View Full Version : Recently Self Published Author Seeking Some Marketing Advice

08-29-2016, 08:01 AM
Hi everyone,

I recently self published my book first children's picture book. If I have learned anything from my writing journey, is that you need to be proud of your book. I love writing and I have accomplished something I have been working on for many years. I enjoy teaching young children, and I believe that reading with them could potentially make a lifelong difference in their lives. I want to use my books to help promote the importance of reading and never giving up on something you believe in. With that being said, I am writing because I am looking for some marketing advice.

In this day and age, there's no doubt that a website is an important marketing tool. I have been researching options for a website and looking over many writing threads on AW and other writing communities. I want to make sure that I am making the best move to get my writing career off of the ground.

Some authors that I have discussed marketing with believe that using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is a suffice web presence to start out with. Others say that investing in a professionally designed web presence could potentially lead to the start of your fan base. I know that "getting the word out" is important, but I want to hear some opinions about using social media vs. a website. Ultimately, I want to have both. Should I invest some of my money up front, or wait a while? But how long to wait?

The truth is, every author's situation is different, and because I am just starting out, I still have a great deal to learn about marketing. I am currently making a plan for other marketing techniques.

Someone wise told me "you get out of the business what you put into it." While this may not always be true, if you are doing something you are proud of, you need to put the effort into marketing your products.

If you are a self published author, how did you start marketing your book? Did you design a website or blog yourself or hire a professional? Did you stick solely to distribution programs and social media?

Forgive me if I sound like a newbie, and I guess I am, but I have been pushed into so many directions. I need an unbiased community to give me advice.

On a slightly different note, do you use business cards for your self published works or traditionally published works? Do you use an author photo or a publisher's logo? Do you have the name of your recently published title at the top or do you have your name and publishing imprint?

Thank you for your advice.

Old Hack
08-29-2016, 10:58 AM
There's a lot of very good advice here:

How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)

Marissa D
08-29-2016, 06:19 PM
Promoting picture books is different from promoting novel-length fiction, for starters. When you search for info, make sure you specify that.

One of the best ways to promote children's books is by school and library visits--but that means developing one or more presentations you can give in classrooms and libraries, and then promoting those. A website detailing your programs and availability is key here. I'd look into the resources available on SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)'s website.

12-02-2016, 11:47 PM
Picture books is probably the hardest market to be in as a self-published author.

Nevertheless, I think the basics apply, which is have a website where people can find your books, and a bit about you. Have a newsletter and develop a mailing list, but with one book in your bag right now, I think the biggest piece of advice is to get writing the next one. Think of the picture book authors you know. I have very small kids, and read about 10 picture books a night. When I find a book I like, I search that author and buy EVERYTHING else they have. I just finished reading our collection of Sandra Boynton books to my kids, and I could recite most of those from memory.

Good luck! I hope you'll share your journey. Cheers

James W
01-15-2017, 10:53 PM
I think getting a basic website up, as well as some simple social presence, is the bare minimum really (yes I am sure there are exceptions, I'm generalising).

To start a Wordpress site doesn't require too much in terms of financial investment. The key is to make it easy to use and nice to look at. The simpler, the better, often.

Getting a presence going on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is another important way to network with people within your publishing niche and also to reach potential customers and fans.

Social and a site shouldn't be an either/or prospect. They should both be doable with relatively small amounts of time/financial investment, and should work in harmony with each other.

Pat Waldron
02-22-2017, 04:03 AM
Where may I find your book?

Cobalt Jade
02-22-2017, 04:44 AM
How about offering to do a reading for the appropriate age group at your local library?

03-12-2017, 07:05 AM
Hi Sarahcat and congratulations on publishing your first book. I use bookmarks, printed with details of my books and website. If I were doing business cards I would put your name at the top - you want to create a brand name. If your book becomes enormously successful you may want to change that around!

03-12-2017, 06:58 PM
I recommend Wordpress.com for your website/blog, and I'd pay a little extra to get your own domain name. When I renew again this year, I'm going to pay the extra two bucks a month to get it ad-free, too.

An online pal of mine, Bette Stevens, who's done a great job of promoting her picture book, Amazing Matilda, is here: https://4writersandreaders.com/category/monarch-butterflies/.

I'd also recommend Twitter and Facebook at the very least. I don't do too much with Facebook--my blog posts automatically post there, and Facebook in turn automatically tweets for me--but it does keep your domain name hopefully free of kooks like neo-nazis and such. It's hard enough to build name recognition. I don't think anyone wants to fight the uphill battle of being mistaken for someone who's notorious for their inflammatory views.

Pinterest is also good, especially for picture books. I've just started there, but I got over 70 referrals to my blog from it in a little over a month.

I'm doing a social media conference on my blog if you want to check that out for potentially useful information. If nothing else, the meet-and-greet page will give you some contacts on Twitter who will be happy to follow you back, although you can't do better than Bette. Her online manners are exquisite. She's also on Twitter, and the link to follow is in her sidebar.

And when I'm through with my online conference, I'll be happy to interview you on my blog.

But I won't sugarcoat it. Whatever you do, it'll be a long, hard slog.