Roughly 50 postcards have come back to me (incorrect address, no drop box at this address, and — sadly — vacant buildings).
Hits to my website increased with each batch I mailed, coming from the locations where postcards were sent.
Roughly 20 people have reached out to me — teachers, camp directors, directors of learning disability organizations, librarians, and a museum or two.
- My publicist has sent on ARCs to several responders or contacted marketing to set up direct sales for gift shops.
- One teacher is using May in her classroom this year.
- One NM librarian scheduled an author program.
- Several librarians contacted me to let me know they’d already ordered or planned on ordering my book.
- One camp director would like to share May B. with campers this upcoming summer.
Most postcards probably went straight to the trash. But I have to think that even that brief exposure counted for one of those 3-7 times on average that marketers say a person needs to be shown a product before they respond. My cover in front of new eyes = never a bad thing. Besides, maybe a docent in a prairie museum somewhere took my postcard home to a granddaughter or a local teacher. I’ll never know for sure, but thinking this way was enough to keep me motivated.
Will I do it again?
Yes, though probably not as many. The last five hundred weren’t as exciting as the first thousand. In some small way, though, I’ve taken hold of my book’s success by spreading the word, one postcard at a time.
Laura Pauling says
I think that’s the only way to approach marketing your book. I like that. One postcard at a time. Whether that postcard be an actual postcard or not. One step at a time. Your book seems so perfect for the school and library market. Great job! Wow, that’s a lot of writing!
Katie Ganshert says
Love that! One post card at a time. 🙂
Barbara Watson says
So much work, Caroline! But all for good. Know there are others who will spread word about May B. for you also. I plan to write blog about it in the next few weeks because I was taken by the beauty, simplicity, and bravery in May B.
I feel my hands cramping up just thinking about preparing all of those postcards. What a lot of work. I’m glad the payoff has been worth it =)
Caroline Starr Rose says
It really has been empowering to think about marketing in this way. While I’ll never know about results, I can be satisfied I’ve done my part.
Barbara, thank you. Really and truly, word of mouth is the gold.
inluvwithwords, thankfully I took a long time to do this: a couple dozen while my boys were at piano, a few more in the time between dropping off my boys at school and going to my weekly tutoring, etc.
Paul Greci says
I really like your grassroots approach, Caroline!! 🙂
Carol McGrath says
Brilliant and now as a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and having crossed Kansas in 1978 and seen a rattle snake there and a museum where everything was carved in stone, I could be hooked!
Natalie Aguirre says
Thanks for sharing what you did and your thoughts on it. I think you did a great job getting May B. onto blogs.
I love your marketing ideas. I’ve bookmarked the bossy self-marketer. Thanks for sharing!
Sherrie Petersen says
I love that you’ve really approached your marketing from multiple fronts, electronically, in person and with your personalized post cards. I think hand written mail catches people’s attention because we get so little of it these days.
Caroline Starr Rose says
Saundra Mitchell’s marketing guide is wonderful, even if choose not to go the postcard route. She’s got dozens of other ideas, too.
Carole, confession: I’ve never been past Lawrence, Kansas.
Liesl Shurtliff says
This is so helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing the work behind marketing your first book. I’m sending it to my friend, author Karen Day. Great info!!
Holy Cow!!! I’m sending out 250 and I was really patting myself on the back (with my sore fingers–I’m handwriting personal notes on each).
Way to go!!!
Ghenet Myrthil says
I really like this approach. Sounds like this marketing plan was effective. 🙂
Amy L. Sonnichsen says
That is amazing, Caroline! I hope you see many fruits born of your labor. 🙂