Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think outside the book

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?

3 comments:

Pen and Ink said...

"What are your favorite book promotion ideas?"
Great idea for a blog. Hmm... I would offer my body, sell my soul to you know who, dress up as a book character, and/or post a video on YouTube that will go viral.

Sincerely,
Shameless Promoter

Megan Frances said...

Dear Shameless

To make it even more interesting, why not try selling your soul after you're dressed up as a fictional character? That way, you'll protect your true identity too.

Pen and Ink said...

In the words of that great fiscal sage, Walter Burns, "Excellent."

Sincerely,
Senor Sellout