Friday, August 08, 2008

Stops #7 & #8 - Sharon and Ted's Excellent Adventure

We stopped into the Mishawaka Borders store, and had a great talk with one of the managers. They had a healthy section of Christian fiction and he said it does very well for them. In fact, he said they are thinking they may need to begin to sub-categorize by genres within the Christian fiction section, because there are so many books now.

One thing he mentioned echoed something several other retailers had said. “It’s good you’re making visits to stores. You can’t rely on the industry to get your books on the shelves these days.”

I’d heard that message even before my first novel was contracted, and I understand the value of making connections with the folks who do the work of getting my books into the hands of readers. But it does raise the question for me—how do I balance speaking, media interviews, bookstore visits, and office work with my primary calling to write fiction?

Recently I was privileged to hear a top best-selling author speak about marketing. She said she spends about ten hours doing office/administrative/marketing work for each one hour she actually writes. It has clearly worked, and is the right balance for her. But if I did that, at my modest writing pace, it would take me the rest of my life to complete another novel. So I'm still chewing on how God is calling me to spend my hours.

One last stop in Mishawaka, at the Barnes and Noble. One of the staff at the information desk was happy to have me sign the books they had on the shelf. They had a huge section of Christian fiction, and I thanked them for carrying such a great variety.

Tomorrow - ending the road trip on a high note. :-)



everlastingscribe said...

I'm sure that the balance that is right for you, is the one the Lord will show you, Sharon. Oh, on a note of interest with Wayne running his contest for the fans, the time he had the challenge up for fans to come in and buy your books, the store where I work sold two of yours, and for that reason! One was The Restorer, and the other was Symphony of Secrets. :_D Yay.

Sharon Hinck said...

Michelle, that is SO COOL to hear!
I'm delighted you have The Restorer on the that new readers can still find it. And Hooray for Wayne for his contest. :-)

Blessings on your phenomenal service to the community by providing people! with stories to feed their spirits.