At Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas we do not have a business plan. We do not have a marketing plan. We do not plan.
Instead, we listen. We listen to authors when they pitch us their books and we listen to conference directors when they invite us to help teach and encourage authors. Most of all we listen to God and seek His guidance.
This is not easy. God does not deliver bullet-point outlines of how we should market His books. He also does not whisper, “Publish this novel, that devotional, and his/her nonfiction book.” So we do as Samuel did when God called to him: we rush down darkened hallways shouting, “Here I am, Lord, speak to your servant.”
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! Psalm 139:17 NIV
Below are a few precious thoughts God has shared with this servant and how we have applied them to our publishing business.
- First, start with the heart of the individual. We cannot pay enough for good help and good help is rare. This makes it precious. We have found if people only work for the money, they will be disappointed and disappoint us. So when interviewing authors, editors, and vendors, we seek those with a servant’s heart – those individuals who would work for free because they believe in this cause of publishing great works of literature. We do pay, but never enough. Start with heart.
- Second, ask for help. We are in the people business and people are precious. Our books succeed when other authors help promote a title on Facebook and Twitter. We even have a program for our authors called Pay It Forward whereby our authors promote each other’s books. A little over half of our authors participate in this program. Jesus asked for help. He asked for water from a well and a colt for his short journey into Jerusalem. When you are unsure how to grow your harvest, ask for help. A few precious souls will step forward.
- Third, accept help graciously. Expect results, not excellence. Some will try and miss the mark. Thank the individual for their effort and find a role that suits his or her skill set. A servant with a willing heart is precious, so find a task that suits their gifts.
- Fourth, cast your net wide. Jesus traveled throughout Judea preaching the Good News. You should too. Ours is a virtual company. We have designers in Asia, marketing personnel in the Far East, and editors scattered throughout the United States. God’s Good News breaks down cultural, political, and geographical boundaries. Your hiring should too.
- Finally, cherish God’s precious vision. His instructions for today may change tomorrow. What worked for us last year does not work today. We must listen intently for His instructions and be prepared to change our business practices.
How precious are God’s thoughts to me? They are my daily marching orders. Without them, I would be lost.
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