In this open discussion webinar, learn from the experts at BookBaby about book cover design, book marketing on social media, and how the self-publishing process works with BookBaby.
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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
Are you a good candidate for self-publishing or should you consider traditional or hybrid? Carol Saller gives her advice on the different routes to publishing, tips for self-publishing, tips for submitting to an agent, and more.
Just when Carol Saller thought her publishing journey had reached a dead end, she stumbled upon the unexpected twist that would change everything. But what she discovered about self-publishing will surprise you. Are you ready to hear her story?
If you're in a hurry to get your book out, self-publishing allows you to move ahead and take control. – Carol Saller
When considering self-publishing, it's important to understand the various types of writers who may benefit from this route.
About Carol Saller:
Carol Saller’s books include The Subversive Copy Editor and several books for children. A career copyeditor at the University of Chicago Press, she now serves as contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style and writes for the manual’s Shop Talk blog. In the past, she was a senior editor of children’s books for Front Street/Cricket Books.
To help writers understand the writer-editor relationship and prepare their manuscripts for submission, Carol has given keynotes, sessions, and workshops at national, regional, and local conferences, serving as faculty at Novelists, Inc., Midwest Writers Workshop, and the Willamette Writers Conference. She guest lectures for the University of Chicago Graham School’s publishing program and has appeared on Chicago’s PBS news program Chicago Tonight as well as at writers' events, bookstores, panels, webinars, and workshops on writing, editing, and publishing.
Carol’s young adult historical novel Eddie’s War was named a Best Book of the Year by Bankstreet and Kirkus Reviews, and a Best of the Best Fiction for Teens by the Chicago Public Library. Her picture book The Bridge Dancers received the Carl Sandburg Award for Children’s Literature. George Washington Carver was a NCSS/CBC Notable, and Pug, Slug, and Doug the Thug was a main feature on PBS Storytime television. Now in its second edition, The Subversive Copy Editor was Publishers Weekly Online’s starred “Pick of the Week.”
In this episode, you will learn to:
Uncover the advantages and drawbacks of self-publishing compared to traditional publishing.
Emphasize the significance of quality, copy-editing, and book design in the realm of self-publishing.
Grasp essential marketing expertise for self-publishing and grammatical knowledge needed for traditional publishing.
Recognize the importance of adhering to submission guidelines and the role of copy editors.
Discover the valuable insights within The Chicago Manual of Style on writing and style.
Preparing a Manuscript
A crucial element of both traditional and self-publishing is creating a polished, professional manuscript. This involves careful editing, proofreading, formatting, and ensuring that the work adheres to the chosen style guide. The author should also research the submission guidelines for the target publisher or platform to ensure their manuscript complies with those standards. By taking the time to properly prepare the manuscript, writers increase the chances that their work will be well-received and taken seriously by publishers or readers. During her conversation with Alexa Bigwarfe, Carol Saller discusses the importance of a good copy editor in improving the readability and consistency of a manuscript. She points out that copy editors can also provide formatting services upon request, ultimately helping the author prepare their work for submission. Carol further emphasizes the significance of following the recipient's guidelines when submitting, as failure to do so can result in a negative impression. She also suggests having others read the manuscript prior to submission to ensure it is polished and consistent with the chosen style.
Examine the key differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing in terms of benefits and limitations.
Recognize the crucial role of quality, copy-editing, and appealing book design in successful self-publishing.
Develop essential marketing and grammatical skills to conquer both the self-publishing and traditional publishing worlds.
Explore the value of following submission guidelines and utilizing the skills of copy editors.
00:04:08 – Five Categories of Writers for Self-Publishing, Carol Saller discusses the five types of writers who are good candidates for self-publishing: celebrities/social media stars, business owners, writers of genre fiction, writers who want to print a book for personal reasons, and writers who are in a hurry.
00:09:45 – Factors to Consider, Carol Saller mentions additional factors that should be considered when deciding between traditional and self-publishing, such as the need for tech support, desire for cachet, and the difficulty of marketing quiet literary fiction.
00:17:34 – Formatting in Manuscripts, Copy editors often offer formatting services or as an add-on service. Manuscripts require proper formatting to easily convert into the coded product. It is important to ask if a copy editor includes formatting and negotiate this service.
00:20:05 – Mistakes in Manuscript Preparation, Not researching the recipient's guidelines is a big mistake. It shows a lack of respect and professionalism. Always follow formatting conventions, such as double spacing, page numbers, and using a standard font. Have your work read and edited by others for consistency and readability.
Maximize Your Chances for Success by Learning How to Publish Like a Pro
Self-publishing no longer means uploading a file to KDP and calling it a day. You can make your book stand out by following industry standards for publishing, and that's what we'll cover in this workshop.
In this live workshop with Alexa Bigwarfe, you will learn:
How to do a keyword research deep dives
How to load your book to KDP
How to navigate IngramSpark
Why we use both KDP and IngramSpark
All About ISBNs
All about Imprints
By the end of this workshop, you will be equipped to publish your book like a pro, and ensure that your book stands out from all the other self-published books on the market today.
I don’t think anyone who found her way to the Women in Publishing Summit blog is going to be shocked to hear that “writing is hard.” It’s one of those things that we take for granted. That it’s an art that takes practice, honing, sharpening. And as women, we so often find ourselves short on time or space to do that work. When so much of the unpaid labor of having a family and keeping a home running falls on us, how can we have the freedom to create, too?
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I’m also so grateful that they’ve once again committed to support women authors in another way: by joining us as a Silver Sponsor for the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit.
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How can I learn more about ProWritingAid?
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