September 1, 2016

Promoting Your Children’s Book on Social Media: A Newbies’ Guide

childrens booksBy Graham Dickson

You did it, your book is finished!  It’s a moment worthy of celebration. But if you have dreams of finally setting your laptop aside for awhile, it’s time to think again: In today’s book world, the reality is that you’ll be busier than ever, looking for online ways to market your book. This is the next step for the savvy self-publisher.

In this ongoing blog series we offer genre-specific advice on selling your book on social media. Today, we focus on children’s titles.

When it comes to children’s books, there are countless groups online ferociously devoted to the genre. Your task is to find these forums and engage with them. When using social media, it’s important that members feel you are a dedicated participant, not someone solely interested in promoting your book. So you will need to join in the conversations going on in each forum. Once you’ve established yourself, you can let members know of your book, even giving out special offers and so on.

Below are many useful resources. Feel free to share your favorites with us and we will add them to the list.

FACEBOOK

Facebook is invaluable for those marketing on a budget. You’ll want to start by creating a business page devoted to your romance book.  After that, you have to get people to like your page— the hard part. There are numerous webinars, books, and blogs devoted to how to do this.  Facebook has an easy step-by-step guide to help you out with this:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/

Keep in mind that Facebook has now become monetized, which means that while you can reach a small segment of your Facebook friends with any post, to reach a larger audience, you’ll have to pay small sums of money. Facebook calls this “boosting” your post.  Once you post something on your page, Facebook will ask you if you’d like to “boost this post?”  If you say “yes,” a box will pop up allowing you to decide how much you would like to spend and telling you how far your reach will go based on how much you spend. Once “boosted,” Facebook will send the item out to like-minded pages, where it will appear on those timelines. It’s a sure way to get your book on the feeds of people interested in your topic and to begin reaching out to those beyond your immediate circle.

One way you can start finding those people yourself is to join the Facebook groups that draw readers of your genre.  Below are a few of our favorite Facebook groups for the children’s genre:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandillustrators/  (13,700 members) The FIRST Group on Facebook for Children’s Book writers and illustrators! Authors and illustrators are free to post links to their work.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrenbookclub/  (7,000 members) This is a open group for authors of children’s books, illustrators, and parents All are welcome to post, ask questions or whatever, but all conversations must be for the kids and the books they read!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mynewbook2 (10,000 members) Authors are free to share and discuss their books on this site.  They are also encouraged to help other members by reviewing their books.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CBWUSA/  (2,800 members) A networking group open to anyone interested in children’s books.  Authors can share their books here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482088805440633/  (27,000 members) “Promote Your Book For Free” is the name of this page.  All posts are also shared to ilovebookz.com. One post here, they promise, will appear on various websites across the internet.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HappyChildrenRhymingBooks/  (5,923 members) This is a group dedicated to rhyming picture books.  Members can promote their books here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorsAndILLustrators  (1,507 members) This is a site for African American authors and illustrators.  For books representing African American characters.  Members whose books fit this category can share their books here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrenbookpromo/  (3,424 members) Authors are encouraged to post their work here and to share the posts of others widely.  All posts must be approved by the site administrator due to lots of spam, but don’t let that discourage you.

TWITTER

With posts limited to 140 characters, you’ll have to be clever —and brief— in order to effectively use this medium. Planning to post your book jacket image with your tweet? Subtract 25 of those characters. You’ll use up even more characters if you want to link to your website. Moral of story: Think small. Always look for innovative ways to tweet.  (Note: It is always a good idea to post links using a link-shortening service like bit.ly. Bit.ly takes a long url address and reduces it to only a few characters, freeing up valuable real estate on your limited character allowance.)

Remember to use hashtags. These can make a huge difference in how many people see your tweet. A hashtag is used to show what the post is about or related to, preceded by the pound sign (#books, #KidLit, etc.). Each hashtag has its own Twitter “address” so people interested in children’s books, for example, might simply visit #ChildrensBooks and look at all of the posts with this hashtag.  Using multiple relevant hashtags, while not going overboard, is paramount to a successful Twitter presence. If you’re offering a Kindle deal for your book, be sure to add the hashtag #KindleDeals, as many readers look there for inexpensive books.

