Just before I moved to Salt Lake City in 2011, a librarian friend of a friend asked me to be the featured author at her small Christian school’s Book Fair. After I emailed her my photo and book cover images, she met with the principal and got really excited about the promotional ideas the two of them had planned. But I was not prepared for what she accomplished while waiting for me to fly in.
The school sat at the top of a high hill. As we turned in the driveway at the bottom, a huge sign with my face and name greeted me. At the top, a large easel held a similar poster. Smaller signs dotted the walls in the hallway highlighting my books. As I washed my hands in the bathroom, I looked up and saw my face on the paper towel dispenser. Suddenly, I felt like a rock star.
Although many people passed through the halls, book sales were slow the second morning. But after all, it was the day for women’s Bible studies; also, the building was serving as a polling place. After a few hours, I saw a woman walking toward me, obviously intending to talk. Did she want to buy an autographed book? Or maybe tell me how much she loved the one she got yesterday? I eagerly leaned across the table. “Where do I go to vote?” she asked.
You know, pride is a sneaky thing. It can slip into our attitudes without us even realizing it. But on that day, I realized something: When you’re a writer, sooner or later someone or something will give you a wake-up call if your head starts to get too big.
Dianne Neal Matthews is the author of five daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook or Twitter.
The CAN Crown Awards Celebrate Excellence in Christian Media and Marketing by Authors.
Purpose of CAN Crown Awards: To recognize, educate, and encourage excellence in marketing and promotion skills of all Christian authors.
Why? One crucial career area for Christian authors is marketing. (I know, stop rolling your eyes. Marketing can be fun!) The problem is that an author now has to wear so many hats. So many hats that the marketing hat may cause the whole stack to tumble if you don’t know how to make and follow through with a marketing plan.
Yes, there’s a second problem. Marketing has been an elusive beast that’s been difficult to master. We’re building a bridge over that chasm of author OR marketer to help you become author entrepreneur. Being a professional author means you are a business owner. A business owner that needs marketing to reach readers, retailers, and librarians.
What if we had some excellent examples?
What if those examples could shine a light for other authors fumbling in the dark?
What if shining campaigns earned an award and even more promotion as part of that award?
Over the last few decades, the publishing industry has morphed into something completely unrecognizable. Authors have to be a Jack/Jill-of-all-trades from writing to design to marketing. Many authors self-publish while many are hybrids who do both traditional and indie arenas. The major need for any Christian author, regardless of publishing platform, is to learn and execute excellent marketing plans. The book of your heart can’t get into the hands of readers, retailers, or librarians without a great marketing plan. Though there’s some conference training, there hasn’t been a lot of examples of marketing campaigns that work. Campaigns may well be excellent, or not.
Who could know? There hasn’t been a recognition of those campaigns. Until now.
Introducing the inaugural #CANCrown Awards. The Christian Authors Network exists to help professional authors market their books. CAN is in the unique position in the industry to bring recognition to excellent marketing campaigns.
The benefit: Recognition nationally. Awards you can display on your website, book, book series, newsletter, social media, etc. Winning campaigns get more promotion via the CAN network of influence. Winners will be promoted in front of a large audience of publishing and film industry professionals during the Crown Awards during theICVM/CAN Conference.
What does that mean? Winning means that for the small entry fee, you’ll get a lot more promotion of your book, book series, or brand. You’ll be able to display your award forever. CAN will promote your winning entry through our channels and expand your reach. But, we’ll also be sure to recognize all finalists. Entering the #CANCrown Awards magnifies your marketing efforts. Feedback from judges will help all entrants gain insight into more effective marketing, may help tweak an ongoing plan, and encourages excellence in all we do as Christian authors.
With deep gratitude to our #CANCrown Awards Committee:Edie Melson, Karen Whiting, Dianne Barker, Linda Kozar. I had the distinct honor of working with these wonderful, wise, and thoughtful women in designing this opportunity for you, Christian authors, to help you get your books, book series, and brands into the hands of readers, retailers, and librarians. —Angela Breidenbach
Angela Breidenbach is the president of the Christian Authors Network, a bestselling author of 18 books, speaker, genealogist, and a techie enthusiast.
