Here are some highlights:
Peter Brown, Author of The Wild Robot Escapes (Little, Brown):
Decide how much of your own money you’re willing to spend on self-promotion, if any. Then think about the most effective ways to use that money. Apparently, people really love enamel pins, so I spent my own money to have pins made of my character Roz from my Wild Robot books, and I gave them away at book events. At least for a while, there were children (and adults) all over the country (and other countries) wearing my pins out in public. I think that was money well spent.Wendy S. Swore, Author of A Monster Like Me (Shadow Mountain):
Hashtags that relate to your story, such as #StopBullyingNow, help make your message searchable on feeds. A local #KindCommunity organization is working to get my books into classrooms as part of a kindness initiative because my story aligned with their values.Kate Messner, Author of Chirp (Bloomsbury, Feb. 2020):
Do you want your Twitter feed to be a mostly-for-other-adults situation where you’re not limited in the language you use or the topics you discuss? Or do you want it to be something a fourth-grade teacher can share with students on the SmartBoard? Different authors make different choices about this, and for valid reasons. Whatever you decide, be intentional and thoughtful about what you choose to share.Rajani LaRocca, Author of Midsummer’s Mayhem (Yellow Jacket):
I’m attending as many nerd camps as possible this year. These are free conferences where educators and authors get together and talk about all kinds of interesting topics. I found out about these by following accounts on Twitter and going to their websites.Kelly Yang, Author of Front Desk (Scholastic/Levine):
To use social media effectively, I like to think of it as a garden. I tend to it regularly. I grow a variety of plants—retweets, long threads, short posts, videos, pictures, giveaways, posts about my book, posts that have nothing to do with my book—but I always, always keep my posts authentic and relevant to my followers. That authenticity is key.Ann Braden, Author of The Benefits of Being an Octopus (Sky Pony):
Promoting your book is not about icky self-promotion—it’s about helping others connect to this book that you believe in, so that readers can be moved in response.Christina Soontornvat, Author of A Wish in the Dark (Candlewick, Mar. 2020):
Kids really like watching book-related videos. If it’s in your budget to make a short book trailer, it’s a great investment. But even if you can’t produce a trailer, you can record simple videos of you pitching your book, sharing three or four things you love about it, or giving cool background information about how you came up with the story. Educators could show these videos to their students to get them excited about your work.Karina Yan Glaser, Author of The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue (HMH, Sept.):
I made a website (I used Squarespace, which was easy for me to create and update myself) with news, events, resources, book recommendations, and information about my books. I tried to make the resources section fun with lots of photos, a q&a, some videos, an educator’s guide, and a place to listen to music from my books.Nathan Hale, Author of Major Impossible (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #9) (Abrams, Dec.):
It took years of school visiting to find my presentation. And now I work as hard on my presentations as I do on my books. If the material is engaging, the kids want to read the books.Russell Ginns, Author of Samantha Spinner and the Boy in the Ball (Delacorte, Jan. 2020):
Always accept the microphone. Often, you will get asked if you want a microphone or not. When you present to 30 or more kids, always ask for amplification, even if you are in a carpeted room, and even if you have a loud or piercing voice like me. The moment one kid in the back cannot hear you clearly, he/she will turn to his/her neighbor and ask what you said. This will ripple through the crowd.Adam Gidwitz, Author of The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande (The Unicorn Rescue Society #4) (Dutton); The Inquisitor’s Tale (Dutton):
I’ve tried a number of techniques to share my books with kids. I think there are two factors that determine whether a technique works or not: First, are you finding the readers where they are? I mean this both physically and emotionally. And second, is the technique really natural to me? Is it something I can do with integrity?Lots of inspiration here! The full article is well-worth reading.
Illustrate and Write On,
p.s.: This is companion article to "Taking Middle Grade To Market", where publishers spoke of their strategies to connect middle grade books to readers.