Monday, March 16, 2009

A rainy out of school day but very productive for the JGDS!

Today was a rather stressful day as I had to be out and about running errands. I really didn't want to be out in the rain and cold but I'm glad I was.

First, I had to run to the bank and post office, pay a couple of bills, feed the kids and take Benjamin to his girlfriend's house to spend the day with her. Then Hailie and I went to another town to the grocery store there to find some candy canes and those little rolled candy looking books (that you give to your kids for Christmas) for Vivian to put in one of the OWFI baskets for the conference coming the end of April. I'm a member of OWFI affiliate group Pens & Keyboards, and someone in the group is doing a Christmas themed basket which will contain books that are all Christmas themed and they were wanting to find some Christmas candy to put in the basket. I told her I think I had seen some at this grocery store and would check. Success - I purchased two boxes of candy canes (one blueberry and one regular peppermint flavored) and two of the "candy books". I decided to go check on the aisle behind the candy one and see if they had any left over Christmas ornaments or anything that would be Christmas related and I found this shadowbox that typifies writers from the days of old. I couldn't resist to pick it up for the other basket - the one entitled "Celebration" to celebrate where writers were and where we are now. I think it will make a very nice addition to the basket. So Bargain Foods was a successful trip for OWFI related items that were needed.

We left Pelzer, headed to Anderson and stopped at Dollar Tree first. I had a specific list of items needed from there and wasn't really planning on buying too much there. I needed some little stands to stand my books up on display for the book signing and some more puzzles to supplement my supply. The puzzles I knew I would have no problem picking up (they have cases of 24 each and I just picked up a case). Of course before I got to where the puzzles were, I had looked for the "plate stands" which was the best description I could come up with for what I needed in the picture frame aisle. I really didn't see what I wanted or needed. I moved over to the teachers' supply aisle and I get into some trouble over there; I know not to go over there - lol. I found a wall map that is laminated already, although not quite as big as I would like and Alaska is not shown attached to Canada exactly (it is but it is displaced like most maps are), for my new game - Road Trip. The game goes like this - the kids have to look at the map and figure out the route (there are eight really) they would travel if they were going to drive across the country. The catch is they cannot enter any state twice but they can enter Canada more than once if need be. They will write their answers down and I have an answer key they will get to check and if they are correct, they win a puzzle. I think this will be a very good game because it will get the kids thinking and they should have fun. I also picked up a foam board that is about the same size as the map (the map is a little wider from top to bottom than the board but the same from side to side) that I will mount the map to and have standing on an easel for viewing.

As I was walking around looking for other things (I know I really wasn't planning to do much more shopping there), of course since school was out, there were lots of people with kids in the store, I thought you know I have bookmarks, why not hand them out. So every aisle I walked on, if there were kids there, I asked them if they liked to read and then handed my bookmarks out and told them about my books and my upcoming book signing Thursday. Several of the kids I spoke with are from my school district and showed a lot of interest in coming up to the book signing. There will be free music and hot dogs and a mini farmer's market available as well, so that was success in and of itself. Getting near the end of me not finding the little stands I wanted for my books, one young man and two father figure types were walking down the food aisle and so I asked him if he liked to read, but he said not really and the one that was probably his father said he did like to read but he was being shy. I gave him my bookmark and told them about the books and the father bought a copy of my book (I had a copy in my pocketbook to show). Told the boy he had to write a two page report on a book since they were out of school for two days and it would be perfect for him to do a report on. By the time we got up to the register and he was paying for his purchases, the boy had started reading the book and had already guessed the state, he was only on clue #5 at that time but he said that clue #4 (which talks about the shape) was where he had figured it out. I hope he enjoyed the book. (I finally had to ask about the stands and did find them so that was successful as well, and I did find some story starter packs in the teachers' section that I think I can do something with in the future and a US flag stamp that can be used on the create your own bookmarks section I do).

We left Dollar Tree, I popped the trunk and put two copies of the book in my pocketbook and headed over to Wal-Mart for some groceries and a couple other things I needed from there and again, every family group or parent with children in tow, I spoke to and asked them if they liked to read and put bookmarks in the kids hands and talked about my books, pulling a copy from my pocketbook so that they would understand what I was talking about, and I sold another copy of the book while in Wal-Mart. I also had the opportunity to speak with a fifth grade teacher and speech therapist from another district in our county and several kids who attend school in the same district as my kids and one of the girls was very enthusiastic and her mother was like - I'll make sure to bring her up there Thursday and all her friends and everyone in the school will know about it.

I left there and went to Staples to replace my ink (which really I shouldn't have had to do since it was purchased at Wal-Mart) and finally made my way home. I was whipped but basking in my success as a not intended to make any sales or do any marketing day turned out to be very successful.

So for all you folks out there who have books, check out my bookmarks below and see why they are one of the best investments so far in my career as an author. For inexpensive advertising, check out - the order I placed was for 2500 and my cost with shipping was only $83 (this comes out to less than 3 cents a bookmark). Trust me if you have children's books, this will come back to you very quickly from your sales. Since getting my bookmarks in February before the SC Book Festival, I have made at least nine sales (two are waiting for the purchasers to get the books). I have sent several batches out and about and have already had to order another batch of 1000. Anyway, if you have nothing else but bookmarks with your covers on them, you will be noticed and maybe make a sale or two. See you all in the postings - E :)

1 comment:

Rain-drop said...

What a fun adventure trip you had! You thought you were just going shopping, but got sales. That is wonderful. I especially like the story of the shy kid who got a book after all, and glad you found the uh...plate, thingies.

The bookmarks are successful, good! I am going to pass them about at the children's school on-campus when I'm back there, and I've other ideas for them, too. :)

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