Marketing your drumming/music-related business

Boomka

Platinum Member
In all the he said/she said of the Seth Davis (Alleged) Spam Scandal, a pertinent question arose: what is the right way to market your drum business? In a world where we're bombarded by information about products and services but where noise outweighs signal by a fair margin, what do we need to do to get ourselves and and our businesses out there? How do we connect with our target market(s)?

In that former thread, DeltaDrummer said this:

You need to be obnoxious and in everyone's face to sell your product. That is the way the world is these days. We live in a Paparazzi Paradise.
Is it true? I look at the success that David Stanoch has had with Mastering the Tables of Time and I'm not convinced. David is as down to earth and humble as can be and got the word out about his book by getting it into the hands of professional players and teachers, and once they had sung its praises, into the hands of magazine publishers, etc. There never was an aggressive e-marketing campaign aimed at punters and the median end-user. As word got out amongst various teachers and pros, the depth of the material spoke for itself and interested people (myself included) got in touch with David to get their own copies. At the same time - presumably - David and his helpers were getting the word out to the press for review. Granted the quality of the material probably has something to do with the product's acclaim, but doesn't this really suggest that if your product is deep enough and your efforts to get it out there sincere enough, that "SMASH BANG WOW!" e-marketing isn't necessary? In David's case, the material has been on the burner for many, many years. He's edited and re-edited many times, and the product was essentially a finished entity of incredible depth before it came to market. Moreover, he's been effectively testing the material on students at Smith-McNally for decades. In contradistinction, so many of the products I see flogged at drummers seem hastily put together by people trying to make a name for themselves, rather than being the culmination of many, many years of established teaching and writing, with more versions on the scrap heap than can be counted. In other cases, the marketing precedes the product, which rightly begs scepticism.

Another example is Pat Petrillo. While he's been very busy getting the word out about his products, there never has been a flashy campaign telling me all about how crazy-good Hands, Grooves and Fills (for example) is going to make my playing in two weeks. And when Pat was first promoting the product, he did a lot of it in person. I had the chance to have a lesson and masterclass with Pat in the UK as he toured around to get the word out about his book from his own mouth. Sure, his publishing house advertised in the big magazines, etc. but I never got the sense that Pat was trying to shove anything down anyone's throat. His approach was self-assured and he let his resume and his teaching style do the talking. The content is stuff that he had tried and trued at The Collective over his long-standing tenure there. It didn't need to be hyped, it sold because it's distilled and it's known to work.

That brings me to something very important. In both the above cases (and many others I could name) the focus is not on what Pat or David can do behind a set of drums: and they're both rather good players. No, the focus of their marketing campaigns has been on the material: i.e. the approach, the application and the potential contained within it. Again, this seems to be the formula for real, sustainable success in the education business. George Stone wasn't the finest snare drummer to ever walk the planet, but his material is second-to-none half a century later. To be so, the material has had to provide a basis for learning and improvement to a broad swathe of the drumming community. In the end, I couldn't care less if Jim Blackley (one of my teachers) can play pg. 60 of his book at 300 BPM, what I need to know is that the material is set out in a logical and intuitive way that can help not just me, but others including my students. Moreover, I need to know that he has experienced and anticipated the needs of many kinds of student and presented the material in such a way that it can help them to overcome their hurdles in a simple and straightforward way. In short, the elegance of the presentation, coupled with experience and - dare I say - wisdom, will seperate a product (and it's seller) from competitors, not hard-hitting, in-your-face marketing aimed at moving product rather than moving minds and hearts. Perhaps we can take a page out of Murray Spivack's book, who said it was his job to reach a pupil's brain; to help them understand what they need to do.

If we're trying to sell an educational product - and I include both books and lessons in that - I think we ought to do it with a little bit of dignity and austerity; as befits the subject matter. In the end, we drummers are in greater control of how our industry works than we might think. If we don't accept aggressive marketing for educational materials, and we don't employ such methods, the norm will be that only those products marketed with some seriousness and with a matter-of-fact approach will pass muster. We're both the sellers and the buyers in this case, so why should we accept what seems to work in other markets? If we don't take ourselves seriously as merchants and customers, why should anyone else?

Anyway, just thought I'd get some discussion started on this topic that's important to many of us as working professional players and teachers.
 
