Recently at Parachute Music Festival, I had the opportunity to meet Paul Young, the author of “The Shack”. At the festival he spoke about his journey and how God lead him to write a book that eventually sold over 7 million copies. This is my part in that amazing story.
In October 2007, I was given “The Shack” to read. I loved the book. At the back of the book there was a “Story behind the Shack” epilogue that mentioned selling enough copies to have a feature film made of the story. Out if interest I googled the book, but couldn’t find anywhere in Australia to purchase it. So, I contacted Wayne Jacobsen who was part of the team publishing the book, and found out that it would be possible to become a reseller of The Shack, along with He Loves Me, and So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore. I placed my first order and within two weeks had a website up and going. I had my first sale which was for three copies of So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore within the first day.
Over the next 12 months, we were part of the initial phenomenon that was The Shack. We sold over 1100 copies of The Shack along with quite a few other titles. My two main goals in selling the book were to make it available for people and give the profit to TEAR Australia. The Shack became a number one best seller selling over 7 million copies world-wide, and could be bought in any Christian book store, as well as many department stores. The Australian dollar had fallen against the US dollar, and we had to compete with discounting by a major Christian bookstore chain, and we were no longer making any profit to give away. So with one goal met and the other no longer possible, I closed the website.
Through this experience the book touched many lives and I learnt a great deal about internet marketing. These included:
- Spending a small amount on Google Adwords is cheaper and easier than worrying about search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Having a free call phone number and having it easy to find generates sales, and gives people confidence to purchase.
- Internet marketing is about niche marketing. Identifying your niche is more than half the battle won.
So the next thing was to look for other opportunities to expand my portfolio.