This is my fourth blog post from the 2015 Florida SCBWI young adult workshop. Erica Rand Silverman is an agent with Sterling Lord Literistic and Jacquelyn Mitchard is a prolific author as well as an editor-in-chief at Merit Press. Click here for Part I (Why Write Young Adult); Part II (Querying), and Part III (Pitches).
"Connect-Be Authentic-Be Creative-Give Back-Enjoy"
by Erica Rand Silverman
- Connecting means finding your readers and other writers.
- Writers can be creative even in marketing.
- When you help others (give back to the writing community) you move your self forward.
- Be open-minded, set goals and constraints for yourself. Marketing should not be about wasting your time away from writing. It is about finding a place in the writing community.
|Image courtesy Nikki Woods|
- Explore yourself as an author. Pay attention to your thoughts and ideas. When you have a thought about writing- share it! Break down thoughts that go into your head, and think of possible ways of giving these to others. Post nuggets that will interest others. In other words, "feed the hamster." (Note: I'm trying to use Twitter for that purpose. Follow me at CbaldwinCarol)
- Use social media to engage with your audience and market yourself. (Have you seen my Facebook posts with snippets from Half-Truths?)
- Be yourself when you go out to schools. "Do you."
- Consider who your readers are. How will you find them? Social media, schools, libraries?
- Reach out to adults who work with young people. (i.e., media specialists and educators. Keeping in mind that you are giving back).
- Have an engaging presentation which links to Common Core. Your presentation should develop certain skills, educate, inspire, and entertain. Here are examples from Linda Phillips' book Crazy and from Joyce Hostetter's book Blue.
- Develop a one page handout. Among other things, it can focus on comprehension, the author’s use of language, as well as figurative language.
- Hook up with a local book store. A bookseller will tell you who buys the most books. Start where you live or where you grew up.
- Create downloadables for kids.
- WhereYouTube is for the retail market, SchoolTube reaches the institutional market. Create an appropriate video and educators may find you there.
- Share travel plans with your publisher who should help you find out bookstores.
- Do blog tours. Get interviewed on teen blogs such as The Teen Book Guru. Be available to teen reviewers; here is a youtube book review by one of my favorite teen readers and writers, Anna Graham.
- Make a video of yourself so your publisher sees you are comfortable with public speaking and will send you out.
- Writing is a performing art. You have to put your shyness on hold and invite readers into your world.