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Book launch done RIGHT!

Here’s a bit of encouragement for those of you who may have been working on your book for a while. Sunday marked the launch of Classic Tales from the Firehouse: Firefighters’ Stories of Calamity, Courage, & Caring, more than 22 years in the making. Mother-daughter team of Betty Joy and Rebecca Joy came up with the idea on Christmas morning 1991 when Rebecca’s brother, a Phoenix firefighter, was late to the family celebration because of an odd call: a family reported a noxious smell in their home, and it turned out that Grandma was the culprit! Betty turned to Rebecca and said, “These stories are all so fascinating – we should write them down.”

Rebecca, also a 26-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, had unique access to the storytellers themselves, so she began a mission to collect stories from as many different firefighters as possible. The result is the book, Classic Tales.

My role in the book was multifaceted: editing, page design, marketing consulting, revising the media release, input on the cover design, help with the website. So I am very proud of Rebecca, Betty, and this book.

But what I want to share with you today are all the ways their launch was a perfect one for novice authors to model.

Perhaps the most important thing they did was begin with a really good book!

Classic Tales book cover


Next, they chose a great day for the event, planning their launch on May 4th, International Firefighters’ Day.

FD_InternationalFFDay


Rebecca then secured an awesome venue: the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting.

HofF

HofF 2

HofF 3  Hall of Flame classic fire _truck_


Next, we wrote a kick-ass media release.

Microsoft Word - Beckie May 4 news release


The release resulted in an invitation for an interview by KTVK-Channel 3 and an event listing in the North Central News, a biweekly tabloid newspaper!

KTVK

NEW - north central news


Rebecca used Eventbrite, Facebook, and the Channel 3 website to promote the launch.

eventbrite

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facebook

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azfamily


She ordered posters, bookmarks, and business cards.

poster

bookmark

biz cards


On the day of the event, things went almost perfectly. First, she had an acoustic guitarist friend playing in the background.

music


The first table guests passed offered them the opportunity to “sign in” – the perfect way to collect email addresses, both for sending thank-you notes after the event and for list-building.

sign up 2

sign up


Rebecca did something very cool: she had prior version of the book on display so guests could see the evolution of the book through the years.

timeline


A second table was set up to disseminate information about Rebecca’s pet project, the Simple Awareness Method.

sam


A professional videographer was on hand, capturing everything for memories, YouTube, and future marketing.

cameraman


The books were prominently displayed.

books


Rebecca enlisted the help of her friends from the National Speakers’ Association to serve as cashiers for the event. Each was equipped with a Square, for quick credit/debit card and cash transactions.

volunteers

volunteers1


In order to keep the line moving as quickly as possible, Rebecca’s friend Jamie gave each guest a sticky note on which she wrote the name to whom the book would be autographed (especially important for those buying more than one book), and inserted a bookmark at the page where they wanted the book signed.

line

organized

line closeup

organized 2

signing


April Warnecke, the weather gal from KTVK-Channel 3 served as emcee – the perfect choice, as her family has a long history of fire service.

april


Of course, Rebecca and Betty spoke.

rebecca

rebecca & betty


Rebecca took the opportunity to acknowledge all the firefighters in attendance, including her brother, Cyrus, and her son, Jesse. Every firefighter, both active and retired, received a button that said, “Firefighters Kick Ash.”

ff pins

honorees


Hungry guests were able to purchase snacks of Mexican food from local favorite, El Molino, which had a mobile stand set up right outside the venue.

el molino


Rebecca and Betty are donating a portion of all proceeds from the book to the Beyond the Flames foundation, started by retired Phoenix Police officer, Jason Schechterle, after he survived a horrific automobile collision. Rebecca also had volunteers selling raffle tickets at the event for a ride-along with the Phoenix Fire Department to raise more money and was thrilled to present Jason with a check for $500 at the event.

raffle sign

Presenting Jason with check

 


The only thing I might have done differently would have been to provide more seating. The event opened at 1 p.m. to allow guests the chance to visit the museum. The program began at 2 p.m. and ran till 4 p.m. – a long time for people to stand. Rebecca’s nephew, Jared Kolesar, played a set as part of the event lineup.

Jared Kolesar performing

Here’s one lucky seated guest, a long-time friend of Betty’s, perusing the book.

a reader

Overall, it was, by far, the best one could hope for in a first-time author’s launch. If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put an Anatomy of a Book Launchevent like this together, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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10 Ways Marketing Is Like Bowling

OK – before any professional or semiprofessional bowlers get indignant, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. This is written by a very occasional, casual, recreational bowler who has been known to break 100 about once every 10 games. Take it for what it is … a fun new way to look at marketing.

