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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Make the Library Your Friend

The library is really one of those places where dreams can come true, where magic is on every page, and where miracles can begin to take shape. For the writer it's probably the best place to start a buzz about their work. I know writers who have held signings at local Christian bookstores, and have even been to a couple of conventions myself, but these events fall flat many times because you are the outsider. Even following some great advice by writers like Brandilyn Collins won't assure you great sales. You see people like to know the author, but being creatures of habit they will stick to their favorite writers and overlook you...unless you give them an idea to look your way.

I work at our local library so I have a head start on some things. Still I find that I could have done better, much better. Let me share with you some of my insights.

Contact all the libraries in your area and offer to do a free reading. Patrons would be given the chance to purchase a copy of your book, and your autograph, but I strongly suggest making this of these least importance. Instead of a signing offer the libraries one of the following; a reading of your work, a chat about your particular genre, or a course in writing your particular genre. What this will do is give you contact with the very people who would most likely be interested in purchasing your work.

Get to know the library staff and even bring them the occasional box of cookies or chocolate. I know of some patrons who bring in flowers or plants. Create a bond that goes deeper than a patron/staff relationship and it can work wonders for you. As you are doing this be sure to ferret out the person responsible for acquiring your libraries fiction works. If your library is part of a larger system you may find your acquisition staff member frequently overwhelmed by the sheer volume of their task. Get to know also the library director. These are two people you will want in your corner when you broach the idea of placing your book on their shelves.

Once a library has opened its doors to you to hold a reading or whatever it is you are planning, start contacting the media about it. (Make sure you have the dates and times correct). Arrange it so the director will introduce you. When they do, step up, book in hand, and make sure they don't get away. With reporters jotting notes down or recording them on a mini-cassette recorder and photographers are snapping pictures, you address the assembly and present the library with your book. Say a few words then give it to the director. Then call for a round of applause for the director and the other staff members who have worked so hard to make events like this take place. After the applause dies down you can start your reading or teaching. What you have just done is use an event you have basically invited yourself to to purchase some great media coverage.

You may be thinking this is small potatoes. Not so. In our library James Patterson's book Cross, which was placed on our shelves around the same time or at least in the same year as my book, is the number 2 book of that period for checkouts with 50 since 2006. During that same time only one other person has come close to that number. That would be me, with 58 checkouts, and still people are just learning that I'm around or that I write. Had I followed the formula above more closely not only would the checkouts be even higher, but so would sales. In any event the most significant thing you can do for your book is to get someone to say something good about it. Words like, "You've just got to read this book" will have a greater impact than all the mass market approaches, at least in the long run. The road to the bestseller's list is best begun with starting a good solid buzz, and the best place to do that is at your library.

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