CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Getting Reviewers Attention
The best way to get the attention of a children’s book reviewer is to BE DIFFERENT. No matter what you do or where you go, someone is going to tell you that what you’re doing is not only hard, but impossible.
When you hear this, you must begin to KNOW that you are on the right track. This is what is called BLAZING A TRAIL. To be a trail blazer who wants to write children’s books, you have to…
…go off the beaten path and you must attempt the impossible. Remember, you cannot spell impossible without POSSIBLE. If you try to be like someone else, you will blend into the nothingness of the crowd.
When I decided to hold onto the rights of my next book, Saltwater Taffy, a children’s book for tweens, I knew I would face the stigma of being a “self publisher.” The problem with self-publishing is now any Tom, Dick or even that guy named Harry can go out and publish a book. When you go out for reviews, it’s hard to get attention unless you are from Penquin, Random House, or Simon, you get overlooked. You could have an awesome book on your hands, but if noone reads it, how awesome can it be? Find a way. Find a way. Find a way.
Which brings me to the next step. That next step comes AFTER you write a great children’s book. If it’s not a great children’s book, then keep writing. Remember…when you think you’re done, you have only just begin. That’s just the thing about writing. There is always something that can be upleveled and punched up. Writing is like life; it’s about the journey because you never ARRIVE to the promise land.
When writing Saltwater Taffy, I knew I was onto something special because my heart would literally jump every time I sat down to work. Then, when the first review came back from a TEACHER OF THE YEAR, I knew we had something. 9 Teachers of the Year later, and a host of other amazing people behind the title, the work now comes with the review process.
When you are a “self publisher”…which I don’t get the name here, because isn’t the product made outside of the system? We don’t call a film made outside of the studio system a Self Movie, it’s an Indie Movie. Therefore, let’s do away with the moniker of self publisher and call it what it really is, an INDIE PUBLISHED title. When you are an INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, you are considered not the second fiddle, but the last fiddle in the drawer. This only means you need to do something special to gain the reviewers attention. Don’t ever, ever, ever, put your book into a book flap or a padded envelope unless your return label says: RANDOM HOUSE, SIMON & SCHUSTER or PENGUIN BOOKS, etc. Remember, reviewers are sent truck loads of books.
So, what should you do? Well…look at what we did for Saltwater Taffy when submitting to THE READING TUB. This is the kind of thing you need to do to get recognized. Marketing is only great when it is effective. I have seen some of my coaching clients for writing make huge mistakes when they are finished writing. They expect someone else to do the work to get the word out. NO. Your book is up to you. Even when you sell the book to a publisher, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and coast. The work is JUST BEGINNING after it hits the shelf. Wait…strike that. The work begins the minute you stop writing. Brand. Brand. Brand. Your work is your work, so make it special and get the attention you deserve. Find a way…your way…in.
Eric DelaBarre is an award winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy A Novel of Adventure & Self-discovery. Copyright Sept 17, 2010 All Rights Reserved.