Promotion: Faithful or Self-full?

“What’s the difference between promotion and self-promotion? How do we promote ourselves/our books so that we honor God, respect others, and use common sense?”

The constant tension between marketing and ministry has plagued the Christian author, speaker, bookseller, and publisher forever. Why? Because Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. Because we are commanded to die to self and to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord….

And yet, our society…our culture insists, even demands, that we market and promote our message.

Hanging on my office wall is the following saying from Ignatius Loyola:

Work as if everything depends on you.
Pray as if everything depends on God.

And another one is from James 5:16:
“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Maybe that is the beginning of the balance. People in business, not just publishing, must work hard and make every effort to excel in their field of expertise. We never question a bank needing to market their wares, but if a Christian bank were to do so the critics would surge with vitriol. The principles of a successful business come into play with regard to our profession. We are in the business of communicating the message of redemption to a world that doesn’t read. Thus we are called to excellence in our craft for we have a message that can change lives. If we do not make every effort to be an evangelist (see marketer) of that message, the message will likely not be read or heard, and thus ministry would rarely occur. As one writer told me boldly, “Marketing, in essence, IS my ministry.”

Even the Mother Teresas, Thomas Mertons, Richard Fosters, John Eldreges, and Henri Nouwens of the world were out there in the public eye. They had a message of change that they were called to deliver. Thus they took the speaking engagements, they worked with their publishers in publicity, and they wrote absolutely stellar books that nearly sold themselves. Our challenge is to avoid the Publican attitudes of I, Me, and My. Instead we should strive to incorporate the Us, Our, and We.

Your turn:

How do you keep your balance?

Is this a real tension or are we thinking too hard about the topic?



[a previous version, now updated and edited, was published in February 2011.]

65 Responses to Promotion: Faithful or Self-full?

  1. Steve Laube February 2, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Well said!

    It is truly a balance we must master. At a recent Mt. Hermon conference I spoke on the topic and afterwards an author said boldly, “Marketing, in essence, IS my ministry.”

    I think she captured it perfectly.


  2. Christy Cabe July 23, 2018 at 4:40 am #

    I personally don’t believe you’re thinking too hard about this topic. It’s one that come to my mind almost every day. Your explanation of the struggle, and your thoughts about resolving the inner conflict are encouraging. Thanks for sharing! “We” appreciate the like-minded support.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:39 am #

      We are a community who work in isolation but experience common events in the writing life.

  3. Shirlee Abbott July 23, 2018 at 5:04 am #

    I started to type, “It’s not about me, it’s about God,” and then realized how tempting it is to let a bit of attention get the better of me.

    “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:40 am #

      Well said.

      Add to that a verse I must constantly read.
      Galatians 1:10

      “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

  4. Robert Hitchman July 23, 2018 at 5:19 am #

    I have been dealing with this very challenge recently. Trying to get the balance between getting my name and project out there (Faith without works is dead) and letting go and letting God (Casting all your care upon the Lord). I have something to say that his believe is from God and I believe the body of Christ needs to hear It. I guess the answer is, as always, just keep praying and seeking the Lord let him lead me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:42 am #

      Exactly. Keep the tension alive. That awareness will naturally help to create the necessary balance.

  5. Barbara Ellin Fox July 23, 2018 at 5:25 am #

    I battled this very topic first thing this morning, trying to decide how to share small victories without sounding like I’m full of me. You post was especially timely. Thank you.

    • Tisha Martin July 23, 2018 at 5:58 am #

      Barbara, I’ve never thought any of your posts were me-centered. I LOVE all of your blog posts, and love sharing the excitement and ecstasy in your small victories, for that’s the backbone… What news do you want to share??

      • Barbara Ellin Fox July 23, 2018 at 6:35 am #

        What a sweet thing to say, Tisha. Thank you. I have a couple of recent writing contest successes I’ve been trying to decide how to share on Facebook without tooting my own horn too loudly.

        • Tisha Martin July 23, 2018 at 6:41 am #

          Can you slide it in with mentioning other winners? If not, you can indeed share! Winning contests is a lovely success to share!

