Marketing and Promoting Your Self Published Book For Children – Part 1
It’s Friday yet again, and Book Handover day. Fridays seem to be becoming the day I deliver freshly printed books to first time authors…..and today is no exception.
In a few hours I will be driving 70 miles or so to meet my latest ‘author’ whose first ever book for children I’ve just produced and published. I know he will be delighted with the results. It’s what happens. I’ve written about this kind of ‘book handover’ before so I won’t repeat myself. However, the really hard part begins today for him – namely the marketing and promotion of his books. It will be interesting to see how he does. He’s a very determined chap.
So it set me thinking….”Maybe I should do a series of blog posts about the various ways you can market and promote your own self published book for children‘. Okay, great idea, but it’s been done a thousand times online. However, I thought I would break the whole process down into a series of articles rather than just generalise about this and that in one long post. Right, time then for Part 1. I hope it helps.
There is no particular order for these randomly-posted ‘hints and tips’ and some may be more relevant than others for your book but I have to begin somewhere. This first ‘tip’ might not be something you’ve ever thought of doing, but hopefully you’ll enjoy it…..
Part 1 concerns ‘Marketing using Youtube‘. Now as we all know Youtube is free and available for anyone to use. We take it for granted. But I have to remind you that it is an extremely powerful marketing tool used correctly. So how do you make it work for your book?
I want you to make a short one minute (or thereabouts) Youtube video ‘TRAILER‘ for your book for children. No longer. A minute would be fine…..don’t cringe, it’s not that difficult. (If you simply can’t do it yourself get in touch with me and I will help you out, or even do it for you for a few dollars (pounds)…but this is not meant to be a sales pitch).
You will need a Youtube account. Sign up for one if you don’t already have one. You can now upload short videos onto Youtube and reach an audience of zillions….
You will need a very simple piece of video editing software on your computer. If you have a Mac you will already have iMovie installed…perfect. If you have a PC you will have probably have Windows Live Movie Maker. It doesn’t need to be a sophisticated piece of software…the process is simple.
Now I’m assuming your book for children has some kind of ‘dramatic moment‘ in it. Your main character, let’s say it’s Felicity The Ballerina, will probably encounter some ‘difficulty‘ which she has to overcome….so at some point we’ll have a situation such as “Felicity’s mum is driving her to the school concert where Felicity will dance in front of a packed audience for the first time…Felicity is already dressed in her ballerina clothes….but the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere….will Felicity make it in time?” That kind of thing…..
So we have a ‘set up’ about Felicity wanting to be a ballerina. Then we have a ‘situation’ where everything seems to be going well for Felicity, her mum is driving her to the school concert. Then we have disaster…the car breaks down….and we have the ‘Cliffhanger’ situation. Perfect.
What you now do in your movie editing software is create a montage of STILLS’. I’m going to describe this in its simplest form, you would maybe make it more colourful…but the effect we’re after is IMPACT.
Still 1 is white TEXT on a black background. “Felicity is like any other small girl….she has a passion in life...”
Still 2 is an image from your book…it’s Felicity.
Still 3…text again “She wants to be a ballerina”
Still 4 would be yet another image from your book. Felicity in her ballerina dress and shoes etc…
Nothing fancy here…..just text followed by images from your book….this is the set up.
Follow exactly the same process for the rest of the ‘situation’ reaching a climax with “So will Felicity ever make it to the school concert?” …… Find out by reading the book ‘Felicity the Ballerina’…. “Available now from Amazon etc etc.” And then the book details and your contact number.
As I say….the object is to set up your character in text and images…then the same for your ‘situation…then build tension for the ‘cliffhanger’…keep it simple, no moving images, just stills. Easy enough to do.
Now to really get the piece moving you could add some ‘music‘. Obviously Felicity the Ballerina would need a different kind of music to a trailer for Harry The Horrible Hobbit Who Eats Children For Breakfast….so where do we get our music from?
Check out http://www.freeplaymusic.com
Now this is not ‘copyright free’ music, you have to give the composer credit, but there is a wealth of music here you could use, all in bite size chunks, 30 seconds, 1 minute etc…..one minute would be perfect. There is every conceivable type of music available here.
Once you’ve added your music and made everything in your mini trailer work, then you need to save it in a format that Youtube likes….most editing software these days has a facility to EXPORT for Youtube. (Again, you could always email me and I would help you out)
And that’s it. I know this may not be that easy for some of you to take in, but believe me Youtube reaches a massive audience and it’s there for us to use FREE. Take advantage of it, and with all the other marketing strategies in place it will make a massive difference to your chances of creating a buzz about your book.
Apologies for such a long blog post….I’ll try and keep it shorter next time. If you do upload a mini-trailer to Youtube please let me know and I’ll have a look and feature you on the blog……