Out of Gas

Go until you can't go anymore

There is a scene in the movie Patton that haunts me. It shows an overcast morning with small fires burning in and around American tanks. Bodies lay sprawled on the ground and slumped on gun turrets. Patton surveys the scene. His offensive has come to a screeching halt as the Third Army literally runs out of fuel near the Moselle River, just outside of Metz, France. In the dark, out of gas, his men fought to the death.

I’m sure Moses felt that way as he stood with his back to the Nile. Before him lay the Egyptian army. Behind water. All around, men, women, and children looked to him for a way out of the mess. I feel that way, today. Egypt is gone. We can’t go back to the way things were. What worked for LPC over these past seven years … doesn’t.

For the past several months I have noticed a steady decline in Amazon’s Kindle ebook sales. Kindle ebook sales are the majority of our fiction royalties and half our income. Kindle ebooks are easily consumable items. Instant buys you can read immediately. On the Kindle forums, other authors have noticed a similar dip in Kindle sales and royalties. Maybe it’s a function of ebooks. There are rumors that consumers are developing screen-fatigue. Of course if all books decline in sales we should still hold our market share in the sales ranking and categories, but that seems to slipping, too.

I ask that you plead with our Lord and Leader to:

  • Redeem our lost sales
  • Renew our hope
  • Restablish our position in the marketplace
  • Revive our spirit of courage
  • Restore my vision

The last time something like this happened was two years ago. I asked for prayers and guidance. We recovered and went on to have the best two years of the company. I pray that will happen again, but if not I need to know how to lead as we advance into this new normal.