grassroots marketing

So, I have decided I will self-publish my children’s book.  I have found a printer.  I am in conversation with a formatter.  I am jumping through the ISBN and CIP hoops. I have done a mockup of the book.  Elsie, my illustrator, has finished the preliminary sketches and has begun work on the final paintings.

So far, it’s been a fairly straightforward, step-by-step process.  Lots of decisions to make at the outset, but thankfully, Trish, at Blitzprint, has been very generous with her time and knowledge and I’ve had plenty of time to ponder while Elsie works on the paintings.

I briefly considered pushing for Leaf to be done in time for the Christmas market, but that would have meant asking Elsie to complete 18 paintings in a couple of months.  I wanted this to be an enjoyable process for everyone involved, so I let go of that idea almost as soon as it surfaced.  Leaf had lived in my imagination for years; what difference would another few months make?

Slowing down has allowed me to savour the entire process, especially the part where Elsie magically lifts the images out of my head and deposits them onto the paper in front of me.

And let’s not forget that backing off on the publication date has given me plenty of time to angst about the marketing side of things.

Yes, it will be a red-letter day when I hold my book in my hands but, if all I’m looking for is the personal satisfaction of seeing my name in print, I really only need one copy.  That one copy, however, will be arriving in the company of hundreds of other copies that will need to find homes.

And I want them to find homes. Leaf is a universal story. I want to share it with as many people as possible but, unlike Elsie’s paintbrush lifting images straight out of my head, these books are not going to lift themselves out of their cartons and propel themselves out into the world.

I need a plan.

And I know nothing about marketing.

Zero, zilch, zippo.

All suggestions from all quarters have been greedily and gratefully received and recorded in my trusty binder in the section labelled “Marketing.” Surprisingly, there are a lot of ideas scribbled in there, but I have no clue which, if any, of these ideas are any good from a marketing point of view.

So when the name of a local marketing expert showed up several times in a very short period of time (coincidence? I think not!), I decided to take the plunge.  I met Patti from Grassroots Marketing for a free half hour consultation and in the space of that 30 minutes (actually, it ended up being more like 40 minutes) I knew that I had found the person to hold my hand through the ride ahead.

Publishing this book is about more than seeing my name in print. And it’s about more than this particular story. I still can’t articulate what it is all about exactly, but Patti got it.  Or at least the essence of it. She’s at work on my logo as we speak and hopefully, by the time I make my next post this blog will be sporting a brand new header that will be one step closer to conveying what this whole dream is all about.

I think that’s part of the mysterious marketing process known as branding. But I’m not sure.  When I do know for sure, I’ll pass it on to you. And then we’ll all know.

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