Cynsational Author/Illustrator Speaker Tip: Be respectful of regional diversity, your audience, and your hosts. Don't say to a one-time hometown crowd, "Boy, I'm glad I made it out of this place!" or minimize local authors or make disparaging remarks based on your (mis)conceptions of local politics. Err on the side of graciousness and focus on writing, books, young readers and the people who connect books to them.
25 Tips to Book Promotion and Other Thoughts from Gentle's Holler.
7 Reasons Why Writers Need To Start Using Video For Book Promotion by Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn. Peek: "Google is developing voice recognition and automatic captioning, so that soon videos will be easily searchable through text. This means your ranking for a particular topic could be fantastic if your videos are on a theme."
Author & Illustrator Visits from Toni Buzzeo: Author, Library Media Specialist. Features include author wish list, visit tips, article links, resources, contacts, and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. See also TERRIFIC CONNECTIONS WITH AUTHORS, ILLUSTRATORS AND STORYTELLERS by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz. Read A Story Behind The Story With Toni Buzzeo on THE SEA CHEST and DAWDLE DUCKLING.
Author Websites from Nathan Bransford -- Literary Agent. Peek: "...definitely don't forget that professional part, and that goes for every single thing you post online, whether it's a blog, blog comment, or Twitter."
Avoiding Burnout from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "The act of writing, while it may be horrendously difficult sometimes, fills some deep, creative need within us. This is a gift we've been given in this life, and we need to cherish that and nurture that. And that often means striking some kind of devil's bargain with Publishing. Because the very last thing we want to happen is for Publishing to destroy our love of Writing. And it can happen."
Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy (Blue Slip Media) from The Texas Sweethearts. Peek: "I'll just add a little note here about the importance of the personal touch. When you're reaching out to these local booksellers and librarians and teachers, take a minute to write a thank you note by hand and pop it in the mail after a particularly lovely conversation. Or bring a rose from your garden when you stop by to drop off your latest galley."
Blog Book Tours by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Note: previously published in the September-October 2007 SCBWI Bulletin. Here's a sneak peek: "Blog book tours are suddenly quite popular as a quick, inexpensive way for famous (or not so famous) authors to get the word out about their new releases to an exponentially growing audience.”
Blue Slip Media: new publicity-and-marketing agency, specializing in youth literature. Peek: "In a business climate where publicity and marketing resources at major publishing houses are stretched thin, we offer expertise in crafting effective press releases, targeted mailing lists, niche and local market outreach, and event planning to create comprehensive campaigns for print and online media."
The Book Roast: a free promotional site for authors dedicated to celebrating great books. "Our mission is to help publicize books of all genres, printed by publishers of all sizes (excluding self-published and pornography). We serve up a variety of authors and books lightly grilled and seasoned with humor. The interactive and party spirit on our site helps set us apart."
The Book Trailer Manual: Build Trust, Gain Readers and Break-out with the Right Video about Your Book: a new blog from Darcy Pattison.
Building Your Mailing List -- Data Mining for Authors by Saundra Mitchell at Crowe's Nest. Peek: "Sure, there's all kinds of information on the web, but some sites are more accurate than others. Weigh your sources when you search for information- a dated government website listing all the libraries in your region is probably more accurate than an undated Geocities website made by an unknown author."
Building Your Own Press Kit by Saundra Mitchell at Crowe's Nest. Peek: "A press kit provides basic biographical information and information about your work, in an easily accessible kit for reviewers and journalists."
Children’s & YA Lit Blog Book Tour Hosts from Blog Central.
Children’s & YA Lit Blog Reviewers from Blog Central.
The Cookie Theory: Author's Secret Weapon or Crummy Mess: from pixie stix kids pix: Thoughts, Observations, and Ideas About Children's Books. An article about the "(sometimes tricky) relationship between booksellers and authors."
Curious City: an excellent supplier of books for school/author events nation-wide.
Cynthia Hughes Literary Management offers publicity coordination and consultation to authors, publishers, and event planners.
Do Unpublished Writers Have To Blog? by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com.
For Authors Only: a newsletter about advertising and promotional opportunities from Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central). Peek: "Please pass on to authors--new, old, pubbed, pre-pubbed, famous, not-famous...we'll have something for everyone."
Four Tips on Promoting to Educators by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: "The ArLA is mostly public school librarians who are concerned about programming special events, balancing a collection and keeping funding when it relies on politics. The ARA has a large number of classroom teachers who are concerned about teaching reading to kids. The AAIM are librarians, who must follow the state standards for teaching library skills, as well as function as the technology expert for their school."
