If you read both part 1 and part 2 of my post, Disregard Family & Friends, then rest assured, my temper-tantrum is over. But, let me say this. Though it may have seemed like a random rant, it was far from it. When I set out to write a book that would concentrate on bringing to light the dark side of publishing for children, I knew the topic of a support system, or lack-there-of, would be inescapable. So, I conjured up and then channeled my frustrations and said what I needed to say, without regret, both to get it off my chest and to warn you of potential problems.
Done and over. Now, let’s move on to more important things, things worth our time and energy. Let’s move on to cherishing the supportive friends and family in our lives because, yes, they exist. They are out there, and they’re wonderful! Despite how I may have sounded, I do have some great supporters. Some I expected, while a few who utterly surprised me. Still, they’re there and I intend to take care of them.
You will inevitably discover supporters of your own. My advice to you is that once you identify them, hold tight. NOT because you want and need reoccurring sales (more on that in a second), and not because you yearn for the emotional support, but because THEY have proven themselves heads and shoulders above the rest of the posers who pretended to support you. Instead of dwelling on the negative, count your blessings that the un-supportive have been revealed and move forward without them hampering you down. Breathe easy knowing that you’re now surrounded by true friends that have your best interests in mind. If for no other reason, hold tight because the quality of your connections just went through the roof.
Now, let’s talk a little about utilizing your supportive group for reoccurring sales… Don’t. Sounds strange to hear that, right? I know, it sounds strange to say it. Hear me out though. Your true supporters have proven an interest and a desire to take this journey with you. They will find a way to support you. I’ll say that again:
They. Will. Find. A. Way.
Now it’s your turn to find a way to show them how much you appreciate them. Send them free merchandise. Send them a free book. Maybe even dedicate a book to them. There’s plenty you can do. Thank you cards or videos, personal letters, social media “shout outs”, and on and on. The point is, don’t just soak up all their love without reciprocating.
At the time of writing this, I’m also working on a new children’s book called, My Yearbook Nightmare, in which I have offered to cartoonify “Book Sponsors” for a measly $10. With that $10, I’ll not only cartoonify them, but I’ll also be placing that cartoonified version of them in my book. To top it off, that $10 also gets them a physical copy of the book that I’ll be selling for $15 to everyone else. Pretty neat, huh?
For my key supporters, I’m automatically including them in my book. I mean, sure, I’ll have to get their permission beforehand for legal reasons, so it won’t be a complete surprise, but the gesture will have been made. Oh, and for those lightning-fast supporters who beat me to the punch and made quick “Book Sponsor” purchases, well, let me just say I’ve got other surprises up my sleeves for them…
I want to leave off with one final thing. Some of our connections want to be supporters but they don’t know how. Understandable. They don’t surround themselves with this publishing life, so it’s foreign to them. There’s nothing wrong with you asking for what you need, which is actually pretty easy, especially in this day and age of social media. IF they make a purchase, ask them to please review it. Even if they don’t make a purchase, ask them to simply Like, comment, and share your social posts. It’s that easy. Engagement and word of mouth is phenomenal for us. Just remember, you may simply need to tell them this. There’s nothing wrong with a nice, gentle nudge.