“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
Several years ago, I learned that Christian bookstores were in a bit of hot water. Then my kind, caring, persevering publisher in Italy had to close down the warehouse. One could be a little discouraged. Pastor Pietro (publisher of Destiny Image Europe which became EM) was and is a pastor and a publisher- and all this closing down activity was before Covid.
Was it his faith that kept him going?
In a word, yes.
He has encouraged his authors to believe in the message God gave us to write, and to not give up. While I never gave up on writing, it would be true to say I never really got started on learning how to be both the marketing and sales department.
At first, speaking was fun. I enjoy speaking to groups of people, and I’ve learned to even give a mention to one of my three published books. I have learned to set up a book sales table, though I haven’t learned how to sign and sell a book at the same time. Thank heavens for friends who will come along and put the money in a tin or use the tech for swiping a card.
As you can imagine, most of my books are still in the garage. Like many speakers we haven’t been any where to speak, not to mention set up our little book tables. For some reason, even though I’ve led and attended retreats on Zoom I haven’t found a way to bring up the fact I have a book or two to sell. One member of my home Zoom group did manage to show me that he had purchased a book of mine, but that got me to realise that my face on Zoom no longer matched the photo on the back of the book. It’s official: I have Covid hair.
Inspired and encouraged by the courage of my publisher, I am trying a new (to me) tactic. The rights from my first two books have been given to me and I can attempt to set up Amazon on my own. Pietro has guided me in this and given me a few tips (“ persevere!”) for setting up an Amazon Seller account. Even my second publisher, and they aren’t even her books, has cheered me on. For any tech people reading this you might wonder what possible problems could there be?
For me, working with Amazon has not been easy, especially as there is no one to call and advise how best to set things up. So many decisions! Step by technical and banking step!
I’ve now decided I am a “sole proprietor,” and am very thankful that my bank set up the required “business account,” for free. Amazing. It seems there is support out there for us in the time of Covid.
Someday soon my garage may be clear, and once again have room for a car.
Someday soon I may even get back to writing.
My incredibly patient publisher has even suggested setting up a kindle account for my books, and to God be the glory; I’ve started to feel I can do this job.
Kathleen McAnear Smith may have a Master’s Degree in Social Policy, and Spurgeon’s College Certificate in Chaplaincy, but Covid has meant a lockdown crash course in technology. Her books: Parents on the Move!, Beyond Broken Families, and The Miracles of Pierrepont.