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Marketing 101: Allowing for God’s Plan

by Kathy Harris

As the old saying goes, ‘fifty percent of advertising works and fifty percent doesn’t. The problem is in determining which is which.’ The same goes for marketing. In putting together a marketing plan, there’s only one thing to remember: You can control everything except the things you can’t control, which is pretty much everything.

The good news is that God is in control. And when our marketing efforts fail, He is able. He is able to take our ideas and make them flourish. He is able to redirect our path. And He is able to bring about those little “coincidences” that allow Him to get the Glory.

When I sold my first manuscript last fall, marketing was one of the pieces in the puzzle I looked forward to putting together. I’ve worked in music marketing for twenty plus years and have an inherent comfort level with it. So I set out to develop a plan.

Eight months later, I’d found that, for the most part, the things I thought would work… didn’t. At least not according to my timetable.

Then God stepped in.

About six weeks before the book’s release, a friend sent me an advance copy of Karyn Williams’ new Contemporary Christian Music CD, Only You. I would be interviewing Karyn for my blog in a few weeks, so I set aside an hour one morning to listen to her music. I was more than halfway through the CD when a song titled “This Is Freedom” stopped my down. I hit replay and listened to it again. Each time I heard it, the words took me back inside the head of my female protagonist. This was Bethany’s song.

A few days later I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of using “This Is Freedom” for a book trailer. Finally, I mentioned the idea to my agent.

His response took my by surprise. “I know Karyn,” he said. “I’ll ask.”

A flurry of emails followed. I was introduced to Karyn, and she read the premise of the book. Before she knew which song I had in mind for the trailer, she suggested “This Is Freedom.” We realized then that our connection was bigger than the two of us.

The Abingdon Press and Inpop Records marketing team joined the conversation, and we put together a plan. Or, I should say, we set out to implement the plan God had given us.

I wouldn’t even try to predict the outcome of our joint efforts. But I will make one bold prediction about my book, your book – and even your still unsold manuscript. God has a plan for it. And whether you sell one or one hundred thousand copies, He will use your writing to reach that one person – or the hundred thousand people – He wants to reach with it. It’s in His capable hands.


Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment business. Her debut novel,
The Road to Mercy, releases from Abingdon Press on today. She regularly interviews literary and music guests on her blog at www.DivineDetour.com.

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4 Responses to Marketing 101: Allowing for God’s Plan

  1. What a timely and truthful post! Thank you for this! I’m dealing with this now as my first book release approaches. And I have been trying to structure the best marketing plan I can. This reminds me that everything will be as it should. Thank you! God bless and wishes for phenomenal success!!!

  2. Kathy Harris says:

    Thanks, Katherine. I wish you much success too!

  3. Beth K Vogt says:

    Appreciate your hope-filled and perspective, Kathy — and wise words. What a wonderful story.

  4. Kathy Harris says:

    Thanks, Beth. You’re a wonderful encourager too!!!