It’s time consuming to write a story… to write a good story.
I’m sure there are writers today who sit down and write a story in a day, but I’m talking about doing it right.
This is especially true of writing for children.
It’s so important to know the rules. Know what the standard industry guidelines are and adhere to them.
There’s a lot that goes into writing. And if you want it to be publishing and marketing worthy, again, you want to do it right.
But what happens when you finish your manuscript. You revised it, edited, it and proofed it, and possibly even had a professional writer look at it.
Your manuscript, your baby, is ready to fly.
You enter the traditional submitting phase. You’ve done your research and have found literary agents and book publishers in your genre. The submitting process is in full gear.
This process can easily take longer than the writing process, but you need to persevere.
In the meantime…
Should you just sit around and wait for a bite from an agent or publisher?
Should you just sit around and gather dust on your keyboard?
You need to move onto another story as soon as you start the submitting process on your first book. Once book two is being submitted, it’s onto book three, and so on.
This goes even more so for articles.
According to writer Suzanne Lieurance you should have around 12 articles written and circulating to magazine editors.
This is how you get work.
It’s the writing juggling act.
Keep the stories or articles moving.
Once you finish one story, get started on the next.
Another aspect of the writing juggling act: Book Marketing.
While you do need to keep writing those stories and getting them published, you also need to work on marketing you and your writing.
Marketing is a part of every author’s writing life, if you expect to sell your books.
-The first step of marketing is to create a quality book. -The next step is to submit your work – this is pitching your work. -If you’re self-publishing, you will need to actually publish it and have it available for sale.
Once the book finds a home, it’s about creating visibility. If people don’t know it exists, you won’t sell it. This is an ongoing process.
If you’re wondering if having to promote your books is a must, even major publishers expect their authors to have an online author platform. They also expect the author to be able to help sell their books through that platform.
And, small publishers expect you to do all the marketing.
Marketing is that important.
So, what’s the basics of an author online platform?
-The first step is to have a website and keep it current.
-Next is to post to social media to bring awareness about you and your books or articles.
This will take up any spare writing time you may have.
So, if you’re a writer, there is no such thing as downtime. It’s all about the writing juggling act.
Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700
Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable and marketable story today!
Whether you like it or not, as authors and writers, you need to write compelling, even persuasive content.
You might ask why.
Well, if you’re spending your time creating a book, magazine article, essay, blog post, or content for your website, you have a purpose in mind.
That purpose is to create and build visibility and sell what you’re offering.
This is where copywriting comes in.
So, what exactly is copywriting?
According to American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI), “Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action, such as make a purchase, click on a link, donate to a cause, or schedule a consultation.”
Writing persuasive content helps you create and build visibility, and it helps you sell your books, your services, or your products.
Five tips to make your article or blog post more persuasive.
Here are three:
It’s always about the reader.
With all the content online, you need to grab the reader quickly.
Let the reader know what’s in it for her in the beginning paragraph.
Let her know how your article can help her.
An example: Last month, my article, The One Sentence Pitch for Your Manuscript, had the most pageveiws of all my articles. It was posted over five years ago.
Based on this information, I went back to the post to make sure it followed this advice. It did.
Within the first paragraph, I explain what a one-sentence pitch is. And in the next, I explain why it needs to be only one sentence.
So, my beginning content gives the reader what he’s looking for.
I did have to add an updated call-to-action which is why you should check on your older posts.
The So Whater.
This is a great tip and one that I learned years ago from children’s writer Margot Finke.
In children’s writing, the So Whater is about moving the character and story forward by continually asking yourself, so what.
Suppose Amanda gets a virtual reality headset. “So what,” says the So Whater.
Suppose the game she gets with the set is about scuba diving with sharks.
Again, the So Whater says, “So What?” And, she goes on to say, “So what,” every time you add something to the story.
Having to come up with answers for the So Whater motivates you to come up with what happens next that will make a page-turning story.
It’s the same with copywriting.
You have to think of where and when the reader may say, “So What?” “What’s in it for Me?”
Keeping this in mind helps you have the answer already in place to stop the So Whater before he gets started.
