Showing posts with label book publicity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book publicity. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2011

6 Facts About Children's Publishing Now.

The recent Spinning Tales conference for New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators highlighted  some important need to know facts about the state of children’s publishing here and overseas. As I research for this blog, every week I come across articles and discussions that support the 6 most important facts.

1. Writing for children is a business. It is not sitting down and tossing off a gentle story about clouds and raindrops and having a publisher fall on their knees to have the chance to publish it for all the little kiddies to read.
It is a hard slog to write a good story and harder to write a good children’s story. The little kiddies are web savvy and digital literate.  Your story must drag them away from T.V, cell phone, Xbox and YouTube.  Good Luck There! Janice Hardy has an excellent post on making the reader care.

2. Writing For Children has to be commercial so that the publishers make money and stay in business...but look out there are others too who want to make money off you.
Publishers print lists are contracting. E publishing is expanding. We are not authors any more we are content providers.  The 10% that content providers get and the 7% they get for e-rights (overseas) is not worth it for the author or the publisher unless the print run is sold out. Add into this the changing nature of publishing contracts and the implications of epublishing on contracts. 

The author must be contract savvy or have an agent who is. 

It helps if you know what the scams are out there for unwary authors.  Larry Brooks has a writer beware publicity scam (?) where TV stations want to make a buck off you.  Publishingtrends highlights the Kindle swindle.  Watch out for copyright scammers who make ebooks from your  web content.

3. Publishers are being challenged by new technology. Everything is changing. Everyone is scared. 
The ease of digital publishing and printing have authors questioning whether they need the traditional publishers. Arguments for and against are everywhere on the web. 
Joe Konrath interviewed Bob Mayer about his move to have his own publishing company, then Joe threw down a challenge to his traditional publishers (ouch!) Jody Hedlund and Jami Gold have taken an opposite view.  

The stakes are high. 

Here in New Zealand, publishers are digitising their back lists...this will make it harder for an author to get their rights back if the book is not selling because ebooks are forever, unlike print.

4. The author must do the bulk of the publicity. 
Publishers are not sending writers out on tour unless they are big sellers! There is no money in publishing to spend on promotion which means the book doesn’t get promoted unless the author does the job. Sellingbooks has a good post on publicity made easier, and 10 buzz building secrets every writer should know, takes it to the next level.

5. You must have a web presence. You must be searchable. Your internet presence must promote your brand. Your brand is your writing. You must make it easy for your readers to find you and buy your book.

Groups of writers have gathered together to help each other promote and publicise their work. This has become a very good way to get noticed and share the load for the average introvert writer. 
Readergirlz annual teen literacy week is just about to start and the Diva’s have linked into some very big names. Take the time to trawl their site and think of the implications for shared publicity.

6. At the moment there are no E publishing gate keepers here in NZ. The reviewers I know haven’t been forthcoming when I have asked if they would review ebooks. It is too hard. The take up of E readers here at the moment doesn’t warrant it. New Zealander’s quickly become enthusiastic adopters of new technology so the ebook explosion will happen quite quickly.

This is probably the time to strike if you want to get into ebook reviewing.   We need filters and trusted reviewers to say this is worth the price. Although as I have been reading lately the small price you pay for an ebook means if it is a dud you haven’t lost much.  
Quality writing for children in an ebook format is likely to get lost in the crowd unless....See Number 3 and 4.

Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to articles on

Dean Wesley Smith gives the full Uni Course On Cover Design.

eBook Conversion Comparisons...for when you create that ebook.

Agents –You Gotta Have A Contract! - Read it, Weep and Be Warned! See Number 2

The Periodic Table Of Storytelling....geek cool

The Top 5 KidsLit Agencies

To Finish,

Get out there and share the love because our words have the power to change lives....

Question: Any more facts children’s writers should know? Write a comment.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Talking Up The Book

This week I have been thinking about book publicity...not because I have a book coming out...although a few friends here have...(general jubilation) but because of the hype of Mockingjay on a lot of the blogs I read. 