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JPW

Silver Member
I think there's two main paths which you can take with marketing. Hunt for the big money quickly with aggressive and obnoxious marketing for the masses which propably alienates the most professional customers. OR you can try to slowly work your way up gaining respect with the professional community and in a while propably get at least the same amount of money out of your product if it's actually good. If even you yourself have some kind of doubt in your product it's propably safer to go with the first alternative but if you have actually something good to sell, why not take the time and gain the respect of the guys who in the long run can do you more and better than the marketing gurus who can destroy even greatest of products with aggressive marketing.

Someone linked this blog in another thread and I think it relates to the subject, a good read nontheless: http://www.carlkingcreative.com/how-to-avoid-honking

What I would like to see is some kind of medium that would tie all these educational materials together to be found and to be explored. I have been self taught these days, back in the days I was at the music academy for 6 years or so, so I got to know what are relevant aspects of practicing drums and what kind of stuff to look for. But even with my background it wasn't easy to find the right books or DVD's to work with. So it was more like "word of mouth -> buy and try" for me. Would have been A LOT better if there would have been sort of IMDB-style site where I could check out categories like "hand technique", "4-way coordination", "dynamics" or "playing style X with a band" and have reviews and ratings. But other than amazon.com I haven't found that sort of thing. I think what bothers me is that this industry is TOO "word of mouth" by nature and if you don't know or pay to the right person you won't be poked at the right source of information. So I think most of the best players actually have just been lucky to found the right information on the right time because of the people they just happen to know. It's information war. Anyone could play if they had the same information and the same discipline.

Back to the subject, if the music industry wasn't "word of mouth" to so high degree, maybe we had less "honkers" (which was defined in the blog I linked).
 
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Boomka

Platinum Member
I think the idea of a quasi-independent database is a good one. It would be an incredibly huge undertaking, however.

As for "word of mouth" referrals, isn't that a good thing? Granted it means that often only accepted, 'domesticated' products that fall within certain established parameters will get pushed to the forefront, but isn't that also a kind of informal system of peer review? In academics - for example - before an article is published in a journal, it has to undergo a rigourous peer review process to ensure that it meets certain standards, doesn't engage in copious duplication (or worse, plagiarism), etc. In the drumming community, some of that "word of mouth" is our collective wisdom being used to guage the value of a piece of material. Sure, it takes awhile and can be very frustrating for those without the patience to build up a reputation slowly and surely, but in the end, it contributes to good products reaching the people who need them.
 
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JPW

Silver Member
I think the idea of a quasi-independent database is a good one. It would be an incredibly huge undertaking, however.

As for "word of mouth" referrals, isn't that a good thing? Granted it means that often only accepted, 'domesticated' products that fall within certain established parameters will get pushed to the forefront, but isn't that also a kind of informal system of peer review? In academics - for example - before an article is published in a journal, it has to undergo a rigourous peer review process to ensure that it meets certain standards, doesn't engage in copious duplication (or worse, plagiarism), etc. In the drumming community, some of that "word of mouth" is our collective wisdom being used to guage the value of a piece of material. Sure, it takes awhile and can be very frustrating for those without the patience to build up a reputation slowly and surely, but in the end, it contributes to good products reaching the people who need them.
Yes, of course there are benefits to this kind of system too. But I was highlighting the system's feature that allows the existence of "honkers".

And I agree that the database would be a huge undertaking. And of course it could be abused too. I'm just talking from my self-taught perspective.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Yes, of course there are benefits to this kind of system too. But I was highlighting the system's feature that allows the existence of "honkers".

And I agree that the database would be a huge undertaking. And of course it could be abused too. I'm just talking from my self-taught perspective.
[Thread Drift]I'm sure there is a music library somewhere with a catalogue of all this stuff, the question is always access. Moreover, in the case of music instructional books, you'd have to provide something more than an abstract, I think. You'd need to have viewable examples of exercises, notation, etc. And these days, with every book having either a CD or DVD (or both) coming alongside, to be really accurate you'd need examples of those media, too..

Jeez... I don't know how librarians do it, to be honest.[/Thread Drift]

As for marketing, I agree that you'd have less of the "honkers" if it didn't seem like a closed shop, but I guess the question is whether or not we look at this from primarily an eductional and informative standpoint or a business one. I'm not saying the two are mutually opposed or that we come entirely from one direction or the other, but merely that we need to think about emphasis.

