Presented by Women in Publishing Summit sponsor, BookFunnel
Building Your Book Funnel with BookFunnel!
Have you already published your first book? Have you created your book funnel for those so-important first readers?
If not, let Damon Courtney, CEO of BookFunnel, walk you through it. We'll go over how to get started with a really simple marketing set up that you really should have in place before that first book. With a few simple steps you can be ready to grab those new readers and turn them into superfans.
And, don't worry if you've already published a book (or more!), you should still work on getting your marketing in place. There's no time like the present to get started!
Many aspiring authors struggle to find the right marketing strategies that resonate with their target audience and result in increased visibility and sales. Without a clear plan and effective resources, the process of marketing can be time-consuming and discouraging.
We're talking about children's books! Not only the importance of Social Emotional Learning and teaching that to children, but also self-publishing vs. trad for children's book authors, and tips from author Sheryl Bass.
Self-publishing has really leveled the playing field for regular folks to get out there if they've got a story in them that they want told. – Sheryl Bass
About Sheryl Bass:
Sheryl Bass holds a master’s degree in Social Work and has studied child development. She uses these insights to inform her picture book writing. Sheryl also holds a master’s degree in Journalism and is currently working in public relations. Her goal in creating Be-Kind Publishing is to produce lighthearted rhyming stories with gentle themes of teamwork and friendship. Sheryl resides just outside of Chicago, IL with her husband and two terriers.
In this episode, we covered:
SEL or social emotional learning and why it is important to teach it to children
Pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing from a self-published author perspective
Tips for children's book authors
The Importance of SEL in Children's Books
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a crucial aspect of children's development that helps them understand and manage their emotions, cultivate healthy relationships, and develop empathy. Addressing SEL in children's books allows the young readers to learn valuable life skills that will serve them well in their personal and professional lives as they grow older. The incorporation of SEL themes in children's literature like teamwork, accountability, and empathy fosters emotional literacy and develops essential communication skills. In the conversation with Sheryl Bass, she explains her background in social work and journalism, which led her to passionately believe in the importance of social emotional learning being included in children's books. Her stories focus on themes such as teamwork and friendship through whimsical narratives that captivate young readers. Such books aim to provide a solid foundation for children to develop critical emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
Join SCBWI and Children's Book Insider for resources, conferences, webinars, and contests.
Consider using April Cox's Write Publish Sell program for guidance in self-publishing.
Look into Bobby Hindman's editing services for rhyme and meter in children's picture books.
Use Facebook groups for finding editors and other resources.
Visit Laura Bonchi Bontje for developmental editing to find holes in your story.
Utilize vendors recommended by April Cox for finding an illustrator.
Consider self-publishing for creative control over your book.
Purchase an ISBN code for your book.
Upload your manuscript into the Library of Congress.
Use focus groups for feedback on illustrations and character design.
00:06:23 – Self-Publishing and Working with Editors, Cheryl shares her experience with self-publishing and working with editors, including the invaluable guidance of April Cox and the importance of finding editors through Facebook groups. She emphasizes the importance of creative control and finding the right illustrator.
00:11:56 – Finding Editors and the Importance of Developmental Edits, Cheryl discusses the importance of finding the right editor for a developmental edit, which can help find holes in a story and improve its overall structure. She emphasizes the importance of finding editors through Facebook groups and other resources.
00:14:46 – Marketing Children's Books, Sheryl Bass gives insights on marketing children's books. She recommends hiring a PR professional specializing in books and authors. She shares tips on promoting books, identifying relevant awards, book reviewers and podcasts, and using ads on Amazon and Facebook. She also shares her experience using Pubby Co, a resource to review other authors' books and get reviews of your own.
00:23:25 – Traditional Marketing for Children's Books, Alexa and Sheryl discuss the challenges of marketing children's books and how it differs from other genres. They agree that traditional marketing involves going out and getting in front of the community, such as school events, fairs, and author events. They suggest that authors consider hiring a PR expert who has the media contacts to help them get on the news and reach parents and teachers.
00:24:56 – Libraries as a Resource, Sheryl shares that she purchased a database from Eric, who wrote a book on how to get your book into libraries. She plans to send a letter about her book to librarians throughout the US, which can be a great resource for selling books. Alexa suggests that going into schools, doing readings, and creating bookmarks with graphics from your book can also help promote it.
00:26:13 – Creating a Sequel, Sheryl shares that she is working on a sequel to her first book and how it can help sell more copies of the first book. Once readers are invested in the characters and their adventures, they are more likely to buy
Join Alexa Bigwarfe for a VIP Day focused on developing YOUR content marketing strategy to grow your audience and help you sell more books, coaching, courses, and so forth.
This VIP Day is limited to TEN people so we can get personal and Alexa can offer individualized feedback!
In this VIP Day, you'll receive a combination of masterclass content delivery, 1:1 coaching, and skill building.
Content marketing 101 – What to create, when, how, and why? (and how to grow your audience in the process)
Live coaching through creating a content marketing strategy – which isn't as scary or complex as it sounds!
