I’ve had several people ask what they can do to help me sell my books. I’ve also had several people ask when the next one will be coming out. It’s much easier for me to answer the first question but the two are inevitably linked. I really want to share my heart with all of you and ask you to pray. I believe that the most important thing you can do is pray! Even more important than buying a book! (Did I really say that?) YES! And I meant it.
My goal for marketing this book is to get me to the next book. Let me explain. When I started marketing the manuscript I heard this, “It’s just not edgy enough for us.” I kept trying and I did received other reasons… “we aren’t publishing children’s books at this time,” or “we don’t do series,” or the dreaded nebulous “it doesn’t meet our needs at this time.” Evidently the publishers I sent it to didn’t believe it would sell. They didn’t believe there was a market out there. I did. I KNEW that I personally knew a lot of people who would welcome a book like this one because like me, they didn’t want edgy. So I proceeded down a different path and chose WinePress, a custom publisher that would help me with editing. I wanted a book that was professional. I wanted one that didn’t look self published. I wanted some marketing help. I got all of those, but it was a huge investment of cold, hard cash for us. Money which we are not likely to recover at 100% because I insisted on keeping the price low to make it available to cash strapped families. Fortunately my husband saw the potential and was willing to take the chance. Plus, he really, really loved my Grandma and he knew how much she wanted to see it done. 🙂
The present wisdom on the topic is that if you can sell enough copies of a custom published book you can get a traditional publisher interested in re-publishing your book, or publishing the next in the series. Basically, it is now my job to PROVE there is a market for my book. I’m up for that. Even if it takes a long time.
Ah, time! Let me share the problem of time-sensitivity here. My book is for children ages 7-12. From the responses I’ve been getting, the kids ages 9-12 are especially “into” this book. They are all waiting for the next one. My problem is this. It could take me a year to find a publisher, or longer! It will take a publisher AT LEAST a year to get the book published, more likely a couple of years. I’m concerned that I’ll get an audience all built up only to have them “age out” so to speak. I could self publish if I had the money from the sale of all the books and then it could be done within a year. But… if I sold all of the books that fast, I bet I’d get the traditional publisher interested… So, you see my concern
Here are a few ways you can help. Send me an email with requests for the next in the series. When I approach publishers it will help to have a list of people wanting the next book. If you have a blog and don’t mind, put in a plug! (Thanks “Didaktic Dissertations” and “Thoughts of a Sojourner”). If you are in a homeschool group, please let them all know. (Thanks Cheryl and Sarah.) If your church, christian school or community has a library, check to see if they can get it. Check with your local bookstore and ask them to order one in for you. Often they will order more than one, if it looks like something they can sell. If you know someone with grandchildren, recommend it as a Christmas present. If you know someone whose child gets invited to a lot of birthday parties, suggest they buy several to have on hand for parties that pop up. If you order from amazon or a similar site which offers a place to do reviews, please write one. (Thanks again Cheryl and Sarah.) If you have an elementary school teacher on your gift list it makes an awesome gift. They are always looking for books they can share with their students. I know this because I have many friends who are elementary school teachers. I am willing to come speak at schools within my area or an area I frequently travel to. I have a 45 minute power point presentation that is appropriate for grade school age. It could be adjusted to any age really so if your seniors group wants a speaker on sharing our memories, I’ll be happy to come.
I just want to be able to get good books into kids hands. God certainly is able to do it and I’m sure he has an idea of the best way to go about it. So, in addition to writing me if you want the next book, or telling everyone you know about the book… please pray! Pray that I’ll have the discipline to finish the second book this month. Pray for me as I plan to go to the Florida Christian Writers Conference in March that I’ll meet a publisher there if that is the Lord’s will. Pray for God to be in control of the timing just as He was for the first book! Pray most of all that God would be glorified in whatever I do!