

Ortega, Yvonne  (Prayer team)

Parsons, Golden Keyes (Though she has passed away, her legacy remains)

Pennington, Ava

Philo, Jolene

Pieper, Marti

Pratt, Maureen

Rivera, Rosalinda

Robbins, Sandra  (Though she has passed away, her legacy remains)

Rogers, Martha

Rondeau, Linda

Rouser, Kathleen

Schlachter, Donna (Leann Betts)

Shaffer, Georgia

Shepherd, Linda Evans

Simmons, Cynthia L.  (Amer. Assoc. of Christian Librarians coordinator)

Spencer, Davalynn (Prayer Team)

Sproles, Cindy 

Stockton, Tiffany Amber 

Storm, Buck

Stortz, Diane (Facebook volunteer)

Stroud, Marion (Though she’s passed away, her legacy remains)

Sundin, Sarah (Blog asst. coordinator)

Tatem, Mary

Taylor, Donn (Prayer Team)

Thompson, C. Kevin

Thompson, Janice Hanna

Tolsma, Liz

Von Buseck, Craig

Wells, Peggy Sue 

White, Roseanna M.

Whiting, Karen (CAN treasurer)

Wildenberg, Lori 

Wilson, Debbie

Windle, Jeanette

Wise, Jean

Woodhouse, Kimberley

Young, Lynda

Zook, Aaron M.