This month marks 12 years of Stellar Communications Houston. Happy birthday to us!
Every January, I celebrate by reflecting on the milestones and lessons learned from the past year. (Nod to philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”)
This January, three authors joined me in reflecting on 2023. I asked them, “What lessons did you learn from publishing or marketing your book last year?”
Here’s what they said . . .
Based on his 3-week presentation to an adult ministry, Pastor Brad Goad released the second book in his Easter devotional trilogy. The series follows Jesus’ journey from the Garden of Gethsemane to the grave to prepare the hearts of Christians for Easter.
“When writing my book, I honestly hadn’t thought about marketing or anything beyond writing the story. I’m thankful you got me thinking outside the box, like considering a book signing and utilizing my sphere of influence to spread the word.
It’s a team effort. I couldn’t have done this on my own. For me, I needed to have someone hold me to deadlines and be able to edit and proofread without being too ‘close’ to the project. The objectivity of the team approach helps prevent direct or indirect mistakes.”
Darlene Taylor added an audiobook to her award-winning co-parenting resource, It’s Not About Us, and launched a marketing and PR campaign that attracted New York Weekly, Women’s Journal, and Speakers Magazine.
“You need people around you who can help. It’s a much bigger undertaking than I imagined, with so many parts I had no idea about. I would’ve been lost without help.
Also, I learned that it takes patience and tenacity to publish and market a book. You have to believe in your efforts and the value of what you are putting out in the world because progress may be slow, but it will come.”
Harriet Boorhem toasted the release of her memoir about her father’s dementia, The Year of Grace, with family and friends at the historic Turner House in Dallas, Texas. In honor of the tenth anniversary of her dad’s death, her memoir chronicles the last years of his life – and Harriet’s transformation along the way.
“Create a timeline starting with the date you want to publish and work backwards to the present, noting important milestone dates, like final copy editing and book cover design. Then stick to your timeline!
Count on at least one emotional breakdown, and rely on your publisher to get you through it!
Do not look at the big picture. You’ll become overwhelmed. Keep your focus small, just one chapter at a time, until you’re finished. Celebrate in a big way when you do!”
In addition to those helpful insights from last year, I’m thrilled to see how other authors are thriving.
We recently celebrated the nonprofit community Made A Masterpiece, founded by pediatric dermatologist Dr. Alanna Bree, author of the 2018 nonprofit history book, 𝘈 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘴 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦. The cherry on top: We were at The Bell Tower on 34th, the Houston event venue by CEO Roger C. Igo, author of the 2019 corporate history book, 𝘒𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘖𝘯 𝘎𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨. Roger said, “My book has really helped me and my company. I use it as a giveaway to folks who seem truly interested.”
And my husband is seeing steady progress with his 2022 Bible study book, Oh God, Why Can’t I Stop? He won an award, doubled his online reviews, and is answering readers’ questions in Bible study groups.
Kudos to all past and present authors for your perseverance. From my family to yours, we wish you a healthy, joyful, rewarding new year!