As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.
Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Sharon J. Weston, who is taking his latest book, Oil of Joy for Mourning, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. She will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about her and her book.
Luckily for us, Sharon was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of Oil of Joy for Mourning.
OP: Tell us a little bit about Oil of Joy for Mourning. What is it about?
SJW: Oil of Joy for Mourning: the Healing Touch of God is an inspirational collection of stories by men and women of faith who, in times of crisis with nowhere else to turn, were forced to turn to God and trust totally in Him. And He did not let them down. In turning to God, these ordinary men and women discovered a new depth of faith that they had never known before. They received courage and strength that only God could give, and they felt God’s healing touch in their lives, turning their mourning into joy.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
SJW: This is the second book of a trilogy that was inspired by the women’s retreat ministry I founded in 2004, Garments of Praise Ministries, Inc., which is now an official nonprofit. The stories that I have heard from other women during the course of our retreats over the past eight years and the ways in which God brought healing in the darkness and renewed faith to go on to so many of them made me realize how much the sharing of our stories can provide fresh encouragement, needed support, true healing, new strength and deepened faith to all of us who struggle through wilderness times. The title for this book, as well as the titles for the first and third books, simply dropped into my head one day when I least expected it, and the books took on a life of their own after that. These books are God’s books, and I trust Him to put them into the hands of those who need them.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
SJW: The most obvious readers would be people of faith. However, I know for a fact that those who are looking for hope and the promise of restoration from times of darkness in their lives are also finding this book extremely uplifting and renewing. As one reader wrote:
“That a Living God is actually with us and loving us throughout our eternal lives sometimes seems an impossible thought. When we experience the tragedies of grief and sorrow of this world with those around us, as well as ourselves, we cry, ‘Is there a God? Where?’ Sharon Weston knows well that God’s Life in Christ is a gift to us all that involves our own growth and suffering; we cannot evade or avoid it. Here she has compiled stories of believers who have mourned in these pits of pain, and then been given the “treasures of darkness” that only God could give to any of us. Each writer in this marvelous collection has something individual and yet universal to say to us about this, and it’s an encouraging, enlightening work that Ms. Weston has crafted for us as pilgrims along the way. Joy at the end of pain; the real presence of Christ in our lives. Thank you, Ms. Weston!! Your book is a treasure to share with others!”
OP: What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
SJW: This book contains wonderful, uplifting true stories of how God has worked in the lives of some “ordinary” men and women to strengthen and restore them and renew their faith during some of the darkest times in their lives. At the end of each chapter, the reader will also find some beautiful, inspirational poetry complementing that chapter which one reader said “simply sings.” Last but not least, the center section introduces the reader to some of the amazing women that I was blessed to meet and work with during my two-week mission trip to Kaoma, Zambia, in 2011, women whose faith in God have helped them to rise above poverty, fear, loneliness and a society that found women of little value to conquer and succeed.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
SJW: Yes, I have one other published book, Beauty for Ashes: Portraits of Faith, published in 2011. It is the first book in what has become a trilogy, with Oil of Joy for Mourning: the Healing Touch of God being the second book in this series. I will begin work on the third and last book, Garments of Praise: the Transforming Power of God’s Love, this fall.
OP: Thanks for your time, Sharon! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
Sharon Weston has 25 years of experience in women’s ministry. She founded Garments of Praise Ministries, Inc., in 2004, a retreat ministry for women. With a degree in education and a minor in psychology, Sharon currently works as Assistant to the Executive Director of Healthcare, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. She has one son, David, and lives in Augusta, Maine. Her previous book, Beauty for Ashes: Portraits of Faith, was published in 2011.
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/oilofjoyformourning
This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”. Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
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