As a writer, I'm told to figure out who my audience is and get my books in front of that audience. For example, I wouldn't do well trying to sell my romance novels to a bunch of business men. That being said, I usually look for Christian venues to sell my Christian books. Until this weekend...
This weekend, I flew to Portland, Oregon and joined three other Christian authors at the NW Book Festival. This festival is located in downtown Portland, where we were surrounded by some very weird characters--the kind who would be complimented by the fact that I called them weird.
I won't become rich by selling my books this way, but I was thrilled by the connections I did make.
One of my online readers came down to meet me, and we got to talk books in real person.
There was the young woman who bought The Water Fight Professional and told me she wants to write "lesbian, cowgirl, action, comedy." I said, "So...a little bit of everything?" She might never step through the doors of a church, but hopefully she'll read about God's love in my story.
There was the former homeless woman who wants to start a homeless shelter for women suffering from dementia. After I encouraged her, she stopped back by my table to gush, "You're making a difference in the world!"
There was the couple from Vermont who were in Oregon for their son's wedding, and they bought a copy of Finding Love on the Oregon Coast as a memento.
These connections might be the best thing that ever comes out of my career, and I might never know it. See, at the festival I was also reminded by my editor Miralee Ferrell that never wastes anything.
Miralee once sold books to the same line of books that I did. Her fourth book was supposed to have a higher advance and royalties, but for various reasons, it did not. Her agent gave her the choice of whether to sell it to the publisher or wait for a better offer. She went ahead and took the smaller contract. And it just so happened that Finding Love in Sundance (currently rereleased as Outlaw Angel) was the very book that attracted the attention of a movie producer.
Not only has Miralee's book Runaway Romance been adapted to film and airing on the UPtv network this fall, but she has a couple other books optioned, and she's been able to get a film option for one of my books, as well. This never would have happened if not for her humility and the willingness for her to become less so that God can become greater.
I can grow as a writer. I can market like a madwoman. But it's going to be God's hand that ultimately determines what happens with my work. All I can do is trust that He doesn't make mistakes, and know that even the littlest things could have the biggest effect in his eyes.
Despite getting up for a 6 a.m. flight and returning home at midnight, I was blessed by the experience. There's also another reason that my Portland trip was a blessing, but you'll have to come back on Wednesday to find out why. Because right now I need a nap...