Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christmas in July with Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Promoting Your Seasonal Book Year Round
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Just for the record, I love Christmas. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I embrace the season with all that’s in me. It wasn’t any surprise, then, that my first published book, Little Shepherd, was a retelling of the Christmas story.
Books with a holiday tie-in are wonderful because buyers looking for new ways to present seasonal topics are apt to purchase them. That said, when the holiday has come and gone, sales can drift away. This meant when I put together my marketing plan for Little Shepherd, I had to think about what I would do the other 9 months out of the year to promote it.
Here are some things that I’ve tried since the year started:
Writing Workshops
With dwindling budgets and greater expectations, educators are often looking for professional writers to visit their classrooms. I spent several days this year in the classroom running workshops on creating characters and story building. I didn’t talk much about my book specifically, but I can tell you that at Open House I walked down the hallway and one of my daughter’s classmates pointed and said to her parents, “That’s Sarah’s mom. She writes kid’s books.”
Being involved is very important for authors. As someone who works in book promotion, it pains me when an author spends money to promote her book and then drops off the face of the planet. It takes so much energy to drum up a following, why waste it?
By staying active in your community, you will have the chance to share your book with others. Whether I was at book fairs, volunteering at the library, or helping out at church, there have been chances to tell others about Little Shepherd.
Blogging and Guest Blogging
I’m a huge fan of blogging. I know it’s not for everyone, but so many people tell me they have found me on the Internet, and I have to credit it to blogging.
I went on a virtual book tour (VBT) last year to promote my book. I created a blog designed to help promote my VBT stops and posted to it nearly every day during the three and half months I toured. Now I use it to announce guest blogging spots and to talk about other kid’s books.
Look for opportunities to blog at a variety of sites. Short articles can go a long way in exposing more readers to your work. You can email bloggers directly or try using social media to let people know you’re willing to be a special guest.
Market Your Books to Libraries and Organizations
I subscribe to a blog run by Books & Such Literary Agency. Last year they launched a product known as Library Insider™. It is a two-part program that helps authors market their books to libraries. I’m using this product to redesign my marketing plan for 2011. Libraries and independent bookstores are usually eager to spread the word about local authors. Don’t be shy in getting to know them.
Part of my new marketing plan is sharing Little Shepherd with churches and Christian schools in the area. Think about what organizations might be interested in your book. You never know what might develop.
Promoting seasonal books isn’t much different than promoting a book without a holiday tie-in. Though the majority of your marketing might come during a specific time of year, it’s important to keep talking about your book and looking for new ways to share it with potential readers all year long.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. She is also a regular contributor for the Writer2Writer eZine. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl online at her newly redesigned website at or at any of her blogs:

Today's giveaways are provided by Cheryl Malandrinos.

(1) paperback copy of Little Shepherd

This one will be available for U.S. mailing only

(1) PDF copy of Little Shepherd

This one will be available to Canada and International only


Allyn Stotz said...

Wow, wonderful information, Cheryl. I've just gotten my first picture book published, it's not a holiday one though, but I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to promote it. You've given me some good info to work with. I'm definitely going to look into the blog Books & Such Literary Agency.
Goodluck with Little Shepherd!

Karen Cioffi said...

Cheryl, this is such useful information. I'll be starting getting in touch with schools for visits - I'll also ask if they'd like workshops.

And, you're so right about blogging. Clients usually find me through my articles.

Cheryl said...

Great to hear it, Allyn. How exciting. Congrats on your book!

Sorry I've been slow to get out here this morning. We're finally back home after recent storms left the area without power since Tuesday.

I'm off to promote this now.

Thanks for having me here today, Susanne.


Marlena Cassidy said...

These are great tips, Cheryl! Thank you for sharing them! Best of luck with Little Sheperd and anything else you want to write!

V.R. Leavitt said...

Another excellent post, Cheryl!! :-)Great information here.

Donea Lee said...

Interesting article, thanks! :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Super article, Cheryl. You're one busy writer. Good luck with your plans for Little Shepherd, one of my favorite books.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm glad you found this article helpful.


J. Aday Kennedy's Brain Fart Explosion said...

Tjhanks for the info mChryl. This is greatn info.

Lynda R Young said...

I can imagine it would be difficult to promote outside of its intended season. Great tips!

Nancy Stewart said...

Great tips, Cheryl, as usual. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the info!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne and Cheryl .. these tips are invaluable .. we should be out there helping others - authors or not ..

Fun - thanks - Hilary

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm glad you liked the article. Congrats to those who won.

All my best,



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