Sunday, February 3, 2019

So, you have a children’s book coming out…Part Two – Scheduling Author Visits

You did the work writing…editing…submitting...contracts…editing… and soon your book will be out in the world.

At less than two months before my book birthday I’m starting to work on visits to bookstores, schools, and libraries. But how do you set them up?

Well, you’ve already set up your online platform (even just a super basic website will do) so people can reach out to you. But you aren’t famous yet, so people probably aren’t knocking on your door.

Your publisher will probably make a flyer and/or give you marketing information or supplies. Those of you who are self-publishing
should make one, or have one made. 

It has all the information:

Who – Wrote and Illustrated – June Smalls and Claire Sedovic

What – Humorous picture book about animals and the alphabet.

When – Publication Date: 4-2-19

Where – Can it be purchased – Blue Manatee Press and IPG.

Don’t forget the cover art!

Publishers may also set up some of your author visits. But don't expect them to do all the work. You can and should help with marketing to make your book as successful as possible.

Start small and start local. Is there a local indie bookstore in your area? Walk in, introduce yourself, show your flyer, and offer to do a signing. Many indie stores even work with local schools and may know who nearby may be interested in visits.

What about your co-workers at your day job? Oh, one of them has a sister who teaches first grade? Sweet – get or give contact info. Networking like this can be organic. Work at your own pace and don’t overbook or overwork yourself.

Do you live near the schools you attended as a child? Do you have a child currently in schools with the right demographic for your book? Reach out, contact their teachers or the librarians. You may want to start with free or discounted rates until you are comfortable with your presentations and their value.

Know before you reach out what exactly you are offering. Are you just doing a reading and signing? Do you have a presentation suitable for a small class or a whole auditorium? Have you practiced and timed your presentation, leaving time for questions? Do you use a PowerPoint or props or have art to share?

We can break down what all your author visit can entail, but that is a post for another day.

Once you start a dialogue with your school or store contact, let them know what you need. Also, be prepared for technology to fail. Stuff happens and you may have to adapt.

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