Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

June 2002
by Maia Haag

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In less than two years, I have sold more than 17,000 copies of my self-published personalized children’s book, My Very Own Name. I accomplished this without selling through major bookstore chains or traditional channels, and without a hefty marketing budget or staff. What’s the trick?

I wouldn’t be a true marketer if I didn’t preface my answer to that by telling you about my book. An educational, keepsake gift for children ages 0-8, My Very Own Name is a beautifully illustrated, hardcover book made especially for each child. In the story, animals find a bassinet in a fantasyland and gather around to name the child. Each animal brings a letter to spell out the child’s first and last names. (For a child named John, for instance, the jackal brings the J, the ostrich brings the O, etc.). At the end, the animals celebrate because they have created the perfect name for the child. The book mentions the child’s birthday and includes a personalized dedication from the sender and an illustrated encyclopedia of 53 animals.


Following are the marketing tactics I’ve used:

A Web site

, If you’re thinking of creating a Web site, don’t know HTML programming, and have a small budget, consider creating a Yahoo! Store. (Check it out at You’ll pay only $49.95 a month, plus a percentage…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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