Posts Tagged ‘marketing budget’

2 Big Shows upcoming

October 6, 2010

I will be returning to 2 big events from last year. The CT International Auto Show (November 20th and 21st) and the Northeast Recreational Vehicle & Camping Show (January 22nd and 23rd) are again taking place at the CT Convention Center. These events bring thousands of visitors, and this year I will be inside the show for both events. The CT Convention Center shows have held the biggest events for me so far, so returning with a new softcover edition of “Strapped Into An American Dream” will be a much easier task. Since I caught the show director’s earlier this year, I will be listed in their advertising and better promoted.

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CT Auto Show event

November 3, 2009

I heard on the radio today about a car show at the Connecticut Convention Center this weekend.  I knew it was too late to ask, but looked for a contact via google anyway.  I sent an email to one of the contacts asking if they would like to have me do a book signing at their event this weekend since we both fall under travel.  An hour later I received a reply from the event planner saying that she just had my email forwarded to her and she wished I had sent it earlier.  She told me that they could have had a nice setup with a nice display for me, but there was just nothing left in the budget.  She did say that she would love to have me do a book signing for “Strapped Into An American Dream” but she just wouldn’t be able to include me in the advertizing.  I agreed to do a signing, telling her that I will bring along my poster and box of books.  She will have a booth for me.  Further details will follow once I get an email confirmation from her, but I told her that I could do the signing on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 7th and 8th) from 12-4 PM.  This is my best opportunity to date.

Friends of the Library are friends of mine

October 14, 2009

I went to the Wethersfield Friends of the Library tonight to see Author Judith Ivie speak.  I figured that I should start checking out these engagements since I will be doing such a speaking engagement for the Enfield Friends of the Library next May.  I like to write.  I do not like to speak.  Since I volunteered to do so in May, I wanted to start somewhere.  I sat down in the Community Room at the Wethersfield Library and listened as Judith spoke about the publishing companies today versus how they once were.  She further discussed the Print On Demand (POD) process which most small publishers are gravitating to.  That’s how my publishing company works.  If someone orders a book, then they print a book.  I then raised my hand and made a comment about my small publisher, and she asked the name of my book.  I told her it was “Strapped Into An American Dream” and that she was right about Authors having to do the marketing if they want their book to sell. I told her that I was going to market my book, and I picked it up from the seat next to me and held it up for the room of about 30 people to see, waving it about.  They all got a kick out of that, then the whispering began and people around me leaned over to ask if they could take a look.  After the people around me got a look, while Judith Ivie continued answering questions, the session came to a close.  Then people started coming up to me asking to see it, writing down the title, telling me they saw my story in Wethersfield Life and the Wethersfield Post, and several people told me that they were going to buy it online. This was a very satisfying hour of my time.  I got some ideas for my own speaking engagement, did some marketing, sold some books, and made some friends at the library.  I highly recommend sitting in with Friends of the Library.  I know I will, and not just again in Wethersfield, but in surrounding towns.  What happened tonight can be multiplied by the number of towns I visit.  The Friends of the Library presented a very enjoyable evening, and authors take note.

Hartford Courant needs to give Americans a reason to smile

September 30, 2009

I was told by a freelance writer to line up a book signing so the Hartford Courant could do a feature story on me in the Sunday Arts & Entertainment section. Once I lined up the book signing, I contacted the freelance reporter, who then contacted the editor who had assigned him. The editor decided not to do the story because the travel takes place in 1993. I asked the freelancer to check with other editors, which he did, but just left a message saying that the budget is so tight right now that there is no room for great travel stories that eventually translate into a book by a local author. Okay, perhaps that was not his EXACT wording, but I was told that writers have a liscense to stretch truth. I’ll use that liscense again now to say that I am very pleased with the Hartford Courant right now. God forbid they do a positive story. That might tarnish their image. Bring on the fatal car crashes and the house fires. Where are the tsunamis and the drownings. Give me yet more of the foreclosure news, and how about the hopeless economy. I think the Hartford Courant should be “Strapped Into An American Dream” so they can give Americans hope; a reason to smile. I will not stop UNTIL the Hartford Courant gets “Strapped Into An American Dream.” I will harass them about my book and my story until the economy turns around. Stay tuned…

New Authors Take Note

September 24, 2009

Nobody is more interested in the promotion of a book than the book’s author. I sort of knew this going in, but I was unaware of the extent to which this is true. The fight is constant, and can go on for years if you let it.  The dream will die without anyone attending the wake if you remain idle.  If you don’t keep the book alive, even if it’s merely on life support, then you might as well pull the plug.  Publishers do not care.  They have thousands of other books out there that are deserving of attention, so it’s not a problem if one slips away to the obits page.  Authors have to constantly be out there kicking and screaming from the mountaintops that their book is worthy of reader’s attention. 

Keep it relevant.  Keep plugging away with emails, phone calls, personal visits to venues to sell it, buy it, hold a book signing.  I have found that television appearances do not seem to happen for new authors.  Newspaper articles do happen for local or state news/features.  I did have an on air radio interview with WTIC 1080 AM, so I continue pounding on those doors for another.  The newspapers that did stories about me and my book,
“Strapped Into An American Dream” include The Glastonbury Citizen, Bristol Press, Wethersfield Life, Wethersfield Post, Rocky Hill Life, Enfield Press and upcoming articles to appear in Glastonbury Life and The Hartford Courant.  In addition to the newspaper articles, numerous websites that I contacted have taken my press release and put in right on their website, which is more free advertising. An Artist I met at a book signing put my press release on her website along with a blog entry about our meeting. I received a phone call from the Enfield Friends of the Library who saw the Enfield Press article, and I booked a speaking engagement at the Library in May of 2010.

