Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Awards

Now that Alphabet Puke - Monsters' Medicine A-Z has seen the light of day for a few months, it's time to think about book awards. Some are submitted automatically and others are more particular. One thing I've learned is that not all book awards are created equal.

Some awards are extremely expensive and so a publisher needs to weigh the potential for acclaim against a hefty submission fee. For example, if several thousand entries are received per category, is the cost justified? 

Additionally, some contests have dozens of categories, so even if a book wins, what does that mean? Is it like receiving a first place in the "best little red-headed girl with a curl over her left ear, missing two front teeth, and a lop-sided grin" category? How would colleagues or readers view that distinction? Would people even have heard about those awards? If it isn't the Caldecott or Newberry, what impact does a children's book award really provide?

Well, there are legitimate book awards that have been around for many years. They provide readers with an idea of the quality of the content and illustrations especially when reviewed by professionals. They may have different tastes from you but just like movie reviews, when something is bad, everyone thinks it's bad not just the high brow reviewers. So for marketing purposes, an award tells buyers that some folks think a book is worthy of recognition.

Just be careful that your book is submitted to a company whose intent is honest (i.e., submission fees are not exorbitant, reviewers are named, and the purpose of the award process doesn't seem to be to make the award organization wealthy). 

Writer organizations also offer awards that provide a lot of exposure for a new book and don't charge a bundle for the privilege. Something to think about...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Marketing for Introverts

I am a quasi-introvert. I enjoy people, other writers, children, etc, but still recharge my creative batteries in solitude (hiking, photography, reading). So, like other introverts, marketing is less than a good time for me because I see it as being uninvited and in your face (e.g., telemarketers at dinner time). I prefer a more sincere approach (i.e., helping others). This plays into my comfort zone since I am more than happy to market for other writers and illustrators. I also like helping folks find reading that meets their needs.

Recently, I rediscovered Rachelle Burk's Writers' Resources blog with TONS of great info. writing/publishing topics as well as great marketing links. I am now making lists of parent organizations, stores, school, journals and anyone else who comes to mind that might genuinely be helped by offering Alphabet Puke - Monsters' Medicine A-Z to their children, patients, or clients.

I know this is intuitive (and I have been doing it to some degree), but now I'm looking at marketing through a different lens and don't mind the process. I'm helping! This mindset change has made all the difference in my marketing foot dragging. Give it a try and let me know what you think or send along other marketing tips for introverts and extroverts. - Q