  6. Damon J. Gray July 23, 2018 at 5:36 am #

    Absolutely there is a real tension, and no you/we are not overthinking this.

    My beloved wife consistently reminds me that if X, Y, or Z in my writing and speaking is within God’s will, then God will bless it. If it is not, then I don’t want to be there anway.

    So, I just keep putting my left foot in front of my right, and vice versa, and if God blesses it, he blesses it. Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. I know the context is not writing and speaking, but the principle applies.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:44 am #

      Never forget that Jeremiah spent 50 years “evangelizing” the kingdom of Judah…to no avail. No one listened. He had “maybe” two converts.
      And yet here we are 2,600 years later still reading his message and applying that Word of God to our lives.

      • Kathy Sheldon Davis July 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

        I needed this today, and your reference to Jeremiah’s faithfulness. Onward we go . . .

        Thanks, Steve.

  7. Tisha Martin July 23, 2018 at 5:57 am #

    Like many writers who get excited about those small wins and those huge, coveted wins, I struggle nearly every day with “What if I’m sharing too much about myself?” So to curve that concern, I strive to uphold the general 80/20 rule. Eighty percent others and twenty percent me. By keeping that in focus, I can (mostly) feel free to share the little and big wins with my social media friends, in hopes they’ll be as excited for me as I am for them when they share their successes.

    And to your question of are we thinking too much about the topic of marketing? Not necessarily. Even in the Christian market, everyone has to make a dollar or twenty or eight thousand, or more. There was a meme that was floating around about a year back, of a little kid in aviator goggles, flying an airplane. Above, it said, “Supporting another’s success will never dampen yours.” I guess that’s been my mantra, the belief that drives me to keep doing what I’m doing. And like my mentor says, “Just trust the process, and keep writing.”

    So I work and pray, and pray and work, and support and share, and share and support, and pray and pray. Fervently.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:29 am #

      The simple act of being aware of the tension is a major step toward living within it without anxiety.

      The “Fruit of the Spirit” is singular (not fruits). As such the origin is the Holy Spirit. Therefore love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are from God. They are fruit which bear fruit, per se, in our dailiy life.

      When we remind ourselves that the message is His, then we are free to proclaim it without fear of puffing up our self.

      Then if we define success as God defines success we are able to let the results be His. No measuring against any other person’s success, or lack thereof.

      However, this is easy to write, but a challenge to practice because we are still creatures of the flesh which constantly pulls us toward the awful list found in Galatians 5:19-21.

      • Tisha Martin July 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

        Funny how emotion tends to come through in our writing. I’ll accept the fact that I have been anxious in recent months. It’s got to be too much coffee, too little sleep, and imposed- and self-imposed deadlines. 😉 They weren’t kidding when they said July was a busy month! In all, it’s been enjoyable.

        That “awful” list in relation to the definition of success … thank you for the reminder, which hearkens back to ACFW 2016 and the proposed statement of “Define success,” resulting in an introspective look (and three blog posts) at what success really is on God’s level. I need to go back and read those blog posts again. It’s been awhile.

        That being said, God gave me “trust” as my “word” for the year. And yet … it may have gotten misplaced somewhere between the pages of books and keyboards. Ouch. (Is this what they call the “mid-year” self-review? Must be.)

        I think the ground is settling now.

  8. Tiffany Price July 23, 2018 at 6:06 am #

    Thank you for this reminder. I often find myself grappling with the balance of promotion and humility. In those moments, I rely on prayer and scripture for my comfort. When I wrote my first manuscript, I asked God to work through my writing; I prayed that my Christ-centered message would be received, and the glory of God would be celebrated. As I near the end of my second manuscript, this same prayer has been my sustenance throughout the entire writing process. It’s not about my name, and I pray it never will be – it’s about His name.

    As you have so appropriately brought to our attention, ministry and promotion can, and should, be cyclical. If we don’t promote our work, then the message God has equipped us to deliver through our writing is ultimately lost. Great reminder this morning, Steve. Today, I finish my final chapter of my second manuscript, and this blog is exactly what I needed to read before I hole up for the day and write!

