Co-host events in bookstores and creative venues
Vying for time in bookstores and other venues is becoming more and more competitive. So authors, especially children’s authors, should keep your expectations in check by thinking of this as a long-term strategy to sell more books.
When it comes to events, introduce yourself to local indie bookstores, retail boutiques, gift shops, craft shops, and even coffee shops and breweries!
Coffee and beer? Yes! Coffee shops are popular with stay at home and work from home moms. They meet friends with other kids there. It’s a great place for an event because for children’s authors especially, your buyers are already hanging out. So you can use it as a great way to sell more books! And if you live in a beer-centric area, I probably don’t have to tell you that breweries are often very family (and dog!) friendly. And parents are always looking for ways to keep the kids entertained while enjoying a brew!
Introduce yourself to the owner or manager at any one of these venues, and discuss their 2018 schedule. It helps if you can be flexible. Let them know you’d love a call even if something comes up last-minute. Once you have one successful event together you’ll be surprised how much easier it gets to coordinate, and yes, sell more books.
And don’t forget, you don’t just get to show up and sell books. Yes, you’ll likely sell more books. But you want to bring something to the table for the venue as well. So plan to have fun swag or games that compliment your story. And of course do a reading and Q&A, let the venue know you’re not a one trick pony!
Find local retail space to sell more books
When it comes to retail space, be ready to sell yourself some more!
Any connections you have with the local community should be highlighted. And have a list of ways you can promote their business along with your regular book marketing. This can be social media, a newsletter, your community connections, interviews you have booked with media, or events you have planned.
Make it easy for them to see why a children’s author can be an asset to their business. Then you’ll be able to use this relationship to set up events, and sell more books!
Get involved with libraries
Almost all libraries do author events. So get involved, and on the schedule. Most will also accept donated books. So donate a few copies and plan to check in with them in the next 3-6 months to see the interest level.
This is another place to bring your book marketing A-game. Let the library know how you can help send people their way one they have your book on the shelves, via social media, your newsletter, events, etc.
Do something special for local schools
Schools really appreciate quality guest speakers and kids love to meet children’s authors! Contact schools and figure out what their process is for getting something set up with their librarian. Suggest donating a few copies and ask if you can bring order forms for parents to buy personalized, signed copies as well.
They key to getting school time is having something teachable. Be ready to present librarians with a fun, well thought-out event that entertains and teaches.
As a bonus book marketing tool, whatever you come up with can be re-packaged virtually as a download on your website! And once you do that, be sure to promote on your social, in your newsletter….you get the idea?
Grandparents are your best friend
Grandparents love to treat and spoil their grandkids, so help them along by introducing them to your book!
Look into doing events in senior centers and other venues that are popular with boomers, like the YMCA, rec centers even fair and religious and community events. A lot of communities also have social groups and other coordinated activities for the over 55+ crowd. If it’s a draw for families, you’re likely to reach grandparents and sell more books to them.
Children’s authors have so many creative opportunities for their book marketing. I get excited just brainstorming ideas!
And, if you would like something to keep track of your events calendar and marketing outreach, I’d love to share my free monthly book marketing planner with you!