Tuesday, January 08, 2008

100 Blogs Later

'We're going to open our own bookshop in Wood Green. And this is going to be our story. We have the passion, the determination, and we also have a little bit of business acumen. With a little help, it might just work. It'll make for compelling reading whatever happens. We would love any advice, words of encouragement or money that you can spare, and we'll do our best to be as honest in this blog as possible.'
this is the last paragraph of our first post back in September. Back then it seemed a long way from reality. It still fu#@ing does some days, but we have come a long way. I rather naively thought we'd be open by November originally, but if you've followed the story, you'll know we've had one or two hiccups on the way. Landlords, solicitors, estate agents, banks, building societies and maybe us occasionally have done things that have delayed the final outcome. I'd like to be more sure about when we're going to open, but I'm not going to tempt fate. Tim is battling away with all the money men (I'm not allowed to talk to them any more, as I'm a bit shouty sometimes), and we should have some very good news very soon.
We've listened to lots of wise people and taken lots of advice over the last 4 months, and to celebrate reaching the 100 blog milestone we'd like to give some of that back. So here, for your delictation, we offer you 70 ways to keep in the news despite not having opened. We thought about doing 100, but come on, isn't 70 enough ?
1. Start a Blog.
2. Tell the local paper
3. Get in touch with the Bookseller
4. Steal your friends mobile and text all their contacts
5. Hide in a cupboard in Ikea and leap out at people shouting the name of your company. Particularly good if your company happens to be called "Yarg"
6. Wear a t-shirt
7. Write an e-mail to that nice man Scott Pack and ask if you can be a guest writer on his mighty mighty blog 'Me and My Big Mouth'.
8. Call up a radio phone-in with a spurious link to the subject being discussed. "..... Yes the war in Iran is a terrible thing. I was reading about it in the Big Green Bookshop... "
9. Make a Facebook Group. (please join)
10. Wear a noticable Hat
11. Wear a Badge
12. Sit in a studio audience wearing your t-shirt, badge and noticable hat
13. E-mail newspapers, they might run your story
14. E-mail magazines, they might run your story
15. Talk to your local schools
16. Stick up posters in your local schools
17. Attend every school fete (wearing your noticable hat)
18. Talk to the Local MP
19. Involve Your Community
20. Don't let anything distract you
21. I said don't let anything distract you!
22. Do a figure of eight dance (This is good enough for bees)
23. Paint your backside purple (This works for babboons)
24. Find out who your local authors are. Their support can really help.
25. Actually they don't have to be local.
26. Dedicate one hour every day to marketing
27. Try and reply to all your e-mails and phone calls.
28. If someone asks for help always try and help. Imagine if it was the other way round.
29. Knock on doors (Don't look too smart or people will think you're a Jehova's Witness. Don't look too scruffy or people will think you're selling dusters. Don't wear overalls)
30. Invite Jehova's Witnesses into your house and pass on the word of the Bookshop (This is a good way of frightening Jehova's Witnesses, as they've never been in anybodys' house before)
31. Stick up posters on the outside of your old (closed) shop. (This may not be applicable for everyone)
32. Join your local residents association. These are going to be your customers, and also imagine how many people they'll tell!
33. Print out some leaflets and deliver them door to door.
34. Leave them in your friendly local shops
35. Slip a few leaflets inside books in your local WH Smith.
36. Find out who all your local reps are going to be, and contact them.
37. Is someone else doing a similar thing. Share.
38. Has someone else done a similar thing. Ask for advice.
39. Get your readers to make your decisions for you
40. Tell your friends
41. Ask for Stuff
42. Celebrate Your Product. It's worth celebrating if your product is books
43. Re-email all the people you've e-mailed before.
44. Tell Chuggers (CH arity m UGGERS) "... Actually I don't have two minutes to discuss (insert cause here) But I do have twenty minutes or so to talk about my Bookshop..."
45. Persuade Big Issue sellers to shout 'Big green bookshop' instead.
46. Put a link to your blog on every e-mail you send.
47. Tell Local Councillors
48. Build a Tardis (Strictly speaking this is not a viable way to advertise your company, unless it works. In which case just think of the opportunities.... you could have your logo indelibly graffittied on the Great Wall of China... or add a line to any book of the bible, eg: Exodus 10:20 And two merchants shall set forth into the Green Wood. And one shall speak unto the other. And he shall say "wouldn't it be a fine idea if we opened our own bookshop?" And the other shall spake the words "Wow, yeah"... You could get Nostradamus off drugs and tell him what's REALLY going to happen.... )
49. put Posters in your windows
50. Do you think we'll get to 70?

51. Keep the suspense going. Like a good book people will want to get to the end.
52. Have I mentioned contacting local schools yet?
53. Organise author events for when you do open.
54. Talk to Local Shops (it would be more effective to talk to the people in the shops really)
55. Get in touch with your Local Council, they may be able to help more than you think
56. Tell your local librbary. They can (and have) offered an amazing amount of help.
57. Find where your local reading groups meet and let them know.
58. Contact big publishers, who mostly are very helpful.
59. Search for fellow bloggers with similar interests. I've noticed we're quite a tight-knit. bunch.
60. Print business cards
61. Leave them in cafes, pubs, libraries, pretty much anywhere.
62. Offer prizes at local events.
63. Let Your Emotions show
64. But not too much
65. read other peoples blogs and nick their ideas. (admit it, we all do it)
66. Get in touch with magazines and offer to do an article for them. They might ask you to be a regular contributor.
67. Find other people with the same name as you, and ask for their help. It really works.
68. Ask everyone who reads this to either mention it in their blog or else add us as a link (Please)
69. Be honest.
70. Always say Thanks.

Thanks. If you have any more ideas, feel free to share them.


Alis said...

Wow, 70 things - that's amazing! As is how quickly 100 blogs mounts up, eh? Your list made me laugh - specially the one about JW's being frightened because they never get to go into people's houses! So true...

Giuseppe di Lampedusa said...

Hi Simon, Michael from Compass here.

Congratulations to you and Katie on the forthcoming arrival.

Really looking forward to the shop opening whenever that might be. The sense of anticipation is almost tangible.

Can I get an appointment to see you sometime?

Tim Donne said...

Si, when did you get to be so funny? This bookshop malarky must be good for your soul. Maybe I will come and work for you after all....

Hope everything is going well, and will try and get up there to see you soon.

Akasha Savage said...

That list was so funny... 54 made me laugh for hours!!

Hope things go from strength to strength for you.


Karen said...

What an amazing list! I’m someone who’s attempting to do something similar in a freezing corner of Scotland at the moment, and have been reading your blog avidly for months now (no. 59) as I’m obviously keen to pick up any tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way (no. 38 and 65!). In the spirit of your list I’ve also linked my embryonic (3 posts and counting!) blog to yours (no. 68) in the hope that I can eventually help someone else starting out (no. 37). I’m even intending to make a trial IKEA run at the weekend (perhaps no. 5?) too! Honestly I’m so chuffed I’m actually doing a few of the things you’ve mentioned… though I may give number 23 a miss for now! Good luck with the shop – hope everything gets sorted soon!