Getting Noticed

Dateline 14 March 2014

When you create a new product to sell, whether it be a book, or a chicken plucker (or a book about a chicken plucker), or anything in between, you want everyone to know about it, and you want them to know right away. But if you're on a limited budget, getting the word about your product(s) out to large numbers of people is not easy, and it doesn't happen quickly. Marketing something you've made is much more work than creating it.

Though the internet has made marketing a new product so much easier than it has ever been, there is still a lot of effort (and often disappointment) when it comes to getting a new product noticed, then sold. Patience, persistence, and a long-term outlook are necessary. There are exceptions, but that has been my experience. 

By the way, my experience at this sort of thing goes back to around 1997 (before most people, including myself,  were tapped into the internet) when I developed some cabinet refacing tools and launched a national newsletter for kitchen remodelers. The newsletter was a colossal economic failure, and the tools were only moderately profitable.

All of this is to say that when you do create a product, and it is written about in a positive way by someone with a readership, it sure is exciting, and it can make a big difference. 

This has happened for me recently with three different mentions ….

Mary Jane's Farm

Back in  2006 I wrote here about Mary Jane's Bed & Breakfast. Mary Jane Butters is a successful down-to-earth entrepreneur with her own magazine. I sent her some samples of my new Classic American Clothespins awhile back and she has very graciously mentioned them in the current issue of the magazine.

I haven't yet seen the magazine but I heard about the mention (Thank you, Cindy) and I sure have seen the orders for clothespins and clothespin kits come in!

I sent sample clothespins to other publications, but have not seen anything come of it…. yet.

BackHome Magazine

I have a soft spot in my heart for BackHome magazine. First, it has been a consistently excellent little publication for down-to-earth people for a long time. But, more than that, BackHome was the first mainstream publication to review my chicken plucker plan book back when I first published it in 2002. It was a homely comb-bound first edition, put together at a local copy shop, but someone at BackHome actually read the book and saw that it was a legitimate plan for a very useful homestead tool.

In the current issue they have reviewed my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners, as follows:

Those who pine for the days when much of what we used around the house was made and not bought would be well served to pick up a copy of The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners. This book, an electric assortment of gardening tips, project plans, how-to guidance, and old-time almanac items was put together by Herrick Kimball, probably best known for his Whizbang Chicken Plucker Planbook and other build-it-yourself project books. 
In it you'll find honest-to-goodness how-to instructions for building trellises, making cloches, setting up planters, manufacturing your own biochar, and fabricating a genuine Whizbang Wheel Hoe, just to name a few projects. other tidbits include time-honored methods of growing cultivars such as strawberries and carrots, details on building a steam "fryalizing" compost maker (with a rocket stove), the soil remineralization process, scouting out a real hoe, making siphon-tube rain barrels, and a good deal more.
Kimball is a very engaging writer, with a nod to times past, and the 124-page book is generously illustrated with clear black-and-white line drawings.

Thank you, once again, BackHome magazine for helping spread the word about my books!

The MoneyChanger

Franklin Sanders is The Agrarian Moneychanger that I briefly mentioned on this blog way back in 2005. More recently (2013), I blogged about his advice to get out of debt. If you aren't signed up to get his free daily e-mail commentary, you should be. You can get to it by going to The Money Changer. When you're signed up for the commentary, you be able to read Franklin's views on the economy, as well as an occasional recommendation, like this one from his March 10, 2014 Commentary

I'm a Herrick Kimball junkie. Herrick has a website called "The Deliberate Agrarian" and is a splendid and direct writer. Besides, we both like the same things, but Herrick's a lot tougher than I am.
On his website he offers all sorts of products and plans. We are still using the chicken plucker we made from his plans six or eight years ago. It's warm & breezy outside today, & my mind started turning to gardening and Herrick's latest, "The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners." He calls it "an eclectic selection of inspiring project plans, useful tips, and how-to advice for people who enjoy growing their own food." There's every kind of idea here to make gardening more efficient, easier, & more fun. Plus, the book is filled with neat illustrations of the plans. Y'all do yourselves a favor & go visit and look at all the stuff Herrick's got there. Look especially at that "Idea Book For Gardeners." You'll want one of those.

That's a real nice recommendation and I'm very appreciative. But I'm pretty sure Franklin Sanders is tougher than me. For those who don't know, Franklin was unjustly harassed and persecuted by the government years ago and went to jail for a time. You gotta be tough to stand your ground when the government comes after you. As for me, I only worked in a jail for a time. You can read Franklin's story at his web site, or in his book, At Home in Dogwood Mudhole.

Oh, and by the way… over the years, as I have had extra money, or needed extra money, I have both bought and sold to Franklin. I trust him completely. At one time, I participated in his Monthly Acquisition Plan (MAP), which is a simple, low-cost way to start acquiring honest money. I see that the minimum monthly purchase for the plan is now $300. It seems to me it was only $50 when I was doing it years ago. That's inflation for you.


Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

I appreciate hearing that you have bought and sold with Franklin. My husband and I are considering doing so and it is good to hear positive feedback.

NicholasW said...

I just saw your clothespins in the most recent issue of Farm Show. Page 41 has a picture, some information about them, and your contact information.

Herrick Kimball said...


Thanks for mentioning it here. I got my issue of Farm Show yesterday (one day after this blog was posted) and saw they had mentioned the clothespins. I sent them a few samples. Hopefully ALL the publications I contacted will mention them. It looks like I will run out of inventory before I get a chance to make more.