All this muscle has not reflected in book sales, so I keep plugging along.  My publisher offered a PR person and I had to jump at the offer, even though it set me back 600 clams.  She will get reviews with her connections and get my book in the big chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders.  I need that.  I need all of this.  Maybe all these little pieces and little actions will be a snowball gathering girth as it rolls down the hill.  I made a promise to myself that I would not stop until my story gets published.  Now that it’s published, I made another promise to myself that “Strapped Into An American Dream” will not go unnoticed. 

While on a phone interview with Julie from the Journal Inquirer, she asked me a question about my persistence.  She asked me if my persistence, which finally got her newspaper to agree to do my story, could be credited with making the trip around the country happen and making the book happen.  I didn’t really have to think about that one much.  If I hear a “no” and then hear the creak of the door slamming shut in my face, I stick my foot in the door and slowly work it open again.  That’s life, I guess, but I think it’s the only way to get noticed in the sea of people in this world.

The Obama plan for Strapped Into An American Dream

September 4, 2009

I spoke with the Manager of Cabela’s today about getting my book
in their stores and having a book signing.  Apparently getting a
book into their store takes an act of congress, so perhaps a note
to President Obama is in order. Perhaps I could get Oprah to ask
about them selling my book in their store.  Would they still
need a formal written request to Corporate?  Hmmm…methinks not.
As for the book signing at their store, I was told that they would
need another written request for that, and if they do approve, then
they would need to take a piece of the profits.  Ok, let’s see…if
I pay roughly $26-$27 per book at my author discount on the $32 cover price, and I sell the book at signings for $28…and they want a piece of the action…hmmmm once again.  I’m no math major, but sumpin’ doesn’t quite add up.  I need a venue for my booksigning so the Hartford Courant can do a feature story about me and my book in the Sunday Arts & Entertainment section.  I went into Cabelas thinking if they would just host this book signing then they would get free advertising.  Well, it’s not that easy.  It’s never that easy.  Life would be simpler if things were that easy.  Maybe we wouldn’t appreciate the things that we have as much. I guess I need to scrap Plan A.  I have thoughts of contacting Mr. & Mrs. Cabela personally and asking them directly.  I met the Cabelas and got their autographs during the Grand Opening.  Had I only devised Plan A then.  Although I haven’t abandoned the two ideas associated with Plan A, I need to realistically begin construction of Plan B.

Creative book placement (outside the box)

August 24, 2009

There’s a small barber shop in town with the owner being a 50ish firecracker named Diane. I sit in the on-deck circle and she’ll talk to me as she’s cutting someones hair. It’s a little nook, but there’s always someone coming or going, and it’s like a family. This little nook in Wethersfield, CT is now the first physical location where my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” can be purchased. I placed five books with her to see what she can do, and if she sells them to her customers, then I’ll place more in her store. I have to start somewhere, and my publisher suggested I do this, so here we go. I will place books there as I search for a second location in which to place my book. Meanwhile, my PR person is trying to get my book into the big chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Authors must promote their own books too

July 13, 2009

I ran my zip code through a system which locates small bookstores,  and found a couple within 10 miles from my house. The first one in Hartford, CT was a cafe with bookshelves in a very seedy area. The next one was The Book Rack in Vernon next to a very busy deli at a strip mall. I walked in and asked the woman sitting behind an office desk at the entrance if she was the owner. She said that she was and we exchanged greetings. I showed her my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” and told her that I was with a small publisher and had to do much of the leg work. I asked her if she would be interested in either purchasing the book at a discounted rate or perhaps working out some consignment deal. I received my answer immediately. She only deals with Used Books.  Some of The Book Rack’s do carry some new, but this owner wants nothing to do with new books, and her customers come in to buy Used books. After a 10 or 15 minute discussion on this topic, she offered a booksigning at her store.  SOLD.  This was a successful day.  I told myself when I began the day of searching that I wanted one positive thing to happen. This was it. The booksigning will be at The Book Rack in Vernon, CT on Saturday, July 25th from 10 AM to 2 PM.  This will be my second book signing, and there should be a lot more traffic than the first.  This is what Authors have to do in order to promote their books.  It’s no longer a world where Authors only write books.

Small Publisher means small Marketing Budget

July 7, 2009

A small publisher is great when you want your first book published.  They allow certain titles onto the presses that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of Doubleday.  Now that you’re in, and you’re published, much of the burden is placed on the author when it comes to editing and marketing.  Now that my marketing has hit a wall, and the small publisher has done all it will do, it’s all up to me to carry the flame.  In order to keep the title moving, I hired a PR person that the publisher connected me with.  It’s several hundred dollars, but I cannot allow my dream to perish.  It’s only a few months into the campaign, and I have done all that I can do as far as marketing,  with minimal success, so I didn’t have much of a choice.  Let’s see what they can do with their connections.  I will sleep on it and dream of a Marketing Budget.