Make your call-to-action (CTA) work for you.
Your CTA needs to motivate the reader to click on what you’re offering.
It may be to buy your book.
It may be to attend a podcast, webinar, or other format.
It may be to sign up for your mailing list.
It may be to take a survey.
Whatever you want the reader or visitor to do, make it clear and enticing.
You might add a guarantee: You’re going to love this or ask for a full refund – no questions asked.
You might offer an additional helpful tool or PDF or other if the reader takes the action you want.
In my copy for Become a Power-Blogger in Just 4-Weeks, I include helpful bonus information.
Compare the price to something else, making it sound cheap compared to the other product or service.
The article at AWAI gave this example: For the cost of a Starbucks latte each day, you can be enjoying …
Offer a how-to PDF that will simplify the reader’s life.
I recently created a DIY Self-Publishing PDF as an offer to join my mailing list.
It takes the author from an edited manuscript to publishing an ebook or paperback. I know this is a valuable offer because I tried to find the information when I was self-publishing How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book.
Add testimonials or other social proof.
Suppose you have 100,000 subscribers to your email list. You could use that as social proof: Join 100,000 other subscribers. Or, something like, A 100,000 subscribers can’t be wrong – jump on board.
I have testimonials on my Home page of my website. Testimonials work. I’ve had clients tell me they hired me because of my testimonials.
Would you click on your CTA?
Once you have your article or content written and edited, read it as a visitor to your site or a reader. Then read the CTA.
Would the content motivate you to take action?
You might be thinking that all this takes time, and you’d be right.
But once you get into the routine of doing it, it will come easier and quicker. And more than that, it will work for you.
On top of all this, what you write online is there forever and reaches far. The internet is a crazy place; you just don’t know who will see that article, CTA, or other content you write.
It’s important to make your content effective. Make it do what you want it to, what you need it to do, to get the reader to click on your CTA.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM:
Build Your Author/Writer Platform is a 4-week in-depth and interactive e-class I instruct through WOW! Women on Writing. It covers all the tools you’ll need to build visibility and traffic, and boost sales.
There are a number of elements and strategies an author needs to write and publish a successful children’s book. This article covers five of them.
While success can mean different things to different people, to me a successful book is one that kids will love to read and hopefully learn from. A book that subtly leaves a lingering message which is considered the take-away-value. And, just as important, the book meets the standard industry guidelines.
A successful book is one that you’ll be proud to be author of.
Let’s go over the five children’s author must-haves.
A quality children’s book.
Very first think is to write a quality book. But, how do you do you do this?
Anything worthwhile doing is worth doing right. So, to write a quality book, you should take the time to learn how to write a story.
There’s enough information online information, courses, and workshops to learn the process.
The basics are to be sure it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It should have engaging characters. The protagonist should grow in some way. And, it should have a take-away-value.
There’s also editing and proofreading. You can self-edit and proofread and/or you get it professionally done to make sure what you missed gets found and corrected.
One of the best ways to know if you’re on the right track is to read recently published books major publishers and in your genre. Dissect them. Figure out why they work.
The first thing a reader will see is the cover of your book, and it’s usually the cover that will draw the reader to the book. Along with this, it’s usually the cover that will motivate the reader to buy the book.
Don’t skimp in this area. Get a professional cover. It’s definitely worth the investment.
If your budget allows, look for a professional illustrator or designer. A professional cover can be anywhere from $200 to $450, possibly more.
There are also a number of publishing services that offer book cover templates and if this is all your budget allows, be sure you can tweak it to make it unique.
You don’t want the same cover that thousands of other books have.
If you’re traditionally publishing, you won’t need to worry about a book cover.
Have you seen self-published picture books and wondered how the author could use substandard illustrations? This goes for picture books, chapter books, and any other genre that you’ll have illustrations.
You can have an awesome story, but if the illustrations stink, you’ve degraded your book.
Ask around for qualified illustrators or do an online search. Be sure to look at samples and pay attention to the people.
I give my clients a list of illustrators who my other clients have vetted.
What I’m noticing lately is some illustrators are great at inanimate objects and animals, and even fantasy characters, but their people characters are poor quality.
