Day After SCBWI Conference

DAWN/MysticEyes/flickr

DAWN of a NEW DAY

As I step out into the cool crisp dawn, tree silhouettes against the orange sky, I feel awake and alive. The crows caw and cats look up, wondering why I’ve come outside. Maybe after being cooped up all day yesterday I need the validation of nature. I look out at “the view”, our path of Leesburg “down the mountain”. It’s misty and all I can see is a shadow of more tree tops.

I think about the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference, and somewhere the content. I got so much value from the workshops; lots of ideas for after publication. I realize I need to start marketing now. The sponsors of the conference were adamant about not sharing the actual copyrighted contents so I can’t in good faith repeat the information here, but I can tell you the names of the workshops that I thought were the best and you can guess why. They were “How to sell your book without selling your soul” and “Postpartum after Publication”, just what I needed to hear since my book may be published by Christmas time or shortly after. I learned that my life won’t be the same with a book to market.

The day before the conference I had asked Claudia Wolf my illustrator at ( http://www.claudiawolf.com ), to start on the cover and I am glad I did. As soon as I have a cover I can put up a web page, a face book page and change my Gravatar to be the cover of my book. That’s three ways to make it known, to give me exposure. There is so much to do.

One of the things I learned was to make a marketing plan and then just do a couple of items from my list every week. Work on it every day, make goals and not worry about the how. I’m already worried about the how. How can I not worry about the how? I’m panicking about how. Lol.( How much there is to do and how I don’t know how to do it.) I don’t know how to set up another fb page. I’ve heard fb is on it’s away out and that all that work won’t really translate into sales. But somehow no one has alternatives so I have to do it.

I hear it’s all about relationships but I feel like I’m already pushing my book into people’s faces and saying “here buy this”. And I haven’t even started marketing. I just know I have to start. I already don’t have time to write. My new job will be marketing not writing. I miss my life already.

Do any of you have marketing ideas for a children’s book? Have any of you worked in sales or promoted a book?

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, personal growth, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Day After SCBWI Conference

  1. suzicate says:

    Maybe you can do a storytime at Barnes & Noble or another book store to promote your book…would be perfect if it markets rights before Christmas.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you for your suggestion. I will do just that. We have a B & N not too far from here and a Books A Million in town. They are the only book stores still around. There have been so many going belly up it’s scary.

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  2. Had to chuckle. Your blog opening and subsequent comments reminded me of the calm before the storm. However, the storm will be a flurry of activity that will be exciting and challenging. Hope you are pacing yourself. Will your publisher do any publicity/PR work for you? Will they let your home town know? As Suizi suggested, I would try to hit your local bookstores first. Get the info out to the media — usually the PR depts at book stores will promote you to to the media. I watch noon time TV interviews daily with local authors, publcizing their book signings. With the Houses sending out only their top authors on book tours to major cities, the local book stores aren’t getting the authors they used to. I’d set up some local school and library visits. You know all of this though. Karen S. Elliott, who Stacy Jensen interviewed, has a friend who is trying to find a group of people wanting to do a virtual book tour. Her friend is has a book being published. You might conact Karen.

    Sounds like the SCBWI conference did you some good. Why is facebook on it’s way out? Something new coming along. An author friend who’ has 20 adult novels published, went from her blog (300 followers) to FB (45,000 followers in a year). But, she is established. I’d talk to those who have published, like Susan Leonard.
    Pat

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I have been following Linked In discussions about Face book and how google+ is taking over FB. I know it’s been good to a lot of people but the new privacy laws are killing it.. Every day there are new changes.And what I hear are that followers don’t translate to buyers. But I’m all for exposure. 🙂 The more people that know about my book maybe will think about it when they have a child who may want a new perspective about time and clocks. It is a fun book irregardless of time. The illustrations are great by themselves. Claudia is doing a great job. My FB page is for my family and friends. I’ll have to set up a new page for my book.

      Thanks for giving me a heads up on Susan Elliot. I will try and contact her through Stacey Jensen for the blog tour. I think my publisher is also trying to set up a blog tour with all the authors but no one is biting. It’ll be a short one.

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      • Widdershins says:

        If you do go to Google+, this is me:
        https://plus.google.com/113390218123619649243

        … If you haven’t already got it, go to the Muse conference forum and download the workbook/handout for the ‘Creating and Building Your Author/Writer Online Presence’ worskhop. There’s scads of good info there.

