Anne stepped out of the car and onto the searing hot tar. The heat sent blurry waves, like fog, over the pavement. It was hot.
Wasting no time, she clutched her purse, darted across the parking lot and pushed through the heavy glass doors of the bookstore. Cool, fresh air immediately washed over her, soaking up the beads of sweat on her forehead.
Anne looked up – hundreds of thousands of books filled wooden shelves and stacked high atop tables. It was an aspiring writer’s dream, a book lover’s paradise. Nothing relaxed her more than the smell of an unread paperback book and freshly brewed coffee.
Anne ran her fingertips along the tables touching cover after cover as she walked by. A girl could get lost in the rows of bookshelves, but not Anne.
“Excuse me? Sir?”
An older man, wearing fraying suspenders and a crooked toupee turned away from stacking books and faced her. “Yes, can I help you?”
“Um, yes. I’m looking for the Christian fiction section?”
“You must mean our Religious and Inspirational section,” he corrected. “Just up that way,” he said, pointing a wrinkled finger toward the stairs. “Up the stairs to the left.”
She walked briskly up the stairs and weaved between the shelves toward the outer corner of the room. There, it was. In the very back – between Biographies and Business.
Big, heavy books leaned to the left and to the right filling empty spaces where books used to live. Anne tossed her purse to the side and sat cross-legged on the floor, scanning the narrow shelves containing her favorite genre.
After several minutes and finding nothing but texts on religious law and customs and a few self-help books, Anne gave up. Instead, she pulled a notebook and pen and started to scribble down some thoughts.
“Didn’t find what you were looking for?” Anne looked up.
“Um, no. That’s okay though. I was just looking.”
“Oh, I don’t work here,” the stranger said. “I just noticed that you have the same problem I used to have.”
“You can’t find what you’re looking for. You want some good Christian fiction. Something inspiring, yet has a killer plot… Right?”
Anne’s face lit up. “Exactly. You just can’t find good Christian books around here. I feel like I’ve been to every bookstore around town, but the selection is so limited.”
“Have you heard of RevelationBooks? It’s this really cool site that has tons of books by new Christian writers. Some of the books are even exclusive to the site.”
Anne sighed and looked away. “That’s cool, but I’m not a big fan of ordering online.”
“This isn’t another Amazon.com,” she said, smiling. “When you purchase from RevelationBooks, your money does more than buy a novel. It supports the growth of Christian writers all over the world and helps spread the Gospel to over 200 countries.”
“Wow.” Anne’s interest had peaked.
“Last time I checked, over 350 people had accepted Christ as a result of their work. The site offers a wide selection of books, Bibles and music, and they have this really cool program called Free Reads for Reviews where you can read new Christian releases for free in exchange for a written review. Plus, it gives writers a really great platform for selling their work.”
“That’s good to know,” Anne said, clutching her notebook.
“Are you a writer?”
Anne blushed. “Define writer.” They both giggled and the stranger sat down beside Anne.
“Care to share?”
“No way.” Anne said, slapping her notebook closed.
“Oh, come on, I bet it’s great.”
“It is – it’s the next best seller,” Anne said rolling her eyes and laughing.
“What’s your name, anyway?”
“My name’s Rachel. Listen. When you finish that book, you should sell it through RevelationBooks. You’ll receive every penny from your direct sales on the site. Plus, you’re writing will be heavily exposed – the site gets over 400,000 page views a month!”
“Oh, and one other thing. You don’t have to sacrifice the bookstore atmosphere. RevelationBooks has free ebooks that you can download. I bright my tablet here and curl up on the couches with a vanilla latte every Tuesday. It’s my down time.”
“I like that idea!” Anne said. “You know, I’d purchase a book online if I knew my money was also helping local authors and helping to spread the Gospel. I mean… there’s no reason to purchase anywhere else.”