The Ultimate Guide to Selling Children’s Books

Marketing books is hard enough. What takes place when your readers arent the individuals paying for the books?

How to Sell Childrens Books

Karen Inglis composes picture books, chapter books and short middle grade novels for ages 3-11. Her time travel experience for ages 8-11 The Secret Lake is an Amazon bestseller in the UK, United States and Canada and has actually offered over 250,000 copies in print and remains in translation in eight nations. Karen has actually presented on childrens self-publishing around the UK and is Childrens Advisor for ALLi. Discover more about Karen on her site, Twitter. The listed below excerpt has actually been extracted and modified from Karens book on childrens book marketing. The upgraded edition of her popular non-fiction title How to Self-publish and Market a Childrens Book ( under Karen P Inglis) is due out in April.

Karen Inglis, kidss author and ALLi Advisor on self-publishing books for children

My leading piece of guidance for marketing your childrens book is to start in your area and develop up your brand– and your self-confidence– from there. Afterwards, each time you release a new title make certain to execute this local method along with larger ones– your local brand name provides many photo and material opportunities for broader social networks marketing usage.

Obviously, during the restrictions we have all dealt with throughout Lockdown youll need to adjust some of the methods below by making contact by email, or through snail mail or hand provided mail where bookshops and libraries are running click and gather.

Approaching regional libraries

My first ever event was at our library in Barnes (the London town where I live) and I was horrified that either nobody or crowds of people would turn up! It worked out completely. It ended up being me, my younger sister (taking pictures from the back), 7 children, around seven grownups and a few of the library staff. The curator even put up flags and supplied tea, orange juice and biscuits! You could offer to bring cake if its permitted …

To support the occasion I created A4 and A5 leaflets that I put up at the library and shown regional schools. This is simple to do using the website and a colour printer. After the occasion I had pictures drawn from the back that I was able to share on my blog site and twitter account. These days I d also be sharing that photo on my Facebook and Instagram account pages, and including ideal hashtags, to try to record the attention of larger audiences.

Among the very first things I recommend is to approach your regional library to see if they run story time sessions for children and provide to host a totally free occasion there. This is a terrific way to test the water with live occasions and, since you wont be charging, it will not feel pressurised. Keep in mind that they might require a number of months notice to set this up, so plant the idea early on when you fulfill them and go from there.

Approaching Local Bookshops

If your nearest bookshop is a few miles away I d suggest going to in individual ahead of time to get a feel for the store– and perhaps purchase a childrens (or other) book and chat with the personnel to discover out who cares for the buying side. Take along a copy of your book and a Title Information Sheet created using Canva and consisting of a link to your site. Nevertheless, dont always prepare to utilize these immediately. , if the shop is busy the last thing personnel will want is an unplanned sales pitch form an author theyve never ever heard of!

If the quality of the book on offer is of a professional level and is an excellent fit, numerous local bookshops are open to supporting regional authors. While they will be able to order your book online by means of the Ingram feed, the majority of will prefer to take a percentage of stock on consignment (sale or return) to see how sales go.


If the purchaser isnt there, ask when the quietest time may be to pop back for a chat. At this moment you might mention your book and leave your Title Information Sheet Play it by ear if the buyer is there. If its busy you could leave the information sheet and/or a copy of the book and deal to drop back at a later date.

Title Information Sheet.

This is an A4 sheet, or similar size, created to introduce and sell your book to book purchasers. The key elements of your Title Information Sheet must be:

Youll discover an example information sheet in Karens book or by browsing online.

If its possible logistically, why not also get in touch with the school you went to as a kid? You are most likely to find it easier to schedule a check out here than at numerous other schools. When I contacted the primary school I went to they were thrilled, and I invested a day seeing classes with my first 3 books. Next on my order of business is to attempt to organize check outs to others in the location– this is feasible as my relatives still live there, which indicates I can stay over night therefore avoid a potential expense for the school.

Regional press, magazines or community sites.

Approaching playgroups and other moms and dad groups.

If the bookshop consents to take your book, head out of your way to make sales a success:.

Publishing English Language Childrens Books in a Foreign Country.

Get the name of the literacy coordinator/school curator from the schools website or via their office.
Tailor each email, describing the school by name and to the students by gender if the context is right– for instance, if your book is enjoyed by ladies and youre targeting an all-girls school you might discuss this.
Discuss any regional connections– be that around the story, and/or regional bookshops that stock your book, or the truth that you were a pupil at the school.
Include your book cover thumbnail( s) in the body of your e-mail or at sign-off– to make the message stick out more.

Schools close to where you matured.

Getting in touch with local schools.

Briefly describe the age groups your books are appropriate for and the recommended format of your go to, ie readings with Q&A and/or workshop.
Attach a Name of author– Books Overview PDF with a full blurb of each book. Keep to one page per book and try to make the layout engaging. Once again, include thumbnails, a number of interior illustrations if appropriate, age range and possibly a notable review or review. (If you just have one book then call the document Name of author– Book Title– introduction instead.).
Connect a separate document entitled Visit Format describing how you will run your sessions and session length– or consist of in the books overview PDF if you have room. (I talk more about see format below.).
Leave any reference of fees to one side till you have talked to your contact– unless youre able to use a go to totally free (on which more below).

I only state this to manage expectations– so do not quit. You will get there if you prepare ahead and are expert and systematic in your method. I cant inform you the number of hours I invested in the early days getting the right contact names, following and customizing e-mails up when I didnt hear back just to be told the instructor wasnt readily available or that they d get back to me (but they didnt), or to find the individual I had actually been informed to get in touch with had actually left. It can be very frustrating, but what Ive concerned understand throughout the years is that the school and the staff who you will come into contact with are just hectic! As a result, emails can be neglected or forgotten. Schools that I was convinced were actively avoiding me ended up being wonderful when I finally visited them– frequently a year or 2 on from when I d initially contacted them.

Local newspapers, magazines and community websites are always on the lookout for interesting and timely stories, so do not be shy if you think you can discover an angle to promote your book. You have nothing to lose aside from the time to search for the contact and prepare your news release. , if it comes to nothing youve at least had practice at press release composing and made contacts that might be helpful in the future.

Available locally on consignment– terms 40% (or whatever you decide).
Available to buy from UK [other nation] wholesalers *.

To this day there are schools near where I live that Ive not handled to get into, in spite of a number of rounds of emails and discussions. I no longer take this personally. I put it down to their being super-busy– or merely scheduled up with more widely known authors. But I will try them once again at some stage.

Look out for school fairs, charity fêtes and other local occasions where you might take a table and offer your books. The expense of table hire is likely to be low and even if you only sell enough books to break even, youll be raising your author brand names profile.

Kate Woodard.

Over time youll have the ability to update these PDFs, as you offer more books and get more evaluations. (For example, The Secret Lake was thought about for adaptation by Childrens BBC TELEVISION a couple of years back, so I now include that in a section I call Interesting to know.).

Supporting your bookshop with local marketing– list.

Local schools offer the best opportunity to link with young readers, offer your books and start to raise the profile of your author brand name through word of mouth. Thats fortunately. The less good news is that you should be prepared to put in a lot of hard work if you want to get a foot (or must that be book?!) inside their doors. They are incredibly busy places and, unless you strike fortunate, it can take a great deal of time to get a meaningful action about a possible check out. Also, numerous will have authors scheduled months ahead of time and– what with school trips, exams, school inspections, sports days and other celebrations– arranging a go to from an unidentified author isnt most likely to be a top concern for them.

Never undervalue the worth of regional marketing– in my case it has actually led to:.

If you have an image book you could also approach local playgroups or other parent events to see if they d like a complimentary session and the opportunity to buy signed books for the children. Or offer to host an occasion at house. In either case, youll slowly begin to spread news about your brand.

Reserve cover image
Other images from inside the book (optional, if room).
ISBN and page count.
Publisher name and publication date.
Target age range and topic/genre.
Any testimonials.
Author details.
Contact details: site, e-mail, phone.

Invitations to judge poetry competitors at two regional schools– which in each case led to paid whole of school gos to in the future (and numerous book sales).
Demands to run Self-publishing training at the Barnes Childrens Literature Festival.
A picture op with a famous sports reporter holding Eeek! The Runaway Alien– excellent for social networks!
A request to run a complimentary after school author speak with assist raise funds for a regional primarys library; moms and dads and students paid the PTA a cost to go to. This in turn resulted in a huge number of book sales given that the moms and dads (who hold the purse strings) were in presence!

Kate Woodard is the author of numerous childrens books including Petrified Pete. She is based in Brazil where she takes a trip to multilingual schools throughout the country, sharing her books and her love of writing. You can find out more about Kate at or follow her on instagram at @katewoodardstories.

Include an interesting image together with your own headshot with a short bio. Heres me promoting my most recent title The Tell-Me Tree (picture right) in the summer of 2020– a short article appeared in our regional town publication that went out to a number of thousand households. Naturally, be sure to mention that the book is readily available to buy from the regional bookshop in addition to online..

Local events/fairs.


The AskALLi team asked Kate everything about her experiences of marketing childrens books abroad.

( * on the basis that wholesalers can buy from Ingram Spark).

Calling schools– list.

Added benefits of regional marketing.

Offer to host a story time and signing session if they have a suitable space.
Support them by installing leaflets in your area to let parents/children understand that signed copies of your book are readily available at the store. I did this when very first beginning, using notification boards in cafe and local newsagents in locations popular with young households– usage Canva for design.
Offer to supply a shelf talker about your book– these are the mini book blurb/review labels framed in plastic that you see hanging off the rack in lots of bookshops. Ive done this with all of my books in your area, and with Waterstones in the early days. Examine the measurements then develop utilizing Canva.
Head out of your method to point out that signed copies of your book are readily available at XYZ bookshop in any local press releases/articles or other marketing product you produce– including the Where to buy my books page on your author site.
Offer to come in and sign books for personalised orders– supply a leaflet for their till that promotes this deal, and got the word out by means of your social media accounts.
Deal to work with the bookshop on local school events– while you would charge a cost to the school for your time, the book sales might be arranged and pass through the bookshop. This method might work along with the one below if there are lots of schools within reach.

