When I was marketing my book, “Travel to the Bushland”, I thought about the target group I was trying to reach. As the book contains Aboriginal cultural stories and paintings and drawings about Tropical North Queensland plants and animals, the groups I was targeting were Indigenous people generally, especially Aborigines of Tropical North Queensland, and organisations that would assist in delivering books to this target group. These included UMI Arts and Indigenous communities throughout Tropical North Queensland.
The book also has general appeal, because of the interesting stories and the colourful illustrations. So, I also needed to aim my marketing efforts at a broader audience.
First, I did research to locate book stores, art galleries, Indigenous organisations, and libraries throughout Tropical North Queensland. Then I added organisations that serve people from Brisbane up to the tip of Cape York. The groups identified here were the Dandiiri Library, catering to Indigenous people, and the State Library of Queensland, catering to the whole of Queensland.
The methods I used to market my books were very much hands-on, and included telephone calls, emails and personal visits. When I found an organisation or company that was interested in my book, I would ask my publisher, Gloria Webb at Jabiru Publishing, to send emails with posters and order forms attached. Sometimes the group would request a sample copy, and sometimes they would simply place an order for the book.
In my telephone calls and visits, I would introduce myself as an established author from North Queensland (I was marketing the 2nd edition of this book), and as an Aboriginal person from Yarrabah and Hope Vale. I would tell them the name of the book and describe it. I would stress that the book has interesting short stories and colourful pictures, and that it is a cultural book.
This personal touch has been very successful in marketing to my target groups. For example, copies of the book were purchased by the Cairns Regional Council for distribution to all libraries in the Cairns region. Later, the books were also bought by Mareeba Library, Kowanyama Library and Cooktown Library. In addition, a large number of copies were bought by the library book supplier, Peter Pal, most likely in response to orders from other libraries.
My most successful sale was to the State Library of Queensland that ordered 25 copies for distribution to libraries in Indigenous communities throughout Queensland. This order was in response to a phone call from me. Also, the staff at the Legal Deposit section of the State Library bought a copy. They had seen the book when my publisher sent a copy to them because of Legal Deposit requirements. They liked it so much they bought a copy for their own office. I think this is a very big compliment, because they see every single book that is published in Queensland!
Organisations that agreed to take copies of the book to sell on commission were two tourist shops, Tjabukai and Skyrail. Art galleries that took copies to sell were UMI Arts, Kick Arts and Canopy Arts in Cairns. Bookshops that took copies to sell were Collins Booksellers in Smithfield and Cairns Books in Cairns.
Another valuable method for selling my books has been through Dot Sweeting from Local Authors’ Network in Cairns. Dot is a distributor for self-published books, and sells to book stores and libraries from Townsville to Mossman in North Queensland.
At the beginning of the marketing campaign, I had a very successful book launch at UMI Arts in Cairns. UMI Arts is an Indigenous organisation that helps promote Indigenous artists and sells their work. The launch was held at their attractive art gallery in Cairns. The guest speaker was well-known artist and author, Norman (Munganbana) Miller. An article about the launch was published in the Cairns Sun”, and photographs and stories about the launch were posted on the UMI Arts and Jabiru Publishing websites and Facebook pages.
I have a Facebook page called “Brenda Pearson Art” . I use this page to sell both my book and my art work, and to let people know about the new projects I am working on.
My marketing efforts have led to many invitations, such as visits to the Old People’s Home at Yarrabah and the libraries at Manunda, Kuranda and Yarrabah to talk about my book and read stories from the book.
When I meet new people, I always tell them about my book. I keep copies on hand so that I can show them the book. This simple method has resulted in many book sales.
I think the personal touch has worked very well for me in selling my books. Also, I am very passionate about my book and very proud that I have finally had it published. I think this enthusiasm helps in selling my book. I know now what works for me, and when I am selling my next book, or my paintings, I know that I will be successful.
You can order “Travel to the Bushland” from the Book Store at the Jabiru Publishing website.