Most writers would never claim to be a marketing expert. A lot of writers even cringe at the idea of having to toot their own horn and help promote their own work. But it comes with the privilege of being able to call yourself an author so here are some things to consider when you're gearing up for your book's release and those future author visits. Just make sure to use your own judgment when deciding whether or not to use any of these suggestions.
BOOK AWARDS (It adds credibility to your work if you are lucky enough to win one.)
Readers Favorite International Book Award Contest...https://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award...
Eric Hoffer Awards...http://www.hofferaward.com/
Indie Book Awards...http://www.indiebookawards.com/entryform.php
Beverly Hills Book Awards...http://www.beverlyhillsbookawards.com/rules-beverlyhills-book-awards.html
Indie Reader's Discovery Awards...http://indiereader.com/authorservices/indiereader-discovery-awards/
Parents' Choice Awards...http://www.parents-choice.org/callforentries/book.cfm
The National Indie Excellence Book Awards...http://www.indieexcellence.com/index.html
SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant...http://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/work-in-progress-grants/
Writers Digest Book Awards...http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
Paris Book Festival...http://www.parisbookfestival.com/
Purple Dragonfly Book Awards... http://www.fivestarpublications.com/bookcontest/pd_book_contest.html
New York Book Festival...http://www.newyorkbookfestival.com/
Hollywoood Book Festival...http://www.hollywoodbookfestival.com/next.asp
SCBWI Book Launch Award...www.scbwi.org/awards/book-launch-grant/
Nautilus Book Awards...http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
Royal Dragonfly Book Awards...http://www.fivestarpublications.com/bookcontest/rd_book_contest.html
Moms Choice Awards...http://www.momschoiceawards.com/about-us/
Story Monsters Approved Program...http://www.fivestarpublications.net/storymonsters/approved_books
Creative Child Awards...http://www.creativechild.com/awards-program
BLOGGERS WHO DO BOOK REVIEWS (Whether they love it or leave it, bloggers who do book reviews help spread the word about your book. No one will ever love every book they pick up but if you've written a strong story, most will have nice things to say about it.)
A. F. Stewarat...http://www.afstewartblog.blogspot.com
Chodi Kid Books...http://chodikidbooks.blogspot.com/
I'm A Full Time Mummy...http://www.imafulltimemummy.com/
Book Room Reviews...http://www.bookroomreviews.com/
BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES (Maybe you have a unique question not covered by this post. Check out some other great marketing resources.)
Book Marketing Buzz Blog...http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/where-to-get-book-reviews.html
Book Marketing Buzz Blog...http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/2015-book-marketing-pr-toolkit.html
Toni Buzzeo & Jane Kurtz...TERRIFIC CONNECTIONS WITH AUTHORS, ILLUSTRATORS, AND STORYTELLERS
D'vorah Lansky's website..www.bookmarketingmadeeasy.com
Denise Wakeman & Ellen Britt...www.thefutureofink.com
SWAG (In case you didn't know, swag is that promotional stuff you give away at conferences, school visits, through contests, etc.)
Jenny Soskey's post about ordering swag...http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-order-company-swag-ht
Next Day Flyers...http://www.nextdayflyers.com/
Business Cards Flyers Banners... http://businesscardsflyersbanners.com/
Moo Mini Cards...http://us.moo.com/products/minicards.html
CONTESTS (EVERYONE likes winning things but you want YOUR contest to be memorable.)
Having a contest where someone "likes" your author page for a chance to win an autographed copy of your book is one way to get new readers. That's always nice, but there are other contest possibilities either online or through your author visits:
1. Have an school-wide art contest before an author visit. Offer to have a certain number of winners...maybe one winner per grade...and the winners can have lunch with the author in the school cafeteria or maybe even a picnic in the library.
2. Have an online contest for young writers to write their own story. Provide a picture prompt, post some of the entries (without names) on your blog and have your readers vote. Give a prize away for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place.
3. Do a 'pay it forward' contest where people take a picture of themselves with a librarian as they donate a new book to the library's inventory. Authors can donate their own books and readers can donate one of their favorites. Place the names in a hat and draw a winner for either a copy of your book or maybe an Amazon gift card so they can buy themselves anther book.
4. If your book is nonfiction, have a school contest for coolest poster made by a student either on your book itself or the subject matter. Give out a small prize for 1st and 2nd place.
5. This next possibility can be for either online or through the classroom. Start a MAD LIB contest about your main character. Create a very simple story where your main character has an adventure. Leave plenty of areas blank where participants have the chance to get really wild with their descriptive words. Give a prize out for the funniest, weirdest, most creative, etc.
Marketing and promoting ideas can be endless. All it takes is a creative imagination and we writers have THAT in spades!