Promoting Your Seasonal Book Year Round

Cheryl Malandrinos Promoting Your Seasonal Book Year Round

by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Just for the record, I love Christmas. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I embrace the season with all that’s in me. It wasn’t any surprise, then, that my first published book,

Little Shepherd, was a retelling of the Christmas story.

Books with a holiday tie-in are wonderful because buyers looking for new ways to present seasonal topics are apt to purchase them. That said, when the holiday has come and gone, sales can drift away. This meant when I put together my marketing plan for Little Shepherd, I had to think about what I would do the other 9 months out of the year to promote it.

Here are some things that I’ve tried since the year started:

Little Shepherd 2 Writing Workshops

With dwindling budgets and greater expectations, educators are often looking for professional writers to visit their classrooms. I spent several days this year in the classroom running workshops on creating characters and story building. I didn’t talk much about my book specifically, but I can tell you that at Open House I walked down the hallway and one of my daughter’s classmates pointed and said to her parents, “That’s Sarah’s mom. She writes kid’s books.”

Volunteering

Being involved is very important for authors. As someone who works in book promotion, it pains me when an author spends money to promote her book and then drops off the face of the planet. It takes so much energy to drum up a following, why waste it?

By staying active in your community, you will have the chance to share your book with others. Whether I was at book fairs, volunteering at the library, or helping out at church, there have been chances to tell others about Little Shepherd.

Blogging and Guest Blogging

I’m a huge fan of blogging. I know it’s not for everyone, but so many people tell me they have found me on the Internet, and I have to credit it to blogging.

I went on a virtual book tour (VBT) last year to promote my book. I created a blog designed to help promote my VBT stops and posted to it nearly every day during the three and half months I toured. Now I use it to announce guest blogging spots and to talk about other kid’s books.

Look for opportunities to blog at a variety of sites. Short articles can go a long way in exposing more readers to your work. You can email bloggers directly or try using social media to let people know you’re willing to be a special guest.

Market Your Books to Libraries and Organizations

I subscribe to a blog run

by Books & Such Literary Agency. Last year they launched a product known as Library Insider™. It is a two-part program that helps authors market their books to libraries. I’m using this product to redesign my marketing plan for 2011. Libraries and independent bookstores are usually eager to spread the word about local authors. Don’t be shy in getting to know them.

Part of my new marketing plan is sharing Little Shepherd with churches and Christian schools in the area. Think about what organizations might be interested in your book. You never know what might develop.

Promoting seasonal books isn’t much different than promoting a book without a holiday tie-in. Though the majority of your marketing might come during a specific time of year, it’s important to keep talking about your book and looking for new ways to share it with potential readers all year long.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. She is also a regular contributor for the Writer2Writer eZine. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.

Visit Cheryl online at her newly redesigned website at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ or at any of her blogs:

http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/

http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/

http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/

http://profwritersconnect.blogspot.com/