They have the same positions or facial expressions with very minor tweaks. Or, the people characters will lack movement.
Be careful. Do your research and find a professional illustrator.
Good illustrations can run from $90 to $350 per interior illustration – sometimes more.
And, be sure you own the rights to the illustrations.
You should have an ISBN if you intend to sell your book through retailers.
The International Standard Book Number is needed for print books and identifies your book. It’s required by most retailers.
It provides the retailers with the edition, the publisher, the format, and metadata for your book. This all helps readers find your book.
The 13-digit number is unique to each book and is placed on the back of your book by the book designer. It will be in the form of a barcode.
There are other important must-haves for a successful book, but these are some of the basics.
And always remember to add metadata (descriptions, keywords, categories) where ever you can. Always think marketing.
Whether you need help with children’s ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: email@example.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.
Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!
Keep in mind that you’re creating a brand that needs to be consistent.
I admit I didn’t take care when coming up with my social media usernames.
On LinkedIn it’s Karen Cioffi-Ventrice On Twitter it’s KarenCV. On Facebook it’s Karen Cioffi writing for children On Pinterest it’s Karen Cioffi
Unfortunately, once you create your username you’re stuck with it. At least that’s usually the case.
If I had to do it over, I’d be Karen Cioffi, Children’s Ghostwriter on everything.
Think it through before creating a username and be consistent throughout your branding. On mine, the only thing consistent is my first name.
My URL is the same for all networks.
C. Your profile picture.
You have a choice between your headshot and your logo.
I did a combination. I had a caricature done at a wedding and decided to use it as part of my children’s writing branding. The problem though is it’s not professional.
It looks pretty good, but he must have hiccupped when he came to my chin. So, I do need to get it touched up or get it professionally done.
Also, when using your logo, there will be instances when you need to use an actual headshot for interviews or joint ventures, so be prepared with a professional one. That’s something else I have to take care of.
Use whatever you’re most identifiable with or what you want to be identifiable with.
D. Your link.
This needs to be considered carefully. Where do you want to send prospects to?
You can send people to your landing page, your sales page, and opt-in page, or other. Whichever it is, it should be a page that will help motivate the visitor to take action.
I use my landing page as it’s kind of a sales page too and it’s consistent on all my networks.
Back to the webinar.
The summary or about information.
This is where you can go into detail – depending on how many words or characters you’re allotted.
LinkedIn gives you enough to get into it, so take advantage of it.
A lot of copywriters write their summary/about in first person and some make it more personal and creative than others.
This is the place to put keywords and address what the prospect needs to convince him you’re the girl for the job.
Benun also says to include ‘expert’ if you believe you are an expert in your field. She said it makes a difference.
I recently revised my profile on LinkedIn, but don’t remember if I used the word expert. I’ll have to check it.
Also, use call-to-actions. Tell the prospect what you want her to do. And, speak directly to your best prospect and use the word ‘you’ a lot.
And, be sure to include your contact information in the summary even if it’s not clickable.
Your background or cover image.
This is another important element of branding and it’s important for it to be consistent throughout your platform.
Below is my social media banner for all my networks. It’s an older version, but the colors and basics are all the same:
I chose the colors specifically and created the design with Laughingbird software. It’s pretty easy to use and they have lots of how-to videos and lots on what you can do with it. I’ve used this product for years and am an affiliate with them.
Your header, background image, and banner will tell a lot about your business. As of the writing of this article, the dimensions of a LinkedIn banner is 1400 x 425 pixels.
Don’t leave the social network’s default image.
Be active and post on LinkedIn.
I used to do this. I’d take an older article on my website and post it to LinkedIn or Facebook. But I ended up stopping. But, I’ll try to make the time to restart with LinkedIn.
I do post updates to LinkedIn through social media buttons on my site and I have a social media VA who posts my articles about 10 times a day, but it’s not the same as having a full article on LinkedIn.
Again, LinkedIn is a search engine.
Other places I post articles are to Google and AuthorsDen. I only do this once a month, but it keeps me visible and appearing active.
Share and Recommend.