If we're going to emphasise the educational and informative aspects of what we do as teachers/writers/educators, then our approach to gaining notoriety is going to be different. We're going to understand that a patient, trickle-down process of winning over minds by way of consistent, dependable contributions to the study and literature of our craft beats out a hucksters' mentality no matter what the quality of the work we're contributing. I think that in the end, it's about motivation and intent and choosing marketing techniques that reflect certain values rather than those that will sell, sell, sell.
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
I just think too many people are more likely to take the easy way out in order to get a quick buck. Why work really hard on something that would actually "change minds" that might not even be that successful when you can put out a mediocre product and tell people its the next stick control. It's a concoction of laziness and, in my opinion, the american psyche of the american dream. Everyone's out to get as much money as possible from everyone else. the means by which you accomplish that are besides the point. It's the beauty of self-interest, and in this sense, i guess you can say it's a bad thing as people who didn't work as hard on a quality product might make more money than someone who worked their asses off for that product that would change minds. It's a shame, and it's also remarkable how just about anyone can make it in this business.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Not being in the ad business, and speaking only for this forum and it's rules, there is a Classified section for For Sale/Wanted items. List what you have there and move on. Or if you are a regular contributor and offer advice on the full range of the forum, put your website in your signature in a non-bold manner and leave it at that. This may be bending forum rules to a degree but at least you are not being obnoxious about it.

As far as the Paparazzi Paradise, no one is better known as an educator than Dom Famularo and I dare say he has never been in anyone's face to get the word out. The only reason to be in someones face about your products is a lack of maturity and greed. If what you have to sell is worthwhile and "legit", it may take a while, but it will sell. Being rude and crass may be the theme of the day but it doesn't make it right.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
As far as the Paparazzi Paradise, no one is better known as an educator than Dom Famularo and I dare say he has never been in anyone's face to get the word out. Being rude and crass may be the theme of the day but it doesn't make it right.
I get Dom Famularo spam on a semi regular basis. It's not entirely in your face but it's not subtle either. I also don't consider it a big deal and actually enjoy it from time to time, because I'm interested in what he's doing. He also supports young guys, so he's always safe from my spam filter.

Fact of the matter is there are a large number of pro drummers on this site who spam like mad both in public and pm, who don't really contribute all that much past trying to mapquest the location of their next clinic. I don't mind them so much either, because this forum has an attractive target membership, so I understand their interest. Its also nice to see them around. They may even hang around for a question or two, and in the case of at least a couple will hang around as regulars /G. Harrison, Pat P. etc/.

In saying this GRUNTERSDAD I'm not trying to insult at all; only to point out that the spam appears more invisible when the spammer is already a brand name or the recipient /almost always justified/ has some particular seal of approval that has been agreed upon by the larger masses.

It appears for most here that the issue revolves around the up and coming guy. For some reason he is the larger recipient of contempt and/or anger. Sure there are always the obvious cases of unprofessional spam from these guys. But I've always felt that at least 75% of the time, a certain clique of of frustrated person with gigantic opinions feels he doesn't deserve to be out there /see the cynicism thread/. Or some guys of equal talent or name rec are merely trying to X him out because they're upset they didn't think of the promotion first. You can also link that in with the wing men who merely wait on the Internet to see who the popular guys side with.

Then there's of course the trolls who pile on once the fire has started. Boomka's referenced thread was in fact visited by an extremely well known flame troll from a very busy drum forum. While that thread played out here, he started a sister thread at his other place about what was happening here for no other reason than to bring attention to himself. He also fashions himself a proper jazz policeman /see jazz 4 letter word thread/ when he appears to really be no more than an angry drafting student who may or may not play the drums, but enjoys how his self imposed connection with the word jazz gives him a sense of misguided importance.

Again to clarify; I'm not attacking drafting students. I'm only pointing out that this spam issue is far more complicated than most imagine. And in the case of some, you're dead before you start because there's a glass ceiling already set up for certain guys until you figure out some magic way of keeping Internet trolls and others at bay until you can get your 2c out there. With many of them it's just this constant game of gotcha because they really don't have enough to do. But if you say even that, the small handful of sincere folks you were never pointing out think you were speaking about them.

I think the bottom line is that most are simply going to go back to posters, print ads and word of mouth, because the Internet is just too tricky while too many others can't resist playing games.