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:45 am #


      Well said.

  9. Mark Moss July 23, 2018 at 6:22 am #

    Good words from God and a good saint. I love the word balance. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

  10. Nancy Massand July 23, 2018 at 6:33 am #

    Yes, it’s a real tension. I’ve always been the “curtain guy” or the prop person, metaphorically. This promotion thing is a real struggle. Thanks for the sane and godly perspective

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:48 am #

      And yet, without the prop person or production person the show cannot go on. At least not as well as it could.

      To move from back stage (mtaphorically) to center stage is a strange feeling. Awkward, scary, and thrilling. It is the thrill that is the danger.

      To keep reminding ourselves it is “not about me” that helps keep the thrill from becoming a need.

  11. Elaine Starner July 23, 2018 at 6:50 am #

    I see myself in Nancy’s struggle. I was always most comfortable working behind the scenes. Let someone else be in the spotlight.
    When the first of my four books on hope came out, I stubbornly resisted even holding a book signing. That wasn’t “me.” My name wouldn’t sell the book. “Just let God do what He wants with it… ”
    Then a friend asked me: “Do you believe in the message of the book?”
    Of course! So strongly, in fact, that I’ve worked 11 years of this series. She didn’t have to press. I saw her point. If I believe in this message, then surely I can stand behind a table and talk to people about good news for a few hours!
    I did the book signing, and it was a transformational experience for me.
    The Holy Spirit has shown me that the old life has to die if I want the new.
    My “comfort zone” has to die if I want to follow wherever Jesus leads me.
    (I have two more signings scheduled for the next couple of months. And it’s okay!)

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:30 am #

      You have a wise friend.

      Your testimony is one that now blesses hundreds of other writers who will visit this post today.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Nancy Massand July 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

      Thanks, Elaine, you motivated me to take the next step!

    • Claire O'Sullivan July 23, 2018 at 9:59 pm #

      Amen, I like this. I am not a ‘public figure.’ I am the proverbial wallflower, homebody, ‘take the class on a webinar’ person. Quiet. Shy. So those are wise words you’ve shared!

      I decided I would step out (baby steps, okay?) and get to a conference, the first baby steps being buying conference worthy clothes. Got a new hair cut. I can’t get rid of the wrinkles and the gray has taken ‘root,’ so to speak.

      I’ve been blogging and interviewing authors from South Dakota, Texas and South Africa.

      Now I plan attend a conference in Portland, and later, Washington State.

      This is more of a Soren Kierkegaard’s leap of faith especially when I get to that picture taking for the website…

    • Lynda Stephen September 17, 2018 at 9:39 am #

      I’m so grateful that I stumbled on this conversation dated as it is because I think I’ve finally found out what my problem is …believing in the message of my own stories. I may have enjoyed the process of writing but did not believe enough in the message to overcome the challenge of promotion. Thank you Elaine Starner for sharing.

  12. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 23, 2018 at 7:30 am #

    It’s an interesting question, but after a Weekend From Hell (long-bone metastases, anyone?) I don’t really feel like thinking about it. I don’t ant to think about anything, really. Every step was painful; now it’s dangerous, as I’ve already had a bone snap under normal use.

    But the thing is, it IS about me; it’s about the part of me that is determined to find meaning in life however futile everything I do seems when I can barely move and can’t breathe without pain, and when I hear the feel-good preachers on TV I feel abandoned by God.

    It’s about reinventing purpose every day, and tying it into a framework of faith and trust and hope, and repairing those frayed ropes as they come adrift.

    It’s about not giving into despair and cynicism, about keeping more care for others’ hearts than I do for my own, and ultimately about realizing this:

    I SERVE.

    It’s not God who’s doing the service; these are my choices, washed in my own blood (and worse) and renewed in my own decision for faith.

    It’s about saying, in the end, “Into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit.”

    My Spirit. I feel forsaken, but so did Jesus, and He had to do the best He could, not with The Father’s Spirit, but with His.

    And so will I.

