Hello, I’m Crystal Whimsey, welcome to my continuing series on Writing For Children.
Here are eight great low-cost ways to take your children’s book to market;
#1. If you haven’t already done so, set yourself up with a blog page, free with WordPress.com. You will have many great themes to choose from and you can be up and running in just minutes. Blogging is nothing more than chatting with friends and neighbors on a variety of subjects. Choose a subject that you enjoy or give us a sample of your writing. Feature books from other writers that you admire or critique the latest kidlit…everyone has an opinion. Be sure you link your blog to your author page if you have one. http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Whimsey/e/B006X7NUEC/
#2. Set up a Google Alert with searches on picture books or something similar and you will get a heads up on the latest blogs, reviews and press releases for children’s books delivered right by email. The information you get from these sources will help you stay abreast of the current trends in children’s literature.
#3. Make a book trailer and get it up on YouTube. Your YouTube account is free and it takes only minutes to sign up. I will be doing a blog on making a book trailer in just a couple of weeks with some good sources for music, video editing software etc.
#4. Keep a camera ready for those Kodak moments. You never know when a special opportunity will come your way. My husband took this footage of me in our garden visiting with a very friendly bird. http://youtu.be/t6DpyzcsN-U . I know, I’m sans make up, it isn’t my most flattering moment but you’re supposed to be looking at the little bird not the big one.
#5. Don’t wait for the library to stock your book. Donate a signed copy and offer to read it for the children at Storytime, every library has Storytime. Bring enough copies to sign and sell afterwards and I’ll bet you will do very well. That leads into my next tip.
#6. Make an eye-catching display for your book with a few items from your local craft store. For this one I used a metal picture stand spray painted with the same back ground color of my book, a piece of picture backing foam board, and scrapbook paper.
This display stand can hold several copies. I know you probably can’t read the dark print on the display. It says “Buy it now in paperback! $7.98 A good display will prompt the viewer to action…buy it now! Also, they don’t have to ask how much it is because it is right on the sign. I sell a lot of paperbacks with my displays. See # 7.
#7. Take your eye-catching display and your book to select shops like children’s clothier and bookstores. You will have your best luck with independently owned businesses. They know the importance of a support network. Offer to set up the display with a small inventory of books with shared royalties and make yourself available for readings and book signing at each store. What store owner is going to pass up free press for featuring a local artist? But don’t just lay back and wait for the public to show up at your signing. Make up a press release of your own telling where and when you will be reading your book. Put together a flyer featuring a picture of you with your book and post it in coffee shops, on grocery store cork boards, in the laundromat and anywhere else that you can find an information board. That sort of advertising costs you nothing except the material for making the flyer.
#8. Kindle select can raise your rank. Make your Ebook exclusive for 90 days with Amazon’s Kindle Select program and do a book give away. Don’t worry, the whole world will not line up for a free copy. But what if they did? We are talking about ebooks. Children, if they love it, will want a hard copy of your book. I sell an additional paperback after almost every ebook sold. It’s true!
What doesn’t work? Flee markets and other discount vending outlets generally will not work well because those attending are looking for a bargain. Yes, I know your book is worth the cost, but these folks are bargain hunting. Better to stick to the up-scale vendors.
Next week; A diller a dollar a ten o’clock scholar… how closely can you really follow a thousand twitter fans?