I'm pretty good at marketing. I start in the produce aisle, head to the meat, onto the cereal aisle...My favorite is the dairy aisle, because they have such cool kinds of Greek yogurt now. Oh. That other kind of marketing. The one I'd rather not have to deal with...
Having a book come out is weird. Of course, the excitement is there: I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT! But then you sit back and realize: Crap. I have a book coming out.
When it comes to children's books, marketing simply means GETTING THE WORD OUT.
If you are one of those authors that the publisher decides to throw lots of money behind, marketing probably means a book tour. I am not one of those authors. For me, marketing means doing whatever I can to make sure people hear that I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT. I live in the middle of nowhere. But I have an internet connection. So I post on Facebook, both as myself and on a writer page for S.A. Bodeen. On that page, I'm careful to keep everything book-oriented, and I post links to reviews and other things relating to my books. I recently started a Twitter account @1turducken , which will also be strictly book-related.
But here's the thing...
In 2008, my first YA novel The Compound was released. I got starred reviews, was a Flying Start in Publisher's Weekly, was named an ALA Quick Pick, was up for the Audiobook of the Year ( Neil Gaiman won, but I have the same cool medal he does) and thought, "Wow, the word is out!"
And then not a lot happened. A few months later my agent called to say that Scholastic wanted the book in their fairs and book orders. He was on the fence about it, but for me it was a no-brainer. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and Scholastic book orders were the only way I ever got books of my own. I told him that we had to do it. And then something happened...
In 2009, The Compound started appearing on master lists for state reader awards. A lot of them. For both middle school and high school ages. I started getting a lot more requests for school visits. Scholastic renewed their contract and also picked up my next novel The Gardener.
Apparently, it took a year or two, but the word got out when people started reading the book. It won the 2011 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award three years after it was published. My most recent royalty statement showed the book is selling more copies now than it ever has, and I'm currently writing the sequel that I never thought I would .
So, my take on marketing?
In the end, I think the best thing is to write a good story, get it in the hands of readers, and have them start talking about it. In the end, that is the best, and most lasting way to get the word out.
At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.