On “Self-Promotion”

Recently one of my Facebook friends who is also a Christian and a writer lamented the “self-promotion” involved in becoming successful. He received a lot of sympathetic comments from other writers who feel the same way. Frankly, I feel that way too.

How then can we who hope to hit the bestseller list reconcile our distaste for “self-promotion” with the knowledge that we must indeed get the word out to accomplish our lofty goal?

I think the key is to remember that we really shouldn’t be “self-promoting.” I use quotation marks because I think that’s a misnomer when we think about it. “Self-promotion” assumes we personally are to be the object of our buyers’ desires.

But I assume those of us who are writing from our faith are doing so because we have something to deliver to readers that we believe is from God. If, for instance, your message is on the importance of relationships in the Body of Christ–and if that topic is burning in your heart, then that’s what you’re really promoting. The book is merely our delivery system for the message we feel passionate about. And it should be our passion that compels us to find as many readers of our book as we can. And that happens by getting the word out.

Even fiction writers must learn to think of their promotional efforts as not promoting them, but rather promoting the story God has given them. I think only a truly prideful writer would be interested in promoting him or herself. But writers who feel called of God to write will be eager to promote their book that proclaims the important message they have to share. In short: writers, it’s not about you. It’s about your message. Don’t be shy about sharing what God’s given you. That’s not self-promotion.

7 replies
  1. Judith Robl says:

    Our ego is showing when we think about “self-promotion”.

    Thank you for the reminder that it’s not about us. It’s about God and the message he has for all people.

  2. Lindy Swanson says:

    Love this! So true! This perspective takes the angst out of “self” promotion.” We need to reframe this in our Christian publishing industry conversations as “message” promotion. Your blog is breath of fresh air on this topic. Thank you!

  3. Brenda Coats says:

    Self promotion is so distasteful to me. God promotion, however, is something I am anxious to do. And if I’m the vessel he uses to promote himself, well then, I am honored, blessed, and humbled.

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