Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Should Our Hands Be On or Off Our Obstacles, or Both? by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
My debut novel, Calculated Risk, had just released. I eagerly began performing my post-release activities.

I received an email from a family member. Her friend and she had visited a popular online bookstore to purchase Calculated Risk, but the bookstore claimed my print book was temporarily out of stock. Then an email from a friend arrived with the same complaint. These women preferred to wait to order Calculated Risk until that bookstore restocked rather than go to another online bookstore. But would they? Or would they give up checking the bookstore website, get busy, or find another book? Would others react the same way? A bowling ball dropped in my stomach.

What was worse was this bookstore had failed to upload my book cover photo. Also, my website steered people to this bookstore.

Hands On

After three days, the out-of-stock message remained. I sent an email to my publisher. The marketing rep said they’d taken care of everything from their end. I reported the problem to the online bookstore. The rep said they were out of stock due to an increase in demand of my title. A purchase order had been submitted to my publisher. She uploaded my book cover. Both businesses were doing their job.

Two weeks went by, then four, then six. Finally, eight weeks later the out-of-stock message disappeared from the online bookstore’s site…after Christmas sales opportunities had passed.

Another discouragement arose. For some reason, the announcement emails I sent to various groups in my Contacts were delivered to very few people. I didn’t know who received the email and who didn’t. Rather than make a pest of myself, I didn’t resend individual emails. I reached some in other ways. I slipped a bookmark in our Christmas card. I announced the release on social media networks.

Hands Off

When I couldn’t find on my website where to change my buy button to link to another online bookstore, I felt the book release was under the enemy’s attack. I sensed God had a different plan called: Wait. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7)

So, what am I doing during such disappointments?

1. I hold on to these truths:

  • God knows these obstacles. John 16:30 and John 21:17
  • God can do all things. (Matthew 19:26)
  • Nothing is too hard for God. (Genesis 18:14)
  • God is on my side. (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:31)
  • God doesn’t mock me. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Zephaniah 2:10)
  • God works for my good. (Romans 8:28)
  • God has the problem covered. I did my part.

2. I do these activities:

  • Wait.
  • Trust God. When the enemy suggests: “You’re losing sales.” or “God doesn’t care about Calculated Risk”, I say: “I will not receive that!” The thoughts leave me.
  • Turn Calculated Risk over to God. I’ve had to repeat this after turning away the enemy’s suggestions.
  • Thank God for each improvement.
  • Focus on book promotion and writing activities.
  • Look for the lessons God is working from this experience.

I won’t know my sales until I receive my publisher’s report. But the numbers shouldn’t matter. After all, I’ve turned Calculated Risk over to God, and He and I are working on a new book.

How have you, or could you, handle such discouragements?
About the Author
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Now retired actuaries, Zoe and her husband evaluated the financial risks for insurance companies. Nick, in Zoe’s debut novel, Calculated Risk, is an actuary. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops at JoyWriters on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk

Calculated Riskby Zoe M. McCarthy
What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books