Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Marketing Lessons from Kindergarten

Marketing lessons are everywhere, but today we're heading into the way-back machine to pick up a few tips from the juice box filled euphoria that was kindergarten. Here are few lessons that never go out of style



Share your cookies
You’ve got the best mommy on the block. While the rest of the ankle biters are nibbling on carrot sticks and hummus, you’re nomming on a sandwich baggie full of Oreo’s. Truth is, you’re perfectly within your rights to keep all that yummy cream filled goodness to yourself, but you’ll make more friends if you offer one to the poor kid with celery sitting next to you. You’ve got to give more than you get. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s the truth. Offering your time, talents, and resources to others makes you the kind of person others want to help.
 Not everyone’s good at finger painting
You’ve been working on that picture of a blue cat for the past 20 minutes, but it still looks like a dying cow. Meanwhile, little Jimmy has a dead on reproduction of Starry Night. Finger painting may not be your thing, and that’s okay. You don’t have to love blogging, twitter, Facebook, fill in the blank with the things you loathe. If the thought of writing yet another blog post has you chugging Pepto Bismal with a Merlot chaser, don’t blog. There are so many other ways to promote your work. Play to your strengths and ignore the tactics that make you feel like a dying cow.
No hitting, pinching or biting
This should be obvious, but it occasionally needs stating. Gone are the days when writers could throw words on paper and call it a day. Authors are going to be in the public eye no matter how much you may loathe or avoid it. This means being on your best behavior at all times. Don’t respond to reviews, don’t attack other authors, and don’t talk bad about the publishing industry in any of its forms. I’m not saying you have to be bosom buddies with everyone, but if you can’t be nice to someone, don’t be their Facebook friend.
Some kids don’t like Goldfish crackers
Goldfish are the universally accepted snack food of choice for all kids under the age of seven (and moms who missed lunch…again). I have never met a kid who didn’t love the little buggers. But as you read this, there are some of you holding up your hands saying “My kids hate them” or “My niece won’t touch ‘em”. Some people don’t know how to appreciate artificially flavored cheese-like die-cut snack food. Your book will (hopefully) appeal to a lot of people who will love it and tell everyone they know. But not everyone is going to like it. And some people will hate it. You should accept this fact before your book even hits the market. Don’t let that first 1-Star review take you by surprise. Instead, wait for it in expectation, accept it when it arrives, and bask in the glory of joining the ranks of Steven King and JK Rowling.
Kindergarten doesn’t last forever
As much as we all wanted to stay in the land of the letter people and nap time, eventually they kicked us out into the unknown and mysterious world of First Grade. Once there, we either discovered that first grade was even better than kindergarten or started begging to go back. Either way, first grade eventually came to an end as well. No matter where you are in the path, you can’t stay there forever. If you’re in the ravages of a failed book, chin up, eventually you’ll write another one. If you’re basking in the glow of a bestsellers list, fabulous, but don’t get too comfy. Eventually, you’ll need to get back to putting out another book and the whole process starts over.

4 comments:

  1. I love this post, Sarah. I'm also going to be spending less time on fb and twitter. Because I hate twitter and like blogging more than fb. I'm also going to remove a few people who infuriate me from my fb list. (they added me not vice versa but their stats drive me insane).

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    1. Sounds like a solid plan. There's so much push for authors to be everywhere, but if you don't like it, that's going to show in your posts and won't do you any favors when it comes to readers or promotion.

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  2. Thanks for this funny post! Very good advice that can and should be used by everyone, not just writers. :-)

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  3. Great post! I'm a writer and I have young kids, so this hits home on multiple levels. Thanks for the reminders!

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