Getting the Most Out of Twitter by Kate Fall from Author2Author. Peek: "Just like the trick to loving a new neighborhood is to connect with the right people, the trick to loving Twitter is to follow the right people. Twitter is for my writing life. Facebook is for my personal life."
Good Books Need Good Marketers: A Conversation With Publicity/Promotions Manager Donna Spurlock by Anna Olswanger from The Purple Crayon.
GoodReads or BadFeelings? by L.K. Madigan from Drenched in Words. Peek: "It seems like more experienced authors – Sara Zarr, Mary E. Pearson, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and John Green, for example – already had this figured out. They do not rate or review books on GoodReads. Their profiles exist on the site, but they are not active users. They do plenty to promote authors on their own blogs."
How a Blog is Like a Puppy by Tami Lewis Brown from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "Do you want your blog to be a ferocious watch dog or a gentle lap dog? Like puppies, blogs have personalities. Will you write book reviews? Will you interview authors? Will you focus on marketing or your agent hunt or the daily work of a writer?"
How I create digital book trailers by Naomi Bates at YA Books and More: Reviews and digital media of current young adult books and more.
How to Build a Marketing Platform by Christina Katz from Writer's Digest. Peek: "A strong platform includes things like a Web presence, classes you teach, media contacts you've established, articles you've published, public speaking services you offer and any other means you currently have for making your name (and your future works) known to your readership."
How To Guest Blog by Lia Keyes from The Scribbler. Peek: “You need to be sure your post fits their style and stance. So read as many posts as possible, as much to be sure it's something you'd like to be associated with as to figure out how to write a post that will integrate seamlessly with their existing content.”
How to Launch a Book Virtually: Q&A with Grace Lin from Mitali Perkins at Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "The easiest thing to do was to start a Facebook Fan Page. Once I found the links on how to do it on Facebook, it was a breeze. And it's been a great way to keep in contact with fans."
How to Throw at Book Launch Party by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Create/Relate.
Increasing Website Traffic: an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Darcy Pattison from PR Notes at Fiction Notes.
An Interview with a Real Live Publicist: Random House's Kathy Dunn from Mary Hershey at Shrinking Violet Promotions. Note: a discussion of to-dos, dos, and don't for authors.
Interview with Jason Wells (part 1 of 2) from Just One More Book! Note: "Mark speaks with Jason Wells, Director of Marketing and Publicity for Harry N. Abrams Inc. in the first of a two-part series. In this part, Mark and Jason speak about the role and career path of the publicist, the high turnover rate in the industry and the evolution of book marketing and publicity in the digital age."
Life on the Road: Tips for Authors on Tour by Richelle Mead from Blue Succubus. Peek: "Because most signings are at 6 or 7 p.m., I often get picked up at 5 or 6 p.m., meaning I don't get to eat at dinnertime. Get food when you arrive, or you may not eat at all."
Ma’am, Put Down the Laptop and Step Away from the Blog! by Hilary Wagner from The Prairie Wind. Peek: "Before you admit defeat and inter your blog in the vast online graveyard of blogs that had their last post in May of 2007, take a step back, take a breath, and realize you can do this." CYN Note: includes some tips from me and a few of my favorite fellow authors.
Making your Bookmarks by Kristina Springer at Author2Author. Peek: "First, you need a snazzy design. If you're photoshop savvy, this will be easy for you. You just need to create a bookmark that includes your cover, some book info or a tease about your book, release date, ISBN, your website URL (and e-mail if you'd like), and don't forget to put what age your book is for!"
Marketing Task Recap from Robin LaFevers at Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "We thought that it might be helpful to post a checklist of all the marketing tasks we've referred to over the last few months in one place, so you wouldn't have to hunt and peck to produce a To Do List of your own."
Marvelous Marketer: Anastasia Goodstein, editor-in-chief of Ypulse from Shelli at Market My Words: Marketing Advice for Authors/Illustrators from a Marketing Consultant & Aspiring Children's Book Author. Peek: "One thing we as writers know how to do that other folks trying to market products sometimes don't is writing. Blogs and other websites love good, free content. Guest post, offer to write newsletter articles, etc. and make sure your book is mentioned and/or integrated in some way (include the cover!). Work with your publicist to be able to do book giveaways combined with Q&As for blogs."
