Happy First Birthday to Us!
by Rita Goldner
Today we’re celebrating the first birthday of our blog for Phoenix Publishing and Book Marketing. I had the honor (or happenstance) of writing the first blog on my birthday a year ago, and here we are! In the past year, this Meetup has grown exponentially, with wonderful individual accomplishments and group triumphs, like: presence at several book fairs, a Facebook group, a networking and contact system for the members, monthly (or more often) meetings packed with useful information to further our collective goals, and of course, this blog. What a great coincidence for a bunch of authors that the traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper!
When we started, I’m sure several bloggers shared my stage-fright. I wondered how the heck I’d ever come up with something different to say every month, but somehow the ideas kept coming, helped by Laura’s list of suggested topics. Very recently, some of us joined the 35-day Author Blog Challenge. It is a challenge, but nowhere near as crazy as it would have been if Laura had sprung it on us a year ago. So it’s been an evolution, at least for me, and exercising my writing “muscles” has strengthened my craft.
I’m celebrating my milestone birthday by reaching a personal goal: just this past week, I picked up my copies of my first hardcover picture book, Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy, and shipped out 151 pre-orders for backers of my Kickstarter campaign. Now I’m organizing a tour of signings and school/library readings.
One of the little nuggets of marketing wisdom I gathered over the past year was that if you give something of value away, it helps get your blog shared, liked, re-tweeted, etc. So I got the idea that since we’re having a birthday, my give-away would be party invitations with an orangutan theme. I’m using an illustration of mine for the front, party info to fill out inside, and it folds to fit a standard invitation envelope. I’ll put it into a PDF and email it to anyone who joins my email list. The prompt is on the home page of OrangutanDay.com. The illustration is copyrighted, but I’m allowing recipients to print copies and use them for a party. I’m doing this partly as an experiment; if it works, I’ll start brainstorming some other ideas.
Rita Goldner is the author of the children’s eBooks Jackson’s History Adventure and Jackson’s Aviation Adventure, both titles in Jackson’s Adventure Series. Rita’s forthcoming book, Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy, will be released in print in autumn 2015. To view additional illustrations and other books in progress, visit Rita’s website. For orangutan facts and images, visit OrangutanDay.com. Contact Rita here. Follow Rita on Facebook.