Exploring new themes for marketing your children's book
At this month's SCBWI-LA Westside Illustrator's Schmooze, we revisited a necessary evil - marketing and self-promotion for writers and illustrators of children's books. We discussed the traditional approaches - school visits, book signings, blogs, websites, social networking, etc. Pretty ho hum, right? Lucky for us, Deborah Nourse Lattimore had dropped by to join in the discussion. A prolific author and illustrator of children's books, who also teaches courses on the topic, Deborah shared some great suggestions outside the realm of ordinary marketing. Here are just a few examples to jump start the thinking process:
* Make friends with librarians and booksellers before you're even published. It's about relationships.
* Get to know your publisher's sales rep so they'll want to help you. Remember the relationship thing?
* Donate books to children's charities.
* Contact homeschooling associations about visits for groups of home-schooled kids.
* Contact coordinators of school book clubs. Offer to visit - even for free - especially if it's your debut book.
* Explore lateral connections to themes in your book - for example - if your story is historical (fiction or non-fiction) introduce yourself, and your book, to historical societies. A book about exotic animals? Contact the gift shops at zoos.
* The bottom line - make friends with everyone who could have an interest in helping you gain exposure for your book - however remote that connection may seem.
What are your favorite book promotion ideas?