Grandma Knows Best
Marketing, I think, involves surrounding yourself with people who believe in your message, and who like and enjoy people in general. … It is critical to be passionate about your work and then to convey in a professional yet heart-felt way the message you are trying to get across. …
One can’t be afraid. I remember walking through the mall one day with my manuscript in hand. I would go to different bookstores and ask to see the [person] in charge of the children’s section. I have to admit I was pretty nervous at times, but then I’d get my head in the right frame of mind and ask myself, “What’s the worst thing they can say to me? They can say no, and so what if the do?” Little by little, we gained some momentum and had lined up before our first printing approximately 30 different stores who would carry the book. In order to recoup some of the initial money invested, we had a private sale for close friends and relatives.
Some free publicity also came my way before the first printing. I was featured in the “Living” section of the Lansing State Journal and was also featured in Faith Magazine.
It’s amazing how one contact leads to another and results in something bigger and better. My daughter, Sarah, my publicist, sent a heart-filled letter to “Michigan Magazine,” a television show that airs on PBS. They ended up doing a 15-minute segment on me and my illustrator, which aired in December . … It seems that this segment is now airing on other stations in other parts of the country. …
Another important marketing tool is [launching] a Web site. I was blessed that I have a sister-in-law who designs Web sites. She did a great job and never charged me a dime for the initial setup. In this day and age of electronic marvels, a Web site is a must.
Matt Steinmetz is the publisher and brand director of Publishing Executive.