Marvelous Marketer: Children's Book Editor Martha Mihalick (Greenwillow Books) from Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: "...blogging or being active on Facebook or Twitter puts you in the public eye. Anyone can see what you write, so don’t forget that as you post—be aware that you are presenting yourself to potential readers, critics, editors, agents, and fellow writers."
Marvelous Marketer - Elizabeth Dulemba (Illustrator/Author) from Shelli at Market My Words: Marketing Advice for Authors/Illustrators from a Marketing Consultant & Aspiring Children's Book Author. Peek: "It's the old 'see it seven times' rule of advertising. People generally don't notice an ad until they've seen it at least seven times. In other words, the more you and your name are out there, the more likely your work will stick in people's minds."
Marvelous Marketer: Hayley Gonnason (Publicist at Tricycle Press) from Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: "We recently had a book launch party, and there was a miscommunication and books were never ordered for the event. When I found out, I had to drop everything to make sure the books were there in time for the event. In the end the launch went off without (as far as people attending knew) a hitch but little things like that come up all the time."
"Meeting" the Author by Melissa Stewart from I.N.K. Interesting Nonfiction for Kids. Peek: "Seeing someone on screen isn't quite as powerful as a live visit, but videos are a great option for schools that lack the time, resources, or funding to bring in authors and illustrators. They're also a great way for any school to increase their students' exposure to book creators."
Michelle Moran on How to Promote Your Book from Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent. Peek: "Like galley covers, not all galley print-runs are equal. A lead title might have anywhere from a thousand to ten thousand galleys printed up for every type of reviewer imaginable, while most other novels will have between a hundred and two hundred." Don't miss part two.
Namastechnology: Asana: Twitter: "This new monthly column aims to bring bookselling and technology into greater balance with one another and is written by Stephanie Anderson, manager of WORD bookstore in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, N.Y. You can read more of her thoughts on books and bookselling at bookavore.com." Another peek: "You'll feel almost instantly how good Twitter is for you. There are dozens upon dozens of booksellers, sales reps, publishers, reviewers and authors on Twitter. You know that sort of glow-y buzz you get after a bookseller convention, when you feel like your mind is expanding and you've met some cool new people and you have the greatest job in the world? That's what Twitter can be like."
Online Platform Do’s and Don’ts by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: "If you can't update at least once a week, you should think of a static website like the one I mentioned above."
On Platform from Janet Reid, Literary Agent. Peek: "A lot of writers tell me they have blogs as part of their platform. I look at the blogs. If there are few or no followers, and no comments, the blog isn't platform."
On "Using Social" Media by Janni Lee Simner from Desert Dispatches. Peek: "My take on the Internet from a writer's perspective is this: it isn't a street corner for hawking your wares. It's a giant sprawling party. The rules of how to act here aren't all that complicated, because they're pretty much the same rules that apply to parties everywhere: Be polite...."
Overpromotion from Scott Tracey. Peek: "Build a fan base by being interesting – you’ll sell more books that way. Otherwise, you’re just trolling for bodies – and bodies don’t buy books."
Predicting Success by Robin LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "It turns out that creative success is a very elusive beast, and that it often has less to do with quality and more to do with reaching a certain tipping point in terms of generating buzz and getting talked about."
Promote Your Book Like a Pro — Cynthia Leitich Smith — Top 6 1/2 List. Peek: "Give yourself deadlines, and do what you can before the release date. Put together your readers' guide and media kit. Order bling. Hire a web designer or publicist. Contact bloggers. Plan the launch party. Work now to make it easier on yourself later."
Promoting Your Novel: How To Make a Book Trailer by romance novelist Brenda Coulter from No rules. Just write.
Publicist Interview: Jennifer Taber of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "Authors can do themselves a great service by educating themselves about the current state of publishing and by communicating with their publicist about plans and goals."
Publicity: It's Never Too Early to Think Ahead by Lizzy Mason, senior publicist at Simon and Schuster, from QueryTracker. Peek: "Particularly as marketing budgets decrease (meaning smaller, more circumscribed tours and less advertising), publicity has become more important than ever."
"Publicity Packages for Smaller Presses by Rose Fox from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "...be very, very wary when comparing an author to other authors or a book to other books. I've lost count of the authors who have been proclaimed 'the next Tolkien' or 'the next Robert Jordan'." Source: Sherwood Smith. Note: Great article (for authors as well)!
