Last Updated on September 8, 2021
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About Donald L. Allison
Don Allison, a veteran journalist and founder of Faded Banner Publications, is a lifelong resident of Williams County, Ohio, where he shares a historic home with his wife, Diane. A 1976 graduate of Stryker High School, Don earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Toledo in 1980. As a high school student Don got his start in journalism as a sports writer and photographer with the weekly Advance Reporter newspaper, now known as the Village Reporter. He joined The Bryan Times in 1981, where he served many years as news editor and recently retired as senior editor. He has received numerous Associated Press and United Press International awards for his news, feature and column writing and special section design. Even after leaving journalism to become a full-time book publisher and author, Don’s weekly column “On My Mind” continues to be a Bryan Times fixture. Drawing on knowledge gained from a lifetime of studying the Civil War, Don has written extensively about that conflict. He and Diane are the founders of Faded Banner Publications, which publishes books on the Civil War and Northwest Ohio history, as well as the paranormal. In addition to the books Don has written, Faded Banner publishes works by other authors on history and true crime. For nearly four decades Don has served on the Williams County, Ohio, Historical Society Board of Trustees, and through the years he has held various offices with the organization. He spearheaded the successful effort in which the society acquired and preserved the 1845 Society of Friends Meeting House in western Williams County. Don also is a founding member and past trustee and officer of the Stryker Area Heritage Council. Currently Don serves as a historical interpreter with Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio. Don’s books include “I Met a Ghost at Gettysburg: A Journalist’s Journey Into the Paranormal,” “I Met More Ghosts at Gettysburg: A Journalist’s Paranormal Journey Continues,” “Hell on Belle Isle: Diary of a Civil War POW,” volumes I and II of “The Best of On My Mind: The Bryan Times Newspaper Columns of Don Allison” and “Almost Award Winning Christmas Carols: Holiday Hilarity.”
About Faded Banner Publications
For much of my early life I desired to write books on history. I had spoken with a number of authors of history works, and a majority of them were not happy with the final products, citing disagreements with editors over the books’ contents and sometimes with design and choice of illustrations. With my expertise in writing, editing and newspaper design I found that these skills translated easily into book creation. I carefully studied the publishing field, aspects of working with printers, marketing and overall business operations, and I made the plunge in 1996. For many years I operated Faded Banner Publications on a part-time basis, with the support of the newspaper where I was employed. Finally, in 2018, I left the newspaper field to devote myself full-time to Faded Banner. My wife and I had purchased a historic home, and two rooms of the building are dedicated as an office and a library, meeting and storage area.
- 1 How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?
- 2 How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?
- 3 What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?
- 4 What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?
- 5 What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?
- 6 What Are Your Favorite Books?
- 7 Anything You’d Like To Plug?
How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?
My first book was on Civil War history, back in the 1990s before social media, so I advertised in history publications with national distribution to generate single-copy and institutional sales. I also relied heavily on the telephone to contact bookstores, distributors, libraries and organizations offering speaking/signing opportunities. I have approximately 50 repeat wholesale customers and each year I generate 1,000 or more single sales customers, many of which become repeat customers
How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?
I rely heavily on social media and email, to drive customers to the Faded Banner and related company web sites, and some telephone solicitations. I also rely on presentations at conferences and other events, and displays at trade shows.
What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?
Carefully study what similar companies are doing, not just in their products or services but their advertising and marketing. That is just a starting point, however — think outside the box and be confident as you do so. If you are spending money on ads, test them before major purchases or commitments. Be creative, make your social media or email outreach interesting, not just about your products and services but what you can do to make their lives better or easier.
What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to celebrities and influencers in your field. They are far more willing to give you a boost than you imagine.
What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?
My very first book, “Hell on Belle Isle: Diary of a Civil War POW”, shot to the number one spot in regional bestseller lists and earned me television appearances during the tour when I launched the book.
What Are Your Favorite Books?
I prefer both to read and write non-fiction, especially Civil War history and books on the paranormal.
Anything You’d Like To Plug?
“I Met a Ghost at Gettysburg: A Journalist’s Journey Into the Paranormal” available at www.imetaghost.com
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