from the collected notes of Barbara Jean Hicks
This week I dug back into notes from my very first SCBWI LA Summer Conference—in 2004! The nuggets I found at a roundtable called “Marketing for Authors,” moderated by Kelly Milner Halls and Esther Hershenhorn, are as relevant today as they were then. The moderators each brought a few good ideas to the table to get the ball rolling, and then the community of writers in attendance shared ideas of their own—too many to post all at once, but here are a few to begin, starting with Kelly and Esther. I’ll share more next week.
From Kelly: Give, give, give! Give workshops and encouragement whenever the opportunity presents itself.
From Esther: Write that bio—and make sure it puts your best foot forward—even before you need it. Your bio introduces you to the world.
From Dotti Enderle: Put a stork sign in your front yard with the message, “It’s a book!”
From Dianne M. MacMillan: Create Fun Pages. Offer recipes, coloring pages or worksheets based on your book with teachers and booksellers to share with kids and parents.
From April Halprin Wayland: Create a 15 minute readers theatre script based on your book. Contact the closest high school to the conference or bookstore you’re scheduled to visit two months in advance and ask the drama teacher to look over the script and cast the parts. Meet with the teens for one to two hours the day you get into town and rehearse with them, and then have them perform during your presentation.
From Kathleen Duey: When a newspaper prints an article or interview, ask them to use your book jacket as the photo illustration instead of your picture. (Note: You need permission from your publisher for this.)
From Fiona Bayrock: Scatter your business cards like seeds. Leave them at your hairdresser’s or any other professional setting—even restaurant bathrooms—for better exposure.
From Joan Bransfield Graham: Be seen. Go to conferences and workshops. Volunteer to help out.
Have a great marketing/promotional idea of your own to share? Post it here--we’re all in this together!