Next Saturday, 7th November, Dee and I will be standing at a stall at the Pennoyers Christmas Craft Fair wearing our Crimson Cats T-shirts and Santa hats. Pennoyers is the wonderful community and arts centre in Pulham St. Mary, the next village along the road from Starston, and we are not there just to look silly but to try and sell some Crimson Cats CDs on the run up to Christmas.
When you are a very small business – as we are – marketing is a major headache. As someone once said: “You can’t sell, if you don’t tell” but the problem is who do you tell and how? We don’t have a marketing budget that runs to full page colour adverts in the Sunday papers. (Well, to be honest, we don’t have a marketing budget at all). We have a mailing list, of course, but most of the people on that have bought all the titles from our range that interest them so, although we do send out regular mailings, we are probably preaching to the converted.
These days we probably sell as many MP3 downloads as we do CDs but Christmas is always a good time for selling the physical products. CDs make good presents, they’re not expensive and they’re easier to post. That’s what we say anyway and previous years seem to bear out that statement.
The range of our titles is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The fact that they’re all different means that there’s probably something for everyone in the range but it also means that you can’t really market Crimson Cats as an entity. Just because you like some of them doesn’t mean you’d like them all. Fair enough, but we reckon that anyone who enjoys audio books will find something to like, whether that’s gardening (Every Lady A Gardener), literature such as Jane Austen (The Beautifull Cassandra), biographies of people like Gerald Durrell (Stories Of A Corfu Childhood) or Jerome K Jerome (My Life And Times), anthologies which could be cats (How To Own A Human) or 1st World War poetry and prose (War Girls). Then there is the beautiful memoir (The House on an Irish Hillside) or a range of interviews with sporting personalities from the past (Sporting Legends). The full range of our titles can be seen on our web site where short audio clips from each title can be heard: www/crimsoncats.co.uk
So next Saturday we’ll be “talking the talk”, trying to interest people into trying at least one of our audio books. From experience we know it will be a long day, on our feet for several hours, but, hey, it’s fun, we like talking to people, there’s a ready audience for some of our (bad) jokes and all taking place in Pennoyers, a wonderful building.
What’s not to like?
Have you bought your Christmas presents yet? We do have some suggestions.