Monday, August 27, 2018

8 Ways to Get Kids to Read Your Book

I can't say I'm an expert on selling kids' books, but I do know kids. As a teacher and parent, I've spent a great deal of time with crazy daisies and funny bunnies! I know what they like and what they dislike (probably wouldn't like that I call them crazy daisies and funny bunnies!). No matter the fad of the week or the generation, kids are kids are kids. They love to crow and grow and go.

As an author of MG and YA, kids reading my books is what keeps me going. The feedback I get from my young readers is heartwarming and inspirational. The trouble is, how to get books into those little hands! So here's some advice that works...

How to Get Kids to Read Your Book:

  1. Set up a School Visit - You have to go where kids are. Contact schools and offer a presentation or lesson. Schools are the number one promoters of reading. Go motivate those students! If they like you, they'll want your book.
  2. Do a Library Visit or Reading - Many libraries are happy to host an author. Donate copies of your book. The more visibility you get, the more folks will want to spread the word to read your stuff!
  3. Coordinate a Bookstore Signing with your visits! - Now that you have their interest, tie these visits together with a book signing. The hard part is hoping the kids will remember and persuade their parents to bring them to the signing.
  4. Sign up for a Presentation at a Children’s Book Fair - Many book fairs have a special day or section set up just for kids' presentations and activities. I've done many of these and always sell books from them (suggestions for presentations will be another post coming soon!) 
  5. Be part of a Family-Friendly Vending Event - And have some candy or fun giveaways to attract kids that go with your book, like these fun hand sanitizers:
  6. Host a Signing Party - I try to have my release parties at fun places kids will be: like at an ice cream shop or a kids' boutique. I'm thinking of hosting my next party at a pizza parlor.
  7. Write an MG SERIES - One book is good, but a series will give kids an easy go to for their next read! A series is a great way to keep your name in the front of readers' minds as they look forward to more from you.
  8. Be Funny! - If you can make a kid laugh, you'll capture their heart. They'll see you in a new light. Laughter is a connection. When you make someone laugh, it shows you get them--you know what they like, how they think. And if you can do that, they'll want to laugh some more and read your books!

Bonus - Get to know Children’s Book Reviewers. Reviews are important parts of the publishing and marketing process. Lots of lists are out there, and though many of the book bloggers have extensive reading lists, keep trying!

If you’re lucky, you’ll get an awesome video review like this one from my SHOUT OUT OF THE WEEK:

Tonja is AWESOME, isn't she? She's also brilliant! She spent some time in Europe not only devouring chocolate, cheese and wine, but also worked as a freelance translator and a summary writer for a German television station. How lucky am I that she was able to help me translate some German phrases in my latest Beast World novel, WINDY HOLLOW?? She's amazing!

Currently, Tonja resides somewhere in the back woods of the Ozarks and writes away while tending to chickens, cows and her family of six. Her stories have been published in several collections and magazines. A GLOWWORM was published by Black and White Publishing Company (2017). She's an avid book reader, professional children's book reviewer, outdoor addict and always in search of a new adventure (based in reality, the imagination, or otherwise).

But the best part - I happened to catch her right as she's about to be published! Her debut novel MUSIC BOXES is a slightly dark middle grade urban fantasy about a girl and her ballet dreams with hints toward Hansel and Gretel (just as dash) as well as Coraline. It's scheduled to be released on February 5th, 2019 with Dancing Lemur Press!

Congratulations, Tonja!

Summer's been a blast (of hot air!) Hope you all are ready for Fall. I sure am!


Heather R. Holden said...

Those hand sanitizers are so clever!

And congrats on the video review--very cool! That must've been a fun surprise for you. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can't tie kids to a chair and force them to read? Darn.
Tonja is awesome! And cool she translated phrases for you.

Tonja Drecker said...

I'm marking this page for those great ideas—and just at the right time ;)
Thanks so much for those (love the hand sanitizer one) and especially for the shout-out! I'm sending extra virtual chocolate your way :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for featuring Tonja and her upcoming release.

Those are some great ideas for getting your book in front of kids.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

These are great tips, Tara. I've done some of them (book store signings, school visits) but I never thought of pizza parlors or ice cream parlors.

Chrys Fey said...

School and library visits are huge for children's authors. Great tips!

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

The hand sanitizers are cute. Excellent tips, too!

Melissa said...

Great tips!

Congrats to Tonja.

Tyrean Martinson said...

These are awesome tips, Tara!
Congratulations to Tonja!!!

Kalpana said...

These suggestions are brilliant. I'm also very curious to read Tonja's book. Will she be published in German? i must try and get hold of her book and reconnect with my German roots. Don't be fooled by my name - I'm half German.

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