Thanks to my friend, Rebecca Joy, for getting together a group of gal pals for an interesting afternoon/evening of bowling yesterday at the new Lucky Strike Lanes at CityScape, in Phoenix. I got to meet and hang out with 3 other authors and one marketing master – overall, a pretty amazing and accomplished group of women. As it turns out, the one thing none of us happens to be is a skilled bowler. But we soon found out it wasn’t about the score. Rebecca conjured several other kinds of contests: who could throw the ball the hardest (she won, at 15 MPH); who scored best throwing Granny Shots (I think Gina DeLong took that category); and who broke the most fingernails (Stephanie Quilao topped out at 3). June Cline rounded out our team of five.

As we were playing, it occurred to me that there are marketing lessons to be drawn from the bowling alley. Here are my Top 10:

  1. You need the right equipment.

    Marcie, the sexy bowler

  2. Success lies in your approach.
  3. Aim for the target (aka pocket, in bowling parlance).
  4. Mind the fault line.
  5. Sometimes you need to reset.
  6. It’s better when you have support.
  7. Make friends with your neighbors.
  8. Beer can greatly improve the experience.
  9. Don’t overdo it.
  10. Have fun!

You need the right equipment. Whether it’s determining the right blog platform, e-mail client, or postcards and mailers, marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just as you need appropriate socks, shoes, and the right size ball for bowling, when it comes to marketing, you need to determine which tools are appropriate for which phase of your marketing campaign and utilize them to their fullest potential.

Success lies in your approach. Watch professional bowling for a while, and you’ll notice the one thing virtually every bowler has in common: an elegant approach. They may differ on starting location, speed, and finesse, but they each make it look easy and effortless. Your success as a marketer also begins in your approach. How well do you know your prospect or target client, and have you tailored your approach to their needs, wants, and potential responses?

Aim for the target (aka pocket, in bowling parlance). This one might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many businesses view the whole world as their market, or try multiple, unfocused, scattershot approaches, hoping that just one will be successful. Who IS your target audience? Where do they hang out? How do they want to be approached? Until you know the answers to these questions, your marketing strategy will likely languish.

Mind the fault line. The fault line in bowling is the line separating the approach from the lane. If your toe crosses it, your throw doesn’t count and you don’t get credit for any pins you knocked down. Essentially, the marketing comparison is to take care not to breach the unwritten rules. If you borrow a concept, give credit where credit is due. Know your audience so that you avoid inadvertent language faux pas. You might have heard about the guy with the caskets in Jakarta. I happen to think the people in this incident seriously overreacted, but his stunt backfired nonetheless; it might not have, had he been minding the fault line.

Sometimes you need to reset. Occasionally, in 10-pin bowling, the pins get stuck and you must ask for help to reset them. Should your marketing campaign flounder, don’t be afraid to reset. Don’t quit – just reevaluate, refocus, and relaunch.

It’s better when you have support. Did I mention that we are casual bowlers? I think our record for broken nails (6.75 for the four of us) surpassed our record for strikes. But we still had fun. Even when one of us hit NO pins in our two attempts, we cheered each other on. You need to do the same. Get yourself some support for your marketing campaign, rather than trying to do it all alone.

Make friends with your neighbors. Usually when you bowl (unless you’re in a giant group, league, or at a party), you and your co-bowlers will occupy one lane, meaning there’s a group of strangers sharing the ball return and located somewhat in “your space.” Things go much more smoothly if you get to know them and are friendly, than if you take a hostile attitude. Same goes with others in your business or industry. Get over viewing them as competitors, and start to see them as colleagues. Who knows – perhaps you could pool resources to launch a shared campaign?!

Beer can greatly improve the experience. It doesn’t have to be beer, per se, or even alcohol. But is there a way you can make your marketing campaign social and inclusive, like a girls’ night out at the bowling alley? What are you doing to help your target market get to know you on a personal level so that they want to do business with you – and readily refer you to others because they so enjoyed the experience?

Don’t overdo it. A bowling ball can be heavy, and repeatedly hurling it down the lanes can take its toll. Be smart and know your limits. What can you reasonably accomplish with your marketing without overpromising and underdelivering?

Have fun! I think this is probably the most important of all ten tips, because if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it will be transparent to your prospective clients and they’ll likely move on to someone who really has a passion for the work. OK, so the funeral or insurance business isn’t usually what we’d generally think of as fun, but even in a challenging industry, are you enjoying the work and deriving pleasure from helping people? The minute it seems like you’d rather be doing something else, you probably should find something else to do.

Feel free to give me your feedback on this list!

If you do like this post, please feel free to check out my other blog: Write | Market | Design.

Until next time … from the nail salon!

Laura

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Originally published by Laura Orsini on the Write|Market|Design Facebook page. Drop by for a visit – and if you like the page, “Like” it. You’ll have access to a great ebook, “The First-Time Author’s Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU!”

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