About My Shop
Things are going well with Catholic Book And Card. Although, like most things online the shop had a slow start.
I created Catholic Book And Card in 2018 under another name and never really used it. Then rebranded it last summer as a Catholic printables shop. My idea was to sell printable prayer cards, some gift items and eventually my own ebooks.
I sold my first prayer card to a friend in July of 2020. Then I put the shop on hold while I learned more about etsy, business and designing printables. During that time I set up an LLC I called St. Joan’s Press. (St Joan’s Press is an umbrella company for my printables and ebooks.) And talked to an advisor from the SBA about my plans.
I was also writing a lot during that time and didn’t get any new prayer cards up until 2021. Since January of 2021 Catholic Book And Cards views and sales have increased each month. It is NOT a lot of activity or money but it is a steady build which I feel really good about.
What Seems to Be Working for Me
- I committed to do one new Catholic Book And Card listing per week. I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to start a listing early in the week. Then I work on it here and there as I have time.
- I go back over my older listings each week and try to improve them. Sometimes I tweak the copy. Sometimes I put up new images. Last week I made and mockups for all of prayer cards. I’m also going to be taking a class in Digital Media Design in the spring to better improve my listings.
- I thank people for purchasing from me. And I do my best to help them if they have issues with printing or downloading. I use the Etsy app so I get notified right away if there is a problem.
- I use all the tags etsy allows. Though I have not put a lot of work into optimizing my listings for search.
- I gave my listings a uniform look. For me this means cohesive mockups and copy. But have some variety too. Both the cards and the backgrounds in the mockups are different. I provide individualized info on the images and prayer in each listing).
Things I Want to Improve Upon
- I want to improve my SEO. This means doing a better job of including my tags in my copy, titles and file names. I also want to make the structure of my listing copy more uniform.
- Using Pinterest to promote my listings is also high on my list. I do have a facebook page for my shop but want to focus on Pinterest for now.
- I’ve also been thinking of coming up with some generic images about myself and my business. I could use these to fill in a couple of the unused slots in my listings. Though I’m not quite sure how to do this without being spammy.
- I’d like to eventually do some video posts showing creative or instructional things about my listings. One idea is how to embellish a prayer cards. Another is how to fold a prayer pamphlet).
- I want to finish one of my ebooks and get it into the shop. Right now I’m toggling back and forth between the fiction and nonfiction. But I am beginning to think it might be easiest to get the nonfiction done first.
My Feelings About the Shop
Catholic Book And Card started out as a way to share my love of traditional Catholic art and graphic design. It still is that, of course. But it’s also become much more.
I love the idea that it is a place where my design, writing and faith meet. Because this intersection really does keep me on track as I talked about in my last podcast episode. The name of the episode is Genre Fiction and Catholicism.
In that episode I talked about the anti-Catholic or anti-Christian content of so many popular novels. I also explained how I found my own fiction going in the wrong direction. In this case by emphasizing special abilities and other conventional fantasy elements. For a while I was so far off track that I started to think that book wouldn’t really fit into a shop called Catholic Book And Card.
A couple of different things happened. I felt uncomfortable about renaming the shop. I prayed about it and talked to family. And I believe that in the end my prayer was answered. So I revised my manuscript.
It was the best move I could have made.
For more on Catholicism and genre fiction (and the role my shop played in keeping me on track) please check out my Creative Catholic Podcast Episode 7.
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