Meet the latest author to stop by here on the Virtual Book Tour (VBT) : Writer’s on the Move – author Elysabeth Elderling! Elysabeth stopped by here and left some advice!
When doing a series or several books, you have to get out there and make a name for yourself. How do you that? Promote and market.
This month starts my “busy season” of promoting and marketing. Homeschool conferences, book festivals, and other ways to promote my books. Between the middle of February and the middle of November, it seems there are several events going on every month that I could possibly participate in. I’ve got to pick the ones I feel will be the most beneficial in promoting my books. Events like the SC Geographic Alliance’s Geofest are great ways to promote myself inexpensively (this one cost me a little bit of gas, an overnight stay and two meals) because the core group of attendees is comprised of social studies teachers and other geography related folks who are looking for new and innovative ways to promote geography and social studies.
The second week of May is travel and tourism week. Most Welcome Centers probably do something to promote travel and tourism during the week. I’ve lucked up in that the SC Welcome Center coming in from Georgia on I-85 promotes local businesses. This is strictly a promotional gig as opposed to a book festival or other event where I can sell my books. The advantage of this type of event is that I get to meet people from many other states who are traveling north. As long as I’m putting bookmarks and other info in the hands of the people, I’m promoting my books.
The more events I do, the more I should be making a name for myself, but what about repeat events? This is truly the way to make a name for oneself. People will look for you after you do an event one time. This happened during the Love to Learn Homeschool Information and Resource Conference in August of 2010; a lady came to my table near the end of the day and said she remembered me from the year before and was glad I came back this year. I’m doing that conference again this year. The Savannah Children’s Book Festival is another repeat event, and the best part of this is that I’ll have the opportunity to do school visits before the book festival and get paid for that, so if I can line up at least three school visits, that will pretty much pay for my trip or at least cover my hotel costs and a couple of meals.
The other way to promote is using inexpensive items as giveaways. Bookmarks are a wonderful way to promote and you can include so much information on the bookmark. Mine include three covers, my website, my blog, my email, my logo, my illustrator’s logo and her website. Where do you get bookmarks that don’t cost an arm and a leg? Online through gotprint.com. The last order I did was for 2500 bookmarks at the low cost of only $25 and some change plus shipping, which was under $13. It is worth every penny and the quality of these bookmarks is very high. I usually sign the backs of the bookmarks so the kids have something autographed. I keep a stack of 50 or 100 in my pocketbook to hand out when I’m out and about.
I also offer prizes and freebies that are book related or at least United States related for my workshop attendees (geared for the kids) that I pick up at Dollar Tree, Dollar General and through Oriental Trading. You will be remembered and start making a name for yourself if you get out there and promote and market your books and yourself.
Elysabeth Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. She has been a traveler since birth, traveling with her family while her father served in the United States Army. Ms. Eldering has lived in several states and overseas. She calls South Carolina home these days stating she is “Southern by choice, not by birth.” Elysabeth entered her first writing contest at the age of 41 and took second place for a children’s mystery story, “Train of Clues,” which inspired the JGDS series. The stories are written in a Jeopardy!® like style in that a game gives the kids clues but they don’t have to answer in the form of a question. Each book highlights one state. There are supplemental study guides, which take the books cross curriculum.
For more on the series, visit the JGDS website
Elysabeth can be reached via email at email@example.com for questions, comments or book orders
Some fantastic promotional ideas here, Elysabeth, and you're so right that making a name for yourself is a critical part of the authoring process, and that it takes time and effort.
Great post Elizabeth. I copied some of the info. Thanks!
Elysabeth, these are great tips for promoting your books. I haven't heard of gotprints.com, I think I'll try them. I'll be working the school visits pretty soon – have to start getting things ready.
Great post! Marketing is so important and Elysabeth had a good handle on it. I loved reading her ideas. Made me want to go out and market!!
Elysabeth,Great information about getting your name out there. I need to look into the homeschool conferences.
Thanks ladies. Kathy, you are welcome to copy any ideas I have because that's what it's all about – sharing with other like minded writers. Nancy, I'm glad I could inspire you a little to go out and market.Karen, I found gotprint.com through a small trial and error when I was looking at inexpensive places for bookmarks. I can't believe what some people will pay for their bookmarks – one of the authors in my Sisters in Crime group just spent a fortune for her bookmarks to have them done locally. – I think she said she paid something like $25 or $30 for 100 bookmarks – hello – I got 25x that for the same price – lol. That posting at the bottom is my second bookmark. Heather put it together from my first one and even fixed the first one for me (I had changed my website addy since the first one was done originally). I plan on doing a new bookmark with every three new covers I have – It can't hurt to check with Heather to see if she can do up some bookmark designs for you – mine are 1.5 x 7 size but they also offer a 2 x 8 size – Magdalena, if we aren't marketing ourselves, we aren't doing the books justice. Good luck with everything on your end.
Martha, you can always email me for info about the homeschool conferences – they are definitely a way to go as they are less expensive than book festivals and other ways to do book selling (for the most part since I've found a few local ones who are not nearly as expensive as either the homeschool conferences or the book festivals). Good luck – E 🙂
Elysabeth, Great ideas! I like the idea of bnook festivals. I need to check in to those local to me. Thanks for the advice.