No one ever told me that publishing a children's picture book would be hard work. It took me completely by surprise.
Most writers know that everything about writing is challenging...
coming up with a story idea
crafting query letters
the jealousy that creeps in when you compare yourself to published writers,
If we are able to work through all of that and stay positive and determined, good things will happen. And before you know it, your book will get published and you'll be signing a contract. But when it happens...HOLD ON. The roller coaster ride of even more hard work begins.
After signing with a publisher, you have to start thinking about how you are going to market your book. If you publish with a mid-size publisher or a Big Five publisher, they will do a lot of the publicity for you. Still, you'll need to market the book some. And if you go with a small press like I have, you will have even more work to do because small presses don't have the resources to promote writers like the bigger publishing houses.
Sure, it seems glamorous to publish a book. But there's a lot to be done after your book is released. That's why writers should think about marketing NOW, before you sign a contract. Begin to develop your platform. Get on social media and join Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Develop a website. You'll be glad you did because you will be getting your name out there and creating a fan base.
Trying to figure this whole marketing thing out is daunting, but if you can take care of some of the work ahead of time, you won't feel so frenzied. That way, many months before your book is released, you can spend time organizing book signings, designing bookmarks, sending out email blast announcements and doing other creative things needed to spread the word.
Marketing is amazingly time-consuming. The nice thing is, you can google and research marketing a children's book to find out how others went about it. Start thinking about what you can do now, so you won't be taken by surprise when it comes time to promote your work.