Monday 3 May 2010

Gentle Marketing for Gentle Footprints

“I think I’ll get my car washed at the gym today,” I say to my husband.
The door bell rings. There are two little girls standing on the step.
“Would you like to have your car washed?” one of them asks.
“Well….” Well, why not? And how did they know? “How much do you charge?” I ask.
“We’ll do it for free if you like,” the other one replies.
No, I can’t do that. That would be child exploitation. “Will a fiver do?” I ask.
They nod eagerly. I remember my daughter used to do exactly this for pocket money about fifteen years ago. She did a much better job than the local car wash.
They do too. I’ve already had the idea of giving them a “tip” in the form of signed copies of two of my books. We also give them all the Tesco’s school vouchers and because one of the girls keeps dropping everything we even supply them with a linen bag that advertises my web site.
“My mum likes books,” says the older of the two girls.
“Well, she’ll like the one that’s come out this week,” I say. I explain all about Gentle Footprints and that my story is about the swans on the Outwood Park pond just opposite the house.
“Oh, yes, they’ve got babies again,” says one of the girls.
Good. I hadn’t seen them for a while. The nest must have been well hidden.
Unfortunately, I have none of the Gentle Footprints postcards left. However, I find a couple from my other books.
“Tell your mum to look out for this book,” I say, writing down the title and ISBN of Gentle Footprints and the address of the Bridge House Publishing web site. “And tell your teachers I’ll come and do a free author talk if they’ll let me sell some of my books.”
Fortunately the girls go to two separate schools. One is still at primary school, the other is already at secondary school.
So, a good marketing opportunity and a clean car to boot.
Late, when I drive to the newspaper shop, I see the girls again. They spot me and immediately take out the books and start reading.

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