I asked my marketing friend, “What is the best way to tell book stores and gift shops, that I contacted months ago, about the fact that Lonely Lola Ladybug has won a national award?” I especially want to get the attention of the botanical garden gift shops. Other than my local Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, they have been a tough nut to crack. How do I get their attention? Calls, emails, and sending them promotional rack cards have not sparked a lot of interest and sending out free copies of my book with out knowing if there is any interest doesn’t make sense.”
He said, “Well, I always like receiving a nice bottle of wine. (LOL) Seriously, sending something that people can hold in their hand always makes more of an impression than an email a phone call. And if it’s something special, then people pay attention. They are reluctant to discard something unique … at least for a while. And if you follow up with a phone call, you may even get them to act the way you want.”
When he said the words send something special that you can hold in your hand, I immediately though of the beautiful hand-made Christmas card that I received from my friend, Susan Seeley. She makes and sells these custom, hand-crafted, cards and invitations that are just too special to ignore. I can do that! I thought to myself… so I did. Inspired by Susan’s card, I spent a weekend crafting 20 Lola Ladybug award announcement cards. That’s not a lot but it’s enough for my purpose and I want to see if my marketing friend was right. This could be a complete waste of my time but I enjoyed crafting cards for a change. Now for the part I don’t enjoy… following up with a phone call. Ug! I’m not really a sales person. Why do I have to do this? The voice in my head says, Two reasons;
- I believe in my little book and want it to get into the hands of lots and lots of children. Aren’t botanical garden gift shops and Lonely Lola Ladybug a great fit?
- If I don’t do this, nobody will. Whether you are published by a small press, like me, or self-published, there is probably a very small marketing budget that does not include a publicist. This means that most of “getting your book out there” falls on the writer. That’s just a fact.