Time For A Renewed Marketing Plan

As of late, the marketing for Yalu and The Puppy Room has been on the shelf. Part of the reason is that its summer and sales for me slump when the kids are out of school. The second problem stems from my limited finances. Anything I put into marketing must first come out of my pocket and for the past few months, the funds have gone more into repairing a car and paying the electric bill.

Enter Deanna Van Ausdle of Beasley Broadcasting—a person I promised not to embarrass by placing her into today’s blog so here goes with hopefully not embarrassing her too much. She and I meet today at one of the Beasley conference rooms and discussed the previous events I’ve had them. Those have included two the Best in Show events and last year’s Country Jam, all at the Orleans Arena. Since I promised Deanna that I would only give positive commentary, I will note that these events were opportunities to present my book and yes I had made some sales with emphasis on the word some.

I gave her example of me pitching the book. I spoke about my previous blogs and how I focused on stories about Yalu, events, writing, or my attempts at marketing. When I got to the part that she would be mentioned in my next blog, her eyes got a little wide and there was mention of, “Oh no” as though I might be kidding. Welcome to my blog Deanna!

Her next questions were when I last sold a book and how many in the past month. The answer to question one was April so zero took care of the second answer. I could blame society and a host of other factors. I didn’t because the fault lies with me. As the owner of Little Brown Dog, I am responsible for anything good or bad that befalls me. The problem is that I’m not that good at marketing. I can babble about the great artwork Tielman did for me because it is great and go on and on with Yalu stories. I just don’t dabble about me, doing that just comes off as vain.   

Deanna mentioned the upcoming Country Jam and I had to decline. If I sold boots, hats, belt buckles, truck stuff or something to do with horses, I would be a better Country Jam fit. A children’s book about a puppy dog just at a Country Music concert wasn’t the right venue for me.

An idea that I’ve wanted to try was point and click on a website that gets traffic. Deanna claimed to have access to 5,000 to 7,000 such people who tune into Beasley stations. If 10% of those 5,000 to 7,000 people clicked on my ad posted on Beasley’s website and if 10% of those people purchased a book or e-book, I’d have a new problem: filling orders and perhaps needing more books and don’t get me wrong, those are good problems for a self published author to have.  

Beasley’s Vegas website would have a picture of my book on their webpage with a line: This Golden Retriever needs to find a forever home. Clicking on it would lead the person(s) to my website where the book sells itself. Hey, I had a great web designer who set me up with black and white pictures ready for coloring and I have puzzles—oh yeah, puzzles.

Deanna had more options available. I hope to grow into them. Right now, a limited budget does hinder me. Next Tuesday, there’s another meeting at Beasley staff to cover more details of what I want and what can be done on their side of the world with my limited budget.     

Puppy Anniversary!

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Thirteen years ago, a shy little brown dog entered a room full of playing puppies and made a lasting impression. When the kennel owner placed her on the floor, Yalu took a few steps, looked at the two people sitting on two different couches, and chose them. All she had to do was stand out from the other dogs.

The simple act of casually walking to the couch where Lori sat and trying to climb up on her own caught our attention and captured our hearts. What Yalu didn’t know was that she had a major advantage of being the only Golden Retriever in the room—Lori and I have always been suckers for Golden Retrievers thanks to our previous dog, Chelsea. After losing Chelsea to hip dysplasia and going two and a half days without a dog, we weren’t leaving without a puppy! A little smile from Yalu transformed two adults into a couple of five year olds at her beck and call.

It’s good being chosen by your pet. With all the choosing people have to do in life in categories such as what to wear or what’s for dinner, its nice having a dog choose you because they don’t care what you wear or what’s for dinner–just make the dog the center of your world and life is good. Also, being chosen has another advantage. If Yalu ever offered me a strange look when she didn’t get her way, which was rare, my reply would be, “Hey, you chose me.” That would get a tail wagging and a smile.

Looking back over the whole owner/pet relationship, I have wondered if Yalu was my pet or if I was hers. In the end, it didn’t really matter. She had more than enough cute, fuzzy, and brown to share and was more than willing to have multiple people shower love upon her.