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I never thought my first book would be a Children’s Picture Book. I really never thought what started as a funny comment and a conversation my brother had with my then three-year-old nephew would turn into an adorable story about a Blue-Mask Peacock Spider named Harry. It’s incredible how writers get their inspiration, but the work behind bringing a story to life is more work than I ever imagined, especially if you self-publish.
However, after learning the ropes (I’m still learning a ton about this) Sandi-the kind owner of our New Local Book Store The Book Dragon, arranged an event with a few other amazing Local Authors. It made me realize how great it is to meet other writers, network, and meet your target audience.
Marketing My Event
One thing I will take the time to do next time is market in person as well as online. I did a paid boosted ad on Facebook for $5 and reached about 100 people. I made a Flyer in Canva that came out great, and I posted it on my Facebook feed but will take it to local shops next time to get more local exposure. I think taking flyers to schools, libraries, and toy stores would help get a buzz going. Just some tips for you that I am learning as I go.
Check out my Flyer for inspiration for your book event!
My Table Display
I have to be honest here. I wish I would have been able to get more items with my book on them besides bookmarks, but for what I had, it turned out pretty darn cute! I am going to order some stickers and possibly T-Shirts for my next event. I went to the Dollar Store and picked up a metallic table cloth, crayons, ribbons, and poof balls (can’t remember what they were called-LOL) to decorate my table. I also have a ridiculous sticker collection from years of collecting and found some cute ones that went along with the theme of my book.
I used a plastic flyer display and a plastic magazine holder to display my books upright and fanned out a couple on the table. I stacked up the crayon boxes in a pyramid, and everything looked super fun and colorful!
The other authors had things like plush toys, candy, banners, and bookmarks. It was awesome to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other and share advice on how to make our writing dreams come true.
I’ve become quite introverted from my “day” job. So when Gina Horkey, Elna Cain, and Kristin Lawson preached about networking, it made me want to crawl in a hole and hide. I seem very extroverted, but I am super self-conscious and get very tired after socializing. However, networking when you are building your business is a MUST! I also really enjoyed speaking with the other writers. One, in particular, I vibed with and may have started a business relationship and learned a lot from her already.
You never know what fellow entrepreneurs may need help with or may help YOU with. For example, if you meet a business owner, they have many connections in the community, they can help you with. Just by meeting and handing out your cards, even though they might not need your services (at this time), they may know someone that does! This has happened to me with my Virtual Assistant Services, so make it a point to always have a business card on hand to give out.
Getting My Book in the Stores
When you self-publish a book, you work harder than a…I can’t write the rest, but you catch my drift. It’s not a paid advance, and your book doesn’t magically appear in big stores such as Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc. However, if you do it right, you can possibly go from their Online Store to the Shelves. I have reached out to Local Book Shops in and around the area that offer consignment or sometimes will purchase a book outright at a discounted price. They have to pay the bills too, so it’s a good relationship for indie authors and independent book stores.
One perk of self-publishing was I got to choose my illustrator. Jeanine Henning made my book better than I ever DREAMED it could be. She worked with me about what I wanted, and you do not get that kind of say if you go traditional. So, that was a nice perk over the headache of the rest. For the sequel, I will definitely use her services, but I may try to pitch it to a traditional publisher for bigger opportunities.
Picture Book & Coloring Book
One of my favorite things about my book is that my illustrator created it with a coloring book inside! Not only do you get an adorable rhyming picture book with beautiful illustrations but a coloring book to boost your child’s creativity. This book is a perfect gift idea! Just click the following link –> Spiders Don’t Eat Cheeseburgers to order from Barnes & Noble TODAY!