Today, Cynthia is sharing tips about book promotion.
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of ETERNAL and TANTALIZE (both Candlewick). Her award-winning books for younger children include JINGLE DANCER, INDIAN SHOES and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (all HarperCollins). She looks forward to the release of HOLLER LOUDLY (Dutton, Nov. 2010) and both BLESSED and TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY (both Candlewick, Feb. 2011).
Cynthia is a member of faculty at the Vermont College M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
Her website at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/was listed as among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column.
1. Research what has worked for other authors with titles that appeal to the same audience. Talk to them, read their blogs, offer to buy them lunch and pick their brains. Youth literature authors are big on paying it forward. That resource person may turn into one of your most effective advocates.
2. Make a plan. Think about your goals, audience, contacts, competing time demands, budget, other resources, and what kinds of things you enjoy doing. Is this a book that will be stocked in bookstores or will it go primarily to the school/library market? Do you have a curriculum tie-in? A news hook? Is your audience made up of 4 to 7 year olds or high school and college readers? The formula for every book and every author will be different.
3. Give yourself deadlines, and do what you can before the release date. Put together your readers' guide and media kit. Order bling. Hire a web designer or publicist. Contact bloggers. Plan the launch party. Work now to make it easier on yourself later.
4. Start buzzing. Announce the illustrator, cover art, the flap copy. Show off your book trailer. Promote upcoming tie-in events. Let your excitement show.
5. Launch the book. This is the time to go full-out with your plan. Enjoy it! You've got your plan. Many of the elements are already in place. And be flexible. Keep your eyes and ears open for new, unforeseen marketing opportunities.
6. Keep pounding that drum-not only while the book is on the front list but for its life in print. Publishers have limited staffs and season after season of new books to think about. You're the best, most consistent spokesperson for your book.
6 ½. All of that said, your most important job is to get your next book written. Nothing sells a back-list book like a new release. So have fun with marketing and promotion, but remember that you're a writer-first, last, and always!
Thank you, Cynthia!
Couldn't agree more with 6 1/2. The best advice my agent, Tina Wexler, has given me is simply: "Write the next book."
What's YOUR best promotion idea?