        … one of the things I do as far as promoting myself, is to do something every day … no matter how small or big. Some days I send out invitations for reviews, some days I catch up on my paperwork. I have a spreadsheet to keep track of everything and I’m slowly reducing the bits of paper (hard copy and digital) that I’ve written ideas, URL’s, etc on. Yesterday I finally, finally updated my ‘About Me’ page on my blog, and tomorrow I’m updating the ‘Mortal Instinct’ page … something, every day!

        After the ‘shiny’ wears off, you might discover that you life is indeed the same … you just have a whole bunch of other things to do as well!

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        • clarbojahn says:

          Thanks Wiidder, for your good info. Hadn’t thought to go back to muse since I was sick. (Still getting drops but pain is gone). That’s a good resource. I checked out some of the others as well. 🙂

          Haven’t gone on Google plus though now I hear it’s for anyone. I’ll definitely add you to my circle when I go on. I’ve been so busy with life, social media has taken a hit. Same as email. Haven’t caught up yet, But there’s tomorrow. 🙂 Yay *cheers*.

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  3. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I wish I knew what the magic bullet would be to translate followers into sales. Sometimes, an interview with an author will prompt me to purchase his or her book. Other times a review will do it too. My library in Texas always had authors visit. I almost always purchased his or her book. School visits are a good way too. I think some authors require a specific number of books be purchased as part of the visit (or I’ve heard of this technique). Good luck. If you need to reach Karen S. Elliot. Her blog is: http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks so much for the link. I’ve left off a comment on her scary story!
      Readers- this is a treat.

      Yes, my writer’s group has an author that has had many school visits and sells her book as part of the package. School budgets have been cut drastically around here and I think I’ll be doing SKYPE visits if I can. If I can set them up. Bobbi Carducci, the author with the school visits also has programs that teach writing to kids as her book deals with it. It is called “Storee Wryter gets a Dog”. I did a blog book review on her book. She’s been one to watch and I hope she’ll help me as I start out and not see me as competition. I hope we can work together. Right now I don’t have much to offer except as partner in a blog tour.

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  4. And Stacy, I’m reminded of the quote you shared on my blog, “As I recently told my Twitter friends: Become someone worth knowing. Then your book will become something worth buying.” -Hope Clark. If you pay it forward, people remember. I think the book readings in book stores is a great idea. Also volunteer to do the same at your local library. And why not reach out to day care centers? Donate a few books here and there. Volunteer to hold some writing classes for kids or for children’s book writers. Think outside the box – contact a local toy store for a story-telling hour, hospital children’s wing, local community centers, or at 55+ communities (we have grandchildren).

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  5. Clar – I would suggest reaching out to a few local schools and libraries and offering to do visits – the first few free of charge while you get your feet under you – but a chance to sell books and get recommendations for other visits. Also, use GoodReads. There’s a really terrific post up on Shrinking Violet – perfect timing 🙂 – that gives an easily understandable and comprehensive look at how to use it best. If you sign up, friend me and I’ll accept! 🙂 The link is

    http://shrinkingvioletpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/10/lia-keyes-making-full-use-of-goodreads.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ShrinkingVioletPromotions+%28Shrinking+Violet+Promotions%29

    Wow that’s long. I hope it will work, but if not, just search Shrinking Violet – it’s the most recent post so will come right up.

    Also, maybe see if you can get interviewed on a few of your friends’ blogs. I would do it if you want. And we could have a book giveaway with it. Let me know 🙂

    Good luck!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you, Susanna, for the link and the info on Shrinking Violet. Although the link did not work I did look her up. Both, Shrinking Violet , GoodReads and the links therein. I didn’t know GoodReads was a source like this. I belong to a GoodReads site that lets you friend people who read the books you read and like but I didn’t know about the author info. Thanks, I’ll tuck it away till my book is out.

      I would totally love to friend you and also have you do an interview on me. I would love to do a book give away. What a totally awesome invitation. 🙂 I’ll email you separately about it.

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  6. Julie says:

    I have not been fortunate enough to have a book to market (yet), but I think the idea of just doing a little at a time – slow and steady – is a great approach. It will be difficult to get overwhelmed if you’re just breaking it into bitty steps. Good luck! We’ll all be around to help, too.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      One thing has been a great blessing and that is the continued generosity of other writers and authors like yourself and your willingness to help. I am overcome with gratitude for that. I am a product of my writer’s group and the other writers I have met. They continue to steer me the right direction. Thanks for that.

      Yes, taking it slow. That’s appealing to me. Now I’ll write my list. 🙂

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