Share the content of others on LinkedIn.
I do this almost every day whether on LinkedIn itself or if I’m reading an article on a website. If it’s valuable, I always share.
You should also recommend others, if you know the quality of their work. If you do, the person will most likely be willing to recommend you.
Why not go over all your social network profiles and make sure they’re up to date and working for you.
Authors rarely get the most of their reviews. Surprised? I think it’s either that they are so excited about the review or that the idea of extending a review’s value doesn’t occur to them. Or it’s because so many reviews these days come from readers. They aren’t professionals, so they have no idea how to distribute content beyond posting their review on Amazon.
One of the ways they can get more mileage from their reviews is to get them reprinted in more venues than the reviewer ever planned. Or you do it for them. And, no, it isn’t stealing or plagiarism if you get permission from the reviewer first. In fact, it can benefit the reviewer.
When you get further distribute reviews you already have, it’s like getting a little marketing bonus. Here’s how to do that:
If your reviewer doesn’t normally write reviews (these reviewers are often called reader reviewers), suggest she send her review or the link to her review to her friends as a recommendation.
If your reviewer lives in a town with a small daily or weekly newspaper, she could send her review to them. She may realize the thrill of being published the first time.
Ask your reviewer—even one who writes for a review journal—to post her review on Amazon.com, BN.com, and other online booksellers that have reader-review features. I have never had a reviewer decline my suggestion. It is ethical for a reviewer to do it or give you permission to reuse the review as long as she holds the copyright for the review. (Most reviewers do not sign copyright-limiting agreements with the medium who hires them.) Get more information on Amazon’s often misrepresented review policies in Chapter Eleven, “Managing Your Amazon Reviews.”
After you have permission from the reviewer to reprint the review, post it on your blog, on your Web site, and in your newsletter. Use quotations from the reviews to give credibility to selected media releases and queries.
Send quotations (blurbs) from the reviews you get to librarians, especially the ones in your home town or cities you plan to visit during book tours. Include order information. Try Midwest for a list of libraries.
Use snippets from positive reviews as blurbs in everything from your stationery to your blog. (Use your e-reader’s find function to search for other ideas for using your blurbs in this book.)
If your reviewer doesn’t respond to your request to post the review on Amazon, excerpt blurbs from them and post them on your Amazon buy page using Amazon’s Author Connect or Author Central features. They will appear on your Amazon sales page.
Include the crème de la crème of your reviews on the Praise Page of your media kit and inside the front cover of the next edition (perhaps a mass market edition like the pocket paperbacks sold in grocery stores?). See my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter for the complete—and I do mean complete—lowdown on media kits.
Hint: Occasionally authors get reviews on Amazon that, shall we say…don’t thrill them. Reviews like that can be minimized by asking others for reviews. As new reviews are added, the old ones tend to get buried in the lineup of reviews. We can also (pleasantly!) refute a position a reviewer takes using the comment feature—or thank them for bringing something to our attention. We can also dispute their validity with Amazon, though that rarely works.
You can use some of these suggestions as part of your keeping-in-communication-with-reviewers effort after her review has been published.
Contributor Carolyn Howard-Johnson is an award-winning novelist, poet, and author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers. She taught editing and marketing classes at UCLA Extension’s world-renowned Writers’ Program for nearly a decade and carefully chooses one novel she believes in a year to edit. The Frugal Editor award-winner as well as the winner of Reader View’s Literary Award in the publishing category. She is the recipient of both the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award and the coveted Irwin award. She appears in commercials for the likes of Blue Shield, Disney Cruises (Japan), and Time-Life CDs and is a popular speaker at writers’ conferences.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR CHILDREN’S STORY?
Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700
Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!
There’s a difference between using social media as your everything and using is to generate visibility and website traffic, and sales.
Social media is a main source of visibility – it should be used to drive traffic to your website and to make sales. Marketing experts recommend choosing two social media sites to work.
It’s the adage, don’t go wide and shallow, go narrow and deep.
I would also recommend using YouTube. If you don’t have an account, simply create one.
