Marketing Children's BooksIf you ask an author what the least favourite part of their job is they’ll often talk about marketing or publicity. Regardless of how unpleasant many authors find these tasks, publishers, booksellers and even readers expect authors to be involved - and this includes writers of books for children.
So, what marketing and publicity strategies do children’s writers use? And are they different to those used by authors of books for a wider market?
To understand this we must first look at the intended audience of a children’s book. For, while a children’s book is written primarily for children to read (or be read to) it is generally NOT the children to whom marketing and publicity strategies for children’s books are aimed. Children are consumers of children’s books, but they are disempowered consumers. Their choice, preferences and financial buying power lie securely with the adults that surround them.
Consider the purchasing chain for a novel for adults: the adult sees the book - they like the book - they buy the book.
Contrast this to a purchasing chain for a children’s book: the child sees a book - they like the book - they must convince their adult to take a look - the adult sees the book - they like the book - they buy the book.
Because of this dominance of adults (be they parents, teachers, librarians, family or friends) in the children’s book buying chain it is imperative that children’s writers carefully consider how to market their books to adults – on behalf of the children the books are intended for – at various points along the purchasing chain. The following tips can be helpful for narrowing down relevant opportunities: