Tips to market your own book  (English)


Yes, that´s me shamelessly taking a shot of my book by the Big Ben.

As I have discussed in previous posts, the editor and I go through some phases like choosing the cover designs, checking spelling mistakes and deciding last minute size changes in order to respect the illustrations as a whole as much as possible. Once the whole "package" is ready, it is sent to the printer. 

The printer takes around 6 to 8 weeks to produce a sample. You go crazy. Suddenly the email flow with your editor stops and you wonder where your precious book is. Now you just have to wait. And I am terrible at waiting. So what I decided to do is to start designing merch. If you are in a publishing house that prints your book and distributes it to different bookshops but leaves the promo to you, here are a few tips on how to move it: 

1) Stickers. 

Everybody likes stickers, especially little kids. My picture book is aimed at 4 to 6 year old readers, so that´s game. I design my stickers through Sticker Mule. The relation price-quality is really good and their customer service is very human (you don't feel like you are dealing with a standard email or a machine).

I have to sell 50 pictures books at the launching event so the deal with my publishing house doesn't cost me money. So I try to make the offer more attractive and stickers are a good way to delight my potential readers. I myself am very tight when spending money in merch as it does come from my pocket, so I ordered 50 big stickers and 100 small stickers. (Sticker Mule has many promotions, so the 50 stickers where really cheap. I also got packaging tape for free, so go check them!)

Here are the 2 stickers I designed:

Photos taken with my phone, which doesn´t have a really good camera. I will try to post better photos of the stickers.

2) Book trailer. 

Luckily, Animation was part of my degree and postgrad (Fine Arts and Professional illustration) so I could develop a book trailer by myself. Being my own boss is cool. If you make a book trailer by yourself, the big advantage is that you know exactly what you want to show and how you want to visually narrate it. Actually you can just make a book trailer by introducing some pages in Movie Maker, recording your voice on your computer and putting it all together with the program. 

3) Photoshoots. 

Ok, this was once I got my sample book. But still, it also works. Make sure to take good pictures in beautiful surroundings. It´s VERY important to present your book as if it was the new iPhone. I was lucky my sample picture book arrived a day before I was going to London on a family trip, so I took it with me. You must have seen it on my social media; I have pictures with my book at the Big Ben and a full reportage of it with all the beautiful flowers at Hyde Park. For my book this made sense; nature and parks are an important element of the story, so look what fits yours.

The sample book I received is not the final book, as we are going to make some changes BUT it was good enough to start making some promo material. There are many pages that will not change and just a badge on the cover will be placed slightly more to the center but that is just it. It is good enough to start. 

And remember, it is always going to be best if you put something out there. Better a bad quality picture than nothing.

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