I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I took the week off.Yesterday (my normal to blog) I traveled to New York City to meet with some friends I met via a social network (rolemommies) and to be a guest on the Martha Stewart Show (Yes, I was able to give her a copy of one of my inspirational craft books for tween girls). A fun day and I really want to get to know the gals I met yesterday. I believe I did well by investing some time in getting to know others and seeing the Martha Stewart show (since i do write craft books).
A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. These six women have incorporated many different marketing stratergies in mrketing the book. They have utilized media, socail netowkrs, the Internet,speaking, and blogs. That's a lot to do and much easier to do as a team than as one person.
Have you done events? What type and where? What were the results?
Trish: I spoke at Hearts at Home to 700 women on motherhood and only sold 7 copies of Scrapbook in October. I just spoke at a local event to 30 women and sold 20 copies. You just never know.
Cathy: I’ve had several book signings. I try not to measure events by numbers, but by appointments and who I have the pleasure of meeting. By far, the best was a writers’ group meeting at Barnes & Noble where I did a 30 minute presentation on “Christmas—a Writer’s Wonderland,” book signing followed.
Leslie: I speak quite frequently. This fall, I’ve had four MOPS speaking engagements directly related to this topic, as well as numerous Rotary clubs, Lions clubs and the like. I’m also leading a breakout session at a mom’s conference in my home church (membership: 10,000+). I’ll have a product table there.
Karen: My church is much smaller than Leslie’s—around 100. I talked with the pastor about using some of the publicity I might garner to draw attention to our little church and perhaps attract some people to its doors. The church has asked me to speak (I’m not calling it preaching) on the First Sunday of Advent. Any local interviews I do will mention that and as an added incentive, the church is purchasing books to be able to give one to each family in attendance. My topic: Christmas Firsts on the First Christmas. I pray it may be a help in growing our church and making it a presence in the community.
Speaking engagements get you known and can sell books. It's hard to judge how many will sell at an event. It's all part of the package of reaching the audience.
Have you had articles published related to the book? Where?
Trish: I have one coming out in the imoms.com magazine, and on their website, and one in the Ohio newspaper where I write a weekly column.
Terra: Back Home published my article in the November/December issue, on Green Christmas Trees, and the author bio mentions our book. My monthly gardening column at www.positivelyfeminine.org shows a photo of the book’s cover, all the time, and you can click on it to buy it.
Leslie: I write a weekly newspaper column for a Dallas-area conglomerate (Star Community Newspapers) with a readership of about 100,000. I plan a 3-part series about Christmas tips and traditions. Also my local paper will interview me for an article.
Karen: Like Terra, I too, have a column at www.positivelyfeminine.org and will likely use my grand-parenting column to shamelessly plug our book by talking about Christmas traditions. Our editor has been so gracious to advertise for us by posting the cover and a link for purchase.
It can be hard to time an article with a book release,but a printed article can reach many more people than a book.
What did your publisher do that has helped?
Trish: Worked with distribution channels. But it has been a challenge.
Cathy: Leafwood Publishers provided many comp copies for our blog tour, media blitz, and for reviews.
Terra: Leafwood is doing so much that it is difficult to pick which things I most appreciate, but one that stands out is the physical beauty of the book. They hired a design and art team that created a scrapbook feel to the book so that it literally sells itself. The price is low for such a pretty and information packed hardcover book that your family will enjoy for years.
Leslie: Sent out copies of the book. Set up a radio interview while I was already in the area speaking and doing a book signing.
Publishers do have established channels for distribution and can provide media and promotional copies. My publishers have always been great about providing review copies. Not many have paid for ads,but some have done some beautiful ads. It's good to stay in touch and ask what they will do for you and ask what ideas they have for you to try.
As a seasonal book (Christmas) will you stop promoting after Christmas and restart next summer or fall?
Trish: Nope, I will be promoting it all year rounds. Especially when I speak at events.
Cathy: We actually will keep the blog going through January with all sorts of packing away Christmas tips and such. Then we’ll go fallow until July when we’ll begin posting daily again. And appointments for next fall are already being offered.
Leslie: I don’t EVER plan to stop promoting this book. It’s my first traditionally published book, so I’m quite enthusiastic about making it a success.
What will you do during the off-season for promotion?
Cathy: I plan to have the Christmas books on my table when I speak. They have many tips for connecting families and like after all, reading a seasonal book out of season will not offend one little elf.
Leslie: Continue to work on speaking engagements for next season. Write some articles to have ready. Work on blog topic ideas.
Karen: Like the others, I need to work on speaking engagements, topics of interest to a variety of groups. I missed opportunities this year because of travel plans even though I took our book on a “world tour” which I documented on my blog. The recipes in the books are good year-round so there’s no reason not to promote it for that alone.
Persistence usually pays off, so it's great to hear that this team plans to keep on promoting!
How did team effort for marketing help you? Did it hinder things in any way?
Trish: Huge help. Since we are from diverse areas of the country, and have diverse media connections, we have each been able to compliment one another’s efforts amazingly well.
Cathy: Wonderful help. But because we are so spread out over the USA, we didn’t have many opportunities to appear in person together. That would have been exceptional fun! A couple of interviews were scheduled with at least two of us present, two Texans, two Buckeyes, etc. Our diverse locations and high travel expenses held us back from a few invitations. But I applaud my coauthors. They’ve worked hard and long, each in her own locale and remote, to get folks to take notice of this glittery book about the magical time of Christmas from cookies to carolers to December cash flow.
Brenda: Just as a church can increase its message by dividing and multiplying, I feel that if the 6 of us divide our efforts we will multiply our contacts. Casting a large net in six different directions will ultimately yield more results than if we only do things as a group. I’ve encouraged each of us on our 6-author team to occasionally go in different directions and influence her circle of contacts. There are times when we do marketing as a team as in the case of launching our Scrapbook blog and participating in an extensive blog tour. This is my first experience in a business relationship with five other skilled, creative authors, plus a creative out-sourced publicist AND the publisher’s wonderful Director of Marketing. What I’m discovering and experiencing is seven different definitions of “investment,” “marketing,” and “publicity” along with seven different energy levels and communication habits. Life is a discovery and learning experience if you allow it to be so. I’m grateful for this experience.
Leslie: For the most part it’s worked great. Again, many hands (and heads and hearts) make light work. We’ve had a few miscues with the publisher on getting out books to our blog tour participants and media folk but other than that, I think things have gone very well. I’ve been pleased!
Karen: One of the most important things we haven’t mentioned is prayer. We have been a prayer team as well as a marketing team. The underlying reason for wanting this book in so many hands is that it helps to focus people on the Nativity and on the importance of family and Christian values. That is our fervent prayer and more than anything else. In that we have one heart.
Prayer is where our ideas usually begin and take shape and we know the real marketer is God,so be thankful for the doors the Lord opens.