Determining the best topics to write content about & making sure they are reaching the correct audience – plus, the strategy to convert these to leads / build your email list
Each attendee will get a “hot seat” 1:1 coaching experience that all attendees can learn from.
You'll leave with a plan for your content marketing strategy and plenty of ideas on what to write about and how to promote it.
Bonuses include: Workshop on AI tools and how to use them to enhance your content marketing, sample editorial calendar & social media calendar posting.
Alexa Bigwarfe is a USA Today best-selling author and the founder and CEO of Write|Publish|Sell, a company dedicated to helping authors professionally self-publish and market their books. Her courses and training focus on author platform growth and creative ways to market books. Alexa is the founder of Write|Publish|Sell, Kat Biggie Press, Purple Butterfly Press, Chrysalis Press, and the Women in Publishing Summit.
Join Alexa Bigwarfe for the how, why, and the key tools to sell your book from your website – or directly from a sales cart – bypassing third party sites and earning more + building your email list.
By the end of this webinar you'll know: 1 – Why you should sell a book direct 2 – What the process / steps are to sell a book on your website or directly from a sales cart 3 – What tools you need to do it 4 – Fulfillment options and post sale activities 5 – Ideas for how to get others to sell your book for you
If you can't join live, the replay will be available!
Do you want to write stories that inspire change and promote inclusivity? Are you eager to learn how to create engaging content that addresses social justice issues?
Sherry Paris never could have predicted the impact a group of high school students would have on her life. As an educator and author, she collaborated with these young leaders on sensitivity training for middle schoolers, delving into complex issues such as racism and sexism. What she found was a group of passionate, insightful individuals who would inspire her to create books that engage readers of all ages in these crucial conversations. Sherry's unexpected journey taught her the power of young voices in advocating for change and challenging societal norms. But what happens when we empower these young leaders? The answer lies within the pages of her inspiring books.
From the student leaders. Elise says, I think the basis of a lot of social justice is being compassionate towards yourself and others. Love and compassion are a really radical thing that people underestimate all the time. – Sherry Paris
Join Sherry in a quest for inclusivity and social justice as she shares her tips on empowering young people to create a better world through their writing, while navigating the challenges of ageism, marginalization, and polarized times.
About Sherry Paris:
Meet Sherry Paris, an experienced educator and author dedicated to promoting social justice and inclusivity through her work. For the past 20 years, Sherry has successfully collaborated with young individuals as a diversity trainer, helping create a culture of acceptance and allyship in various communities. She is the brains behind the creative workbooks You Can Make a Difference and Being a Super Trans Ally, inspiring a new generation of activists and allies. Sherry Paris' work focuses on uplifting voices from all backgrounds and encouraging positive change through self-expression and understanding.
In this episode, we covered:
Why Sherry wrote You Can Make a Difference! A Creative Workbook and Journal for Young Activists and included interviews with four student leaders
Why this book is needed now (all actions by people of all ages are more important than ever!)
How to empower others through your writing
How she created and sustains a supportive container for writing (making writing and illustrating a sanctuary space/ritual)
Tips for authors who want to be more inclusive in their writing
How to be the beacon of love for marginalized people
Creating a Supportive Container for Writing
Sherry shares her tips for creating and sustaining a supportive container for writing and illustrating, including creating a space and routine, practicing self-care, and collaborating with others. She emphasizes the importance of knowing your why and allowing creativity to flow. By creating a supportive container for writing and illustrating, authors can cultivate an environment that nurtures creativity, sustains motivation, and encourages personal growth. Sherry's tips emphasize the balance between discipline and self-care, collaboration and individuality, and purpose-driven creativity, all of which contribute to a fulfilling and productive creative journey.
Delve into the power of inclusive writing and its impact on social justice.
Explore the essence of encouraging ally action and cultivating a welcoming environment.
Recognize the importance of self-preservation and drive in the realm of activism.
Acquire knowledge on protecting oneself professionally in the fields of writing and consulting.
Comprehend the necessity of empowering the youth to acknowledge and appreciate diversity for a better future.
00:01:56 – Why the Book is Needed Now, Sherry talks about the importance of the book and the need for young people to be affirmed in who they are and empowered to take action towards social justice. She shares quotes from student leaders who were interviewed for the book and highlights the importance of compassion, support systems, and motivation in making a difference.
00:12:33 – Marketing and Business, Sherry discusses her marketing strategy for You Can Make a Difference, including co-presenting with student leaders at a queer and trans resource center and a book and business launch. She also shares her process for creating an LLC to protect herself as an author and educator in these polarized times.
00:18:05 – Tips for Authors, Sherry provides tips for authors, emphasizing the need for writers to educate themselves by learning and unlearning about diversity topics, including sensitivity readers for their manuscripts. She also recommends paying marginalized people for their labor and being a beacon of love for marginalized communities.
00:23:11 – Where to Find Sherry's Books, Sherry invites people to consider buying her books from bookshop.org, which is a public good company that donates or offers proceeds to independent booksellers. She also shares that her books, Being a Super Trans Ally and You Can Make a Difference, are creative workbooks sold anywhere books are sold and include affirming illustrations that she drew. She encourages people to get her books into the hands of schools, guidance counselors, and libraries.