“Batting our Bicuspids for Books”

NOTE: At the end of today’s post, I’ve got an exciting announcement about the first ever interview to appear on this blog! I’m so excited I could scream (but I’m in the library at the moment, so I won’t).

The Apostle John and the Apostle Peter are seated at a table in a nice cafe in Jerusalem, enjoying a kosher breakfast, when in stomps the Apostle Paul, frustration furrowed across his brow. He’s rubbing his bald head and muttering.

“What’s wrong?” asks John as Paul paces next to the table.

“I’ve just come from Parchment Express. The business cards I ordered are still not ready!”

“Oh, for my sake,”Peter blurts. The two other Apostles turn and stare at him. His hand freezes inches from his mouth, a piece of dried fish pinched in his fingers. “Was that out loud?”

John nods. Paul rolls his eyes.

“Sorry,” Peter adds. “That’s a bad habit I’ve got.”

“As I was saying,” Paul says tartly, “I healed two guys in line, only to find out my two-colored cards–with all the relevant contact information for my next missionary journey–are not going to be ready on time. I’m going to have to head across the sea, and when I step out of the boat…no cards!”

“No cards,” mumbles Peter. “Try doing it with NO LAND!” His eyes go wide. “Opps…did it again.”

“Do you want me to oppose you to your face again?” Paul yells.

John bolts to his feet. “Brethren, let us love one another!”

Paul rubs the bridge of his hooked nose. “I’m sorry, Peter. It’s just that it was my whole marketing campaign.”

Peter downs the rest of his non-fermented grape juice (after all, it’s not yet 9 a.m.). “I can understand the frustration, Paul.” He slaps his hand on the table, his cheeks growing redder than usual. “I can’t get the scroll host for the church scrollsite to respond to any of my epistles! And my mother-in-law’s wanting to post recipes.”

“Have either of you ever tried animal stickers?” John asks.

“What?” Peter and Paul say in unison.

“You put them on the back ends of horses, mules, or camels. It’s a new marketing idea. I’m not sure it’s going to stick around,” John says, then busts out in a deep belly laugh. He finally catches his breath. “Stick around” Get it?”

Peter and Paul banish John from the cafe.

Friends, the best marketing strategy known to man hasn’t really changed. It’s called WORD OF MOUTH. Business cards, bumper stickers, bookmarks, and coffee mugs are fine, but they’re not a substitute for getting the word out by “batting our bicuspids.” (I use that phrase in honor of Dr. Howard Hendricks. I heard him use it in a sermon many years ago). I believe that, as writers of Christian fiction, we have a duty to one another to tell other people about the many great books that are available. Most people will pick up a book that someone they trust recommends. So if you loved a book, let someone know. Talk up other authors and their books. If you’ve been blessed by a book, chances are many other readers will be also.

Pick a book you’ve loved recently and tell ten people about it in the next week.










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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Larry W. Timm, reading, Writing

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