Marketing books can be difficult, especially when you have to market to two dramatically different groups of people: children and the adults who buy books for them!
It’s no secret that children want a few specific things from the books they read, and those things can be boiled down to beautiful, eye-popping illustrations and a quirky, fast-paced story which will keep them on their toes. But adults? They want to buy books for their kids which are instructive as well as entertaining, and thoughtful as well as funny. Both children and adults love smart, horizon-expanding picture books, but that horizon sometimes looks a little … different.
So how do you market your picture book so that it shows off all of these various facets? We have a few thoughts on how to kickstart your promotional campaign this May!
- Start your campaign with a memorable—and thematic!—event. In that the book you’re promoting is a kid’s book, it probably taps into some great themes as well as some exciting visuals thanks to your illustrations. Use this to your advantage! Kids love parties of all kinds and the themes which go with them, and you can usually rely on your local library or your local independent bookstore to welcome a literary event, like a book reading or launch party, for kids. Go straight to the people who will know best how to incorporate picture books and fun activities—your children’s librarian! Seriously. They do this all the time. Even if you don’t hold your event at the library, these folks are a great resource for ideas.
- Take the book to school. Like, a literal and actual school! It can be hard to break into the schools since the curriculum is often developed by people higher up in the academic hierarchy than the teachers themselves, but there are still ways to raise your book’s profile among school-aged kids! One of the most reliable ways to promote a children’s book is to put together a thirty to fifty minute workshop which you can scale up or down to any group of school students of any age (or at least a range of ages). Keep it portable, and flexible enough to adapt to a variety of classroom setups and sizes, and reach out to a couple of your local teachers and administrators to see what kind of needs a workshop around your book can help meet. Think big!
- Market to both children and the adults who will be paying for the book. Children’s books are unique in respect to the fact that the person who will be reading the book most often and the person who is paying for it are often not the same person. In many cases, too, adults are a necessary part of the child’s reading experience as well–picture all of those Story Times in the library, with grown-ups reading to little ones in their laps–so a book must have shelf appeal to both little ones (make an eye-popping display!) and their parents or caregivers (make it relevant and funny!). Use social media local parenting-related groups to reach out to these folks. Whatever you do, make sure your marketing strategies are reaching out to those who buy the books as well as those who read them!
Whatever path you choose to pursue in marketing your children’s book, we hope you’ll take advantage of the resources available through our website at www.OutskirtsPress.com, or make use of a five-hour session with one of our expert Personal Marketing Assistants, each of whom can walk you through the necessary steps to set up a rigorous, flexible, and far-reaching marketing plan suited to you and your book’s unique needs. At Outskirts Press, we’re here to help you at all of the different stages of being an author, from publishing to marketing to getting started on your next children’s book!