Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creating Publicity For Your Book

Ah, what a naughty blogger I am. Especially when I'm just trying to organise a blog tour for my new book, George and Ghost.

It is released on March 10th and suddenly I'm in that mad time when publicity is crucial. It's been an extra long wait for me, as it was released in the UK in November but was held over in Australia until the start of the school year.

In the past, a book launch has been one of my primary focii (that word never seems right to me!). However, it involves some amount of personal anxiety, a lot of organisation and an over reliance on my friends to purchase books. I usually treat my launches as a celebration of something long awaited, like the birth of a new baby. I'm still not sure if I want to do one???@$#@%

Last year was my first experience with blog touring when Puggle was released. I went into the exercise with some hesitation as I wasn't sure who would be reading them if anyone...and would it be a case of navel gazing amongst fellow children's authors. Puggle has gone on to be a great success and I hope that some of that was due to the blog tour. The kind blog hosts I visited were so generous and asked some great questions. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would and the information remains on the web for those who want to find out more about Puggle, or puggles in general.

So what is my plan this year?

These days, authors are expected to put a great deal of effort into promotion and have an on-line presence. Being a picture book author, my publicity budget is probably $10 and the publicist only looks at you for the month your book is releaed so I have to be pro-active.

I'm a bit scatterbrained at times, especially at the start of a new school year when I'm also getting my head around new classes. Maybe if I write it down I'll remember. Maybe some other people will get some ideas.

1. Schedule blog tour for dates around release date:

Done...scheduled for 7-12 th of March through aussieblogtours and with some other invitees.
Have asked publisher to provide review copies and this has been agreed to.

2. Advertise blog tour.
Last year, I wasn't as pro-active in this regard as I should have been, so I'll be making sure I put posts in PIO and twitter.

3. Contact book stores regarding signing opportunities.

Not sure how successful that will be. You have to be a big name. I'm just a little wee name, writing books for little wee ones. Last year Jeffrey's books in Malvern supported my book launch and this year they have asked me to visit. Shall follow this up.

Have dropped off a copy at Tim's Bookstore in Maling Rd...wonder if they'll like it?

4. Think about where I will be on holidays, and whether I can do library visits.
I'll be around Mansfield at Easter...maybe I can pop in there? I popped in during the summer break and the staff were really welcoming and asked me to come back if I was ever in the area.

5. Book promotions and Give Aways.
Contacting magazines. Have contacted a magazine I write regularly for ...haven't heard back.

Have contacted teaching magazine and they are interested in a giveaway for back page...yay! Maybe it'll even lead to an article.

Think about contacting local newspapers??

6. Look for opportunities to show book to primary teachers and highlight curriculum links to science.

Selling a picture book to schools is really important. They are so expensive that most sales go through schools and libraries rather than the local bookstore.

I've put my name down as a presenter at the STAV primary school science teachers conference. Will they accept me? Who knows. Am already thinking in my head the types of activieties I could do, including measuring volume by water displacement and trying to weigh music!

I've already written a set of curriculum notes which I've posted on my website, trying to show links between both the UK and Australian primary science curricula.

7. Investigate home schooling?

My twitter page seems to be followed by many home schoolers...perhaps this is because My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day is so popular. Are there any avenues to show curriculum links there?

8. Gifted and Talented.

Since George and Ghost offers the launching pad for an almost limitless discussion on the nature of reality... What opportunities exist there?

Let me know if anyone else has any good ideas.

And then...I have to do it all again in April when Our Gags is released!!! Arrgh.

Sometimes I wish writing books was about....WRITING BOOKS.