Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two things every middle grade author should do

It can be hard to figure out where your money is best spent when it comes to promotional activities.

I did a checklist and timeline a year or two ago to help authors organize those activities. You can find that HERE.

But two things I've discovered over the past year I wanted to share here, in regards to middle grade novels.

First - a reading/discussion guide is one of the BEST things you can do for your book. I paid to have one done for It's Raining Cupcakes, because I wasn't sure what went into one and I wanted to make sure it was done well. For Sprinkles and Secrets, I decided to try and do one on my own. As I got into it, I found it wasn't really that hard, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Check with your publisher too - they may be willing to do one for you!

Because I'm using a web site that doesn't allow for documents to be uploaded, I state in a couple of different places on my site to drop me an e-mail and I'll send the document along that way.

I'm actually glad now that I did it this way, and here's why. When a teacher or parent or book club member e-mails me, I can reply with the document she's requested for AND ask if she'd like some signed bookmarks to give out at the meeting or event. They seem to really love that I do this.

(By the way, I get a lot of mother-daughter book clubs requesting my discussion guide. Do you know how happy this makes me? VERY happy!)

Which leads me to the second thing I think you should do if you're publishing a middle grade novel. Have bookmarks made! I can't find a digital copy of the ones I had done with both covers on the front, but here are the ones I had made before It's Raining Cupcakes came out.

Anytime someone e-mails you about the book, offer to send some. Especially if you've written a series - as soon as you have the cover for the second book, get bookmarks made with both books and send them to everyone you can. This way, they have a visual that lets them know there's a second book coming. (Make sure to list the release date of that second book too).

As far as where to get bookmarks made? I LOVE Ask for Kelly - she's great!


  1. Great ideas, Lisa. I can't wait to have a reason to worry about that stuff!

  2. Ditto what Rebecca said. =) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you, Lisa for always sharing your tips with us newbs. You're very generous (and SMART).

  4. Thanks - I'll bookmark that bookmark sight (for my - one day...)

  5. I can definitely agree on the bookmarks thing! My girls got autographed ones from you and they LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Honestly, almost more than the autographed book they won from you, believe it or not. I guess because they can use it with every book they read. So thanks so much for that!

    Oh and thanks for coming by my blog today and the congratulations. You know I adore you, so having you come by just made my day! I may email you a few times over the next few months for some perspective and sanity lol.