Marketing: Societies, Associations, Meetups and Clubs

A tiny shiny hummingbird on a branch

Like this tiny hummingbird, our books need to shine to be seen.

I apologize for neglecting you last week, dear readers. I received the fully copy-edited version of my chapter book and dove into choosing agents to query and revising my query letter. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, querying is a nerve-wracking full time job. Today, I posted my second revision, after many helpful critiques, on Agent Query Connect and hope I am getting closer. But that is for tomorrow’s topic.

In the past I’ve looked at writing societies and associations and didn’t see past the expense to the value. Now that I have two self-published books to promote and another that I’m trying to get agented, I joined both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I’m also really enjoying a biweekly writer’s social meet-up and many online clubs.

So, what are the benefits?

SCBWI: SCBWI is an international society with local chapters. Once a member, you have access to current information in every aspect of children’s book writing, illustrating and publishing. That alone is worth the membership price.They also offer many tools to promote your work and connect with other professionals. They have conferences and an online members’ bookstore.

PNWA: They have a member library to show off members’ work. As a member, you get a discount to their convention (which I’m thinking I might attend this summer). You can attend meetings from home on a conference call when you don’t have the time to drive out to a meeting.

Meetups and Clubs: These are great places to make personal relationships with other authors. I’m hoping the aforementioned are too, but I personally have found meetups and clubs to be a good place to ask questions and get feedback. You can also see what topics are important to other authors and learn from their experiences.

An important part of marketing is getting your book into people’s hands to create word of mouth. Meeting people through local associations, societies, meetups and clubs can help you get the word out.

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Marketing: A little outside the box.

Gator and Herman's first movie on youtube.com

Gator McBumpypants and Herman’s First Movie is on Gator McBumpypants’ Youtube.com channel.

Since my writing life is completely consumed with promoting Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise this week, I’m jumping off schedule and continuing to talk about promoting your book. I announced my kindle free days everywhere I could think of yesterday, so how do I keep the internet’s attention today?

I stepped away from writing today and explored a couple other art forms. I took some pictures that didn’t get used in the books (book 2 coming soon!) and made a little youtube movie. One of the fun things that you can do with google+ is create a youtube channel. I made one for myself and a separate one called Gator McBumpypants and Friends.

Making the movie in Windows Live Movie Maker was pretty straight forward once I figured out that I could speed up the picture rate by using fractions in the duration box. The hardest part was picking some music since the program didn’t include music editing and just started the music choice from the beginning. Luckily, I have a large library of music I wrote, so I don’t have to infringe on anyone’s copyright.

This first film is just a quick, fun promo. I plan to do more with pages from the book and perhaps reading the first few pages. I’ve seen some really nice book promo videos online. I think video is a great way to get people excited about your book. Check out Michelle R. Eastman’s promo video for The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale. Andy Mulberry did a really nice interview with Michelle R. Eastman on her blog andymulberry.com/blog

I also went over to RedBubble,com and made some Gator McBumpypants merchandise.

Gator McBumpypants baseball shirt from RedBubble.com

What about a fun T-shirt?

Gator McBumpypants tote bag from RedBubble.com

or a lovely tote bag?

A Gator McBumpypants coffee mug from RedBubble.com.

or enjoy your hot beverages with Gator McBumpypants and his friend Herman the baby pterodactyl.

RedBubble is a great site where I’ve set up a portfolio of my photography. They will put my photos on a variety of merchandise including t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, cards, pillow covers and the adorable items shown here. All would make great gifts! It is also, yet another social media site with a nice journal entry space where I’ve been letting people know about my kindle free days.

So, to sum up, book promotion doesn’t have to be hitting people over the head with your book and free kindle days announcements, it can be fun promotional art projects that then give you an excuse to go post about them on all your social media sites.

Anyone else found promotional ideas that are a bit outside the box?

A Good Reads Give Away for Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise

Gator McBumpypants

Gator and Herman stop to smell the flowers.

Happy Monday! This is the second week of my new posting strategy and I want to thank all of my new followers and commenters for making this part of my writing life so much fun! I’m enjoying these targeted daily posts: They are not only fun to write, they inspire me.  So as a thank you (and a marketing strategy suggested by readers), I’m having my first Good Reads giveaway. Over the next month, you can sign up for a chance to receive one of two signed copies of Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise. The winners will receive their copies in time to give them as gifts! That is if you can bring yourself to possibly part with all that cuteness.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise by Maria Berg

Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise

by Maria Berg

Giveaway ends December 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Any other authors having giveaways you want to tell us about?

Do you have other promotion suggestions?

Creating a Marketing Plan for Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise

Gator and Herman Marketing

After publishing Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise, I focused my marketing plan exclusively on creating an internet presence. I created author pages, joined good reads, sent out email announcements and created a Gator McBumpypants page on my website. Now, I feel ready to expand my marketing plan. To do that I need to know my customers better. Though my intended audience is a small child with a healthy imagination, I need to concentrate my efforts on appealing to his or her parents. So, this week plan to spend time researching parent magazines and blogs. I’m going to look closely at how children’s books are advertised and try to find some tips to share about promoting children’s books. I found one blog that I’m going to request to review my book. Next week I should have more information about requesting blog reviews.

I’ve ordered physical copies of my book to sell at a local Holiday Craft Show along side the holiday crafts I’ve made. While I await their arrival, I will be busy creating a media packet to take to local bookstores, libraries, schools, and any other outlets I find that sell children’s books. The physical marketing aspect of my marketing plan will be more difficult for me. I’m hoping a good response at the Holiday Fair will motivate me to reach out to these other outlets.

Have any other marketing ideas for self-published children’s books?

I can’t wait to hear your success stories.