Post weekly or bi-weekly videos centering around your book’s topic. Video is a powerful marketing tool. As you continue to post, you’ll eventually engage people and get subscribers.
Statistics vary on this, but according to Spark.Adobe, Instagram is the social media leader with YouTube then Facebook following. Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest follow Facebook.
To use social media properly, you need to post to your networks every day. If possible, multiple times a day. There are automated services to help you with this. You can post about your book’s topic, related interesting things, and about your book.
It’s important to remember the 80/20 rule, though. Give 80% entertaining or useful information and 20% promotion.
You should also share other users’ posts, and comment when time allows.
Create an email list.
Email marketing is how you connect on a more personal level with your readers. It allows you to tell them about your new projects, services, and books you have for sale.
Just as important, it allows you to offer tips and help to your subscribers!
A. Connect with influencers in your arena. Query influencers to get a guest blog post on their sites. Just be sure you know what they’re looking for and pay close attention to their guidelines.
B. Similarly, look for people who do author interviews and/or podcasts with authors. Chances are they’d appreciate having someone new on their blog or show.
C. Contact your local libraries and let them know you have a new book out. You can also contact your local newspapers and TV stations. They’re usually looking for new content, especially when it involves a local author.
Work on getting book reviews.
Book reviews help sell books.
Do some research on bloggers who post book reviews. Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to review your book. Just make sure your book is a fit for their site.
Most of my clients self-publish and I know they don’t realize they should have an author website.
Even if it’s simply a landing page, about page and book page, authors need a website.
And your landing page, as well as your entire site, should be focused on a specific keyword or couple of related keywords. This includes your domain name, the title, headlines, content, and so on. This allows for better search engine optimization and increases your online authority.
Do You Have All 10 Author Website Elements in Place?
1. THE HEADER.
Your header should be relevant to your site’s brand (it's content and color scheme); and it needs to help visitors quickly grasp what the site is about.
Along with this, the header should be professionally done.
If you use a theme that doesn’t allow for a header or has a very small header, you might not be able to take advantage of a professional header. If this is the case, it'd be wise to choose a different theme.
An example of this is my site’s header. You can see it at the top of the page.
It tells exactly what the site is about and it conveys my brand’s color scheme.
Interestingly, I’ve been wanting to change the look of my site, but I get clients who say they hired me because of it. So, for the time being I’m keeping it the way it is.
2. THE TITLE.
You need an effective, optimized title. Your title should be keyword effective and further cement the focus of your site to the visitor. As with any title, it should grab the reader and let him know what to expect.
Having an optimized title means to use words (keywords) that will tell the search engines and people what your site is about
The title can go in two places: in Settings in your WordPress dashboard, and in the Header Image you create or have created.
I mentioned it can go in both places but it doesn’t have to.
The title of my site is Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi, but in my header, which I created, I have Karen Cioffi, Children’s Ghostwriter.
While I have a lot of helpful articles on writing for children on my site and I post weekly to it, the main purpose of my site is to offer services. The title in the header reflects this.
3. THE SUBTITLE.
An effective subtitle is where you can embellish on the title and add more relevant site information.
My header subtitle is the same as it is in my Settings (the Tagline in the #2 above image).
It’s important to keep in mind that images have no SEO juice, meaning search engines can’t read the text in images. But you can add a title and description to the images in the Metadata area after you upload the image.
Any place you can add keywords or description in WordPress or any other Content Management System do so.
4. WEBSITE NAVIGATION.
This primarily pertains to your site’s menu. It’s what gets a visitor to your site from one page to another.
The navigation must be quick to see and easy to use. And, it must be above the fold. This means it must be immediately visible upon landing on the site.
Most sites have the menu just below the header, but there are some that have it on the sidebar. If yours is on the sidebar, it should be above the fold.
Your menu needs to be quickly seen and functioning properly.
5. ABOUT PAGE.
Every site needs this page. Visitors want to know who you are, what you’re offering, and why you’re qualified to offer it. Don’t make it a guessing game or make the visitor have to search to find out who runs the site.
To make the page friendly, keep the content on this page conversational. You can give some personal information, but not too much. The internet isn’t the safest place, so be careful.
