By Francine Puckly
Last year we featured an interview with picture book author, Donna Mae (the-wooly-adventures-of-self-publishing-an-interview-with-donna-mae.html). Donna had so many interesting promotional ideas for her books that we’ve asked her back to answer some marketing questions for our readers!
How do you market your picture books? And do you have any marketing advice for other authors?
I’m fortunate that being shelved in Barnes & Noble has given me access to in-store readings and posted events. But out-of-the-box thinking is crucial to promote your books. New and unique ideas for events and school visits make the difference. Here are a few ideas I’ve used:
Let’s talk about book-specific marketing for your two picture books. How have you adjusted promotional events and items for each book?
Well, Marshmallows Galore is the story of what a little boy does with giant marshmallows that fall from the sky while he’s sleeping, so those events are going to center around marshmallows!
Marketing for The Wooly Adventures of Purl, (a story of a little girl who learns to knit and chaos ensues!) is a little different:
You pulled together a book trailer for Marshmallows Galore. What was your process? How did you go about doing it?
Once again I delved into the abyss. I decided to make a YouTube video first. I knew I wanted local help, and my brother had mentioned that a friend’s son had a lot of video-making experience. We talked on the phone and I viewed some of his work. We set up a time and place to do the filming. A local farmer that had bales of hay wrapped in white plastic. They look like giant marshmallows. (Score!)
I then set about writing multiple scenes I wanted to reenact. I gathered 10 children and pulled some props together. A friend sewed and stuffed a giant marshmallow for my campfire scene. My husband is very creative, and he made a very realistic campfire from poster board. All the children wore tee shirts with my book cover printed on the front (a small expense).
We did three scenes from inside and outside my house. My granddaughter and I read the book with scenes from the book to coincide. The children recited The Marshmallow Pledge and held individual signs. The videographer even wrote the music. It took weeks of planning and getting everyone on the same page. In the end I was happy with the outcome. I thought, “Next year the Oscar!” HAHA!! Once again, so much fun.
You can see Donna’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F7AMRRsRCc
Do you have plans to create a book trailer for The Wooly Adventures of Purl?
As this book was released in November 2015, I’m still trying to catch my breath.
Instead of a video, I would like to have a trailer for this book. I’m thinking the abyss is now looking for me!
Do you have any last additional advice to give our readers on marketing?
Although I have no formal marketing background, I have owned a few businesses over the years and worked in retail. It helped me to know and understand what people like and don’t like and how they respond to different things. It’s a full-time job and as I’ve said, some out-of-the-box thinking goes a long way!
Thank you, Donna! Good luck to all of you who are stepping into the book marketing world. Be creative and put all of your experiences to work for you!
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