A Cause for Celebration

A week ago, I asked our Facebook users what they were celebrating in their lives. Today I have several reasons of my own for celebration.

If all went according to plan, I successfully made it down to Florida yesterday to surprise my fiancee on Valentines Day. Today is also the day when Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations is finally available for pre-order.

I started thinking about marketing plans for Celebrations more than 5 months ago at the end of August. Since that time, our marketing department has changed significantly, but we are still just as excited about launching this book as we ever were.

For the first Mennonite Girls Can Cook (cookbook), we took pre-orders as soon as the Girls announced they were writing a book. This time around we opted not to do that for several reasons. First, because of software constraints and design, our webstore is inefficient in handling large quantities of Canadian web orders. Second, when a books is ordered through a webstore like Amazon’s or Indigo’s, the visibility of that book is temporarily increased. When multiple copies are ordered by different people, the visibility of the book on the website is increased drastically. By delaying the availability of pre-orders, we have insured that companies like Amazon, Indigo, and Barnes & Noble all have Celebrations listed and available for pre-order.

Our first big challenge with Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations has been keeping people excited and talking about the book ever since the Girls first announced it in October.  We’ve been trying to use social media and other teasers to keep this book in elevated visibility for people to think about (for example, we are going to be inflating 1 balloon in our office on the day of the book’s release for every one like that our Facebook page has when the book is released in May).

Some of the other big aspects of launching a book are reviews (places like Publisher’s Weekly require you to submit manuscripts to them something like 4 months early), publicity (we have hired the wonderful Ellen Graff-Martin to be the publicist for this book), and actual advertising (which we started reserving space for back in November and December. The first actual advertisement related to Celebrations was due on December 24).

Even when the book is finally out, our marketing work won’t quite be over. Once the book is out, our marketing will switch from publicity and visibility to sales marketing. We need to sell enough copies in the first few weeks to build on all of our publicity efforts that are already in place.

While we still have quite a ways to go before marketing efforts are over for Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, it is going to be incredibly fun to continue thinking of ways we can make this book launch unique and different from all others!

Evan McCarthy

Trade Book Sales (I spend a lot of time on Amazon)

& Inventory Manager (I’m really good at finding lost stuff)