Children’s book marketing is the most important element there is after you write a children’s book.
So, there you are, drained from giving your blood, sweat and tears to write the next great American best-selling children’s book, but what’s this? You have more work to do? I know, it’s hard to imagine, but it is true as the sky is blue. You see, the minute you finish your manuscript, you are only 10% there. You must now must up the strength to give another
90% of that precious blood, sweat and tear mojo to get noticed. If you don’t’, you’ll be back-listed faster than the next fading reality star.
#1 WRITE A GREAT BOOK: This is no secret it is a MUST in today’s ever-shrinking marketplace. “Dear book buyer, please give my novel a chance. Just read the first 80 pages, I know you’ll love it.” Rapidly evaporating attention spans now dictate that you must hook a reader with the very first sentence. You can’t write a good book, you have to write an AMAZING book. Write on!
#2 PUT THE ‘SOCIAL’ IN SOCIAL NETWORKING: This can be hard, but you must connect with your followers. While knucklehead Charlie Sheen can gather 3.2 million Twitter followers in a single day, everyone else must work for their connections. You can set up default “Thank you for following me” return messages, but be careful. Many aren’t fond of the “auto-response” in social media-dom. If you can, give your messages that personal touch because, after all, this is social media, not auto-media. Spend an hour or two each day and connect with your follows on a personal level. If you don’t, you’re just another spammer, and nobody likes a spammer yammer. Connect. Be real. Have fun.
#3 GIVE YOUR BOOKS AWAY: This might hurt, but plan on giving away at least a 1000 of copies of your book. When you target your market in this fashion, you are creating the most important element in publishing, the ‘word-of-mouth.’ Think of the people you give your book to as your personal sales force. Then you need to earmark another 500 copies for press and reviewers. While submitting to the major reviewers is great, you need to submit the title anywhere and everywhere. Mom and Dad bloggers are a great resource to start people talking about your book. Do NOT overlook anyone who is willing to read and talk about your book.
#4 BLOGGING & GUEST BLOGGING: Utilize the amazing Analytic tool that Google has set up for us. If this is above your head, research SEO or hire someone to handle it for you. Links to and from your website will give you a higher ranking on the search engines, so visit other websites, make comments and even be a guest blogger on a website with lots of traffic. It’s all about the eyeballs. Go where the eyeballs are and give them something to look at!
#5 FIND YOUR VOICE: What happens when you write a book? You become an expert, now go out and find your audience. John Kremer, the top expert on Book Marketing taught me this years ago when he said: “If you aren’t speaking, you are losing out on sales.” Sign up with speaker bureaus and get onto the stage. If you have a problem with public speaking, get over it with Toastmasters.
#6 SWAG IT OUT: With Saltwater Taffy, we created stickers, bookmarks, hats, t-shirts, and handout for parents and teachers. Never be caught empty handed. You are a walking billboard for your book. Engage people you don’t know. Go where you audience is and give stuff away. Leave something with every restaurant check you sign. Let people know you were they can find your book.
#7 DIGITAL LOVE: We all want the hard copy on the shelf at the big box chains, but embrace the digital world. It’s easy. It’s cheap and the financial returns can be great. Your publisher will handle all this, but think of some exciting ways to make your content pop on iPads, Kindles, and Nooks. While Saltwater Taffy was printed in black and white for the hardcover, the iPad version is awesome! Remember, the best selling author in the entire world is an ebook writer who has no NY Publisher affiliation. She makes millions and hasn’t killed one tree.