Norma Gail is an inspiration to me and I asked her to share her story. Perhaps you will be inspired to press forward toward your publishing dreams.
Rebuilding an author brand after an absence is as difficult as building your brand in the first place. It takes persistence to gain recognition of a tagline or phrase synonymous with what you write. Silence for a long time period causes name recognition to be lost.
My brand went silent from July 2018 through January of 2020. I had four major surgeries in the space of two years. The death of my mother, moving an elderly aunt and uncle to a care facility near me, my aunt’s death, and the sale of both homes along with changed family dynamics overwhelmed me.
These life-changing events destroyed all desire and motivation to promote my first book, Land of My Dreams, or maintain my blog schedule. At the same time, my husband moved his office home, our son moved in. As I began to gain recognition again, the COVID crisis led to my husband’s retirement and uncertain book sales. Life as I knew it ceased to exist.
My two brands, 2MefromHim Devotionals and Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit vanished from daily social media. There are seasons to be gentle with ourselves. I finished the blogs I had scheduled and walked away. What I write is written for God. What I become is up to God. What is important is to cling to God.
I discovered that to edit and rewrite my book in progress was therapeutic. The familiarity of my characters and their story ministered to my heart. God allowed my own fiction to refresh my spirit.
My social media presence consisted of shared scripture and memes that ministered to my heart. While my following on Facebook increased, my other social media accounts lay quiet.
That book was rejected. Challenges in my personal life damaged my confidence. However, someone believed in my story and offered to publish Within Golden Bands. With a miracle from God, I’m now a hybrid author. The royalties revert to me when the publisher is paid back. I learned from the criticism and rewrote entire sections. During a recent promotion, it remained in the top spot in three Amazon categories for three days.
The brand still suffers. COVID has changed everyone’s marketing and social media. I don’t receive the comments I did formerly on my blog. Land of My Dreams recovered well.
I have no secret to share. Look for opportunities. Trust God to create and recreate your brand. Make pleasing Him your aim. He is faithful.
© Norma Gail Holtman, June 26, 2020
Norma Gail’s debut novel, Land of My Dreams, won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. Within Golden Bands releases May 19th. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals have appeared in several publications. She lives in New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon.
Thank you so much for this. Life does sidetrack us but He is faithful to get us back on track in His time.