Okay guys… I have a confession to make. I am having a BLAST finding authors/publishers and getting them to “fess-up” on the mistakes they have made. This month’s edition of DO THIS NOT THAT is no exception. Jennifer Reich of Momosa Publishing was gracious enough to let me expose her past “whoops” to all of y’all. I hope you find this as helpful as I did!
What They Did: Published Books without Using the Content IN the Books as Marketing Material
Jennifer Reich and Rallie McAllister, (MD and MPH) wrote and published Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth in 2010. They had no idea at the time that they could arrange to offer content to sites that were very popular with moms, doctors and other consumers of new baby/mom products. They simply wrote their book and put it out there. They had a book STUFFED with advice and guidance and yet, it did not occur to them to SHARE that advice and guidance outside of the book.
What They Should Have Done Instead
Momosa Publishing realized that they should have connected with baby and baby product companies earlier. Companies such as the ones that make baby bath soap and diaper rash products need content to put on their website or blog. Big, successful, well-trafficked sites are constantly scrambling for content to fill their pages and Momosa could have used their content to get free promotion much earlier.
What They Then Did
Now, Momosa Publishing reaches out to companies with similar products and customers to create a plan to make sure the content gets out there BEFORE the book releases. They also work with these companies to get their content on the sites on an ongoing basis. The promotion never stops! The content and ideas from the book form the basis of an ENORMOUS amount of text that ends up on very popular web pages and sites all throughout the year.
What She Did: Tried to Do Everything Herself
When Jennifer first got started marketing her book/company, she smartly decided to do just about everything herself as a way to save money and economize on the publishing and marketing activities. But she quickly realized that she could not grow or scale her business/sales when limited to one person’s hours in the day. There was never enough time to get the research and other items done that would allow her to move her marketing and promotions to the “next level.”
What She Should Have Done Instead
Realize that a freelancer’s time is worth less than hers. While it is admirable to try to save money, there are only so many hours in a day. Using her time to do internet research or to pull together contact names is NOT a great use of Jennifer’s time. Jennifer found that she (the expert in her brand and product) should be using her time to promote and push into the market and media.
What She Did Instead
She hired freelancers (1099 vendors) to take over the elements she was not as good at or disliked. For example, one of her first hires was an editorial assistant who took over her website and blog postings. The freelancer worked 10 hours a week and handled all of the website uploads and blog posts. Over time, she grew her job and now does a lot of competitive and internet research. Another freelancer handles press releases and announcements. Jennifer’s team goes out looking for news and media outlets on specific themes. (Sleep, babies, toddlers..) This leaves Jennifer free to create and execute her marketing and PR activities and gives her the time to MAKE the pitches and do the follow up that turn into media hits. This division of labor has MADE Momosa Publishing far more successful and has allowed Jennifer and Rallie the financial benefits to keep outsourcing the items that don’t make sense for them to be doing.
What They Did: Got Discouraged
Dr. McAllister and Jennifer like to joke that it takes ten years to become an overnight success, and they’re about three years ahead of schedule. In 2015, the two had to cancel a project with a university that had been problematic and troubled from the beginning. The decision to return the project (and money) was hard, and for a while Jennifer doubted herself and her abilities. The desire to keep going took a major hit.
What She Did Then
Let’s hear it directly from Jennifer herself:
It’s important to find at least one person who can help you to find the bright side on dark days. When I was at my lowest and discouraged, I always made a point to reach out to Rallie McAllister. I’ve been fortunate that Dr. McAllister and I never have dark days on the same day. I encourage her on her dark days, and she encourages me on mine.
This is true no matter WHERE you are in the writing or publishing process. There will come a time when it seems too hard, when it does not seem worth it, when the desire to toss in the towel is stronger than the desire to keep going. When that happens, reach out to your community, your friends, your support. They will tell you what I am telling you now: Never, ever give up.
What does this mean for you?
- You can always find content in your book (fiction or non) that websites and blogs, newsletters and magazines need. Comb through your content to find text you can use to show folks on popular sites how amazing your content is.
- Choose what activities move your goals forward and what activities are just “busy work”.
- Hire out the work that does not need YOUR expertise or passion. Hire out the parts you hate.
- Stay in touch with friends and colleagues so that you can lean on them on the days you want to give up.
- Keep going. No matter what. Keep going.
More to Come, and What About You?
Next time, I will have more screw ups and mistakes to share with you. I hope you find my DO THIS, NOT THAT features helpful! Feel free to leave a comment below or ask a question…