Memoir Marketing and a Chance to Win a Rosie the Riveter Music CD

by Matilda Butler on January 31, 2013

catnav-rosies-daughters-activePost #68 – Women’s Memoirs, Rosie the Riveter – Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

Marketing Your Memoir by Platform Building

Kendra and I are often asked “How do I build a platform?” Some memoir writers think that they should have a blog and write about their memoir. After all, that’s what they want to sell. But building a platform is more subtle than that. Besides, if your blog already contains much of the content of your memoir, why would someone want to pay for what you’ve been giving them for free?

So what do you do? Kendra and I suggest that you create a blog that is in the same category as the focus of your memoir but that is broader than your specific book. In other words, if your story is about how a pet saved your life, then you shouldn’t start a blog about cooking. That is too far afield. You also shouldn’t start a blog just about your pet. Instead, your blog could be about animals in our lives or reviews of books about pets or amazing stories you’ve heard about pets or … well, you get the idea. You definitely want good solid content and you want to write in a way that engages readers. Why? When you do have your memoir ready, you want people to like your writing as well as finding your posts valuable. That way they will be interested in reading your memoir.

Ways to Engage Readers Helps Build Your Marketing Platform

One way to engage readers, to get them to leave you a comment, is to have a give-away. As you look around, you’ll find that writers do this on their own site as well as on websites with related content. A free copy of the book is offered. All the reader has to do is to leave a comment and therefore be entered into the contest. We have an excellent example today.

An Aside, Marketing Add-On Book Products

As you may know, Kendra and I developed a product line (one that continues to expand as customers request new items) around our collective memoir, Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, Second Edition. It began when we made and started wearing red and white polkadot bandanas to presentations about our book. We found there wasn’t anything on the market that was authentic to what Rosie the Riveter was wearing in the “We Can Do It!” poster. So we had to design our own. Soon people began asking if they could purchase one…and the rest is history. That first product, still numbered as RtR-1 in our catalog, is now called our Rosie’s Legacy Bandana and we began selling enough that we have cloth manufactured just for us …100% soft cotton, large, randomly placed polkadots, printed edge to edge, a full 27″ by 27″ (as mandated by the US Army during World War II) …that even includes our custom logo — We Can Do It! Pass It On.

We market these book add-on products through our Etsy.com store. We have set the store up with an additional email to each purchaser that invites them to sign-up for future emails. This lets us continue to build our platform.

Memoir Marketing: How a Give-Away Works

Rosie-Bandana-with-Collar-Pin, Rosie the RiveterSome background. As you probably know, Kendra and I co-authored the award-winning collective memoir: Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, Second Edition. After writing our book, we fell in love with all things Rosie — not just information about Rosie’s Daughters, that generation of women born during WWII. We even developed a product line that features Rosie the Riveter (red and white polka dot bandanas, Rosie employment badge/collar pin, “We Can Do It!” 2-sided poster, polka-dot mugs, etc.). We occasionally blog about Rosie the Riveter on this memoir website in addition to our website that focuses more narrowly on Rosie the Riveter ( http://RosiesDaughters.com ). This means that people interested in Rosie easily find us.

Tip: Be open to connections with other websites and even businesses.

Case in point: A few months ago, we heard from Stacy Flankey of Altissimo Recordings when she told us about We Can Do It! – Celebrating Women in WWII. Altissimo was in the process of putting together a CD with World War II music — a perfect match for us. Even more perfect because the music was to celebrate the women who worked during the war. This meant the CD was relevant for both our Rosie’s Daughters website and for this website devoted to memoir writing because the company was interested in collecting stories about real life Rosie’s — women who worked during WWII. We wrote a blog post and invited our readers to submit stories to Stacy.

Tip: When thinking about platform building, find ways to make connections between your content and the content and products of others.

We thought that was the end of it. Then last week, Stacy contacted us again. She had sent us a copy of We Can Do It! Celebrating Women in WWII and she wondered if we would like to give away a copy to our readers. Stacy has been fun to work with and she went along with our idea that we’d give away one copy of this great music CD here on Women’s Memoirs and a second copy over on Rosie’s Daughters. The music evokes the WWII era — Chattanooga Choo Choo, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Take the ‘A’ Train, etc. — a total of 20 songs.

Look for Win-Win Situations

This is a win-win. Altissimo Recordings gets publicity for their new CD and our readers get a chance to get the music for free. And if you don’t win the free copy, you know about the CD and may want to purchase it. I checked the title out on Amazon and see that you can get the album downloaded as a series of mp3 files or even purchase individual songs.

Tip: We’ve found that listening to music of the era you are writing about is a great way to get in the mood for writing. If your memoir covers the 1940s, even if it has nothing to do with the war or with Rosie, you’ll find the music sets up a context for the times.

Oh Yes, Rosie’s Daughters Has Just Been Updated

Although the point of this post is to talk about memoir marketing and the use of give-aways, we are also excited to announce the release of the Second Edition of our award-winning memoir. I began interviews for Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, Second Edition in 2002 and the book was published in 2007. Kendra and I got to talking and realized that a decade had passed since the original interviews. What had happened to these women? Women who had talked with us as they were looking ahead to the decade of their 60s were now anticipating the decade of their 70s. Were they ready to sit in the rocking chair or where they on to new adventures? We decided to go back and re-interview some of the women from the first edition and to find some new women who would be willing to tell us their life stories. We were both surprised and delighted with the changes in these women’s lives over the past 10 years and decided to share them with readers in an all-new chapter. Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, Second Edition is now available on Amazon or directly from us if you are interested in having an autographed copy for yourself or as a gift.

Back to the Give-Away. We Invite You to Leave a Comment and Be Entered In Our Music CD Give-Away

Have the fun of seeing how this giveaway works. All you need to do is to leave us a comment below. Tell us what you think about this post or why you would like to be the winner of this CD celebrating all the working women of WWII. We’ll choose a winner on February 10. Take a couple of minutes right now to leave us a comment.

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