Every year about this time, I participate in the Christmas Village, an arts and handmade crafts fair. Well, this weekend was it. I sold several of my painted animal rocks. I also sold several copies of "My Life in Mental Chains." Along with this good news came a humorous surprise. I'd put my animal rocks on one side of the table and my book display on the opposite end. I had a few mouse rocks left over, so I sat them next to the sign that advertised the price of my books. These gray painted mice all have thin ribbon "tails" glued on to their hind quarters. While I watched people perusing my wares, one woman pointed to the mice and said to her friend, "Oh look, bookmarks!"
I started to correct her, but quickly closed my lips. Wait a minute. Did she say "bookmarks"? I mulled that one over a little. Why not? Who's to say they couldn't be? Who's to say those little painted mice with the gluey-butt tails couldn't do more than one job at a time? Before I could think about it further, another woman came up to check out the animals. "Look, bookmarks. You put their tails between the pages of your book." I sat back in my chair and simply smiled. So it wasn't just one person's observation. What really got me was, why hadn't I ever thought of it before? I had randomly put them next to my books and several people noticed. If I'd left the little mice on their assigned end of the table, would anyone have thought they were more than just table decorations?
I took a ten minute break from my table and took a walk outside. I had an epiphany. When I got back inside, I placed a small note next to the mice in front of the books."Free Bookmark With Purchase of Book."
I'm now out of mice. But guess what? My new marketing strategy is born!