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He Told Me I'd Be Famous, and He Was Wrong (Embracing Intentional Obscurity and Book Promotion)


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Just before my book came out last year, a well-known person who’d read it sent me a personal email and said, “This has ‘best seller’ written all over it. Get your website ready for the traffic.”

Imagine my delight! I updated my website and waited for said traffic. And kept waiting.

There I was at a book signing one day, several months after my book’s release, still waiting for potential readers to come to my table. Next to me was an older gentleman who’d self-published a political book, also waiting for someone to come to his table. I cared nothing for his book, and he cared nothing for mine. But we felt sorry for each other and bought a copy of the other’s book, so we could say we’d sold a book that day.

Shortly before that book signing, I had a phone interview to be on a well-known show that would have been my big break. Though my previous interviews had been successful, somehow I botched this one; they never called back. I wrestled with the “why” of that disappointment, trying to blame everything and everyone except God’s will.

Then one cold January evening our family received life-changing news.* In one shocking moment, it all made sense— why God has kept me hidden. Close to home. All at once I understood why I’m not traveling the country, speaking and signing books. Suddenly fame was the enemy–the last thing I wanted. I’d never been so grateful for obscurity in my life.

Maybe the other truth is, I’m not “fame material.” Maybe my book hasn’t sold up to its assigned potential because I don’t have the time or know-how to promote it.

Maybe I really hate promoting my own book.

Maybe I’d rather live what I wrote and enjoy my children than spend time trying to become well-known.

But that all presents a problem, one that had me doubled over this morning, crying my eyes out from what we Christians like to call “conviction.” You see, I believe in the book I wrote. I believe in it because I continue to get emails from random strangers telling me it has changed their life. (I even get emails from Brazilian moms, because my book was translated to Portuguese. How cool is that?)

And I know what it is to read a life-changing book that no one knows about because for whatever reason the author has chosen not to promote it. And I respect that, though it is tragic. I understand it perfectly well.

So today I am doing the only thing I know to do with my book right now. I am giving it away, with no strings attached, except to ask you to return the favor by letting someone know about it

(Amazon reviews are much appreciated, though I will never require a review in exchange for a free book). If you would like a copy–if you will definitely read it or give it to a mom who needs it, please use the contact form at the bottom of this website and send me your address by midnight tonight. I will gladly send you my book, in hopes that it will be the blessing to you that it has been to others.

That, after all, is why I wrote it in the first place.

(Please note this giveaway has ended. I hope someday I’ll be able to give away an unlimited supply of books! But I need to sell some first. The irony!) 😉

*Update 2/22: I have no idea what that life-changing news was. I wrote this post years ago. I could figure it out if I dug into my journals, but suffice it to say it was not the season for fame.


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