Warm, wonderful New Year’s wishes from Marti Pieper in Mount Dora, Florida. The Christmas decorations have been packed away, the trees stored or placed at the curb, and writers are poised at their keyboards. We all find ourselves ready to fulfill some of those resolutions to write more and procrastinate less. I hope you’ve included marketing and promotional activities in some of those resolutions. If so, today’s interview with author and speaker Lane Jordan should help.
I know you’ll enjoy hearing from this accomplished speaker who has turned her desire to speak into a series of books based around various felt needs. I’ll let her tell you about those and much more as we get started with the interview.
Welcome, Lane! How did you get into writing?
I started speaking for Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Woman’s Clubs) in Colorado in the ’90s. A friend suggested I write a book so I could have more speaking engagements! I decided on organization, since I’m bent that way, and then based the first book on the Proverbs 31 woman.
How wonderful that your writing grew out of your speaking ministry. How many books do you have published, and what are a few of your latest titles?
I’ve published five books, with the latest one an update/revision of the first one: 12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman. All five begin with “12 Steps” and then “Mom,” “Cook,” or “Christmas.”
I love it! How did you get your first book contract?
I actually self-published the first book at Kinko’s! It sold out at my next speaking engagement and then I ordered fifty more. I then sent this book to some Christian publishers and one of them, Hendrickson, picked it up. It came out in 1999.
I know lots of writers who would love to have that story. What has helped you promote your books the most?
I believe speaking on my books is the best way to promote.
I have done book signings at major bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Family Bookstore and it just didn’t generate that much. My publisher did have a way into many of the bookstores so their distribution was a huge help. They also paid for a year of publicity so I was on many radio shows. They don’t do that anymore!
You’re right; lots of things have changed in the publishing industry, including marketing and publicity efforts. So tell us what mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change? If so, how?
I don’t think I made any mistakes with the first book because the publisher helped so much. However, with the second, 12 Steps to a More Organized Mom, I should have done more myself as sending information to newspapers, etc. I also should have sent more people to the bookstore like Amazon.com who had it listed.
Thanks for letting us learn from you. What’s the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
I don’t know if it’s that funny, but I did a book signing and became friends with a girl at the other end of the floor so we swapped books. When I started reading hers, it had so many curse words I had to throw it away!
Wow! That’s an interesting story (and an unusual problem). Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
Joining AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and CAN has been a huge help. But as with most authors, marketing myself is just plain hard.
And that’s one reason we appreciate your sharing your wisdom here. But we don’t want to discount God’s hand in marketing and promotion. Did you see Him open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
Yes! I was at the ICRS convention this summer and ran into Dr. Charles Stanley who is a personal friend. I used to work for him. I mentioned my Christmas book and before I knew it, his staff had a copy and wanted to put it in their November issue as a book to buy!
That’s a wonderful example of God using relationships (as well as a divine encounter). Now that you’ve been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
Word of mouth; writing and sending out my blog; having others write reviews for the book.
What are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?
Realize you have to put forth work to get this book going! The publisher just isn’t going to do very much unless you’re a top seller. Give it to the Lord, pray that others will want to purchase and read it and that above all, your words in your book will glorify Him and bring others to Christ.
Thanks for all those helpful tips. It would help if we all reread them before publishing any of our books. Thank you and blessings, Lane!
For His glory,
To learn more about Lane Jordan and her books, please visit: