Lesson Week Three—School & Library Market

Coming up with marketing ideas that you find exciting will translate into your audience finding it exciting. Think less about what you should do and more about what you would do in an ideal world.  A unique and interesting program related to your book becomes a great way to introduce kids to you and to your book. You can use additional content to create ads and lead educators to your website as shown in the last lesson or to offer events to schools, libraries, museums, book fairs, and so on.


 Sample Pitch for an Event

Name of your book.



The Program Title and a short description of the program.



Your target audience.


Length of program.



A Blurb of your program:

(A short paragraph describing the program to be used in press and publicity)


Workshop details: Overview of the program and value and takeaway for your audience.

Step by step guide to the workshop.


Links to images or videos of you or your workshop.




While programming events you want to make sure that the event is worth your time and effort. It's easy to get caught up in the moment, so take a step back and look at your overall strategy. Here are some reasons you might do an event.


1)Broaden your fan base.

A—Make sure the event is a good experience for everyone.

B—Leave something for each child to make sure your name is known and remembered.

C—Direct people to your website to get on your email list


2)Connect with your readers and inspire by sharing your love of children's books.

A—Share what inspires you.

B—Share your view of the world.

C—Figure out ways that you can demo what you do best.



A—School Visits can be a good way to supplement your income. Fees range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand for a day.

B—If you get many requests for free school visits you can limit yourself to one free school visit per year.



A—Bigger events can draw larger crowds and you have the opportunity to invite publicity to the events. Think of whom you would like to invite. Industry professionals? Book reviewers? Organizers for other events? Newspaper, magazine, or bloggers that might like to write about the event? 


5)Books Sales.

A—You can offer books for sale or have the school buy them through your publisher. I usually bring a box and sell the books at the retail price or with a small discount.



Make sure your school is prepped

The class you are visiting or the school should read your book first and get to know you before the day of your visit. That way they will be prepped to get more out of the visit. I send schools or individual classrooms my books before my arrival to make sure they have read my book. 


Here is an article from Publisher's Weekly about school visits.


When traveling out of town for school visits you might consider creating a book signing at an independent book store to pair with the school event. It will expand your reach to the community and perhaps get some press to attend. 





This very simple project is from artbarblog that might make an interesting project. This is a rainbow shape piece of cardboard that kids can craft with random collaged pieces. The shape of this could be anything related to your book.

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Authorless Event

One idea I have been toying with is an authorless event kit.  For this idea, create meaningful activities based on your book. You can post these on your website as a way to interact with and add additional content for your book. These can be in the form of activities and downloads. But you could also create a kit that could be sent out to schools or book stores to do activities around your books and may include: supplies for the activity, a pre-recorded message or workshop from you, or setting up a live workshop via webcasting.


Book Trailers

The ways we have to connect with audiences is so astounding. There have been click studies showing what is effective at getting clicks: words, then an image, but most of all a video. Funny little videos are a fabulous way to charm and delight.  These book trailers use the author as a way to help the audience connect to the book. Some can be simple and others a bit more complex, but these are doable with an iPhone, and simple video editing software. 


Beatrice Alemagna's

Harold Snipperpot's

Best Disaster Ever



Melissa Nelson Greenberg & Ruth Hengeveld's

Oh, Bear


Maira Kalman's

Beloved Dog



Lindsay  Mallick

& Sophie Blackall

Finding Winnie


Hervé Tullet

Press Here


Mac Barnett and Jon Klassesn's

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole


Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault's


Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead's

If You Want to See a Whale

Video Creating Software


Imovie is very easy to use. You can edit sound and video separately. Which is so useful in putting together trailers. 


iPhone Play around with different ways of filming video on your phone. 


Adobe Premiere Pro is part of the creative suite and may integrate easily into image making for those that use illustrator or photoshop to create images.


Adobe Photoshop: I use Photoshop to create gifs. The layers are used to create frames. It rather intuitive once you spend a little time getting to know the basics. To set up to animate in Photoshop, switch your program to motion in the drop-down menu shown below and open a timeline and layer windows. Create frames in your timeline. You can specify how long to show each frame to slow down and speed up animation. Here is a gif I created using photoshop. Below is what my Photoshop file looked like to create this gif.


Last Words


When a book is being released create your marketing materials for your upcoming book.

Such as:

A book trailer,

Bonus content and ways to incorporate your book into school curriculums.

Ads for social media and Instagram

Contact lists of reviewers

Contacts of newspapers, magazines, blogs that might like to write about an aspect of your book

Press release

Projects based on your book

An email signature with release date and link to preorder your book.

Ask your friends and family and fans to buy from independent book stores near them.

Offer competitions, drawings, or giveaways 

Create book swag that ties into your book

Create a book launch party and invite press and other industry people

Share your ideas with your publisher.

Let your publisher know that you are interested in doing signings and school visits.

Plan ahead and book events at independent book stores four to six months ahead of the release date.

Send out a sweet little mailer announcing your new book to reviewers, bloggers, and independent book stores.

Encourage sales at independent book stores around the country—both pre-order sales and sales in the initial weeks after your book releases. 


Keep track of your efforts and remember marketing is great, but not to lose sight of your next work. Keep writing and drawing and wishing many fabulous books!

 | Brooklyn, NY 

© 2018 by Kristen Balouch

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