Release date: Feb. 1, 2018 from Harvest House Publishers
About the book:
When You’re Together …But Feel Miles Apart
What do you do when your marriage isn’t broken, but it doesn’t seem to be growing, either? Noted author and speaker Cindi McMenamin shows you the small changes you can make to touch your husband’s heart in a big way in her Feb. 1 release from Harvest House Publishers: 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband. Renew and reglue your relationship as you discover ways to strengthen your marriage and reignite the passion you and your husband once shared. Cindi will help you:
try seven new ways to “switch it up” at home
“close the gap” that seems to grow through unresolved wounds
see the bigger picture when misunderstandings arise so you can build a deeper trust with one another
About the author:
Cindi McMenamin is a pastor’s wife, national speaker, and author who helps women find strength for the soul. She has more than 30 years experience ministering to women and is the author of 16 books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 125,000 copies sold), When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, and Drama Free. Cindi writes regularly for Crosswalk.com, HomeLife and Journey magazines, and has appeared on numerous national television and radio shows over the past two decades. Cindi lives in Southern California with her husband of 30 years, and they have one grown daughter.
Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible
by Sandra Glahn
Kregel Academic, November 2017
Did the Samaritan woman really divorce five husbands in a world in which women rarely divorced even one? Did Bathsheba seduce King David by bathing in the nude? Was Mary Magdalene really a reformed prostitute? While many have written studies of the women in the Bible, Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible is a new kind of book—one in which a diverse team of male and female scholars look afresh at women in the Bible whose stories we have misunderstood. The result is a new glimpse into God’s heart for anyone, male or female, who has limited social power. (Profits from this work benefit the International Justice Mission.)
Dr. Sandra L. Glahn, general editor, is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). Dr. Glahn is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books, including the Coffee Cup Bible Study series. She is also a regular blogger for bible.org‘s Engage blog for women in Christian leadership. You can find more about her at www.aspire2.com.
Cardiologist Dr. Kirk Martin continually crosses swords with Dr. Cliff Hamilton, so he is surprised when Hamilton asks him to care for him after a heart attack. When he is ready for discharge, Hamilton is found dead in his hospital bed, and Martin is suspected of murdering him.
After another doctor is found shot to death, Martin’s girlfriend, nurse Janet Rush, reminds him to be careful because he may be next. Can he save his own life while searching for the identity of the real murderer?
About the author:
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers Choice, and the Selah Award. Cardiac Event is his eleventh published novel.
The theater ties them together but a painful past could pull them apart.
A former A-list actress seeks to redeem herself in the most unlikely of places—a children’s theater. The writer/director didn’t anticipate a famous actress would ever show interest in his musical much less him. Will their pasts pull them apart or join them together?
About the Author:
Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network. You can find out more about Kimberly and her books at her website: http://kimberlyrjohnson.com
While a lot of marketing tips today are about using technology and having a good online presence, some things are still old school. The press release is still one of those things that works the old fashioned way. So learning to write a good press release is something all writers should practice. Here’s how.
Greetings from Marti Pieper in charming Mount Dora, Florida, where we haven’t quite decided if we’re ready for warm weather or not. I do, however, have a warm conversation to offer you today with delightful novelist Liz Tolsma. Welcome back, Liz, to our CAN blog. Let’s get started with the official interview.
How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?
I have six. My most recent are “World’s Greatest Love” in the Rails to Love novella collection, and “A Match Made in Heaven” in the Matchmaker Brides novella collection.
Congratulations! You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
Writing has its ups and downs, its busy seasons and its lean times. You don’t know when you’ll get your next contract, and sometimes, even having a contract is no guarantee your book will get published. But God is faithful, and He provides
That’s a great reminder for every writer—and every Christ-follower. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?
That I know very little about promotion. The landscape is always changing. There’s always something new out there, and it’s next to impossible to keep up with all the trends. I’m working on focusing on a couple of things and doing them well, and trying not to stress about all I don’t know.