Grace & Faith Author Connection
Guest Post by Staci Stallings
One week ago my life changed forever.
I read an article by Karen Baney (http://wendylyoung.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/guest-post-how-to-double-your-sales/ ) called How to Double Your Sales. In the article among other things, Karen talked about how she connected with 36 other authors for a launch promotion of a friend’s site and how successful that endeavor has been.
That started me thinking. What if a group of Christian authors got together to cross-promote their books and blogs?
Honestly, I don’t know what came next the outline for the idea or connecting with Karen. After that, things really became a blur.
You see, I’ve always had a heart for authors. I love authors. They put their hearts and souls down on paper for everyone and their dog to see, and then they take the supreme leap and actually let everyone and their dog read what they wrote. That takes courage, and being a little insane doesn’t hurt either.
Authors are those crazy people who will literally spend hours writing something they have no guarantee will ever even get off their computer screens. They work and they hone and they submit, and then they work some more. And then, down paths that are seldom similar, they come to the point they have a book, and they’re faced with a whole new set of challenges.
Most of them see no other option at that point. They take a deep breath and throw their hearts over the bar once again, trying to learn the ethereal art of marketing online.
The problem is, they’re all alone on this vast sea of social media with little to no marketing experience. There’s Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Shoutlife and Christian Chirp and blogs and websites… It’s like one author said to me the other day, “Now there’s another one? They are multiplying like bunnies! How do I keep up with all of this?”
It was the moment I read Karen’s words about cross promotion that God clicked the final piece in a puzzle He has been creating in my life literally for 10 years. I have seen the incredible potential of authors working together, and the incredible potential of the Internet, but the components to make that happen on a consistent basis were just too difficult to manage efficiently.
But now, through the magic of social media, authors can get their messages out with little to no money invested in the endeavor at all. You get on Twitter and tweet, and your message goes out to hundreds or thousands of people. You can get on Facebook and set up a profile, a fan page, a group, post once, and hundreds or thousands of people might see it. In fact, that’s how I found Karen’s article!
So, the components are now there. When that piece clicked into place in me, and after only 2 months on Facebook and Twitter, I took God’s word that He had my back and jumped. I contacted Karen and asked her what she thought of putting together a cross-promotion group for Christian authors. Her response was incredibly enthusiastic. By that night at midnight, eight hours after reading the article, Grace & Faith Author Connection had been born. We had a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/gracenfaith/) and a Twitter account @GraceAndFaith4U
By the next morning we had a fan page for our readers to find us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Faith-4-U/249437741772914
I started contacting some of the vast number of Christian authors I know and love from groups I’m affiliated with.
Responses and requests to be included soon followed, but I was trying to keep it all straight by hand, which became more and more difficult.
That’s when God took pity on me and sent me a wonderful author-helper-friend named Valerie Comer (https://valeriecomer.com). She contacted me and asked if I had ever heard of a Wiki. The short answer was, “No.” She kind of explained it to me and said she would start working on one and I could take a look when she had something.
I was glad for that because emails were flying in and out of my Inbox with people signing up, and I got really serious about the how best to do out-going messages for our group through Twitter, so I had no time to learn something else. It was not easy, but finally I learned how to get a lot of messages out on Twitter without making myself completely crazy. As a group, we started sending tweets and posting to FB and networking. And it was working. One blogger got several requests for spots after practically begging people for a year to be on her blog that spotlights authors.
Now, I could tweet and instead of just my 1,000 followers seeing it, four or five other authors would retweet the message to their 100, 500, 2,000 followers…
In the meantime guest blogs were exchanged. People started retweeting others’ posts. Finally, we were networking and all rowing in the same direction.
Then Valerie showed me the Wiki, and I was blown away! Here was a central location that Christian authors could go to find places to offer and receive guest blog posts, to host interviews and be interviewed, to review and be reviewed, to network, and most of all to learn. It was more than I could ever have hoped for or dreamed!
On Wednesday morning, one week after I read Karen’s post for the first time, the official Grace & Faith 4 U blog at http://graceandfaith4u.com/ went live. It will launch November 2nd with the article that started it all. It has already been quite the journey.
I am so grateful to all of our vanguard Grace & Faith authors for believing in the project enough to get on board when all I had was a rough blueprint and a dream. Thank you all!
Now, we would like to invite any Christian authors who are interested to join us in taking this journey of faith. The idea is simple–use the social media you know how to use to help promote your fellow authors by joining the Grace & Faith Author Connection, and the other authors will do the same for you.
Participation is easy. Every incoming member gains access to our private wiki (which is basically an online searchable database) and creates their own author, blog, and book(s) pages using provided templates and tutorials. Then they proceed to the Promotions and Social Media section of the wiki and link themselves in to whichever sections they’re comfortable with. With every author making sure their information is up-to-date, we can all find links, tweets, book news, and blog posts to pass on via the social media each prefers to use.
You just retweet if you’re on Twitter. Post if you’re on Facebook, guest blog, host a guest blogger, interview, be interviewed… Whatever you love to do, do it for yourself and others in the group, and they will do likewise. Together we can do what none of us can do on our own!
The best part is, if you don’t know how, we’ll teach you. The team is getting good at Twitter tags and retweeting and setting up Wiki pages and all sorts of things we didn’t even know existed a week ago. So come join the fun. We’d love to have you!
To request admission to Grace & Faith Author Connection, contact Staci Stallings @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient with us as we take the next leap of faith on this journey… fielding questions and getting people signed up and launched. Feel free to copy and repost this article in its entirety, links included, on your blog, group, etc. All we require of an author is that their writing is Christian-based–whether they only have a blog or multiple books. God bless you and have a beautiful day!
A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:
Spirit Light Books–The Blog http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Light-Author-Staci-Stallings/266593276699576
Staci’s Bookshelf: http://stacistallings.wordpress.com/
Or…Follow Staci on Twitter @StaciStallings
Come on over for a visit. You’ll feel better for the experience!