I’m sure you’ve heard about the story of “Sweet Pea & Friends: The SheepOver” by now. No? Well, read on. I’m taking a quick look at how it became a success.
Develop a following
Go back a year. John and Jennifer Churchman discovered one of their lambs had hurt their leg. They kept family and friends appraised of the situation through Facebook. Sweet Pea recovered and to celebrate, John took photos of their animals dressed in costumes.
Write a book and self-publish
The Churchmans took their photos and wrote a children’s story about the events. John is a “fine art photographer with a background in painting and graphic design”, and Jennifer is a “writer with a background in marketing and product branding.” Already, they had all the expertise that most writers need a publishing house for. They started out as they meant to finish, with a vision of quality and the means to make it real. The first print run was crowd-sourced to produce a physical book.
Maybe a bit. From the sounds of it, this book would have been a success no matter where it was sold, but it only took one post on Publisher’s Weekly to cause a stir. Bidding wars ensued and at the end of it all, the Churchmans signed a deal with Little, Brown and Company.
Preparation met opportunity
This is not an overnight success story. The Churchmans had a loyal following to spread the word. They produced a quality book, utilizing their skills uniquely suited for self-publishing. They promoted the book at a their local bookstore and through social media. People following the story now had a reason to buy. This book represented a lot of hard work that spanned a year.
Read the full story here.