You wrote and published a children’s book and if you missed Part 1 of the tutorial that shows you how to do that, click here. Whether you went with traditional publishing or self-published your story, you should feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. But just having a book published isn’t enough to make it sell. You have to market that book.
Without marketing, your book will sit on virtual or physical shelves gathering dust. If you don’t want that to happen, then you have to learn how to promote your book. Here are some tips to get you started:
Start with a Calendar
This might surprise you but the most effective sales tool can be a simple calendar. When you have a promotional calendar in place, you know what to do each month to promote your book. You’re not surprised by holidays or caught off-guard by an upcoming publicity opportunity.
Instead, you can use your calendar to plan weeks or even months in advance. This means you don’t have to scramble to put together a school workshop at the last minute or watch your sales decline during holidays. You already prepared for these possibilities so you can show up ready to tackle anything that’s thrown your way.
Reach Out to Schools & Libraries
Teachers and librarians love getting to promote authors and they love it even more when those authors are local. Look for all of the schools and libraries that are within an hour of your current city or town.
Now, check their websites for a calendar of activities. Note the activities where you could get involved. For example, if your book is about American Indians and you see your library is celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month, then that’s a good fit.
Offer to hold a workshop or answer questions about American Indians sometime in November. But don’t wait until November to reach out. Speakers can be booked months in advance so you want to contact the head librarian before November.
Contact Kids’ Organizations
Once you’ve covered the schools and libraries nearby, look around for kids’ organizations that may be interested in you or your book. If your book is about teamwork and helping each other, you could try reaching out to a local Little League chapter or Girl Scouts Council.
Some groups may not need an author or speaker right now. Make sure to keep track of these organizations and note who you spoke with. Then you can follow up with these groups in a few months to see if their needs have changed.
Talk to Homeschool Groups
One often overlooked market is homeschool groups. If you’re not familiar with the term, homeschoolers are parents or guardians who have opted to teach their children at home.
Homeschoolers often form their own groups to give their children extra educational opportunities and this can be a good way to get the word out about your book. Look online for local homeschool groups then reach out the coordinator. You could offer to do a special presentation on a topic related to your book or you could volunteer to teach a writing class.
One simple way to get more sales is to be interviewed regularly. The more you’re interviewed, the more people hear about your book and the more likely they are to buy it for their child or grandchild.
When it comes to interviews, start small. Look for podcasts that feature interviews with children’s book authors or children’s book illustrators. A good place to find new podcasts you haven’t heard of is the iTunes’ Podcast Directory.
Once you find an appealing podcast, visit their website and look for a link that says ‘Apply to Be a Guest’ or ‘Interview Application’. Be sure to provide contact information so the host can follow up with you.
After you reach out to podcasters talking about books, look in the ‘Kids and Family’ category on iTunes podcast. Search for podcasters who cover a topic that your book tackles. For example, if your book is about the relationship between kids and their fathers, then consider reaching out to a podcast like The Dad Edge Podcast.
Make promoting your book a regular part of your schedule. Start by devoting one evening each week to your marketing activities. Pretty soon, you’ll start to earn recognition and your career will grow in exciting new ways.
What to Do Next: Learn from a Kids Book Self-Publishing Pro…for Free
One the favorite presenters at our annual Best Sellers Summit is Jay Boyer, who lays out an easy-to-follow plan for creating, publishing and marketing children’s books.
You can see his “How to Write & Publish a #1 Best-Selling Children’s Book (in 7 Days or Less…)” presentation below. You can also grab the summary notes and transcripts of this presentation if you prefer.
Notes and Transcripts (zip)