The Hunger Games was a sleeper that woke up really quickly after it won critical acclaim. But it was already gathering a huge youth readership through word of mouth.  It is a cracking read...

A couple of days ago I was in a chain book store in the mall that likes to promote itself as the specialist book store and I witnessed two teens come up to the counter and ask for Mockingjay. The store manager was behind the counter and he didn’t know if they had the book or when they might be getting he looked up on the computer and found that the arrival date was uncertain. 

I was slightly gobsmacked and being the interested (nosy)person that I am, I got into conversation with the manager. 
Did you know how huge the arrival of the third book is in the States? Oh really I didn’t think it was that huge.(Did this guy read any industry newsletters?) Well isn’t it interesting that you are getting teens coming in to ask about the book? Yes I’m only on the front desk for a few hours a day and I’ve had four requests from Teens about the book. (well duh isn’t this telling you something?) 
So I asked how many copies of the book they had ordered? Oh 10 do you think I should order more? Yes!  

Ok anytime you have TEENS coming in to talk/ask an adult behind a counter in a BOOKSHOP about a BOOK and you have seen no publicity about the book... wouldn’t it suggest that maybe there should be some investigation...
Basic store publicity (five minutes on the store printer) a sign in the shop window...'Order your copy of Mockingjay now! The cost of a teaspoon full of ink and five minutes could result in big book sales of hardcover books, not to mention street cred with teens... (On Twitter I note today the comments that bookstores have piles of Mockingjay taller than the sales assistants...)   

So how can we effectively market our books?

Maureen Crisp has got the kiwi perspective.

I asked long time Book Publicist Kathryn Carmody a few questions about how authors can plan their publicity and promote their forthcoming book. Kathryn very kindly answered the questions and added a few more to think about.

How far in advance should you plan Book Publicity?
Generally speaking, the earlier the better. It's August now and I'm talking with bi-monthly and glossy consumer magazines about November and December titles. The sales reps are selling November titles into bookstores this month too.

What is the most effective thing the Author can do to promote their book?
When you're being interviewed for a media story, remember to request that the book's title be mentioned. It's seems an obvious thing to do but you'd be amazed how often stories run without mentioning that there's a book at all.      

Are different types of publicity more effective than others in terms of book sales?
Because publicity works by referral from sources one trusts, community networks can be every bit as helpful as, for example, an interview with a top-rating radio host. The interview that is published or broadcast nationwide will help your book reach a wider audience faster but it's not unusual for a major interview to come about because a journalist saw a story in a newsletter and decided to follow up.
Timing is a part of the answer to this question too. Media coverage can be coordinated so it coincides with a book's actual availability: its in-store date.   

What publicity tools would be useful for an author to have on hand?          
The book’s media release; an eye-catching author photo (with photographer's credit) and the book's cover image, both as 300DPI JPGs, total file size not larger than 1MG; a corded phone to improve the sound quality of your radio interviews; a website with all the usual things but also a shopping facility that points to your local bookshop and a mailing list that fans can subscribe to, for advance notice of your next book.

Kathryn is a successful freelance publicist who is in demand because of her specialist skills. She is always willing to help and advise writers. She volunteers her time and skills frequently from Spinning Gold to Storylines...and is a valuable member of the (children’s) writing community here in Wellington. (Thanks Kathryn!)
Over on Craicerplus My Amplify page I have links to articles on
Eleven Beloved Children’s Books With Seriously Dubious Lessons
Seth Godin To No Longer Publish Books Traditionally
How to submit your book to Penguin without an Agent (this is a helpful article if you want to take advantage of Penguin UK opening their email to unsolicited submissions)
13 Writing Rules To Live By- (Tahereh is a genius so say I)
12 Deep Thoughts From Chip MacGregors Mail Box
Character Names To Avoid

I’ll leave you with the book trailer for Mockingjay....


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Final book of the Hunger
Uploaded by expandedbooks. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.
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