The Primary Way a Fan Can Help

Hi, […] I can’t tell you the wonder that your book brought to me.  Thank you, thank you.  I would like to buy several copies.  How do I go about doing that so that you would benefit the most?  Thank you again for the sunshine you brought to us. – Love, Nettie

One of our popular authors at Capture Books received this message and then quickly sent a note to the agent, “When I answer her, I should say I’ll benefit the most from selling the books to her – outright — is that correct?”


This is a common question and dilemma for young authors. On one hand, you make more money off of the books you have in stock because you have removed the middle-man by selling them yourself. So, what would you do?

Well, let’s look at it another way.

If she buys directly from you, the author, you will have to

  • purchase a mailer for the book ($4-7) then
  • mail the book to them ($4-13)
  • make it look professional with a nice label, packing and tape. ($2-4)

How much will all of this cost you?

You incur double the shipping expenses if you mail books out again from your local post office because you’ve already purchased and shipped these books to yourself once.

Also, shipping them out again will cause you to have to replenish your personal stock sooner.

Not only that, but if you pay handling fees, you are wasting money by misusing the books you’ve sent to yourself.

Unless you are visiting someone in person, and you hand over several books in the process of a visit, shipping from your own home stock of books is not your best value. It is almost always best to use the books received at your home base for author appearances at events, stores, retreats, and occasional visits with people who ask for your book over lunch. Autograph parties and targeted promotional events or handouts for targeted charity events or clubs will diminish your personal stock of books quickly enough if you are doing your own publicity.  This is what you should be doing with your personal stock of books, author friend.

So, to answer the question posed by the eager fan to our author, the best way to benefit your grassroots reputation and movement of books in the wider market is to ask the fan to order from Barnes & Noble or from her own favorite independent bookshop.  Why?

It makes the store manager aware of your book. It has to pass through several hands before the bookstore clerk hands it over to our new fan, who ordered it.  See how many people have been introduced to it then? 

  1. the manager, (even if it is just listed as a book that was ordered on a sales sheet)
  2. the intake clerk who places the order, and
  3. the box clerk in the back who receives the order.


And, you will influence a whole new store to consider shelving/stocking your book!  (Free publicity). Wait. Do I need to shout that out again? FREE PUBLICITY. Any business owner gets it.

If your new fan calls a bookstore, neither of you nor your fan have to pay shipping (Let her know this). Costs of shipping typically falls on a bookstore as their expense. You will still make your regular brick ‘n mortar bookstore money $1-3 per book, but you won’t have to do the work, or buy a shipping box and label, spend gas to mail it, and valuable time.

Primarily, it is the free publicity that you are after here. When someone wants to help you out, either ask them to ask for your book at their local library, or ask them to order the book from a store or both.

Ordering from an online source, such as Christianbooks.com is another way to establish a grass roots interest, however, these secondary online sites do not stock your book, and so they simply place an order with the supplier for the purchaser, and do not see the book itself since it is not handled by them.

It is the grassroots call for your book that makes thoseteam-motivation-teamwork-together-53958 controlling your book’s future, sit up and take notice.

Once you begin to experience the high costs of regular advertising, you will see the wisdom in this advice.


Be sure to thank you new fan honestly and from the heart. Her eagerness to help you succeed is a personal display of willingness to help you in the future.

  1. Perhaps, in your return communication you can ask them to give you the name of an event planner or retreat co-ordinator for a speaking referral.
  2. Perhaps, after you have established a happy customer, you can follow up and ask for a book review on Amazon or Goodreads or the Nook or ChristianBooks.com.

ALWAYS appeal to your widest market opportunity.





Why Hybrid Publishing?

I’ve just spend the conglomerate hours of Holy Week learning to create a 17-minute video, and then a shorter 3-minute video with some reasons for the hope that lies within me, also, within many of our authors. https://booksforbondinghearts.com/why-hybrid-publishing/

It was kind of fun to sew together the many small pieces so that I could take a good look at the bigger picture, why we do what we do.

Using this phrase, this verse about “the hope that lies within you” may sound a little sacreligious. So, tell me, what is your hope?

If regular spiritual deposits of God’s grace aren’t guiding the hours of your day, or the choices and relationships you make, or your own creativity now, then honestly? I wonder if you are hobbling the fullness of God inside you.hobble





So many creatives swing on the pendulem between “spritual talk” and “pragmatic living.” Occasionally, the two meet up for coffee, and a piece of art is born. Viola!basket-celebration-decoration-easter-41346

I was just talking with a friend of mine who mentioned that she surprised herself by writing a piece of poetry once in her history class.  It seemed so good to her, and so surprizing, that she memorized it, and then at the age of forty, she quoted it off to me as she sat in the passenger seat of my car.

And golly, it was good. When I told her so, she shrugged and sighed and said that since she had also written a song once, and then this poem, she was convinced that there was some creativity stuffed inside of her somewhere. But she had no idea where to find it again.  She had been living between the “spiritual talk” and the “pragmatic living” for a very long time.

Creatives need community.  We need to breath there. We need to give each other assignments that bring our brains together with our spirits. We need to touch each other’s lives with our own creative voice, not just spiritual talk, or pragmatism. We need to be filled with soul.

pexels-photo-862517When someone uses his or her unique creative voice, it joins a variety of things together, as two pieces of fabric can be sewn into a shirt, a sleeve added, and buttons. The cloth becomes larger than the sum of the parts when it becomes a shirt.  It doubles its value. This is why we are desperate for community and for using our creative juices like threads sewing together the purpose for the random bits of fabric. Like the need for tailoring the raw sheets of material.

We need to find the meaning for the puzzle pieces of our existence.

Welcome to the Shivoo! When we give ourselves this gracious gift of time toShivoo Bk Mobile device rest and dream and process in an community fashioned for accountability, it means that we are able to give a reason for the hope that lies with us on a very personal level in a uniquely styled expression.

Another side of the issue is this. When an author places all of his or her business expectations onto a publicist, a C.P.A., and a traditional publishing house, he or she may be selling short the possibilities of learning to enjoy the creative matrix awaiting them as an author in Christ (personally). An author needs to learn not only how to write and market his or her work, but to be a good steward of this business of authoring.

In the alternative, an author might enter into an author co-op, or a hybrid publishing company, and discover that creative juices in many areas exist, not only do they exist,  but they swell and overflow in such company!

This is because when authors see the benefits of applying business to their craft, when they add up the expenses and profits and create line item budgets, then they open up a new brain synapses that triggers sums where places of personal worth and value can land.  Understanding the math and the bottom line can trigger a God-given value to a creative goal never before articulated, perhaps never even faced.

Joining a publishing and marketing co-op puts a framework to creative dreams and hobby writing.  We need to understand the costs, the additional work to build a goal. We need to be inspired by the possibilities of sales and speaking opportunities.

Joining  a publishing and marketing co-op makes you accountable to be your own magnanimous best friend. To invest in yourself for the greater good.

Here is the creative work I did this Holy Week. https://booksforbondinghearts.com/why-hybrid-publishing/

Here’s a blessing. May you rise up this Resurrection Day and unhobble that precious inner soul that God gave to you in hopes that you would use it for His glory.


Book Trailers for Golden Stories

Are you looking for a publisher who offers multimedia book trailers for your promotion efforts? Look no further than Capture Books.  http://Booksforbondinghearts.com/