6. CONTACT PAGE AND OTHER WAYS TO BE REACHED.
You need easy to find contact information on the Landing Page and all the other pages. A potential customer or client doesn’t want to search for information on how to contact you with questions or a project. Have your contact information on every page (on the sidebar and/or at the bottom of each page works well).
This is especially important if you offer services.
Aside from the Contact Page, I have my contact info on the sidebar right below my call-to-action (CTA).
I’ve used a contact form in the past, but it caused problems on my site (as told by Bluehost, my hosting service) so I removed it.
This is what I have on my contact page:
7. RESPONSIVE THEME.
With all the devices your website can be seen on, you need a responsive theme that morphs (automatically adjusts) to all formats: websites, laptops, iPads, Smart Phones, etc.
To check how your site looks on any device visit: http://ipadpeek.com. If your site doesn’t measure up, search for a theme that works.
Google actually frowns upon sites that aren’t responsive
You absolutely need an opt-in to your mailing list. The mailing list is considered ‘golden’ and is the marketing tool that will help you build a relationship with your visitors and readers.
It’s this ongoing relationship that builds trust, authority, and conversion (having someone take action – buy your book or hire you).
While you should have an opt-in for your mailing list, it may also be to bring a visitor to a sales page for your books or services, or to sign up for a webinar or eclass. Whatever you’re offering and want your visitor to take action on, use an opt-in.
The opt-in should be above the fold and in line with your color scheme.
My opt-in is at the top of my sidebar:
9. ETHICAL BRIBE.
The most effective tool to get a visitor to subscribe to your opt-in is the ‘ethical bribe.’ This offering should be something of perceived value to your target market that will entice visitors to sign up. The above image is an example of an opt-in freebie.
Your ethical bribe should have a clear call-to-action (CTA). You need to explicitly tell the visitors what you want them to do.
In the image above, the opt-in is for my mailing list and the ethical bribe is “How Do You Plan a Children’s Story?” The clear CTA is “Get Free EBook.”
10. FOCUS AND SIMPLICITY.
I mentioned focus earlier. Your site needs to be focused.
If your site is about writing for children, you wouldn’t write about romance novels or offer them for sale on the site.
Google pays attention to the focus of your site. If you dilute that focus with unrelated content and offerings, Google will most likely avoid using your site as the results for search results.
Notice how my site’s keywords are specific to children’s ghostwriting and writing for children.
This focus helps search engine spiders and visitors quickly realize the focus of the site.
The next thing is simplicity. People have super-short attention spans. You need to make things as simple as possible for the visitor to quickly know what you’re offering and how they can get it.
As a children’s ghostwriter, I’ve written well over 300 stories for clients.
The thing I notice is that most of my clients don’t realize that simply writing a book doesn’t guarantee any sales.
It can be an excellent, high-quality book, but there are just too many books in cyber-space to be noticed. You’re just a tiny speck in the cyber sky.
So, what are some of the basic ways an author can bring attention to her book?
Let’s go over 6 of the basics.
The very first thing is to create a quality book.
This means the story, grammar, illustrations (if applicable), and front and back covers, must be quality.
It might be tempting to forgo editing or go with a less than quality cover, but if you’re investing your time and effort into a book, do it right.
You may need to invest some money to produce a professional looking book that’s a quality read, but it will be worth it.
You will want to be proud to be author of your book.
You should have an author website.
It doesn’t have to be a elaborate site or cost any money. You can create one yourself for free with sites like, Weebly, WordPress.com, GoDaddy, Blogger, Yola, and Wix. You can also do an online search to find others.
You can think of your website as your online home. It will be the home of your book.
It can be a simple website.
The site can simply have a Home page or landing page with your book, the book’s description, book reviews (if you have any), and an image of the book cover and possibly the back cover.
You’ll also need to link to where the reader can buy your book.
This is a super-simple site, but at least you’ll have an online presence for your book.
If you need help creating your site, look for a web designer just starting out or maybe someone you know of, or someone who does it in their spare time.
If you have multiple books, you’ll want to create a webpage for each one. So, be sure whichever website builder you use offers that feature.
