Erin and I are in the middle of the fourth week of an eight week national tour, the Championing the Arts Tour. We are holding Passion of Painting Workshops, offering free workshops for children, holding art shows and salons, visiting friends and patrons, and meeting with artists and arts organizations to find out what is working in the arts community.

So far we have visited Abilene, Texas; Horseshoe Bend, Texas; Covington/Mandeville, Louisiana; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia. We are now getting ready to head north to visit with Barack and Michelle. I hear they might be out of town, but I am still hoping he can take me for a tour of my favorite spot, the Lincoln Memorial.

This week we have a bit of down time, and I am trying to catch up with my notes, and begin entering images, video, and text from our tour so far.

Please friend us on facebook, or subscribe to this blog if you want to follow us on this journey of disovery.

http://www.facebook.com/tom.s.birmingham

http://www.facebook.com/erin.gafill

This tour is sponsored in part by the

Arts Council for Monterey County

and is presented in association with the

Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation

It used to be that when an artist asked me “what’s the best way to promote my opening?” We would have a discussion of press releases, postcards, email blasts, and phone calls. My answer was always the same, “What do you do? All of it.”. If you want to get the word out, it is incumbent upon you to use all the avenues available. If you don’t, and you don’t get the results you want, you don’t have to look any further for the cause.

Now there is the same issue with on-line marketing. You can post an announcement on your website, send out personal emails, make an event on FaceBook, and create a Constant Contact (or equivalent) newsletter. What do you do? All of it. Now we put the event on our website first, write a e-newsletter announcement second. Post the e-newsletter to our blog. Put an event announcement with a blog link in Face Book. And finally, start sending out personal emails to our close constituents and friends.

This is even before we start press releases, PSA’s, Postcards, and phone calls. Marketing is a lot of work, but the alternative, as far as I can see, is to get a job. If getting your work out to the public in a remunerative manner is important to you. You have to be prepared to do the work.

Tom

Going Live

May 5, 2009

We sent Drinking from a Cold Spring  to the printer this afternoon. We are happy with the text and the cover. Everything looks good. We even had a copy-editor go through it one last time.

Now its time to start to get the word out to the world.

I put a “pre-order” page on my Yahoo Store, offering to have every copy pre-ordered before June 15th to be autographed by Erin. Erin wrote a Constant Contact update letting her readers know that she is publishing a book and encouraging them to pre-order.

She posted her CC into her blog, then put a link to her blog entry on her FaceBook page. I put an order now link on the home page of her website.

This is where the relationship Erin has built with her readers is really beginning to pay off. Our goal is to sell 100 books before the delivery date. That way we’ll be able to pay off the printing cost before our Credit Card is due to pay. 

In the first 5 hours, her CC went out to 900 people. 100 have read it, 22 clicked the “buy now” link and 9 people bought a book. With multiple orders that makes 14 books sold in the first few hours. Seems good to me.

We’ll see how it goes from here.