How to Effectively Market Your Children’s Book in 9 Ways

Publishing and marketing a children’s book is unlike any other genre. 

You have to simultaneously create a book youngsters will love, but that adults can also get behind and find value in. Parents are the ones often reading your book to their kids and want to find powerful messages for them to learn. 

What’s especially unique to this community of readers is that you’re not actually marketing to your ideal audience — you’re marketing to their parents. Every marketing strategy has to keep the adult perspective in mind.

Marketing can make or break your self-published book launch. There’s not a singular best way to self-publish a children’s book and market it to your prospective audience — but there are a number of things you can do to build excitement for your book.

Marketing is an ongoing process that requires a significant amount of attention. Whether you’re focusing on your personal brand, building out an email, or booking your next speaking gig, you can have a significant impact on the success of your children’s book by elevating your marketing strategies. 

Build Up Your Brand 

Book marketing starts with you and how you represent yourself. As an author, your name is as much your brand as your writing. 

You need a website that’s dedicated to your work. Your website should be up and running a few months before you set out to market your self-published children’s book. Your website should function as a cornerstone of your brand and a place where audiences can discover you and your work.

Your website should include:

  • Your personal story (let your personality shine through here)
  • Your previous works
  • Book reviews
  • How to contact you
  • Where to buy your books
  • Where to find you on social media
  • Blog page (optional)

Your website should be clean and easy to navigate, too. Be sure the aesthetic is consistent, that categories are divided clearly, and that all navigation elements are accurately titled and clickable.

By taking the time to build your author website, readers will be able to connect with you more and feel encouraged to read your work.

Learn more about how to create your own author’s website >

Utilize Social Media

While nearly half of today’s 80 million Millennials have children, parents of the present — and the future —  rely heavily on social media to get information and recommendations. 

Every social media platform has its benefits when you consider how to market a book. 

On Instagram, rather than just showing up on your follower’s feed, utilize the Live feature of the app. As you prepare to launch your children’s book, host a Q&A session where fans can ask questions in the chat and you can respond to them in real-time. 

Facebook Groups are an effective way to get the word out about your book. While you can’t directly sell in these online communities, you can still have meaningful conversations and inform group members of your new work. 

As you look through groups to join, be selective about focusing on those relevant to your book’s genre or theme, your local community, or other closely-related topics.

BookTok is taking the book marketing world by storm. Young readers share videos of themselves discussing books they’re excited about and encourage their viewers to pick up a copy, driving sales exponentially. You can easily create your TikTok account in order to immediately start connecting with viewers and promoting your book on BookTok

Finally, don’t ignore Goodreads! As the largest social media network solely devoted to authors, publishers, and readers — be sure you’re sharing your work there as well. Host a giveaway of your book on this platform to get extra exposure.

Seek Out and Gather Reviews 

Whether you’re self-publishing on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or going through a platform like Wattpad, getting reviews for your book is a crucial step in marketing self-published children’s books. Positive reviews can entice potential readers and give you instant credibility. 

As you go about soliciting reviews, you’ll want a balance of crowdsourced reviews and professional reviews. 

  • Crowdsourced reviews are often found on sites like Amazon or Goodreads — everyday readers post them and they can vary in depth and consideration. 

Positive reviews of this type can bring up your rank — making you more visible to readers — and offer a range of opinions. But librarians and booksellers don’t use these in order to make book purchasing decisions.

  • Professional reviews are critics who work for trustworthy publications. You’ll have to reach out to these people and pitch them your book. You can also use resources like Blue Ink Review, where you can purchase a professional review. 

Keep in mind professional reviews can be difficult to come by as writers as bloggers and influencers are often overwhelmed with queries.

They’re excellent for adding to your marketing materials (your website, press releases, and jacket cover) and offer valuable feedback. 

Encourage readers and critics to leave reviews every chance you get. You can also offer incentives like a free e-book copy in exchange for a review.

Contact the Press

Get the exact messaging that you want for your book out to the public by contacting the press yourself. 

If you don’t have a literary agent or someone to help with marketing efforts, you can still write up an exciting press release and send it out to news stations, publications, and local groups. 

