Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"If you don't get that break, make it happen!"

Who says writing is easy? Not me! Anybody who is committed to this craft (notice that I say committed) knows how difficult it is to find time to write, finish one’s project, promote it, and most importantly, believe in one’s work! The key words here: promote and believe.

I met a throng of children’s authors last week at the Book Expo in New York City. I was fascinated by the creative titles I encountered and the inspirational tales by first-time authors. For instance, The Champion behind the Champion by BarbarAnn Fitzgerald, an accomplished master-rated competitive figure skating coach and artist. She wrote and illustrated the book herself. It tells the story of LambieAnn; a lamb that wants to learn how to skate. It has a wonderful message that teaches children how to handle winning and losing at sports. BarbarAnn was very outgoing and full of zest. She was promoting her book with the help of her sister Kathleen Fitzgerald, a figure skater as well. BarbarAnn was carrying a toddler-size LambieAnn doll. The three ladies donned polka-dotted fuchsia blouses. I thought that was genius! They were so unique and colorful I had to approach them. This was promoting at its best!

Creativity doesn’t have to stop at writing the book. It continues on the road of marketing and promoting.

Another example of promoting and believing in one’s work is new YA author, Zita Banasinski who recently published Julian’s Enchanted Red Door. Zita became inspired to write this series of novels while watching her son, Julian, play soccer. The story is about eleven-year-old Julian and his mischievous friends who try to unravel his family’s mystery. They encounter trials, learn valuable life lessons, and embark on a journey that will change their lives forever. Zita is promoting her book by reading at schools and local libraries. I call that a “goal” in marketing strategies as she’s directly targeting her audience.

Remember, writing is fun, but promoting your book should be even better! If you don’t do the legwork nobody will. So here are some important things for you to do to get YOUR book out there:

• Research your target market
• Find ways to market that are fun and creative
• Network, network, network!
• Have business cards made and carry them with you at all times! Hand them out
• Create a webpage or a blog
• Tell your family members, friends, and colleagues about your book launch
• Be a professional and put in the hours
• Have fun!

Looking forward to seeing your book in print!

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