Today we welcome Australian author Melissa Gijsbers to teach us how to get past the "Gate Keepers" to sell children's books. Take it away Melissa!
When promoting books for the primary school market, it’s generally the parents, rather than the children, who will buy your books. So, it’s the parents of your readers that you will need to promote your book to.
One area that people often don’t think about is the school newsletter.
Most primary schools have a newsletter that is sent home to parents every week, and many of these have a space for local family-friendly businesses to advertise. This is also a place to advertise your books. At most schools, only a nominal amount is charged for advertising.
In order to promote your book through newsletters, first find out if the school has one and if they accept advertising. If they do, be sure to get a copy of the guidelines. This will include the size of the advertisement, deadlines and anything else that the school may require. Be sure you stick to these or your information may not be included.
Where possible, plan a campaign over a few weeks as not all parents read every newsletter and it may take a few weeks for them to get organised to purchase your book. You could also tie it in with an event or occasion, for example, books make wonderful Christmas gifts, or graduation gifts. The lead up to Book Week is another key time to advertise. Be sure to consider this in your planning.
There are hundreds of schools in a city. You may want to start with the schools closest to you and work out. Advertising in school newsletters can also be a way of letting teachers and librarians that you exist and are local. You never know where a simple advertisement can lead.
Melissa Gijsbers is a Melbourne based author, mother of two boys and grandma to a blue tongue lizard. You can read about her writing journey and get some more promotion and writing tips on her blog at www.melissawrites.com.au or visit her author site at www.melissagijsbers.com