Share your website.
Create little blurbs about your book and share (post) it on social media, linking back to your website.
It’s also a good idea to include an image of your book in the social media posts.
Videos are powerful.
Even if you have a one-page website, include a video on it.
A video helps people get to know you and your book. It can be a simple 60 to 90 second clip about your book, or why you wrote it, or if applicable, how it will benefit the reader.
You can use your webcam on your computer or your iPhone.
You might even upload the video to YouTube and your social networks.
Get reviews of your book.
Reviews are very powerful. They let people know that the book is a good read (hopefully it is). People buy books based on book reviews.
In case you didn’t read the article I provided about Amazon and 3rd-party sellers, the gist of it is that Amazon allows 3rd-party sellers to sell your book.
My nonfiction book just came out and there are 3rd-party sellers selling it through Amazon. I set the price of the paperback at $14.95 but it’s being sold from $14.95 to $25. It’s crazy.
These 3rd-party sellers do the same thing with traditionally published books which is why I link to the publisher’s selling page rather than Amazon’s.
There’s no way to know where those 3rd-party sellers are getting the books from – they may be bootlegged. This means the author and publisher don’t get the money they should from the sale.
Hope this gives you ideas for your own book marketing journey.
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I recently had a query from a potential client about a picture book series.
As we spoke on the phone, he said he already created the first book with the help of a graphic designer. He said the book is kind of a coffee table book. People would buy it because it looks good and they’d want to have it visible.
The first book is a basic learning book with only one or two sentences per page.
But as he explained the story to me, I told him it sounded like the book should be geared toward four to six-year-olds. Yet he kept mentioning that it’s a coffee table book that adults would like to show off.
I then explained to him that the first step in book marketing, book marketing 101, is to know your audience.
You need to know your target market.
This author was having difficulty figuring out exactly where his book would fit.
If he didn’t know where it’d fit and I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, how on earth would an audience figure it out.
Who would buy a book with NO specific target audience?
Okay, now this isn’t to say it couldn’t find an audience as I haven’t seen the actual book, but who would he market to?
A child? An adult? Both?
My other question would be, if he wants to attract adults with a cool-looking graphic book, why make it a children’s book? Why not make it specific to adults?
It’s one of the most perplexing queries I’ve ever received.
In regard to marketing goals, if you don’t know where you want to go, it’s pretty hard to get there.
That’s why I’m emphasizing the point that you MUST know your audience and target market if you intend to sell books.
So, how do you figure out who your audience and target market are?
Let’s first go over who your audience is and who your target market is.
Your audience is the children who will read your book.
Your target market are the people who will actually buy the book.
To determine who’ll be reading your book and who’ll be buying it, it’s a good idea to answer some questions.
Who do you want to reach with your book?
In the case of a children’s books, the children are the audience.
If you’ve written a children’s book, the genre will also help determine your target market.
Picture books are generally for four-eight-year-olds.
Chapter books are in the 7-10 age group range.
Middle grade books in the ten-twelve age group range.
Young adult is thirteen and up.
Then there’s the genre within the genre.
Maybe you’ve written a fantasy or a sci-fi. Maybe you’ve written a mystery or an action-packed adventure. Maybe you’ve written a historical fiction or a nonfiction book.
It’s also possible that you’ve written a textbook or educational resource for a specific grade.
Did you write a book with a boy as the protagonist, or a girl?
While some books can cross genders, your audience will usually be boys or girls. Not both.
Who will actually be buying the book?
With children’s books, it’s parents who usually buy the books for their children.
It’s also possible your target market will be libraries and schools. You might also be aiming for bulk purchases from wholesalers.
Maybe you’ll be targeting all of the above.
But, even if you sell in bulk to wholesalers, the parents will be the end purchaser.
Does it meet the standard publishing guidelines?
Whether you’re traditionally publishing or self-publishing, you want a quality and professional product. This means knowing the rules to create a book that’s publishing worthy.
Answering these five questions will help you get a handle on your audience and market.
Going back to the query who wrote a young children’s book for an adult’s coffee table, he might consider rethinking his strategy.