Raven's Ladder, but first, I wanted to use the book as a jumping off point to briefly talk about the difficulty of getting your book on the shelves of bookstores.
Early this week I stopped in to our local Barnes & Noble, and as always, I walked into the sci-fi and fantasy section to check out what new titles they had out. I was surprised to find Raven's Ladder placed right in the center of the new releases, and here's why. There are a large number of sci-fi and fantasy publishers like Tor, Daw, Baen, Eos, etc. who usually have rule and reign over any other publishers in the sci-fi/fantasy sections of secular bookstores. AND! Even within those big companies the bookstores usually only stock the bigger name authors who have proven track records. Unknown authors within these large companies aren't given near the promotion as the big authors. So...how did Raven's Ladder find its way on to the exclusive sci-fantasy shelves? Well, I don't know...
But I can tell you this, with its great cover, and its prominent position, it's going to be bought. Exposure is huge in a bookstore. Overstreet, is not a small name in the Christian community, but it's not a big name either. Donita K. Paul and Bryan Davis are about the only Christian spec authors I know that can regularly be found in the exclusivistic sci-fantasy section. But here Overstreet has...overcome. At least in my local Barnes & Noble.
For most new authors--even of big publishers--you're lucky to have your book on a shelf. So how do you get to that point? Self-promotion. Not what any author wants to hear. A combination of hiring a big publicist, lots of money, and hitting up all sorts of events is one way to get big (and I suspect it's a way many authors HAVE gotten big). But what about the average Joe/Jane writer...how can they get on those sacred shelves?
When you find out...let me know.
Actually, I believe there is one thing that can make the impossible possible, and that's God. But then I remind myself, God doesn't care about "getting big," God cares about restoring us and the world through us to Him. So maybe we write a great book and only a few people will ever read it. It's the simple fact that we are doing it to glorify Him that brings a smile to his face. This life is not about us, it is about Him.
Personally, I have to fight my ego and pride daily, and remember my ultimate purpose in life. With friends and family, with work, and with writing, the ultimate fulfillment of life which we were created for is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. That is human purpose. That is the only place I can find absolute satisfaction and live a fulfilled life, not in selling books.
Rachel Briard (BooksForLife)
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul