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Marketing That Mattered: The Back Story

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content=”Many thanks for your message and congratulations on what’s happening with those books”>Many thanks for your message and congratulations on what’s happening
with those books



Marketing That Mattered: The
Back Story


by Peggy Elam<span


I have a confession to make
about our ninth and tenth titles (<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner
by Ellen Frankel, and <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>The Singing of Swans: A Novel
by Mary
Saracino), which we published in the fall of 2006.


Saracino’s book-reading at the
Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver on October 30 sold every copy of her book
that the store had in stock, pushing it to the #2 spot on the <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Denver Post
paperback fiction bestseller list. A few days later, Frankel was interviewed by
the Today
show for a segment on short stature and men, pegged to the recent publication
of another author’s book on that subject. On December 2, a clip from her
interview ran on a Today
“Size Matters” segment, with the cover of <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Beyond Measure
prominently displayed on
the left half of the TV screen.


Pearlsong Press would like to take
all the credit for these promotional

coups, but I have to tell you
that, in both cases, the credit belongs to the savvy authors.


The Tactics That Did the


Although <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Singing of Swans

became available October 1, Saracino, a Denver resident, asked everyone in her
area who was interested in purchasing her book—including students in her
writing classes and her workshops on women’s spirituality—to wait to buy it
until the Tattered Cover reading. (She also, of course, wrote a great novel,
whose theme of personal transformation through reconnection with the Divine
Feminine is appealing to many women.)


The Tattered Cover bought 75 copies
for the event and, as it turned out, 80 people showed up for the reading. While
Saracino was signing books, the events coordinator came up to her and said,
“I’m sorry to have to tell you that we’ve sold out.” Some people who had
multiple copies of the book in their arms as they waited in line for them to be
signed offered to give up a few so others could purchase a book that night.
Even so, the bookstore had to order more for customers who were unable to buy
one at the reading.


Frankel, a Massachusetts social
worker, asked the president of the National Organization of Short Statured
Adults (NOSSA) to blurb Beyond
. He not only did that, he asked her to sit on the
organization’s advisory board. Her <span
show interview took place while
she was attending NOSSA’s conference in New York City. Because she asked the
producer to display her book on the screen if they used any of her interview,
the cover (which features a photo of 4-foot, 8½-inch-tall Frankel sitting in
full lotus position—in hiking boots—on a snowy rock with Mount Everest in the
background) was emblazoned on television screens across the country.


We may not have done all we can do
to capitalize on these successes, since we are a new company and still


What I have done is posted
announcements of these developments on the Pearlsong Press blog, added lines
about them in the signature blocks I use for the books (“As seen on the <span
and “#2 Bestseller [paperback fiction] in Denver, CO”) and mentioned them (when
applicable) in communications pertaining to our company. I’ve specifically
mentioned The Singing
of Swans
Denver bestseller status when pitching author interviews
and/or book reviews and included a link to the <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Denver Post
Web page containing the list
in my blog post about it. And when Ellen Frankel’s husband posted a video clip
of the Today
show segment online, I added a link to the clip in that blog post (the wonders
of modern technology!).


Of course, I’m always thinking
about other things we might do to capitalize on these successes. Suggestions
would be more than welcome.


Peggy Elam, Ph.D., is a
clinical psychologist and former journalist who founded Pearlsong Press to
provide entertaining and enlightening books and products that espouse health at
every size. Its first books—Pat Ballard’s romance novels and short stories
featuring plus-sized heroines—were published in 2004. To learn more,
visitwww.pearlsong.com/peggy_elam.htm and/or www.pearlsong.com/about.htm.




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