Notwithstanding it was day 13, it was a good day yesterday.
Coverage on The Hawaii Project finally appeared in BostInno! BostInno is probably the 2nd biggest online media outlet after the Boston Globe, and likely bigger in terms of startup news. It’s great news for the project, and an interesting case study in how to approach media about your project. I’ll do a deeper dive on this after the Kickstarter is complete – for now, it’s relevant to one particular question – when do you approach media? In an ideal world, your news story hits the same day you launch your Kickstarter – you want as many people as possible piling onto Kickstarter the day you launch.
I had been in contact with them on and off over recent months but not directly talking about THP or seeking coverage. I sent them a note 8 days before the launch with the launch material and asking if they were interested to cover it, thinking a week was enough lead time. Good news, yes, they are interested. bad news: my contact goes on vacation the day of my email, and gets someone else involved. The reporter is extremely busy! Working off a backlog of stories almost two weeks old! So my story goes into the backlog. It hits today, day 13 of the campaign, so start-to-finish time on this story is 21 days. Moral of the story for you entrepreneurs: especially for your most desired outlets (BostInno was one of my top hopes for good press), get to them early so they have time to do the work. They’re busy too, maybe busier than you 8).
I watch the online chatter for a bit, then, I’m off to Porter Square Books, a local indie bookstore. I’m meeting with Josh Cook, who’s been a bookseller for at least a decade, runs online for PSB, and is a recently-published author (I buy a copy of his book, An Unexpected Murder while I am there). I’m hoping to get insights into the book-selling process from the perspective of a bookstore and from an author, and in addition hoping to find some way of working with them.
I learn a lot from talking to him. Since some people might consider what I am doing trying to dis-intermediate bookstores (it is NOT), I’m a little worried about them not wanting to help me. Josh however is an open book (insert bad joke sound effect here). Very helpful, thoughtful, and open to sharing. He is dubious that a machine or an algorithm can just pluck the right book out of the air (I also think that’s too high an expectation), but he gets more interested when I talk about how I’m crawling high quality, trusted sources of writing about books. His take is that is why people come to PSB and ask for book recommendations – they are a “trusted source”. We chat about a wide variety of things including the recent s***storm that is the Hugo controversy. In the end it doesn’t appear there’s an obvious way to work together but I’ve learned a lot.
Head home, go play some tennis (sound mind sound body, remember?), watch an episode of Hawaii-50, then pass out. Barely remember my head hitting the pillow.
$7,410, 21% of goal. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock….