Thursday, May 05, 2005

Libraries, Idol, Book Promotion and Blogs

A messy house, too little time and tornadic child behavior...those are the themes of my life. My thoughts for today:

1) If you haven't seen this already, cruise on over to Anastasia Suen's site to read about the Writer's Digest Bid for Blogs. They're looking for a few good blogs to highlight in an upcoming issue of Personal Writing. I nominated Cynthia Leitich Smith , Anastasia Suen and Don Tate II today. Check out the link, and nominate your favorites. Let's see a great list of children's writer and illustrator sites in there!

2) Our public library released the details of the summer reading program. My girls wish they were old enough for the sleepover at the library. "A" wished she could sleep at the school library--something I might just have to suggest next year. (How 'bout an "almost sleepover" to celebrate reading success?) I've wanted to do a sleepover at the zoo ever since I saw an article years ago about some zoo that had a contest where people could win a chance to sleep in their shark exhibit area. Of course, my girls will sleep any place that's not in their room in their own beds. We just moved the living room furniture into the garage for our weekend garage sale. The girls want to watch movies in their garage apartment tonight and then sleep in tents in the living room. Why not? It's almost summer!

3) The library program (stories in the park, the rewards for participating in the reading program, and the sleepover) reminded me of all the fun things a person could do if she ever published a book. After Mr. M quickly told me why my book was not marketable at my SCBWI conference, I took the last few minutes to ask a few questions about query letters. Apparently, I had this all wrong too, so I'll never mention to the editor again that I am capable of helping to promote my book.

I've always liked to explain that I'm a sales trainer to some of the country's finest media organizations. As such, I have connections with sales managers and media account executives nation-wide. What does this have to do with selling books and promoting literacy? A lot, I think. Almost every book has a potential tie-in beyond the typical school or bookstore venue. Take the books to the people with fun activities and book signings at grocery stores, banks, car dealerships, restaurants, pools, parks--all co-sponsored by the radio station/cable system/newspaper's biggest clients.

It's a promotional model that works well on a local level because the sales organizations can sell the idea of an author visit or a literacy event to a community-minded retailer. The days of selling a straight ad schedule are over. Today, media pros must sell their clients RESULTS. For many clients, a reading/writing/literacy event that allows them to make connections with their customers makes sense. Today, it's all about results, developing a relationship with the customer and ultimately activities that move the consumer one step closer to making a purchase.

I think these ideas are good for the stations, the retailers, the publisher and the author. AND, it would sell books. Best of all, everyone wins...and there's no book promotion cost for the author or publisher.

Mr. M thought this was presumptuous and a turn off because the author would be telling the editor how to do his job. Like I said, I guess I had the pitch all wrong.

Granted, this wouldn't take the place of any promotion efforts a publisher wanted to throw my way. But, when it's my time, I'm not going to sit around and wish for things to happen. I have marketing plans for all my books. I just won't mention it again!

4) Idol -- My predictions: next week, we'll lose Anthony. The following, we'll lose Vonzell. The final two will be Carrie and Bo. That's a toughie--this will come down to format preferences. My girls love Carrie. I'm for Bo till the end.


At 5:34 AM, Blogger Don Tate II said...

Thanks Kim! Much appreciated. Sorry you had such a non-productive writing day, but it made for a nice post anyway.


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