Crowds came from all over to hear Jesus preach on the kingdom of God. For days leading up to this, Jesus had healed all who came to him. Demons were cast out and afflictions cured. Folks flocked to get more of this healing and help. So when the Twelve came to Jesus in private and warned that he needed to disperse the crowd so they could get a bite to eat, no doubt the Twelve thought their compassionate advice would be rewarded.
Instead Jesus basically says, “You take care of ’em.”
How often do you feel this is Jesus’ response to your prayers for book sales? You’ve written, pitched, published, promoted… advertised on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Google… tweeted, flittered here and there on blog tours… held launch parties, post-launch parties, given away books, Amazon gift cards… and still your books languish, buried at the bottom of categories.
In response to this gentle rebuke, the Twelve answered Jesus, “Unless we…”
You’ve given all you have. All your time, all your effort, all your hopes… And still your books will remain lost under a surging sea of new releases… Unless Jesus steps in.
That’s one of the main lessons from this incredible story. What you cannot accomplish, Jesus can. Let’s look at how Jesus created abundance out of scarcity.
- Jesus spoke about the kingdom of his Father’s goodness and love. That’s step one.
Jesus spoke to them about the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:14)When it comes to promoting your books, lead with God’s words, promises, and truth. Speak less about what you think might or might not happen and more about what our Father says will happen for those who love him, are in his Son, and whose Son is in them.
- Jesus looked to heaven for his help.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1)You must look up as well. This is where active faith is born—in knowing that only he can do what we cannot.
- Whether little or much, give thanks.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1)An attitude of gratitude opens the heavenly gates of provision. One book sale, two? Say thanks. No book sales? Say thanks for allowing you to publish a book. The world is filled with people who wish they could write, wish they had published book, but don’t. You are blessed. Reflect your gratitude for this gift of writing.
- Break, divide, and sort what you have. A little can go a long way.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says. ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry.’” (1 Kings 17:14)Broken into small pieces, our promotional efforts become easier. Do those things that bring our Father glory, that give you joy, and cost little or nothing. Do those things that can be sustained for years, not simply weeks. Ours is a long haul delivery. Enjoy the journey, the scenery, the people you meet.
- Distribute to those willing to help.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38)Don’t try to do it all yourself. You can’t. Give tasks to those who offer to help. Then hold them accountable.
- Carefully place your promotional efforts before others. Don’t simply toss out your best work like you’re feeding hogs.
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. (Matthew 22:10)Be gentle and wise, considerate and frugal. What you produce is precious. Treat it with care. Share with all who are in need of your words and message, not simply those you think are your “target audience.” The least may very well become your best and most loyal evangelists.
If you do this, you will be pleased with the results. The remains will be gathered to feed others. You will not be worn out from your work. Joy and peace will follow and all who hear of you will be inspired by your example. That is the lesson for expanding your book sales Jesus’ way.