Note: This outline was used to record the episode. Its included here to help search engines categorize the audio.

Esther’s Story:

  • Esther Had a Tough Marketing Position
    • Not in favor with the King. He hadn’t asked for her in 30 days. 
    • Had a big ask. His law could not be overturned.
    • Even approaching the king was dangerous. 
  • What does she do? 
    • She doesn’t ask right away, even when the king offers half his kingdom.
    • She offers value and invites the King to a banquet in his honor.
  • At the banquet, does she ask her big ask? No! She invites him to a second banquet.
  • It is not until the second banquet that she makes her big ask.

Ok… So why does this story matter to authors?

Many authors are like Queen Esther. They are not in favor with readers. They have a big ask to make when they ask strangers to buy their book.

Take Away #1: Timing Changes Everything

There is an old saying that you must strike while the iron is hot. As a blacksmith, success in shaping metal is more about timing than it is about effort. If you let the iron cool, it doesn’t matter how hard you hit it. 

If Haman had asked a day earlier to have Mordecai executed, he would likely have been told yes. But as it was, he was a day late and that timing changed everything. Why? Because the king couldn’t sleep and so he re-heard the story of Mordecai saving his life.

Haman tried to divine the best time for his pogrom by casting lots (which were called Purim). Esther made her own good timing. 

Good timing can be manufactured. This is why Esther invited the king to a banquet instead of making her real request right away. At that banquet, she invited the king to another banquet. It was only after the king asked her what she wanted a third time that she answered him. 

Which leads us into our second take away. 

Take Away #2: Throw a Banquet First

To think like Esther, you must change your marketing mindset. This is not about you! Throw a banquet for your readers before you ask them to buy your book. Commit to seeing marketing as an act of service rather than an act of self-promotion. 

So how do you throw a banquet for your readers? Well, you could throw them a literal banquet at your launch party. But in all seriousness, how do you do it?

Jesus told us that if we want to have followers, we must be a servant (Mathew 20:26).  The first thing I recommend is to put a sticky note on your computer that says “How can I bless my followers today?”

The second thing you should do is to ask them! How can you serve your followers if you don’t know who they are?

Third, write a book for your audience rather than trying to find an audience for your book. 

How can you bless your blog followers?

  • Review & recommend similar books. Be like Santa in Miracle on 34th Street. 
  • Answer questions.

How can you bless your email subscribers?

  • Give away free short stories.
  • Offer discounts.
  • Review & recommend similar books.

How can you bless your social media followers?

  • Make them laugh.
  • Pray for them.
  • Powerful encouragement is often personal encouragement. 
  • Review similar books. 
  • Help them.

Putting it Into Practice

So I would like to put this into practice and ask you how I can better serve you with this podcast. 

  • Which episodes have you enjoyed? Which not so much? 
  • What would you like me to talk more about? 
  • Where are you on your publishing journey? Published? Just getting started?
  • Where are you headed? Are you planning to walk the traditional route or the indie route? 

Final Thought: Be creative. Every book has a hook for a unique banquet.

Sponsor: Christian Writers Institute

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