Nathan here! Marketing a children’s book can be a tricky endeavor indeed. For some tips, I invited the good people at Reedsy over for a guest post. Enjoy!
Children’s books are some of the trickiest books to market. The people who you’d ultimately like to read your book—children—are very rarely the ones who buy it, and so you’re caught in the position of having to market your book to people it wasn’t written for.
Regardless of whether you’re working with an established publisher or going the indie route, new children’s authors need to take a lot of the marketing work into their own hands. You can’t just sit back and expect someone else to make you a bestseller.
So what can a children’s author do to get their books in front of the right people?
1. Be smart with social networks
New parents are among the most tech-savvy people you’ll find. They’re in their 20s and 30s, and for them, the Internet is one of the first places they’ll turn to when they’re looking for book recommendations.
Look for relevant #childrensbook or #mommyblogger hashtags on Instagram and get involved. Find Facebook groups dedicated to the specific subject matter of your book (Magic! Unicorns! Naughty kids!) and become an active member.
The key to ingratiating yourself with these communities is not to just rock up and plug your book off the bat. Become an active member and start helping other folks first. Then when you do start mentioning your book, you might find they’ll be more willing to help you spread the word.
2. Start guest posting
The phrase we use a lot when we talk about our target audience is to ‘find where they live.’ That means determining where they’re likely to spend a lot of their online life. Are they likely to be active on Reddit? If so, find the threads and be vocal. Do they read certain parenting blogs? Great! Contact the editor and start pitching ideas for guest posts.
Remember that blogs and community sites won’t just want you to plug your book. You need to actually offer up content that’s useful and relevant to their readers. If you can find a topic that allows you to mention your book seamlessly — then you’ve hit the jackpot.
3. Plan a school visit (or two)
By that, we’re not suggesting you just show up to your local elementary school and mill around until you find an unattended class. Many schools will dedicate time and budget to author visits. If you’re a local author with a great book to share, why not get in touch with an administrator or a librarian and ask what you can do for them?
And if you can get your book into a school library, then you’ve got your foot in the door with the kids by the time you publish your next book. Many bookstores will also schedule storytime each week, so why not hit them up as well? You never know where your next reader could come from.
4. Use YouTube to your advantage
What are kids watching these days? Chances are, they’re spending less time watching TV than they are skipping through videos on YouTube. Though only a select few genres in adult fiction really lend itself to a book trailer, they’re great to attract the attention of young readers — especially if you get your keywords right!
Look into working with a small production company that can make you a trailer that features your book’s fantastic artwork. And once you have it finalized, you can reuse that trailer again and again: with Facebook ads, on your Amazon page, and on your author site.
Martin Cavannagh is a writer from Reedsy, a network of the industry’s best editors, designers and book marketers. They also offer a series of free publishing courses. If you enjoyed this post, you might want to sign up for How to Market Your Children’s Book.
Art: Good Friends by Albert Edelfelt