The Tubesing Six-Part System or Marketing in Any Number of Niches

August 2001
by Judith Appelbaum

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Before the release, before the mailings to booksellers, before the many other visible marketing moves, Pfeifer-Hamilton shapes content to make its books sell better. Publisher Donald Tubesing says that, at the editing stage, they ask themselves, “What kinds of marketing hooks can we build in so we can use them later?”

In the case of The Quiltmaker’s Gift-which just won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Book of the Year for Excellence and Innovation in Marketing with a budget over $10,000-“hooks” included a quilt-pattern puzzle on the inside of the jacket and illustrations by Gail de Marcken that are “springboards for stories” because they feature places where she lived and worked in the Peace Corps.

“Built-ins” reflect a general marketing principle that Don and Nancy Loving Tubesing follow at Pfeifer-Hamilton-“When you’re in Duluth, Minnesota, you have to do something a little bit different”-and that principle may account in part for the fact that they’ve also won Ben Franklin marketing awards for Old Turtle and The Duct Tape Book. But built-ins also reflect one of six specific marketing principles that their press has developed. Judging from the fact that The Quiltmaker’s Gift has made “every major best-seller list” and sold more than 200,000 copies in its first 18 months (with returns averaging below 3%), and from the success of other titles (including Old Turtle which has sold more than 500,000), all six are worth applying.

They are:

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