Be sure you include an author bio, details about your book, and where it can be purchased. There must also be a call to action to wrap things up. Do keep in mind — press releases are straightforward, so get to the point. 

Inspire journalists or local groups to do a feature on you by providing a quick anecdote that’ll encourage them to share with their audiences. You can also include your best reviews or endorsements you’ve gathered at this point to intrigue them more.

By doing your own PR and marketing efforts, you’ll be surprised how many outlets may respond to your outreach. Even if it’s slow at first, you’re taking initiative and putting yourself out there!

Create an Email Marketing Plan

Parents are busy people and may often not check their emails as much as you’d like them to. 

Don’t let that discourage you. A recent study shows email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media marketing. That same study also found that the buying process happens 3 times faster.

As you create your marketing plan, consider who your audience is. Do they only want to hear about your book, or is there other content they’d like to see in their inbox? How to launch a children’s book isn’t just about promoting your book, it’s about building connections with your audience. 

Sending one email a month is sufficient to start. By doing a monthly email you can provide your audience with information like:

  • Release dates for new projects
  • Recommendations on other books their children may enjoy
  • Ideas or inspirations for new stories (welcome their feedback!)
  • Offers or sales on your books
  • Reports on school or library visits you’ve done
  • Insights into children’s literacy or reading habits

When you communicate with your readers about things other than your book, you allow them to connect with you as a person and build a relationship past your product. 

Network with Local Libraries

Your local library can be a huge opportunity for getting your book in front of new readers. If your book gets placed on a library shelf, it’s almost guaranteed to get borrowed. 

Many parents won’t buy every book for their child and still rely on borrowing from libraries. But once they have your book at home and enjoy it, you likely have just gained a new loyal fan of your work. 

The challenge here is convincing the librarian that your book is valuable to their collection. In order to do this you should:

  • Introduce yourself and provide a card that has your contact information and social media 
  • Demonstrate a healthy stream of positive reviews for your book
  • Have a copy or two you can share with them right away
  • Make it easy for them to purchase your book through a printer or wholesaler

As you start this conversation, you can also ask about storytime slots you can volunteer to read at or other library events you can join to further your network within the community.

Do School Visits

Many authors overlook the possibilities that schools offer in marketing a children’s book. Much of it comes down to outreach and organization. 

You can reach out to the school’s front office, or find out who is a leader or head in their English department. As you introduce yourself, be sure to also discuss: 

  • A synopsis of your story (maybe any morals or lessons)
  • Tell them what age range your book is meant for
  • Provide them with links and images
  • You can also share positive reviews with them

What you’ll also need is a plan. Do you intend to show up and read to the kids, or do you want to do something more hands-on? Consider what types of activities could be appropriate for your age group.

Educators can be helpful in assisting you with the planning process, at least to some degree, but plan ahead of time.

Offer to visit for free, but ask if you can send home slips to parents for purchasing a signed copy from you.

Book Speaking Gigs

Speaking gigs can be a powerful way to spread the word about your book far and wide. 

With how many people tune into podcasts and view TED Talk videos, there are a number of ways you can go about this outside of traditional speaking engagements. 

The first step is finding what your niche is and then discovering what venues or platforms serve that niche. 

A quick search will show you at least 60 podcasts on children’s literature exist right now. Another quick search will yield over a dozen TED Talks on children’s literature. 

The audience is out there for you, you just need to discover them and tailor your message for them. If you’re targeting an audience that cares about social-emotional health or self-reliance, look for audiences who are passionate about these things.

If you’re new to speaking, you’ll likely start with smaller speaking gigs — and that’s okay. As you build experience and your presentation skills, more people will want to come to see you speak. 

Leave the Details to Us

As you continue your journey with discovering how to self-publish and market a children’s book, remember that it’s not about implementing an absurd amount of strategies or tactics — it’s about picking a few at a time, mastering them, and building upon them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that there’s no single way to be a successful author. You’ll find that certain marketing strategies work better for you than others.

Taking things one step at a time will get you to where you want to be in publishing your book. It’s tempting to want to rush things, but if you take your time and put in your best marketing effort you’ll start to see success.

As you prepare to publish your book, work with us for high-quality printing and top-notch attention to detail. 

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