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 23, 2018 at 8:24 am #

      Michael Torres’ wonderful and insightful comment below, with it’s musical tag at the end, prompts me to offer my own musical coda.

      It’s nothing like so graceful as Michael’s offering, but perhaps it will ring as true for others as it does for me.

      It’s the first line of Alice In Chains’ ‘Rooster’:

      “Ain’t found a way to kill me yet”

      • Judith Robl July 24, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

        Oh, Andrew,

        So sorry to hear about the long bone metastases. Praying for you daily, as are many others in this group, I’m sure.

        Thanking God today for your indomitable spirit, your determination to let God be God and just keep on keeping on. May He give you grace, peace and healing today.

  13. Loretta Eidson July 23, 2018 at 7:36 am #

    As a child, my parents told me never to brag about myself. They said, “Let others do the bragging for you.” When I began my writing journey I struggled with finding the balance between self and faith. Thank you for this article. I can now be at a humbled peace sharing God’s message through writing and knowing God and I are partners in this calling. Promoting Him . . . not me.

  14. Michael Torres July 23, 2018 at 7:52 am #

    Man. I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at last year’s ACFW conference, and I was the one that said you reminded me of a wonderful principal I had in junior high, a Catholic Brother. The reason I say that is because several times in the last year, your posts have been so remarkably timely. “Bro love? : )”

    This topic is something I’ve been dealing with in my heart most recently in a related context—How much is God; how much is me?

    In answer to your first question of how I find the balance, the thought occurred to me in the following way:

    “If I weren’t me, how would I introduce myself to someone else? If I weren’t me, how would I promote my self?”

    This led me to other liberating thoughts:

    “How would I promote my sons, my daughtesr, honestly? Assuming that their talents are verifiably true gifts, in other words, they really are good at XYZ, relatively objectively, not just as a parent, but as a reader, listener, observer of their art or other talents?”

    The answer to that question, was a revelation to me. I had to ask myself, “Do I really love me?”

    Without getting on the couch, I’ve come to the conclusion that He wants me to love me as He loves me. And, I need not be so pious that I don’t promote me, and I need to stop deprecating me (just don’t ask me to sing, though—that is outside of “worshipping in song to the Lord”).

    There is so much more to unpack about this. Suffice it to say, I agree with your implication that there is a wonderful paradox, one that I am totally comfortable with, namely that God is faithful, and He will do it AND I am a co-laborer with Him—and He wants my joy to be full!

    The answer to your second question is YES and absolutely NOT; this is a real tension, and we are not thinking too hard about this.

    The topic of how we communicate to others how we love ourselves (read “promote”) is something that we must “think” about. I believe it is part of our co-laboring with Christ, that is, renewing our minds so that we do love God first, with all of our being, and that we love others as we love ourselves.

    Thanks for raising this topic, Steve.

    This is a wonderful, breathtaking conversation (how can that be—conversing and having no breath?—Uh, well, we can communicate without words, no?). I hope to have others join with me in this conversation in a blog that I am publishing soon—”The Pursuit of Freedom”.

    I leave with these words of epiphany from the song “Pieces”:

    “Your love is proud to be seen with me.”

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:33 am #

      Thank you for the kind words and the full meditation on the concept.

      This is a topic that should be revisited regularly for all authors.

    • Catherine July 25, 2018 at 9:55 am #


      I was thinking this morning about some people close to me who, even through their brokenness, have done their best to love. Framing it this way helps resolve the dichotomy between their genuine, self-sacrificing love, and the ways in which I have felt wounded (stemming, one ultimately realizes, from their own wounds).

