Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ok..I get it!

I learned about Author Central from another author friend. The site, which gives sales data from approximately 75% of retail outlets, ranking information etc. became a regular “stop” on my internet errands I run each day.

On Tuesday, April 26, at 11:30 PM I typed in the required password to check the stats of Until Forever. It had been at least two days since my previous glance and who knows…much can change in two days.

I looked at the first chart…no change. I scrolled down and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. The graph line measuring ranking, which had maintained a pretty much even keel at 3.9 million out of 8 million, took a very drastic and sudden jump toward the top of the chart. Up 3.7 million in the rankings, Until Forever, was now ranked at 211,700 out of 8 million books.

This was big. This was exciting. I had sold ten in one day before and the rankings barely took notice. What was happening? I had to share. I called my daughter. I woke up my husband. I called our pastor and I called my sister-in-law. Everyone was excited. Everyone agreed with me…something was happening.

The only thing was…it would be two weeks before I would know what. It was a long two weeks to say the least.

Fast forward to Friday May 6th. Excitedly, I type in my password. I scroll down to the sales section. I look at the information. I close my eyes and shake my head. I look again. WHAT? One book sold? That can’t be! How can the sale of one book jump the ratings by 3.7 million? Impossible!

As I am looking at the screen, I hear that still small voice say…not too quietly I might add, “Stop! Stop looking at sales information. Stop counting. Stop trying to do my job and concentrate on what I have called you to do.”

You see…God has called me to write. I am to make phone calls and write emails. When doors open for me to speak, I am to walk through those doors and speak the words He places on my heart. He has called me to many things…but counting sales is not one of them. What a sense of humor God has! What a way to get my attention and teach me a lesson.

Last night I was speaking with my mentor for near to two hours. I shared this story with her and she reminded me of I Chronicles 21 which tells the story of David counting the Israelites. Satan placed the seed in David’s heart…but David’s eagerness took over and carried the task through to completion. The Lord even sent a messenger to David, Joab, who reminded David that the number of Israelites was God’s business…not his. David did not listen to counsel. He continued on. David allowed his pride and vanity to rise up within him and dictate his actions. His actions brought great pain to the people of Israel. His repentance brought restoration and healing. It also brought change and a clearer vision for the calling David had upon his life.

Lord, please forgive me for being vain and prideful. Please continue to change me into who you are calling me to be. Lord, I pray for your guidance, that my path is well lit before me and the directions You have for me are clear and precise. Thank you Lord for loving me enough that you correct me. Your forever servant, Darlene.


  1. Isn't it a relief off your shoulders to know that He will take care of some things and that you dont have to worry about them? Hard to let go and let God as they say, but sounds like you were able to hear his still small voice and realize your roll! Just got your book today and am very excited to start reading it :)

  2. I know how you feel. I joined Author Central and thought...Wow! this is great! Can't wait to see the number of books I sell. Then I realized it's not just the number of books sold, it's the message that is being shared. I was told when I first started to go thru the publishing process that patience was truly a virtue we'd need. How right they were...slowly but surely the word will get out and your message will be heard by many!

  3. Ouch! My toes were stepped on. I don't count sales, but I have been guilty of similar things. The story of David really connected with me this morning as I read your post. I love your transparency and realness, it always touches me and then God relates it to my own life. My toes hurt. But thanks. Thanks, Lord. I'm reading this post again.:)

  4. This post resonated with me. It's so tempting to look at numbers, to try to collect that physical evidence to reassure ourselves that what we're doing is working. I'm gradually learning to kick that habit. It really is a matter of faith. Thanks for the perspective, Darlene.

  5. Ah...this one was a difficult one to write. Sometimes it's not easy being transparent, but I believe that God wanted me to share this. For me...to keep it real and for anyone else out there who might need my bad example to keep it real :) Thanks all of you for your encouragment...and for still lovin' me regardless of my shortcomings!