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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Write Your Way into View

2002 sales of books and products through all channels: just under $4.2 billion, up from $4 billion in 2000.
$2.4 billion sold through Christian retail outlets; $1.1 billion through general retail; and $725 million through direct-to-consumer ministry channels.

First 6 months of 2003: CBA member store sales were down 2%.

Books increased 8%, Bibles increased 2% but music and gifts decreased 9%.

--Christian Booksellers Association reported in Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2003

http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

(Cited from http://parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm)
 
In addition to studying book-buying habits, the project also explored what types of material people read. The results showed that evangelical adults (86%) and evangelical teens (97%) were the groups most likely to read Christian literature. Other segments with deep penetration by Christian publications included teens and adults who attend a Christian church regularly (65% and 71%, respectively).

(Cited from http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/114-half-of-all-americans-read-christian-books-and-one-third-buy-them)


Look at the statistics.  Christian literature, whether for study or otherwise, sells at enormous rates to a large following.  That makes sense.
 
What would really make sense would be for you to get yourself busy writing something for the Christian literary market.
 
Think on it.  Take some time and think it through.  You can make a real impression with some simple strategies for breaking into the Christian information market.
 
Christian Article Sites
Write on your business, ministry or industry.  Write about what you know and use your professional experience to help guide others with your lessons learned and best practices.  Use sites like Bukisa or Gather to publish online articles.

Blog
Make some noise in the blogosphere by posting pointers or mini articles on a variety of topics.  Look into WordPress and Blogger.  Beyond this blog, I also post to Rev Bruce's Blog on WordPress that contains more inspirational Christian postings.

E-Books 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.If you have enough content on a particular subject matter, consider writing an e-book on it.  Self-publish your own e-book and place it on an online storefront and your website as well as your blog.  Make it available for download in multiple marketplaces.  Use Lulu or CreateSpace.  My e-book of inspirational poetry entitled Broken Pieces is available on iTunes through Lulu.  Self-publishing allows you to publish and promote your material, then profit from it as well. 

7276414-17971825Merchandise Your Material
Use some of the top online merchandise sites to sell customized products related to your writing.  These span from t-shirts to coffee mugs and iPad cases.  If you are going to build it, you better brand it, too.  Think about WWJD, Purpose Driven, and Jabez's Prayer.  These all swept through the Christian marketplace with loads of merchandise like keychains and Bible covers to follow behind the success of the books.  Look into CafePress, Zazzle and Spreadshirt to launch your own merchandising craze.
I Love My Neighbor!! Button

Friday, May 11, 2012

Articulate Your Vision


This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Woe to the foolish prophets
who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
- Ezekiel 13:3 (NIV)

Everyone who is speaking about vision isn't being honest about it.  They claim to be prophets of profit or visionaries of victory.  It sounds good, but it seems worthless.  Some are called gurus.  Believe it if you dare.  They are false prophets.

They are able to lead people in a particular direction, but they do not seem to be able to accomplish true success.  Yes, they are able to have small victories and have moments of progress.  However, they have little beyond the rhetoric that they spew or the sound bites that they play repetitively throughout the airwaves.  According to Ezekiel's prophecy, they are foolish and following their own spirits, having seen nothing at all or from the Lord.
Don't be found in that category.  Lead as God leads you.  Whatever God gives you to do, articulate that vision.  Put it in words so that others can grasp the depth and the concept of the vision.  Put it in visuals where others can see the vision for themselves.  Articulate your vision with all that you have within you.


Most importantly, share the vision that God gave you just the way that God gave it to you.  Don't abridge or edit it for political correctness or popularity, not even prestige.  It's not about you or how you feel.  Your opinion doesn't even matter.  You accept it from God and make others aware of what God gave you.  Confirmation will come from God through others who speak up and say that it sounds a lot like what God had been sharing with them or what they had been reading in their daily devotional reading.  Give it to others like God gave it to you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keep Your Promises

"I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all his people."
- Psalm 116:14, 18 (NLT)

As Christians in any form of business, nonprofit or otherwise, we can seek God's provision for our business here and there, even now and then.  Yet, few of us ask: "What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?"

Start by keeping your word to Him.  Make a promise and keep your promise to the Lord. 

That may sound unconventional.  After all, God's the ultimate promise-keeper.  But God gives you an opportunity to do like Him.  He allows you to make a promise to Him, then He awaits you at your word.  Thankfully, He doesn't hold out on us until we come through with the goods.  Could you imagine that?

Keep your promises to God.  Let your word be your bond.  Do not let your word return to you void.