Here are some relevant hashtags:

#ChildrensBooks
#PictureBook
#KidLit
#KidLitArt
#KidsBooks
#BoardBooks
#EarlyReaders
#ReadYourWorld
#IndieAuthors
#MustRead
#Kindle
#KindleDeals
#BookMarketing

If you have a specific subject in your book, be sure to check for hashtags which relate to that such as #werewolf or #kidscooking…

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a site of virtual bulletin boards. Each board is theme-based. You can find boards on everything from bathroom remodels to Indian recipes to children’s books.

Each board features images of the topic at hand; clicking on an image brings up more information. For example, on a book board, if you click on the image of a book jacket, that might take you to a review of the book or the author’s website, the book’s Amazon page and so on.

The site is used for sharing information, but too much self-promotion is frowned upon.  So, when you set up your Pinterest board, you may want to set up a board devoted to a larger topic, such as self-published romance fiction or favorite classic romantic books, and allow others to share their titles with you. Join in the fun of creating interesting boards that not only will promote sales, but will also be fun and engaging to others.

In addition to creating your own boards, be sure to search out other boards where you can share your pins (your images) and connect with others in the romance community.  Here are a few that we like and share our pins with.

Here are some related pinterest boards:

https://www.pinterest.com/bayajack/bookaholics-anonymous/  (Bookaholics Anonymous- 7.75k followers) You can follow @Bea_Wellman on twitter and request an invite to the board. This board allows members to self-promote their work. Board members are requested to not pin too many things unrelated to books. Prices are not allowed and sales dates must be listed.

https://www.pinterest.com/bayajack/indie-authors-and-self-published/ (! ♥ Indie Authors and Self Published- 5.05k followers) The cousin board of Bookaholics Anonymous. Support Indie Writers by pinning covers and helping others discover new authors. Pin your book covers, but do not spam the board. Be sure to showcase your contests, free days, or promotions. For an Invite tweet at @Bea_Wellman.

https://www.pinterest.com/brambleart/self-published-childrens-books/ (Self Published Children’s Books- 4.28k followers) You may pin a children’s book that you’ve authored or illustrated. Pinners may also pin anything about how to write or publish children’s books.

https://www.pinterest.com/bayajack/childrens-books-movies/
(Childen’s Books/Movies- 2.68k followers) You may pin children’s books, movies, picture books, educational material, or coloring books. Self published authors, illustrators, etc are welcome to pin. All members are cautioned to not continuously repin the same books.

GOODREADS

One last platform to consider when promoting online is Goodreads. Goodreads is a website owned by Amazon that allows individuals to freely search the extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. They can also create their own groups of book suggestions, surveys/polls, blogs, and discussions. READ THE RULES BEFORE POSTING! Authors who only post promotions and do not participate in discourse in the community will be ejected.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/188-children-s-books This group was created to be a one-stop destination, for all readers interested in discussing children’s books. Authors are welcome but must not discuss their books except in the designated Author’s Corner Folder.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/148195-promoting-picture-books This is an open group for promoting your children’s book.  All posts must be G-rated.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/192765-kids-reads  This is a support group for those who read, write, or would like to write children’s books.  Members are encouraged to review each other’s work and there is a bookshelf for posting your books.  You need to read the group guidelines closely for promoting your book.

We hope you find these links helpful. They will certainly keep you busy for a while, but once you get involved with the social media world, you’ll find this is only the beginning.  Next stop: Instagram, Snapchat, Vine…

Graham Dickson is a student at the University of Colorado Denver majoring in marketing and minoring in German. He is an intern at BlueInk Review.

 BlueInk Review is a fee-based book review service devoted to self-published titles exclusively. For more news and writing and marketing tips, sign up for our mailing list. And be sure and visit us athttps://www.blueinkreview.com

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