By the way, feel free to ask me about Zildjian, PWB and Slapstik. They're great companies.
 

denisri

Silver Member
Great Thread and discussion..Can't wait to see comments from the full time drummers that participant in this forum and do it for a living!!!!!
Given the nature of the music business...Years ago(age 16,,55 now) I made a business decisions to pursue drumming as a part time regional....I'm a average good drummer but too conservative too push the envelope. Given the option to make a good live as an engineer(steady pay,benefits and very interesting work) and work drumming and teaching drumming as a part time serious hobby.
It really does come down to marketing your skills...You can sit in your practice room and be the greatest...but no-one knows who you are.
Would like to hear from the pro full time drummers and forum members regarding their marketing approaches...what works and what does work. TX Denis
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I think the bottom line is that most are simply going to go back to posters, print ads and word of mouth, because the Internet is just too tricky while too many others can't resist playing games..
That may be the case, but I think there are plenty of guys using the internet in a pretty savvy way, without resorting to some of the less savoury tactics we see.

And I don't think running and hiding from the internet is the way to go. There simply must be ways of utilising such a medium to dissiminate useful information and make a living. Again, I point to an example like David Stanoch, who has been careful about who/what he associates himself with on the internet, and has a very useful website that supplements his book and teaching. I hate to keep using him as my star example, it's just that he's had a lot of success come his way in a short period of time, but virtually none of the buzz was forced into our inboxes or onto forums like this one.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
What I would like to see is some kind of medium that would tie all these educational materials together to be found and to be explored.
Now i'm really really dissappointed!!!

You only have to check out our very own Drumclinic section

http://www.drummerworld.com/drumclinic.html

where you find every possible book or DVD ever published by and brand, is it Hudson Music, Warner Brothers, Modern Drummer, Alfred, Carl Fischer, Hal Leonhard.

They are providing Drummerworld with their best material and i put up samples in a very editorial way, sorted by style, genre.....so i can't help: what are you looking for more as this?

I'm really dissappointed and not sure anymore, why we do all this work...

Bernhard
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Now i'm really really dissappointed!!!

You only have to check out our very own Drumclinic section

http://www.drummerworld.com/drumclinic.html

where you find every possible book or DVD ever published by and brand, is it Hudson Music, Warner Brothers, Modern Drummer, Alfred, Carl Fischer, Hal Leonhard.

They are providing Drummerworld with their best material and i put up samples in a very editorial way, sorted by style, genre.....so i can't help: what are you looking for more as this?

I'm really dissappointed and not sure anymore, why we do all this work...

Bernhard
Bernhard, I think a lot of us really appreciate all the work you guys do around here. That said, I can't seem to find books listed by publisher, etc.

And the kind of thing I was thinking of is the sort of cataloguing of books and articles you'd find in a library, or a scholarly setting like JSTOR, or the like. I don't think that I, or JPW, were looking to detract from the work you do.
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
In that former thread, DeltaDrummer said this: You need to be obnoxious and in everyone's face to sell your product. That is the way the world is these days. We live in a Paparazzi Paradise.

Is it true?
I think the public is less tolerant and as a result, more resistant to obnoxious and presumptuous ad campaigns. You're seeing that response right here over a relatvely benign marketing attempt.

Bermuda
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Bernhard, I think a lot of us really appreciate all the work you guys do around here. That said, I can't seem to find books listed by publisher, etc.

And the kind of thing I was thinking of is the sort of cataloguing of books and articles you'd find in a library, or a scholarly setting like JSTOR, or the like. I don't think that I, or JPW, were looking to detract from the work you do.
Every sample in the Drumclinicsection - sorted by Style, Technique, whatever - has the link to the book or DVD the sample comes from at the bottom. The good thing is, that it is not limited to brands as it is normaly the case in a catalogue.

http://www.drummerworld.com/drumclinic.html

If this is not enough you find a nearly complete list with links to all samples in the shop:

http://www.drummerworld.com/shop.html

This is all so easy, compared to my times 45 years ago - no internet, no DVD's, som booklets yes, but no audio with it....

To learn a rhythm you had to put your thumb onto the longplay disk to lower the speed to hear what's going on....

Just feel it's too easy these days, sorry to say....rant over...

Bernhard
 

JPW

Silver Member
Now i'm really really dissappointed!!!