Public Speaking as a Promotional Tool by L. Diane Wolfe from QueryTracker. Peek: "At its most basic, speaking places the author in front of real human beings. The lure of the Internet has prompted more and more authors to remain hidden behind a website. While blogs and social sites provide a certain measure of interaction, it cannot replace real-world contact and physical appearances."
Raab Associates: marketing, consulting, publicity; includes a number of related articles.
The Reviewer's Slush Pile by Sue Corbett, Children's Book Reviewer of Miami Herald/Knight-Ridder Tribune News Wire from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources. Online article about how to get books reviewed by newspapers.
Safety Tips for Authors/Bloggers by The Buried Editor from Buried in the Slush Pile. Peek: "...think twice before telling the world how much you hate XYZ editor or ABC publishing house. You may want to do business with them someday, and if they find your comment (and they will), they may not want to do business with you."
Saying Yes to Possibility: The Art & Craft of Self-Promotion by Saundra Mitchell at Crowe's Nest. Peek: "Unless you're independently wealthy, send postcards to all the libraries in your home state, and again, make sure you write a personal note on each one."
School Visits (and other events) from Cynthia Leitich Smith. Includes preparation, booking agents, and directories.
Self-Promotion and Marketing for the Children's Book Author: A Conversation with John Kremer by Anna Olswanger from The Purple Crayon.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Marketers by David Poyer; for the adult market but illuminating for children's/YA as well.
Shrinking Violet Promotions: Marketing for Introverts: a blog from authors Mary Hershey and Robin LaFevers.
Social Networking Guilt: Get Over It by Mitali Perkins at Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "Creative purists who scoff at social networks as a time-waster need to remember that a writer is only half the dialectic in this business. The other half is made up of readers, and these days young adults make calendaring and purchasing decisions via social networks."
Social Networking: What a Children's Publisher Expects: A Conversation with Donna Spurlock from Charlesbridge Marketing by Harold Underdown from The Purple Crayon Blog. Peek: ""It's always been the case (even at Charlesbridge) that a few books are your 'lead books' and they get the majority of the marketing dollars. Here it's been more of an even distribution, but when a book starts to pull ahead in sales, or we know going in that a Jerry Pallotta or Mitali Perkins is going to be working overtime to promote the book, we get behind them more financially. Authors need to do the legwork to get to that point. And it's their personality that's going to do it."
Targeted Facebook Ads for Book Launches by Mitali Perkins from Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "My click-through rate has been outstanding, and the ad has shown up over 500,000 times in April and May, even with me putting it on pause for days to save money."
Teacher Guides by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Authors, illustrators, and publishers may contact Tracie to order a guide for a specific book.
Tips for a Better Book Signing by Theresa Meyers from 1rst Turning Point. Peek: "Handouts! You can still be helpful and make a personal connection to this person with a few very important handouts."
Tips for Successful Radio Interviews from Lorilyn Bailey of GuestFinder.com.
TMI (or To Blog or not to Blog) by Kristina Springer from Author2Author. Peek: "You most likely wouldn't go up to someone in an office and say hey, guess what my salary is. Right? So don't do it online either."
Twittering Made Simple by Kristi Holl at Writers First Aid. Peek: "Today let's talk about one of the most popular networking sites, Twitter–and how to simplify its use."
VisitingAuthors.com: "one-stop shopping for anyone interested in hosting a children's book author or illustrator." Has a more impressive client roster than many competing services.
We Love Children's Books: Laurina Cashin and Bobbie Combs specialize in promoting children's books. Services include: websites, catalogs and marketing publications, collection development and research, writing and editing, trade shows, workshops and informal presentations. Clients include: authors and illustrators; publishers; education and retail wholesalers; organizations; children's bookstores.
Where's My Book? from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: "Yes, many booksellers like to support local authors. But here's the thing: keeping books on the shelves that do not sell uses valuable real estate for no gain, which in bookseller terms means financial loss."
Wide-Eyed and Curious: Working with Young Children in Groups by Shutta Crum. Some great advice for public speaking. Read A Story Behind The Story With Shutta Crum on SPITTING IMAGE and WHO TOOK MY HAIRY TOE?
You Can't Just Be a Writer Anymore by Tess Gerritsen from Murderati. Peek: "These days, being a writer is no longer just about the books. We can no longer slide by like those 1980's slacker writers and turn in one well-written manuscript every year. Now we have to be novelists, salesmen, speakers, and media personalities."