Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Evangelizing Through Fiction

I'm a little embarrassed about how much I've been using this blog and my Facebook pages lately to push, push, push Finding Grace, because I can't think of anything I dislike more than calling attention to myself.  Yet I feel I must make an effort to market/promote it to the best of my ability.  It took attending the Catholic Writers Guild Live conference in New Jersey this past summer to convince me that it's okay to want people to read my book--in fact, it's okay to encourage them to read it.  Because it's not about me at all; it's about sharing a message.  It's about using fiction as a form of evangelization.  That is truly what I set out to do with this book back in August of 2007, when I first sat down to write it.  I wanted it to be entertaining, humorous, and sweet; but most importantly, I wanted it to be a tool to combat the poison being peddled as literature in this secularized age--I wanted it to unabashedly show the joy and beauty of a life lived according to God's will and His laws.

But here's the kicker: what I didn't bank on was that if I wanted anyone to read it and be positively affected by it, I would have to try (and I mean try hard) to "sell" it.  That's been the tough part for me.

My baby sister has an easier time selling my book than I do (she even saw to it that the library of the public school where she works got a copy and put it on display), so I'm going to shamelessly use her here as a promotion tool.
Isn't she gorgeous?  I told her that ad agencies use beautiful women to sell things all the time--so I thought maybe I ought to do the same!

Many people wouldn't in a million years read religious non-fiction books, because they find them too dry and boring.  But they will read a novel with a good story in it, because they enjoy that so much more.  And that's where a Catholic author can use the medium of fiction to quietly evangelize: through the actions of characters that a reader comes to know and love, an author can inspire that reader to change his life, to be a better person, to seek the Truth.  I hope--I pray!--that that is what I accomplished with my humble little novel, and that even one soul will be edified by it.  I would rather please the Man Upstairs than be successful by the world's standards.

There are very few authors--of fiction in general and Catholic fiction in particular--who are going to become household names or see their works adapted to the big screen.   I read somewhere that the odds of being a "successful" author are roughly the same as winning the lottery on a $1 ticket: about 1 in 1,270,000.  (I have no idea if that's an accurate figure, but it sounds about right.)  I suppose if I'd been willing to sell out and write a book filled with sexual perversity, vampires, or zombies, Finding Grace might have a shot at becoming "successful."  As it is, it's currently ranked at about #600,000 on Amazon--which is a pretty far cry from the #1 spot!  A bestseller it is not.  But I believe in this book anyway.  I believe that it can do some good in the world.  I believe that a high school girl being fed the falsehoods taught in sex ed classes (where the word "safe" is used in a way that is so incredibly misleading) might actually be inspired by the hard lessons learned by some of FG's characters to make different choices than the world would have her make.  I believe that she could be inspired to imitate my sweet, self-effacing little heroine, Grace Kelly--who might be unsure of herself in many ways, but is very sure that with the help of the saints, she can become one herself.

Okay, 'nuff said.  I'll just end here by letting you know that the Kindle version of Finding Grace has been reduced from $7.99 to $4.99--just in time for Christmas gift-giving.

Thanks for your patience, dear readers!

10 comments:

  1. I don't know about beautiful, but I will do my best to help you sell your book! Weird to see my face on there! Thanks for using me as your advertisement ... I love it!! LOL

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    1. My book looks better with you holding it. :)

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  2. Ah, I am just like you. I think that if I wrote a book, I would have a very hard time promoting/selling it! My sister on the other hand... ;-) I guess that's what "little" sisters are for! I have yet to read your book! :-D

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    1. If you do, I hope you enjoy it!

      And everyone should have a little sister like mine (and yours, too, apparently). :)

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  3. Or I could tweet about it and ask others to check it out? Wait. I just did that! I'm @fillpraycloset

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    1. So cool, I checked out your blog and twitter feed!

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    2. Christina, THANK YOU! I'm not on Twitter, but I know a lot of people are. It was so nice of you to do that!

      I have been continually amazed by the people--some of whom I've never met--who have been willing to help me. That's one of the greatest blessings that has come my way since the book got published.

      Thanks and God bless you!

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  4. Hello, Laura Pearl! I found your blog through New Evangelist's Monthly, and I'm glad I did. I haven't written a book---yet. Actually I have no intention of doing so, but my husband keeps urging me to write one. I can relate to your reticence to promote yourself or your book. But, I'm glad you found out that it's okay to do so.

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    1. Hi Ruth Ann!

      You know, you may just write a book. I was an English major in college, and I'd had this dream of writing a novel from the time I was very young. But I spent a couple decades as a happy stay-at-home mom, raising five sons, and I didn't do a thing about it. My husband would always say, though, "I have faith in you. Someday you're going to write that book." I don't know what made him believe in me like that, because after I turned in my last paper in college, I really never wrote anything. But when my youngest son was getting ready to start high school, I guess I was finally ready to see if I could make that dream come true and I started working on "Finding Grace." I turned 54 just before it was published--so I'm a late bloomer!

      You never know--your husband may be onto something! :)

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