How to Publicize Your Children’s Book
by Fern Reiss, CEO, PublishingGame.com/Expertizing.com
How do you publicize a children’s book? Many authors of children’s books don’t spend much time trying—but publicizing a children’s book can be easier than publicizing an adult novel. Here’s how to get started:
Offer a fan club
Initiate a fan club based on your children’s book. Do monthly or quarterly mailings of educational material related to your book topic, or ‘news’ about the book or characters. You can even consider offering t-shirts, totes, and hats as part of the club’s benefits; each of these can be imprinted with slogans or illustrations from the book. You can set this up easily with no monetary investment at Café Press; see www.CafePress.com/publishinggame to look at our example.
Don’t forget the online component
Even young children are using the World-Wide Web today. A website for your fans—with information about the book, its characters, side stories about characters from the book, prologues or epilogues, a place for your fans to chat about your book—can help boost interest in your book.
Figure out a reading alternative
Sadly, not that many people attend book readings, even of children’s books, unless the author is already famous. So what can you do if you’re a good, but not-yet-famous writer? Design an alternative to the traditional reading. Your target audience (and their parents) will be interested in a nonfiction presentation or event just as much (or maybe more) than a reading—and you’ll likely sell more books as a result.
Do an event
Do a bookstore demonstration instead of a reading. If your book features an acrobat, design a gymnastics event; maybe you could even organize a gymnastics marathon as a charity event. If your book involves a child who cooks, put together a kids’ cooking demonstration. If you have a book about animals, consider organizing a petting zoo.
Do a dramatization or a game
Children’s mystery writers can create children-participation mystery programs, featuring the book’s characters. Children’s science fiction writers could do a presentation on how the ‘fiction’ in kids’ science fiction is based on today’s scientific reality.
Offer cameo appearances
Offer walk-on parts in your children’s book. There are several ways you could do this, including:
- A lottery where the winner gets a cameo appearance (and everyone gets added to your mailing list)
- A charitable enterprise, to raise money for a cause related to the topic of your children’s book
- A donation of a ‘cameo’ in the book to a charity auction or membership drive in an organization related to the topic of the book
Every child would consider himself lucky to be featured by name in a children’s book!
Go in character
Try going on radio shows and talk shows in character – and see what kind of response you get. No one does this—but someone should. Or walk around a busy resort town dressed as a character from your children’s book. Better yet, get a few kids to accompany you. Hand out promotional postcards or bookmarks with cute words of wisdom from the book. Remember—in promoting children’s books, as in promoting anything else, put something useful on the back of any postcard, bookmark, or flyer you produce, so that people will keep your material.
Implement any one of these ideas—and watch your children’s book sales take off.
(Interested in learning more about publicizing your children’s book? Find out more at www.PublishingGame.com/childrenreport.htm.)
Fern Reiss is CEO of PublishingGame.com (www.PublishingGame.com) and Expertizing.com (www.Expertizing.com) and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers (www.AssociationofWriters.com) providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm. Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm.
Copyright © 2011 Fern Reiss