On Marketing Brand New Teacher
by Carol and Joe Keeney
In the latter part of 2006, the same year our book was published, we started receiving checks from our distributor. While the checks are not big, $300 or less, the feeling that we were doing something right was beneficial to us. Before listing our marketing adventures that brought us this far monetarily, it would be to your advantage to know something about us: Our book is of the academic variety and we had no experience in promoting it; and early efforts to advance our book failed, it was like pouring sweat into a black box that remained perpetually empty; and as a marketing compass, we used The Self Publishing Manual, a great book, however, it catered more toward the general-audience-type book.
We did not get it Brand New Teacher: How to Guide and Teach the Early Grades Using Scripts had to be sold differently than other books. The worm turned, so to speak, when we read Brian Jud’s “Beyond the Bookstore;” We learned the meaning of the word niche and it gave us a roadmap for reorienting our selling efforts. Below is a list of efforts that should have targeted academic education from the beginning:
- Mailed pre-published copies to reviewers such as Publisher’s weekly.
- Mailed post-publication books to reviewers and wholesalers.
- Contracted with the distributor Atlas Books, who promised to move our books to booksellers and wholesalers.
- Participated in PMA mailing programs to reviewers and schools.
- Sent press releases with publicity kit to major newspapers across the country
- Carol went into chat forums on the internet to help new teachers
- We set up a web site http://www.brandnewteachr.com/ for the book and use Link Metro for link exchanges;
- Carol made contact with a school principal enabling her to sell books to
schools and do a seminar for new teachers. Hartford
- Carol got a review in a local newspaper.
- We participated in the CT library association through CAPA
- We sent a book to the First Lady Nancy Bush because of her interest in education.
- We placed an ad in New York Teacher, the union newspaper for the New York City Schools at the start of the new school year
- CAPA member
Dennis Schleicherhelped us with Amazon to increase our ranking and sales.
- Carol did a book signing at Barnes and Noble in
- We visited bookstores and got some of them to stock our books.
- We have approached a School Supply Company to include us in their catalog
- We contacted wholesalers more geared toward academic education.
We got a handful of review requests from our mailings; the ad we had in New York Teacher sold about 50 books; orders through the distributor came as a direct result of our personal contact with wholesalers; Carol, through her Internet forums, drove some traffic to Amazon; ditto for Dennis and his Amazon positioning strategies; Carol’s seminar sold 15 books to the Hartford school system. As you can see, our cash producing activities were spotty; it did however inspire us to do more.
Doing-more will always be our biggest challenge. Carol likes to say, “We say to the universe give-me, give-me…and in return…the universe says give-me, give-me, back.” What this means is that the universe wants its share first. Our early non-rewarded efforts are how we paid our share to the universe. The other side of the coin is about the reward. From our experience the universe pays back synergistically. It gives us more than what we put in. We know it because the efforts we put forth are less than the size of our checks. The only answer we have for this is that when we do something it eventually attracts something else in the universe. The other moral of the story is to keep-doing.
How we get enthused to market our book is through reading. In addition to
Carol Keeney has thirty-years experience teaching early childhood grades. Many years were spent as a first grade teacher in the