Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Event Flier and Other Ways to Talk Up Some Upcoming Events.

It's been a busy week! Our new events flier is in (thanks Stacie), featuring events going all the way out to May. Not all of them are listed, of course, as I'm still booking May events. But there's lots of things you haven't seen before, like Dean Strang's Worse than the Devil (on the Milwaukee police station bombing of 1917) on April 5, Lee Sandlin's Storm Kings on April 11 (on tornado chasers) and fiction from Cara Black, Christina Schwarz and more. We've also got events at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Open MiKE (that's the same blogger Jessica Hagy on How to Be Interesting in Ten Simple Steps), and the Great Lakes Distillery (Amy Stewart for The Drunken Botanist). Oh, and some high-profile ticketed events from Michael Pollan, Anne Lamott, and Elinor Lipman.

Many of these events have also made it to our upcoming events page.

So here's the thing. We know you follow our blog and email newsletter and Facebook page and upcoming events page on our website, or some combination thereof. But there are lots of unwired folks out there who need the flier, and there are wired folks who need the flier too, because otherwise the data gets lost among 700 other emails or posts or whatever. Goodness, we had one customer that lives too far away from the store to pick up a flier, and can only find out about events that get listed in the print version of the Journal Sentinel. Alas, we simply don't have the money or resources to mail out newsletters like many stores did once upon a time. So my only solution is to be good to your non-wired friends and take a copy of the event calendar next time you're at Boswell and give one to them.

Yes, that's a lot of events. And while we have all sorts of partnerships going on, and hope to get all kinds of publicity, and there are a lot of events that will become successes based on marketing to our customer base alone (email newsletter, Facebook word of mouth, and so forth), I am feeling the pressure to do some ads to promote a bit more. Have I done everything possible to make this author visit worthwhile to the publisher? These are the kinds of things you worry about as publishers continue to evaluate old-fashioned touring.

We're highlighting several events in a Shepherd Express ad that goes on sale today (Mohsin Hamid on Friday, John Elder Robinson on March 13, Elaine Pagels on March 20, Aleksandar Hemon on March 21, and a first announcement for Anne Lamott on April 6). In addition, we have a dedicated ad in the Journal Sentinel for Blue Balliett this Sunday. Her event is March 12 at the Loos Room of the Milwaukee Public Library.

Plus we've got some underwriting going on. So say you're reading this and you're wondering why I'm not advertising with you. I should let you know up front that for the most part, we only advertise in venues that offer dedicated book coverage, so that means no commercial radio and television. All our ads are event driven, so you need to be timed right, and match the demographic for the event. A lot of our friends at other commercial bookstores don't do any advertising at all, relying completely on social media and targeted marketing to their customers, but at least while there is dedicated book coverage, I'd like to support those operations.

So three ads later, I'm coming up for air, just in time to work on our next email newsletter.

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