Then one or both of the following:.

What marketing or methods or methods did you utilize to offer your English language books in a foreign nation?

Recognizing that starting local was the finest way to go, I reached out to regional multilingual schools to see if they would be interested in an author go to from an English speaking author. I got a positive reaction from approximately 80% of them and establish times to check out. After developing a good relationship with my regional multilingual schools, a number of them welcomed me back, later on in the year, to participate in their book fairs and checking out weeks.

I likewise called regional weekend fairs and markets and paid for a bookstall to promote and offer my books.

Another method that I took was to talk with collective shops. There are lots of shops here in Brazil that function as a host for different vendors. Among the stores I talked with was opening its doors at the exact same time I was introducing brand-new books. They offered to host my launch party. This was an excellent way to both get my book to my public and also help a local organization develop their client base too.

I noticed that some of the local coffee shops have checking out sections, so I approached supervisors and was able to position some of my books to sell. I also donated a book or 2 to a couple of cafés.

Next, in order to expand my reach, I called bilingual schools across the country. I handled to fit in some author gos to in a couple of different cities prior to the pandemic struck.

How did you develop working relationships with schools?

Just recently, as whatever is online, I have actually hosted author readings on Zoom. I read among my books to the children and then we do an activity together, such as drawing their own variations of characters from my book or comprising our own story together.

I follow all my schools on social media. If I discover that an occasion is being promoted or something specific is developing regard to literature, I reach out to the school and use my services as an author.

I keep in touch with the schools if I have new projects.

What did you discover printing your book?

The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children.

Theres nothing more exciting than a book birthday! On the first Monday of every month, we will show all the books launched that month, including those released by self-published authors. Submissions are now open for the April 2020 edition of the Happy Book Birthday program! For more details see here.

SCBWI BookStop.

There is a lot that enters into printing a childrens picture book because of all of the images, the size and the quality of paper. When I first began I did not have a regional printer. I quickly realized that shipping print-on-demand books from the United States was not cost efficient. I worked out how much I desired to offer a book for based on the quality I desired and the market here in Brazil. Then I talked with small local printers to learn what the discounted rates for printing amounts of books would be. After a couple of trial and errors (where the printer needed to re-print and assemble a few of my books due to poor management) I discovered a trustworthy printer that permitted me to make a sensible margin of make money from the print and sales. I choose not to have too numerous unsold books lurking around, so working out the number of books to print at one provided time is crucial. There is no best method to figure this out, however I started to get a sense of approximately the number of books I would sell when going to schools. I would then base my print operate on this estimate.

Karen Inglis composes image books, chapter books and brief middle grade novels for ages 3-11. Offer to supply a rack talker about your book– these are the mini book blurb/review labels enclosed in plastic that you see hanging off the rack in many bookshops. (If you just have one book then call the document Name of author– Book Title– introduction instead.).
If you have an image book you could likewise approach regional playgroups or other moms and dad events to see if they d like a free session and the opportunity to purchase signed books for the children. I choose not to have too many unsold books hiding around, so working out how numerous books to print at one offered time is essential.

The Book is our yearly publication, upgraded with up-to-date market research, The Book Reviewers Directory, an annotated bibliography of necessary referral books for any hopeful kidss book authors, therefore a lot more. This year, consisted of in the 2021 Edition of The Book, is a brand brand-new, self-publishing area– the finest practices, what you need to know before you self-publish, employing an illustrator, and using a Kickstarter to fund your self-published book!.

Invite and thanks to Avery Silverberg for the listed below:.

Once a year in October through November, members are able to produce a sales page on our website for a book launched within the past 1-3 year( s). This is a wonderful way for visitors to search, purchase, and enjoy learning about you and your book.

The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators is a non-profit, 501( c) 3 organization, and among the largest existing companies for illustrators and authors. It is the only professional company particularly for those people highlighting and composing for children and young people in the fields of kidss literature, magazines, movie, tv, and multimedia. SCBWI is also the Alliance of Independent Authors first Organizational Member.

Spark Award: The Spark Award is one of the most interesting chances we offer for self-published SCBWI members. The Spark winner receives a $1,000 money prize– both the winner and honor recipients get seals to show on their book, the chance to teach a digital workshop about their publishing journey, the possibility to be featured in the SCBWI online book shop and publicized through SCBWI social networking websites.

Make the most of our Member Bookstore! Independently released authors are motivated to add any previous publications to their home profile, by clicking “include” under the Publications section. This will immediately include your title to our Bookstore– where members and non-members might discover your book under an offered category and keywords.

Member Bookstore.

Awards & & Grants.

Self-published authors and illustrators! The SCBWI aspires to help you market your work. Listed listed below are all interesting chances tailored towards helping independently published authors broaden their readership.

Happy Book Birthday.

Intrigued in school check outs? We motivate you to highlight yourselves in the SCBWI Speakers Bureau: an online database used by librarians and teachers to discover speakers for school visits. You can include yourself to the Speakers Bureau within your SCBWI Member Profile under “modify profile.”.

Speakers Bureau.

SCBWI Member Benefits: Marketing for Self-Published Authors.

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