Many of the authors associated with Halo Publishing International have written and self-published a book for children and/or young adults. The YA market is one of the fastest growing as schools support and encourage regular reading beyond the elementary school years. It is an exciting time for self-publishing.
If you are an author of a children’s book or hope to be soon, part of the self-publishing process is the creation of a marketing plan. For the most part, your marketing plan will be similar to those self-publishing adult fiction or non-fiction books; however, there are a few unique tips for creating visibility for your children’s book.
- Include an age range or specific grade level for your children’s book.
Amazon offers further information on the value and importance of including an age range for readers of your book:
Narrow age ranges work best. Limit your age ranges and grade levels to a span of 3-4 years to make sure the most appropriate customers are seeing your books.
Do you already have age and grade assigned to your books? Review the bullet points below and make sure your books’ age bands are as narrow as possible.
Here are the target age ranges and grade levels for your books on Amazon.com:
Age; Grade Level; Description
0 – 2; N/A; Board books
3 – 5; Pre-school; Picture books
6 – 8; Kindergarten 2nd grade; Early-level readers, first chapter books
9 -12; 3rd grade 6th grade; Middle-grade chapter books
13 – 18; 7th grade 12th grade; Teen and young adult chapter books
- School visits and author days
In marketing we talk about the value of your Centers of Influence. Centers of Influence are people who interact on a regular basis with your target audience. Whether you are looking for work or want to promote your book, Centers of Influence can help connect you with the right people.
In the case of marketing a children’s book, one strong segment of Centers of Influence is Teachers and School Librarians.
In fact, connecting with schools is one of the 6 Powerful Ways to Market Children’s Books according to 30 Day Books. Here is what they advise:
Kids love authors and illustrators and they love to ask questions. Teachers like having authors visit in person or through Skype. There are several places on the Internet where you can list yourself. Some are paid and some are free.
Here’s a free one: http://www.authorvisitmatch.com
There are ways in which books can be sold during an author visit.
- The author will provide a flyer/order form for the school to use for handling book sales. These are sent home to the parents.
- The school will handle sales through their own distributor or a bookstore in their community.
- What can authors do during a school visit? Make it interactive. Handout sheets are always great. They can be anything from “Did you know?” to coloring book pages of the characters in the story.
- Don’t forget to have someone snap a picture or take a video of your visit. It’s bound to be a valuable addition to your website or blog.
- Mothers are Another Important Segment of Influence
Are you familiar with the phrase “Mommy Blogger?” Mothers have a strong voice with their buying power and their word of mouth endorsements and many have blogs that they update on a regular basis.
My favorite resource for finding out information was originally created by Guy Kawasaki, marketing Guru. He developed a site called Alltop.com which is a funnel for all of the best blogs, magazines and newspapers updated daily.
When you visit the main page you will find the top trend articles regardless of category, but just click on the Alphabet at the top of the page to drill down to specific areas of interest. I recommend you start with the page entitled MOMS.
Here you will find hundreds of regularly updated blogs written by moms for moms. Each blog offers live links to their most recent articles. Visit a variety of blogs to find the Mommy Bloggers who might be interested in learning about your book.
Consider connecting with them to see if they would be interested in reading your book in hopes of helping to get the word out.
- Be Aware of COPPA
Finally, make sure that the content you share through your marketing efforts is in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
When we talk about or to the younger set our content needs to be appropriate and in compliance. Visit their site to make sure that you are following the procedures when marketing your self-published children’s book.
Bottom Line: Although marketing your children’s book is very similar to marketing any other product; you must first start with a plan. Check out my article The 6 Reasons You Need a Marketing Plan to help develop your strategy.