Or how *I* promoted my first book, which may not be how you (or anyone else) would promote anything, but just in case you're an author with a book releases looming and you're thinking, "What the heck do I do?" you can glean inspiration from me.
Things I Can't Control: Reviews and "Best Books" Lists:
I was delighted beyond measure by my very first ever review from Publishers Weekly. Not only because it was a starred review, but wow, a starred review! Other reviews have appeared since, and not just on Amazon or Goodreads. Kirkus, School Library Journal, Horn Book, and a handful of blogs. Halloween Good Night has also made an appearance in a number of "Best Halloween Books" lists, linked along with the reviews below. I'll go on record saying Good Reads with Ronna is among my favorites because she fully gets what I'm doing in the book! So exciting when it happens, just like the chuckles I get at readings over the dumpster-diving/bacon-loving goblins - from those who get the joke.
- Publishers Weekly Starred Review
- Kirkus Reviews
- School Library Journal
- Horn Book
- Working Mother
- Inspired by Savannah
- Salisbury Post
- Love from Mummy
- Geo Librarian
- Good Reads with Ronna
- Central Rappahannock Regional Library
- And likely more to come!
Things I've Made:
There's something about pregnancy, stress and anxiety that make me crafty. The whole "going and doing" (below) has been exceptionally draining, so what do I do with my zombie-like free time? I sew stuff, and glue stuff, and blog. Here on my site you'll find coloring pages, a globster craft, finger puppet patterns, more printables... Enough crafts and activities to keep a little one busy for WEEKS.
And since crafts and papers aren't enough, I also put together a book trailer and wrote a series of posts for the Ten Nights of Halloween! Find them all linked below.
The Ten Nights of Halloween
Things I've Done:
I answered what felt like a thousand interview questions. One interview you can see here at Karlin Gray's website!
A Young Artist's Gallery is now a feature of my site! I'd love to see your artwork!!!
I started a quarterly newsletter. Sign up here!
I also went places. Lots of places. An apple orchard, a children's museum, three bookstores...
My final two events are passed: Books & Mortar and Hopscotch Children's Store Halloween Party. Halloween is officially over!
Saturday marked another release event for my first book, Halloween Good Night, and once again, we had amazing fun. Schuler Books in Grand Rapids set up everything from tables with crafts to treat bags to a cup of water for the visiting author (what, for me?!?).
Way back in July I was arranging events to welcome Halloween Good Night into the world, but it didn't occur to me then that all the great plans I made meant I'd actually have to do things and go places. At 32 weeks pregnant, as a homeschooling mama of five already, this doing and going get complicated.
Things I've Purchased:
I had postcards made via Instaprint. The cost wasn't tiny ($100-ish), but I have a good number left for next year, and I handed out many, many, many postcards. As with most things, not sure what the end result will be. But it's nice to have something to give someone who asks, "Oh, you write books? Anything I've heard of?" I also did an in-depth post on author postcards.
I purchased advertising by boosting a post on Facebook. Which post? My video trailer. Did it do any good? I don't know. It supposedly "reached" 600+ people in the weeks before Halloween, and it only cost me $10. I may try more of this for future books, though I can say I've never bought anything from a Facebook advertisement. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've even clicked a FB ad. Though I'm a total advertising skeptic, so...
I commissioned a friend who is a costume GENIUS to design several costumes and write a how-to article. She did an amazing job, and while the article didn't get out this season except for one print publication in Australia, we plan to get it on the list for 2018. A little sampling of one of the costumes...
Plans for Next Year:
With the release of Violet and the Woof in October of 2018 I plan to hit bookstores once again, and hopefully add some school visits. If the illustrator provides permission, I'll also publish coloring pages and crafts. Thankfully since this is not a seasonal book, promotion doesn't have a "deadline" (get it, Halloween, DEADline? Haha!). For Halloween Good Night I plan to pick one or two key events, publish another craft (already in the queue!), and of course the costume article mentioned above.
Authors, what have you done that has impacted your book's success? And readers, what would make you most interested in picking up a book?
It's 2018, the end of January when most New Year's Resolutions are fading into oblivion (it's amazing how busy the gym is in January, and by November it's a wasteland). Why not add a little something new?
How *I* promoted my first book, which may not be how you (or anyone else) would promote anything, but just in case you're an author with a book releases looming and you're thinking, "What the heck do I do?" you can glean inspiration from me.
I did a lot of googling, considering, wondering before I decided to make postcards to go along with my first book's release. I needed to think about time it would take to design, expense to print, ultimate usefulness. Ultimately I decided in favor of postcards, and I'm glad I did. Below discover why!
The release party for my first book happened just over a week ago now, and it was crazy! Crazy busy, crazy fun, crazy full of awesome people. A week (and a bit) later, I'm still glowing.
For Immediate Release (This is my press release!)
Counting With Globsters: Halloween Good Night is A Sweet and Not-So-Scary Educational Picture Book
July 25, 2017 Atheneum Books releases Halloween Good Night by Rebecca Grabill of Ada, Michigan
I was in a rush, running up north to pick up our farm share, running back to get dinner made before karate. And all day I'd been checking for updates on a delivery...
Today my happiness came in the form of an email from my editor at Atheneum Books. My first review for Halloween Good Night from Publishers' Weekly. Seriously?!? A starred review!
And then there were three ... books by me! It is with supreme delight that I announce Eerdmans Books for Young Readers will be publishing my picture book, Mama Earth's New Year. Yay!
The very first copies of Halloween Good Night!!
I can't believe how long it's taken me to post these photos. Actually, yes I can. I'm horribly lazy when it comes to keeping up with my online presence. What's worse is I actually like to blog and Facebook and whatnot, but these children! The chickens! The garden! My editor and agent who actually - gasp - expect me to write now and then!
I know, excuses excuses.