      We are each a beautiful picture of Christ that has been broken, and will be so until we are fully restored “in the twinkling of an eye” into His image. Our calling, I believe, is to do our best to love through our brokenness. So when you speak of loving yourself as God loves you, I think that is part of the healing process that helps us reach others through our brokenness. Healing from brokenness through God’s love is like a shattered picture that is skillfully crafted into a glorious stained glass window one piece at a time. Writing reveals the beauty of the light that shines through the glass. Promotion is drawing others into the “cathedral,” the inner sanctum, where “ . . . in Thy light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9)

  15. Nancy Golden July 23, 2018 at 7:56 am #

    I have struggled with this many times, and again last night when working on my current work in progress. In this case, I was writing an anecdote about something that our family had done to help someone in Africa. I did not want it to seem like I was saying “Look at me, look at what I did,” but rather, “See, this is an example of what you can do, too.” I think the key is motivation. Ultimately, we want to please God, not man. God knows our hearts and if our motives are pure, we need not worry about any negativity that, with the advent of social media, seems to accompany anything we put out in the world today. I think it’s also good to remember that just like in any evangelism efforts we undertake – our job is to be obedient, but the results are His.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:36 am #


      Social media has added a huge “look at my life” aspect to this conundrum.

      And yet it can help an author inspire others without having to hawk their book. You can speak about how God blessed you and your family in Africa. This helps us know more about what is important to you and lends credibility to your own writing as material we want to read.

      But the tension of “bragging” or “look at me!” is real. Finding that balance takes intentionality.

  16. Janice Tanaka July 23, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    Echoing the comments of those here.

    Thank you for posting this today, when I begin my attempt to restore balance to this writing life. Today I start a part-time job that requires very little of my cerebral skills and relies primarily on my ability to follow instructions and work with my hands. It will be a humbling experience and I hope restore the needed balance. I don’t need the job but it will pull me out of my my writing focus and place me with a group of people who might be ministered to in relationship rather than with the words I pen.

  17. Jerry W Lindberg July 23, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    I don’t get it. I submitted my stories to your agency for review and now your agency keeps sending me pointers on how to keep my stories alive.

    They are alive. God knows my stories. I wrote them for God. They are uplifting, warm, reverent and faithful stories of human failing and godly redemption. Yet, I was told you had no place for them. Every one of my short stories would make an Hallmark movie. They were written in that spirit. I sent them to Dan Balow because I happened to think they might get a fair hearing from him. As a response I was told ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ Then, I keep getting reminders on how to write, why to write, how not to get discouraged.

    What gives? I write because God called me to write. If you or your people see no market value in that either you are blind or I don’t know the market.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:17 am #


      Commercial viability (aka “will it sell in the marketplace”) is a question we must deal with every day. Our agency received approximately 20-30 new unsolicited proposed ideas each day of the year. It is impossible to say yes to them all.

      From what you’ve described yours is a book of short stories. Short stories are not something the major publishers are looking for unless they are written by an already established and well-known author.

      I’m sorry that seems like a judgment on their worthiness…it is not. It is merely an economic judgment. Some great books by wonderful people are simply not economically viable. A publisher is in the business of turning a profit. If they cannot, then they go away and people lose their jobs.

      I wrote of this issue of commercial viability in a past blog. There are alternatives available. Please take a look at the entire post linked here:

      We do not make a practice of signing people to our mailing list without their permission. It is a person’s request to receive those emails. Anyone can unsubscribe at any time. We provide the blog posts as a service to the writing industry because we believe in doing out best to help everyone we can. To understand the industry, to improve their writing, and to make a difference in the world through our words.

  18. Lori Altebaumer July 23, 2018 at 8:17 am #

    This was much needed wisdom and perspective for me. And I see I’m not alone in this feeling! I try to remember that if it is God’s glory I am reflecting through my writing, then why would I want to hide it, or be ashamed to point to it (aka marketing). And if I’m not being a reflection of God’s glory through the work of my hands, then I don’t want to be doing it. What a great reminder through your post that we should be in the business of “marketing” God’s message, whether it is our writing or the writing another.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:37 am #

      Book Evangelist should be a profession! Oh wait. It is!

  19. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D July 23, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Steve, my pastor said, in a sermon last February, that “God hasn’t called you to a BIG thing, just the NEXT thing.” I keep that on the wall in my prayer corner, next to my treadmill. As I run my 8 miles each weekday, I am reminded of that idea and try to keep it in the forefront of my heart as I work, write, and (occasionally) play.

