Tag Archives: children’s books

MORE What if you had UNLIMITED resources to market your book? With Lizann Flatt

A couple of days ago, as part of Darcy Pattison’s Random Acts of Publicity, I asked a few authors a “what if” question.


WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS? THINK BIG! THINK REALLY, REALLY BIG! For example…what about having a book launch at Disney World?

From Lizann Flatt, author of Counting on Fall (September 2012, OwlKids Books)

What would I do with unlimited dollars to launch Counting on Fall? I think I’d find classrooms of kids who have never experienced fall as I know it here in Muskoka, Ontario with its vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, cool temperatures, crisp blue skies, and morning mist over the water. I’d get them here by bus, plane, or train because these classes could be located anywhere in North America–or even the world!!” . Maybe these kids live in a city. Maybe they live where their fall season is not so distinct or colorful.

Once the kids were here we’d go on a guided tour of Algonquin Park so the park interpreters could tell us all about the animals and plants and history of the park. I think maybe we should even camp in the park for a few days! Our experience would include a canoe trip and we’d take a hike so we could see the amazing scenery and hopefully spot some animals. I’d give every kid a camera so they could photograph their adventure and the fall things they want to remember. We’d feast on fall foods, and I would thank each child for coming with a gift of a copy of the book.


Even though these answers express wishful thinking (unless there is a wildly wealthy benefactor out there), it is clear that all these authors want to offer memorable experiences to their readers. And that is the joy of reading a book about a different time and place.

What’s your dream?

What if you had UNLIMITED time and money to market your book?

There are many ways to connect with our readers and we’re always looking for new ways of promoting books, reading, literacy, and ourselves as authors. I like Darcy’s Pattison’s BLLuRT acronym (blog, link, like, review, talk) but what if we could do more?  I thought it would be fun to fantasize about a no-holds-barred, spare-no-expense marketing campaign for books.

As an author, we ask a lot of “What if” questions about our characters, and plot. I posed a “what if” question to a few authors of children’s books and books for teens.


WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS? THINK BIG! THINK REALLY, REALLY BIG! For example…what about having a book launch at Disney World?

Here are the fun and fantastic responses from a couple of authors.

From Maureen McGowan, author of Deviants (October 30, 2012)

If I had unlimited time and resources, I’d get an excerpt booklet of the first chapters of Deviants into the hands of every person who bought The Hunger Games, DivergentThe Maze Runner, Blood Red Road, or The Forest of Hands and Teeth. While we’re at it, might as well get the excerpt to everyone who’s bought any Young Adult or high-action Sci-fi novel in the past year. (Why limit myself.) I’d then offer great prizes to the first hundred, no thousand, no five thousand people who read the excerpt and buy the book. And another prize pack to anyone who also tells a friend to buy the book. (Bonus points for mentioning Deviants on a social media site and/or posting a review (negative or positive) on Amazon or Goodreads.) TV ads shown during The Vampire Diaries and other great teen-centric TV shows would be fabulous too.

From Kari-Lynn Winters, author of Buzz About Bees (2012), Stinky Skunk Mel (Nov 2012), and Gift Days (Nov 2012)

For me writing is all about the kids. So connecting with them is always the major factor.
At the same time it is always great to tailor the promotion to the book, meaning that the promotion design would be different for each and every book. This said, if I had unlimited time and resources, I would do the following things for my 3 upcoming 2012/2013 books:

1) Gift Days
a) fly anyone who wanted to go with me to Uganda (set them up in a nice space for a week or so)
b) set up reading tents for the Ugandan children, especially the girls
c) give everyone a complementary copy of the book
d) share and interact with the book through drama, art, music, dance
e) create a walking gallery of their representations back in Canada

2) Buzz About Bees
a) collaborate with a local conservation area
b) set up interactive bee walking tours in gorgeous gardens with famous bee specialists (e.g., researchers, beekeepers, environmentalists), conservation celebrities (e.g., David Suzuki, Al Gore, ), and celebrated related characters (e.g., The Honey-Nut Cheerios Bee, Pooh Bear) where people can learn about the importance of bees for humans and for other species
c) invite photographers to take splendid and professional photos of people interacting with nature
d) set up a honey sampling and beeswax stations
e) share and interact with the book through puppetry, imagery, sound
f) give away bee trading cards for each and every bee (kids can collect them all and trade them)

3) Stinky Skunk Mel
a) collaborate with a local park (e.g., Stanley Park in Vancouver)
b) use the stanley park train as a way to set up interactive learn about skunk sessions for guests
c) host a black and white costume party in the early evening
d) share the book by a campfire with people roasting marshmallows and drinking hot cocoa
d) invite guests to enjoy the train display or to partake in an interactive night walk with famous people and celebrated related cha
e) share and interact with the book through puppetry, imagery, sound
f) give everyone skunk puppets and additional resources as they leave

WOW!!! Those ideas sound amazing. One day….

What’s your secret no-holds-barred marketing wish?