Jayne Rylon

Author, Reader and now Teespring Entrepreneur

After seeing several of her fellow authors create Teespring campaigns to generate pre-release excitement amongst fans, romance novelist Jayne decided to create a shirt of her own.

“When I realized that people could order exactly what they needed and Teespring would handle the shipping and customer service, there was nothing stopping me from giving it a try,” says Jayne.

She designed the shirt for fans of her “Powertools” book series. To get started, she picked out a few fonts from Teespring’s designer tool, and got to work.

For her design, Jayne created a word collage that featured important characters and themes from her novels. By sharing the campaign with her email list and her social media pages several different times, she was able to sell 99 shirts to fans.

After selling nearly 100 shirts to just her small fan base, Jayne realized there was an opportunity to reach an even larger audience.

“So, I began making generic designs tailored towards reading lovers. And that’s when things really took off,” says Jayne.

Jayne didn’t rush to create her next design. Like other successful Teespringers, Jayne involved her audience in the creation of her unique design by presenting a few different options, and allowing her Facebook fans to vote on their favorite. “It helps build up a lot of anticipation,” says Jayne. “That momentum can’t be underestimated.”

The winner featured a design Jayne created herself using a mix of fonts and stock photography, called “I Read Past My Bedtime.”

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Finding Fans

Even though she was excited by the prospect of reaching a large audience, Jayne was also intimidated by the idea of trying to reach them all.

“Once you decide on a design, be ready to find the right audience for the shirt,” says Jayne.

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Jayne decided to try to segment potential buyers. She created several different Facebook advertisements, each targeting 5 to 10 prominent authors in a specific genre. For example, one ad targeted fans of several prominent romance novelists, while another targeted fans of a few authors in the mystery genre.

Jayne then “scaled up” the ads that generated the most sales by giving them a larger budget. The ads that did not perform as well were promptly shut down.

Jayne estimates that about half of her sales came from her paid advertising methods, and half from organic traffic. Besides using Facebook advertising, Jayne set up cross-promotions with other authors and bloggers. For example, in exchange for sharing her campaign with their audiences, Jayne would promote content or books recently published by her author and journalist friends.

The Aftermath

To date, Jayne has sold over 4,700 “I Read Past My Bedtime” tees to fans all over the globe. She’s even created a version just for male readers after receiving numerous requests.

As fans started to receive their tees, they eagerly submitted “selfies” of themselves, each one more goofy than the next.

Because Jayne added her own personal website to the tee, she also found increased traffic to and engagement on her site after her campaign finished. She also made sure to order a few extra tees for herself, which she used as “giveaways” for social media contests she knew she would want to host later on.

With all of her earnings, Jayne was able to fully fund a complete overhaul of her website, and convert her entire backlist of e-books into audiobooks for her fans to download.

Get started on Teespring here.