    Thanks for all you and your staff do to keep this blog up and running. It is such a blessing. I look forward to it each weekday.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:20 am #


      Similar to asking “why me” when trials hit. A better question might be “What now?”

    • Michael Torres July 23, 2018 at 9:58 am #

      I respectfully disagree with your pastor. (Albeit, I don’t know the context of his comments. I confess my assumption of his attempt to convince people to stop focusing on the BIG. I believe we can do both.)

      I believe God calls us to the next thing and a BIG thing (not either/or)–it just takes a lot of next things to make the BIG.

      (And, what is BIG? Sometimes it is the NEXT, no? Writing a wonderful scene that really turns a story, and makes it more authentic.)

      Maybe one of the issues is most are not willing to do the NEXT and only want the BIG without the work.

      I have no problem with dreaming BIG. He’s our Father. He’s BIG.

      You are God’s delight!

      Dream BIG and do the next with all your heart.

  20. Kay DiBianca July 23, 2018 at 9:45 am #

    What a wonderful and timely blog post. My first novel is due to be released later this year, and my publisher is encouraging me to do the necessary things to market and promote the book. I have no problem doing what’s necessary, but I keep coming back to the question of how I can promote the novel to show it not as my own creation, but as a reflection of God’s work in me.

    Following blogs like this one is very helpful. They remind me to keep God in the forefront. Without that, I’ll drift back to a me-centered narrative and miss the opportunity to share the very thing that makes me write.

    Thank you.

    • Steve Laube July 23, 2018 at 9:51 am #


      Congratulations on your forthcoming release.

      I just returned from the RealmMakers conference where there was a physical reminder of building a network of readers who, as fans, created a supportive community around author’s writing. They share deeply, build friendships, and more all because an author took the time and effort to help build that community. Instead of reveling in the adulation, these authors reached out and loved their readers. The joy and beauty of that is fun to behold.

  21. Marcia Laycock July 23, 2018 at 11:24 am #

    This is timely for me too, having just had quite a bit of publicity due to receiving a Word Award for a play I’ve been working on for some time. I was interviewed by a journalist who is also a believer and when I said I was a bit reticent to have my picture and all the fanfare in the paper he chided me a bit and said he was so thankful to have the opportunity to do a story about a writer of faith and talked about how his ministry and mine is expanded every time it happens. A good and humbling reminder. Obedience means more than just writing.

  22. Carol Tanksley July 23, 2018 at 11:43 am #

    I have struggled a lot with this also. What has helped me the most is the degree to which I believe those who read/listen to me will be helped by what I have to offer/say. If I truly believe what I have is value that God has entrusted me with to bless others, I am doing them a grave disservice to not let them know/read/hear it. That makes it about His message and the readers, not about me. That has relieved me of a lot of angst.

  23. Steven Fantina July 23, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

    If we have a product that is uplifting and promotes Christian virtues, we have an obligation to share it with as many people as we can. That takes marketing and publicity.

  24. claire o'sullivan July 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

    Steve (and all– I love all the responses),

    I agree, we (me?) with your blog and responses. God is interested in our character, our walk, our ministries (whether the pulpit or in the world).

    It’s a daily ‘Drop this at the Cross,’ kinda thing.

    It was a terrible day when I lost ‘everything.’ But God used it for good. I was under immense pressure and stopped praying for those I was helping or trying to help. God shook me by the shoulders but I ignored Him, I was so obsessed with the ‘how will we live?’ As the novel progressed and things changed, I read parts to my husband. He said, ‘that’s us.’

    That epiphany paled me. It was very humbling. My anger, obsession, hiding from the world ended. I rushed into prayer, praise, and His Word. The pressure remains after four years, but I no longer worry, where will this or that come from? I am humbled by His provision, His providence in our lives. Regardless I have to drop everything and trust every day (sometimes every minute or so).

    Whether this novel makes it’s way into the world, or if God was trying to reach me through those dark days alone, it’s enough. OK. It’s my desire to see my work(s) published. And, again, I get to go to Calvary to ask His will be done…

    Now, this is my ministry (thus far) and it may simply be preparation for something else. I don’t know. But He does, and that’s what counts.

  25. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 23, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

    If anyone’s still in the conversation, here’s my final take on self-promotion.

    Today was a world of hurt, and pancreatic cancer may win.

    But it’s going to remember me, and it’s going to cry like a little girl at the mention of my name.

    Valhalla awaits.

    And for a musical hook, here’s Freddie Mercury and Queen:

  26. claire o'sullivan July 23, 2018 at 4:46 pm #


    You are in my prayers, victor. I don’t know what else I can say.

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

      Claire, you said it all. Going to go out in a blaze of glory, on the updraft of prayer.

  27. claire o'sullivan July 23, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

    God bless and prayers for healing. No pain. I love how you put it, blaze of glory, on updraft of prayer.

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 23, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

      Many thanks, Claire.

      And as for pain…I figure that to beat Hell you’ve got to go there, right straight downtown.

      • claire o'sullivan July 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm #

        You rock. Inspiring.

        I have typed up on my wall: ‘She has gone through Hell. So believe me, fear her when you see her look into the fire… and smile.’

        I just put your name in place of the pronouns. Because you rock.

  28. Catherine July 23, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

    The following verses seem to capture the dichotomy:

    “Because the God who said, ‘Out of darkness light shall shine,’ is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us.”—2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NTRV)

    “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”—John 15:4 (KJ)

    How does one abide? Writing itself is often a way in which I abide.

    • Claire O'Sullivan July 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

      Amen. Writing is how He brought me to my senses since I’d been without sense and backsliding. And when I can relate my character’s pain to my own, which is really nothing in the great scheme of God’s plan… I feel quite humbled. Thank you, Catherine.

      • Catherine July 24, 2018 at 2:24 am #

        Thank you for sharing, Claire. You seem to write from the palette of your pain, which is beautiful.

  29. Diane Virginia Cunio July 24, 2018 at 8:41 am #

    Thanks, Steve, for this thought provoking article. I too, have struggled with the thought that if I “market” my works I am calling attention to self. I like the connection you make between evangelizing and marketing. It makes sense. This is practical advice. Thank you!

  30. Annie B. Garman July 25, 2018 at 11:44 am #

    This is THE struggle for me. Mostly I feel stupid promoting something I’ve written and not hearing much of a response. It really makes me question whether this is a ministry or just an empty vortex. It makes me timid to keep sharing my work. I wonder if what I’m writing is valuable at all or just adding to the noise. I guess I’m experiencing my pride being pierced. And I guess that’s not a bad thing. But it does make me question whether or not writing/promoting my writing is useful or if my time would be better used with face-to-face ministry (where you know people actually HEAR your words and then talk back).

  31. claire o'sullivan January 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm #

    Great post (the one I missed…)

    How? As I write, read, and do the ‘social media’ thing, I admit I am yet to be published. The critiques it went through spanned the world, to even Muslims who asked for more Scripture. This was not me, though I have to tug myself back from trying to say it was. I had no idea that God kept Christians away from reading and only sent atheists, agnositics, and Satan worshippers!!! as well as on-the-fence believers to read that manuscript.

    So, while I rework this monstrous manuscript and obtain an editor to finesse what I’ve done, I stick to my social media as my outlet for other authors and the struggle. On my regular page, I share the Gospel but don’t shove.

    Each morning is my prayer to act in a godly manner in all things I write, even if it is political. My followers on social media come from all walks of life, again, not from me, and I hope and pray that words from Scripture or comfort will have those who don’t believe, wonder, search, and let God work.

    I don’t always succeed, by the way. 🙂

    I am setting up a local business, have a plan for speaking locally, then statewide to struggling writers and the morass of publishing (because I have been rejected often and learned a lot from especially this site).

    I know a woman who is known worldwide for her blog, has travelled even to New Zealand speaking, and has recently published her first novel after fifteen years of ‘not promoting’ herself or her book, just the ‘how-to’s’ of a platform.

    Great post and thank you for pointing it back to me.

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