You only have to check out our very own Drumclinic section

http://www.drummerworld.com/drumclinic.html

where you find every possible book or DVD ever published by and brand, is it Hudson Music, Warner Brothers, Modern Drummer, Alfred, Carl Fischer, Hal Leonhard.

They are providing Drummerworld with their best material and i put up samples in a very editorial way, sorted by style, genre.....so i can't help: what are you looking for more as this?

I'm really dissappointed and not sure anymore, why we do all this work...

Bernhard
I'm sorry if I offended you, that certanly wasn't my intention and I love your site, it's my favourite drumsite for sure. I wasn't aware of your sites drumclinic section although I might have stumbled upon it some time. But as Boomka already stated that just isn't quite what I am after.

Firstly, although it has many books and DVD's, it's far from a complete list. Also it's hard to judge how good and relevant they actually are. I happen to like Hudson music's products they are always top quality but it seems that there's quita small number of other products. For example I didn't seem to find Dom Famularo's books or Terry O'mahoney's Motivic Drumset Soloing in your lists. And those are just a tip of the ice berg. And it wouldn't matter if they weren't any good, but both have changed how I approach the instrument and both were first "word of mouth" on the forum and after that "buy and try" for me. =S

The initial idea of you drum clinic section is a great one! It's just not applied to it's full potential... yet. =)

ps. and thank you for you efforts in bringing this all together. I know it's easier to complain than actually try to do the stuff for your self.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I have a take on the "spam scandal" or marketing scandal (at least this takes some of the heat off of Tiger Woods). I'm not sure if I'm out of the norm, but I don't mind having people email me about their drum products. I believe it was Matt Ritter (Matt correct me if I'm wrong) that emailed me after he completed his DVD because my email was on the Vic Firth site. He is a fellow drummer. I was glad to be made aware of his endeavor. I probably responded to the email in a congratulatory fashion. He knew that I am a drummer and went to a source that had drummer's emails. It's not like someone sending an email that said "generic prescriptions cheap."

I get emails from drummers asking me to consider them for the Modern Drummer reader's polls too. I never thought of being offended by it. Maybe some of those drummers got the emails through this forum, but I do put my email address here for people to contact me. If only forum members wanted to contact me, they would use PM.

So using emails of people you know to be drummers may be a good marketing idea as well. I mean, companies buy mailing lists to better target their advertising. Isn't this the same?

Jeff
 

JPW

Silver Member
I have a take on the "spam scandal" or marketing scandal (at least this takes some of the heat off of Tiger Woods). I'm not sure if I'm out of the norm, but I don't mind having people email me about their drum products. I believe it was Matt Ritter (Matt correct me if I'm wrong) that emailed me after he completed his DVD because my email was on the Vic Firth site. He is a fellow drummer. I was glad to be made aware of his endeavor. I probably responded to the email in a congratulatory fashion. He knew that I am a drummer and went to a source that had drummer's emails. It's not like someone sending an email that said "generic prescriptions cheap."

I get emails from drummers asking me to consider them for the Modern Drummer reader's polls too. I never thought of being offended by it. Maybe some of those drummers got the emails through this forum, but I do put my email address here for people to contact me. If only forum members wanted to contact me, they would use PM.

So using emails of people you know to be drummers may be a good marketing idea as well. I mean, companies buy mailing lists to better target their advertising. Isn't this the same?

Jeff
Yeah, I guess this subject is always a bit subjective. I didn't even consider the scandalous spam PMs as spam because I actually was interested in the progress of the product in question. What I was worried about was the fact that email addresses were spread. That's never a good thing.
 

Pat Petrillo

Silver Member
Thanks in advance for the kind words on this thread. Much appreciated.

Those of us with a publisher (Hudson Alfred, etc) do have the advantage of some advertising and marketing that is committed to your product, as seen on some of the most recent column ads here on this site for mine, and other products. However, it's not always a bed of roses, and even with that support, you need to be able to communicate to the drumming community on your own via newsletters, etc.

I have a substantial mailing list that my manager has accumlated via my website, and I do a newsletter every other month. Spamming people with emails once a week is abit much, but monthly, or bi monthly is probably acceptable.

To gather emails, even if they are posted, and simply spam them is perhaps not going to endear you to the people you are trying to reach. Begin a thread, ask for input, then inform people of your newsletter. If they register, great. If not, they aren't interested.

