Get Ready For School Visits
First, I am so sorry for totally skipping July’s blog posting. It was “one of those months”. Happy to be back and focusing on my work once again.
This month’s topic is inspired by a NJ-SCBWI conference I attended in June. I learned a great deal about getting set up for school and library visits. I thought I’d share a little of what I learned there.
Author, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen offered an enlightening seminar on preparing yourself for the marketing end of things, the seminar was titled “School Visits as a Business”. Just by viewing her “event kits” and “educator’s guides” you can learn a lot about what types of things you might need to prepare and set up when getting ready to promote your book through school visits.
I also attended a talk led by Kristin Venuti, author of “Leaving The Bellweathers”. Her seminar was titled “Yikes! I Sold My Book. Now What?” Kristin was helpful in many ways but one that stands out is the answer to my question, “Who do you actually send your school and library visit/marketing materials to?”
Besides the usual local newspapers/PR, when you want to promote a book signing, you can send your brochures and Bio to PTA presidents, Library Directors and School Librarians. The work comes up-front in compiling your list and sending the info. out but you should keep that list going so you can build on it for the next book. (Because there will be a next book once you’ve been bitten by the bug). 😉 Here is another PR avenue to try…a listing of Parenting Magazines.
I am very fortunate that I have experience as a graphic designer and I can produce my promotional materials myself, but as Sudipta shared in her seminar…you can develop something that works just fine by using your own computer and online affordable digital printing services. Be creative in preparing your material and have fun with it. Create activity pages to include in your educator’s guide. This can be something as simple as a cooking recipe that kids can make. A simple desert or drink that uses the same name of one of your main characters for example: “The Duncan Ice Slush”. If you are an illustrator, create a coloring page with a B&W line art image from your book. The more you offer the educators in support of your book, the more likely they are at inviting you in to the classroom. More on School Visits from the experts.
On a personal note: My first picture book, “A Sweater For Duncan” will be released next month and I am sending out my own promotional brochures, etc. for visits and book signings. To keep up with the schedule of events and “Duncan” happenings, visit the official site at: http://sweaterforduncan.wordpress.com
Thanks for visiting!
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This month’s featured blog…”Hosting a School Book Fair”
Blog post on how to host a successful school book fair.