Return to Homepage


Learn More About the Society Tools to Help You Increase Readership and Teacher Use Get Involved in Your Area Support the Society
Learn How Ishmael's Lessons are Being Put to Use Find Organizations that Act on Ishmael's Lessons Frequently Asked Questions Write to Us
Promotional Tools

L Promote To



Book Distribution

Book Excerpts/Reviews



Other Ideas

Promotional Products

Reader Testimony



Like it or not, there is simply no way to reach as many people at once as through our broadcast media. So, as part of the Ishmael blitz, don't forget conventional advertising. These methods are proven to work! After all, it was a newspaper ad that caught the attention of the narrator in Ishmael, and near the end of the book, Quinn observes that a stand up comic can reach more people in ten minutes via TV than St. Paul reached in his entire life. If the mainstream media is a fact of life, then let's make it work for us.


There are literally thousands of highway billboards advertising everything from gambling to drugs to alcohol, so why not promote something more positive - Ishmael. Although it's not easy, successful implementation will make you the most famous Ishmaelite! Here's what we know about the process, but please e-mail us with more information and message ideas.

Billboards are usually rented one month at a time. They cost anywhere from $500 to $4000 a month, based on the billboard's exposure, size, type and location. The most popular outdoor advertising companies are Lamar , Norton , and Global Outdoor Services .

Newspaper Ads

Ads are present throughout the newspaper, obnoxiously getting in our way. Let's fill this space with a useful advertisement for Ishmael! Increasing readership through local or national newspapers is easier than you think! There are two main ways to advertise in a newspaper: through the classifieds or through a space ad. Classified ads are a cheap and easy way to advertise. Space ads are more involved, but much more effective at gaining readers' attention.

Classified Ads:

Anyone can place a classified ad quickly and with little or no censorship. Look in the classified section of your local or national newspaper or check their website and you will see a phone number, web address, or e-mail address to post a classified, as well as standard prices and time periods for the ads. You will have a maximum number of characters or lines and must pay more if exceeded. We recommend placing your ad through the internet to reduce the possibility of it being questioned and discarded.

You can place your Ishmael classified ad in any category, from education or announcements to help wanted or job listings, depending on the content of the ad and your
target audience. There are many types of messages that you can use in your ad. Remember to keep your audience in mind when determining what the message should say. Sayings include (but are not limited to):
Each ad could have a contact e-mail used to connect them with the local Ishmael group. It also may be effective to remain anonymous, in which case you could simply direct readers to, the main website at or to the Local Ishmael Groups section of this website at

Space Ads:

Space ads are those rectangular or square-shaped advertisements that you see throughout the newspaper, often with graphics and designs, in addition to the text. These ads are sold depending on the area measurements that the space ad requires and the location within the publication. Contact your local newspaper and ask them for information on their space ads: what are the size requirements and how is the cost calculated based on size?

Once you decide what size you can afford, it is time to design an advertisement of that size. You can use anything on this site or on to assist you, such as slogans, message ideas or graphics. You can also use print ad tips by Adbuster. Once it is designed, call them to place the ad.

You may be asked what business or organization you represent, so tell them the name of your local Ishmael group or let us know what ad you intend to place, and if we approve, you may place an ad representing the Friends of Ishmael Society. They also may ask you what the goal of your ad is or what you are selling, so have an answer ready. Appropriate answers include, "We help promote books by the author Daniel Quinn" or "We advertising Daniel Quinn's books and need more help." In the end, all they care about is the money, so they want to get your ad in the paper as long as it isn't going to be overtly offensive to their readers.



Ab machines, juicers, George Foreman Grills...if people can be convinced to buy these things by the millions, surely an Ishmael spot can convince a few. We anxiously await the day when, whether among those late night TV products or at halftime at the Super Bowl, we see someone explaining the merits of Quinn's books to the public.

Getting a commercial on television may seem daunting, even impossible, but there are steps you can take to make it a reality. For more information, we refer you to some of the best folks out there for ideas on marketing alternative ideas,
Adbusters. Adbusters offers advice on how to make your own commercial for under $2000 and how to buy airtime for the commercial once it is made.

It may help to be affiliated with a nonprofit organization when attempting to air such spots. It is for this reason that we need your help to become a nonprofit organization. Once Friends of Ishmael Society achieves that goal, it will help gain credibility for events such as placing an ad, and you will be able to work with us to get it aired. However, you can certainly do this without being from a specific nonprofit, and in the meantime, we will help you as much as we can. If you have an idea or would like our help on writing an ad, please let us know.

Public Access Shows

As discussed
at Adbusters, the mainstream television stations may find your content controversial and not allow it on the air. However, there is one place where, by law, they CANNOT censor your show. This is through your local public access provider. Give your local provider a call and they will help you air the show that you wish to share with your community.

There are also people in the Ishmael Community who you can contact for more information that have experience with public access television. A group in Worcester, MA is in the process of creating a Quinn-influenced public access show.

You can air any of the existing Quinn-related videos or create your own video to get your message across via public access television. You may also want to try adding something to the end with contact information for you or your local group.

News Segments

There is a way of getting free advertising that has been known to marketing-savvy folks for years. It's called getting on the news. There is a fine line between what is marketable and what is newsworthy. You will often see a commercial for a product, then a return to the news where they talk about another product. Why is one a commercial and one news? Often, because one let the news station know about its story.

When you do something that you feel is newsworthy, call and tip off your local news stations about the event. Whether or not they agree to air it, this will be just one more seed planted about Ishmael. One tip that may help is that news stations may be more likely to cover your event on weekends. This is because there is less news to report on the weekends, but they still have to fill the airtime.

What's New l  Who Are We? l   Get Involved l  Spread The Word l  Support Us ]