Allyson and Sondra Ames are living their dream. Every day they arise knowing that Wonderland awaits them. This mother and daughter duo run the acclaimed Wonderland Bakery in Newport Beach, CA. Allyson recognized her passion for food at a very early age and has been encouraged in her endeavors by her entreprenurial and visionary mother, Sondra. Together the two of them have created an enchanted bakery to dazzle and delight all visitors.
Although sounding quite tasty, what does this have to do with books? While attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 25-26, my attention was captured by one of the author’s marketing materials. The author just so happened to be participating in the AuthorsDen.com booth along with me, so I had ample opportunity to see the marketing materials, and drool. The most interesting aspect to me was that the author, Allyson Ames was using her book, Wonderlicious ~ The Enchanting and Delicious Story of Wonderland Bakery as a means of marketing her Wonderland Bakery. Along with the book, Allyson and Sondra had aprons, shirts, a cupcake purse, a castle tote, a tea set, a cupcake bake set, along with enchanting wands in blue and pink. But the item that captured the most attention was the Gund bear which reads the Wonderlicious story, a definite must have item among the pre-school set. And as an added bonus, each purchase was accompanied by a Wonderland Bakery cookie. Sweet!
The absolute best thing these very savvy women did was to send an Allyson character to walk around with the book and the bear talking to children and showing how the bear reads the story. Meanwhile, her compadre was quickly passing out flyers to help promote the bakery and direct people to the AuthorsDen.com booth where they might sell a few of the accessorial products. Could you resist that smile?
We, as writers, focus so much of our time and energy on promoting our books through traditional methods such as book fairs, bookstores, and libraries, we may be overlooking a golden opportunity. It’s time to pull out those creative thinking caps and dream up a kind of marketing strategy in reverse whereby you find another product or activity to promote which leads right back to your primary product of books. The Ames women have provided a shining example in using a book festival to promote a bakery, without pitching a cookbook or putting on a cooking demonstration. What is your Wonderland?
The Wonderlicious Cookbook is due out Spring 2009.
Written for the Lulu Book Review.
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