Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Monthly Meeting-April 2022: Marketing Panel

At the monthly meeting, marketing tips were discussed by seasoned panelists: author-editor Cynthia Leitich Smith, author Donna Janell Bowman, author-illustrator Vanessa Roeder, and author Rebekah Manley.

Here are some highlights:

—To begin marketing: plan ahead; collect resources; join groups; set goals
—Take every opportunity to put yourself out there; take chances; be vulnerable; find your niche; give back
— Form/utilize connections with educators, librarians, and more
—Think about marketing not as “all about me,” but rather as “participating in the conversation of books”
—Marketing should stem from your authentic self, including both professionally and informally (in conversations after the podium)
—Use social media effectively and selectively
—For social media:
-present yourself thoughtfully
-do not over share
-ensure a positive presence
-limit your own scrolling time/exposure to social media
—For brands:
-positive brands sell (negative brands don’t)
-the books you produce become your brand in many respects
—Celebrate/support other authors: there is high value in spreading the love and shining a light on other authors
—We tend to celebrate prolific authors, but there is nothing “less than” for those less prolific
—Editors and agents will Google you:
-ensure a good first impression
-make a difference
—Attend conferences such as Texas Library Association (TLA)
—Understand it takes time (sometimes years) for a book to “find legs” (to be nominated/get reviewed); in the meantime, keep writing the next book
—Understand publishing companies can help with marketing, yet much is on your shoulders such as visiting schools and speaking opportunities
—Swag ideas/giveaways for kids: bookmarks, postcards, buttons (always obtain permission to use an illustrator’s art)
—Consider hiring interns to assist in marketing