In terms of HOW to go about it, I do feel a track record is important, however, with many companies and budgets being cut, and the seemingly endless amount of drummers/instructors looking for a "deal", the product has to be VERY interesting, unique and basically COMPLETE, before any company would even look at. I know that Hudson receives monthly submissions, and rarely act on them.

If you self publish, please don't think that the more you get in peoples face, the more it will catch on. Generally, you will push people in the other direction. Accept the fact that you will not sell thousands of copies, or even hundreds. The flip side is, since you keep all the profits yourself, you don'e HAVE to sell hundreds to be successful financially. If you sell 250 copies at a profit of say, $20 after expenses, that's $5,000. I know MANY artists with MAJOR publishers who WISH they could make $5,000 in royalties a year, you feel what I'm sayin? So, it's all relative.

My advise is, keep writing, keep creating, and the cream eventually rises, and if it's REAL good, a publisher may get it to a larger audience. Just keep it real, professional, and you will get noticed.
Good luck to all of you out there.

PS..If you would like to get on the email list, click here
.http://www.patpetrillo.com/contact.htm
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
I get unsolicited emails about products every day. However, if I choose not to receive more from that company/person etc. I expect an unsubscribe button to click and then I expect not to receive any further mail from them. I do not wish to be told I am jealous of the persons talent etc etc etc. Be mature about it and take me off of your email list. I pride myself in being able to find things on the internet when others fail to. If I want to see what you are doing I will find you. There is a national no call list for the phone with penalties for violation, why not avoid all of this hassle and respect other peoples rights.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Thanks in advance for the kind words on this thread. Much appreciated.

Those of us with a publisher (Hudson Alfred, etc) do have the advantage of some advertising and marketing that is committed to your product, as seen on some of the most recent column ads here on this site for mine, and other products. However, it's not always a bed of roses, and even with that support, you need to be able to communicate to the drumming community on your own via newsletters, etc.

I have a substantial mailing list that my manager has accumlated via my website, and I do a newsletter every other month. Spamming people with emails once a week is abit much, but monthly, or bi monthly is probably acceptable.

To gather emails, even if they are posted, and simply spam them is perhaps not going to endear you to the people you are trying to reach. Begin a thread, ask for input, then inform people of your newsletter. If they register, great. If not, they aren't interested.

In terms of HOW to go about it, I do feel a track record is important, however, with many companies and budgets being cut, and the seemingly endless amount of drummers/instructors looking for a "deal", the product has to be VERY interesting, unique and basically COMPLETE, before any company would even look at. I know that Hudson receives monthly submissions, and rarely act on them.

If you self publish, please don't think that the more you get in peoples face, the more it will catch on. Generally, you will push people in the other direction. Accept the fact that you will not sell thousands of copies, or even hundreds. The flip side is, since you keep all the profits yourself, you don'e HAVE to sell hundreds to be successful financially. If you sell 250 copies at a profit of say, $20 after expenses, that's $5,000. I know MANY artists with MAJOR publishers who WISH they could make $5,000 in royalties a year, you feel what I'm sayin? So, it's all relative.

My advise is, keep writing, keep creating, and the cream eventually rises, and if it's REAL good, a publisher may get it to a larger audience. Just keep it real, professional, and you will get noticed.
Good luck to all of you out there.

PS..If you would like to get on the email list, click here
.http://www.patpetrillo.com/contact.htm
You're welcome, Pat. You'll never get anything but kind words from me, because as your post shows, you're going about the whole thing the right way. I guess all I'm really trying to say is summed up by your second to last paragraph: do it for the right reasons, and do it well and good things will come. That has certainly been true in anything I've done in my career and my life. It sounds cheesy, perhaps even naive, but I don't think there is really any other way to operate. I don't frown - as some do - over people using forums like this to try and further their businesses. Effectively, they're places for people to put in thier two cents, and it's very easy to simply skim by obvious attempts to sell product.

And it's interesting/informative to hear the views of someone who's been through the publishing/marketing ringer. Your point about things needing to be long-standing, deep and complete before marketing is the next option is bang on. I know that I can sense when a product has that kind of solidity behind it after looking at it for just a few minutes.

Perhaps what's really coming out here is that in a sea of information, quality really can rise to the top - and that refers both to the actual content and to the way people govern themselves in their business dealings.
 
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