Monday, June 29, 2015

SCBWI Florida Workshop Part IV- Marketing Yourself and Your Work

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.
Image courtesy of Robert Bidinotto 


Melodye said...

This is a meaty post, Carol. Thanks for pulling these ideas together.

In a twist of irony, I think growing an audience is infinitely more difficult, given our fixations with social media. Lots of people/things/events are competing for our ever-shrinking attention spans these days!

Authentic and organic: these are my bywords for platform-building.

Carol Baldwin said...

I love authentic and organic. Great words!! And yes, agreed about the twist of irony.

Linda A. said...

I enjoyed this one. I visited School Tube and listened to a book being read. Wonder if I could convince Kevin Costner to read with me? Hmmmm.... I linked to the School Tube site on my July activities post, with credit to you. I would love to know more about the kind of videos editors and agents look for from authors. Would you consider posting about that at some time?

Carol Baldwin said...

I wish I'd thought of asking Erica that question, LInda ! If I ever have an editor's or agent's ear again, I'll ask that. It would make a great blog!

Anna E. G. said...

You made some great points in furthering your connection with your audience in this post Carol! You can't underestimate the power of social media in this day and age. Local bookstores are wonderful as well, it brings business to them and to you. Thanks for mentioning me in your post! :)

Carol Baldwin said...

You are more than welcome, Anna! Thanks for your contribution. Can't wait to have you read and review Half-Truths!

Rosi said...

Wow. This is really a rich post. Thanks for this.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Rosi. Glad you enjoyed it.

Gretchen Griffith said...

Great info Carol. Thanks.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Gretchen!

sheri levy said...

Once again Carol, great information. Can't wait to get home and do some research on these suggestions,

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Sheri. Enjoy your vacation--then get back to work!!

Anonymous said...

Carol, this is such a timely and educational (no pun intended) post! I am currently working on my author marketing packet for THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM debut in August 2016. Thank you for introducing me to school tube! Also, thank you to Linda and Joyce for sharing their Common Core Curriculum packet.Both books fit into the Common Core so well(and were great reads). Do you know if their publisher put that together or did they compile that themselves? Thank you for sharing such great info with your followers!

Carol Baldwin said...

So glad this has been a helpful series to you, Kathleen. Both authors wrote those curriculum themselves.

Vijaya said...

Lots to mull over here. I think the current atmosphere favors extroverts. As an introvert, I always have to *gear up* for the social interaction. I do enjoy it but find it draining.

Kathleen, Natalie Lorenzi makes marvelous supplementary materials for teachers. Have a look

Carol Baldwin said...

Vijaya- you're going to love the next issue of Talking Story. It's all about extroverts and introverts! How did you know??

Anonymous said...

Thank you Vijaya. I will take a look! :)

e said...

Hi Linda A and Carol,

Videos for SchoolTube are more about what educators would like to see than what agents or editors want. Posting to SchoolTube is a good idea once you have a published book that you want to get into the hands of teachers/librarians and young people.

I hope that helps!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for the clarification, Erica. I'll make sure LInda sees this too.

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