Do you have a medium sized budget to market your teen novel? First, implement some or all of the options listed in the last couple of posts, then look into implementing these suggestions.
Upgrade to a professional web site. Remember when I said the web site was the single most important marketing tool? As soon as you can afford it, have a pro take over the design and execution for you. Get recommendations from author friends to find out who is affordable.
Attend a national conference or bookseller event, i.e. ALA, BEA, IRA or SCBWI. This is a great way to network. Be sure to bring along your business cards.
Have a professional author photo taken. A professionally taken photo may seem like a frivolous expense but a great pro photo can last you years. Plus, you get the added benefits of photo retouching.
Have book-themed giveaways made for you. One idea we love is having temporary tattoos made using your book’s cover or character. Be sure to bring them along to events – and again, remember to get permission for any copyrighted images.
Pay dues to organizations, like the Children’s Book Council, The Children’s Literature Network, ALA and IRA.
Put together a media kit. This is like a traditional press kit, but with an accompanying CD-ROM or DVD. Content could included photos, an interview with you (have a pal be the interviewer), favorable reviews, etc. Get creative.
Throw a high-concept launch party. Provide book-themed food and beverages, and create activities that will also complement the book’s content. Consider hiring an assistant to help keep younger children occupied (and happy).
Attend a key conference. Treat yourself to attend a national SCBWI conference, for example. The trip will be worth the expense. Besides, it’s tax deductible.
Travel to meet your editor and/or agent. If you’re worried about maximizing your time away, try to organize a school or library visit or bookstore event to coincide.
Organize a cool giveaway through your web site. Purchase an iPod mini or a portable game system – whatever appeals to your readers – and make it the prize in a book themed contest.
Hire the services of a PR specialist. You’ll still have to do some of the work on your own, but hiring a professional – especially one who specializes in the kid lit market – will give you a strong advantage. Sure, you’ll pay for that advantage – but this is a person who can organize a mini-book tour, allocate funds for well-placed internet ads, etc. At the very least, spring for a consultation that will set your self-funded promotional efforts onto the best track possible.
Laurie Faria Stolarz’s author website: www.lauriestolarz.com
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