For years I’ve loved studying and discussing business ideas and related issues. (In fact, if you’ve read my book, you know that when my sisters and I were little we eschewed traditional toys in favor of setting up offices and running imaginary businesses! 🙂 ) There are an overwhelming amount of resources related to business topics, but here are a couple that I’ve come across recently and thought I would share:
New Venture Lab – I became acquainted with this company last year when some friends of mine organized a Christian Family Entrepreneurship seminar with the founder, Wade Myers, as the featured speaker. I signed up for a free account at that time to gain access to all the great content on the website. This also adds your name to the e-newsletter list, which is a fabulous collection of success stories, blog posts, business profiles, and more! I enjoy skimming through the newsletter each month and reading the content that grabs my attention.
Pushing Kingdom Business – A guest blog post that was linked to in the New Venture Lab e-newsletter caught my attention because I presented a similarly titled workshop to a music teachers association a couple weeks ago: How to Build Your Brand Through Effective Marketing. The post was written by R.E. Plaskett. His byline was intriguing, so I clicked over to his website. Once there, you can sign up for 10 Must Know Kingdom Lifestyle Business Success Strategies and browse a collection of what appear to be insightful and helpful articles. I haven’t looked over it in depth yet, but at first glance it definitely looks promising!
Sarah Bolme, of the Marketing Christian Books blog, has just recently developed a Book Marketing Expertise Quiz. She will be placing it on her website, but has posted a preview on her blog. Just answer 10 simple questions and then evaluate the results to determine what category you fall into: Veteran, Amateur, or Novice.
I fall into the Amateur category, although several of the items are things I looked into doing but chose not to for various reasons. (Maybe that makes my marketing score even worse! Ack!) One thing that I’m really trying to get a handle on right now is actually drafting a written marketing plan with specific benchmarks and action items. I’m also in the process of organizing all my marketing files and trying to streamline them for better efficiency. I can be somewhat fanatical about developing functional and efficient organizational systems because I don’t function well when things are random and/or in disarray – which is pretty much how I would describe my marketing “plan” so far. 🙂 I keep feeling like surely once I get organized, the marketing efforts will get easier and will return better results. Right?!
Earlier this week I came across the Christian Book Videos website. I just finished submitting my information to them for Pajama School – stories from the life of a homeschool graduate. This is a great, free service designed to help promote Christian books. Just download the PDF referenced on the FAQ page for a simple list of information items to include when you submit your book video.
One thing that you can never do too much of as a self-publisher is getting the word out about your book via every possible outlet. One of my friends recently told me that part of the success with her book has been the result of hours spent submitting links and book information to every internet directory and listing she could find. What a great idea! That’s something I’m hoping to do in the next couple of months.
It would be incredible if there was a master list somewhere of all the websites where you can post a free listing about your book – anyone know of such a thing? In the meantime, I’m planning to keep track of such websites and post about them here periodically. Para Publishing has a brief form you can fill out that will place a listing of your self-published book on their success story page. I listed my book, Pajama School – stories from the life of a homeschool graduate, there a couple of months ago but just remembered it today as I was clearing out some old files.
For those of you who aren’t subscribed to my e-newsletter, I thought I’d share the exciting news that as of last week, we had sold 475 copies of my book, Pajama School – stories from the life of a homeschool graduate. The book officially released on April 30 of this year, so that averages out to almost 80 copies a month. To be honest, that’s not as good as I expected the sales to be for the first 6 months, but I’m coming to grips with the fact that my expectations might have been a bit unrealistic.
So, as I stated in my newsletter, we are so close to hitting the 500 mark that I’ve decided to make a special offer – whoever places the order for the 500th book will receive their copy of the book entirely free, including shipping! So if you’ve been meaning to order a copy, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, or you want to order some additional gift copies for friends, now is the opportune time. 🙂 (If you order the 500th copy through our website, I’ll just issue a full refund after the order comes through.)
By the way, if you’d like to subscribe to the e-newsletter, just sign up using the form at the top of the Sibro Publishing website. I send the newsletter about once a month with a brief update about how things are going and announcements about any new endeavors in the works.