Saturday, July 31, 2010

DESPERATE DILEMMA Fuels the Promotion of 9th Picture Book.

Okay folks, this is my Desperate Dilemma
Knee surgery grounded me for the last 6 months of this year, and I can see no end in sight. My 9 th. picture book is just out, and my 10th book, a mid-grade adventure for boys, is due for publication.

My Dilemma:
How to promote these two books from the seat of my pants
- literally! Pilots fly planes by the seat of
their pants, but authors must have
two good legs to get out
there and SELL!!

This means that between countless daily exercises, I sit at my computer and scrounge for ways of putting "Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind" on bookstore shelves, in children's hands, and on the minds of children's relatives as possible gifts.

My damaged knee gets a rest, but trying to
"sell" by the seat of my pants
really DOES give me
a pain in the ass!

I have Twittered and Tweated endlessly. "Ruthie" and I are Facebook regulars. Even Linkedin and JacketFlap have "Ruthie" posts galore. I sent Press Releases to Indie Bookstores, hoping they might bite: no takers so far. I had friends and relatives phone some of these bookstores, asking for "Ruthie," just to give them a nudge in the right direction.

I even sent specially designed Press Releases to
Realtors and Moving Companies, because Google Alerts told me "Ruthie" showed up on a few of their sites - due to the MOVING theme - ZERO response.

All the children's writing lists I am on receive notes about my "Ruthie" Blog posts, and I am religious about "pinging" after every Blog entry. Newspapers have received their own Press Releases.

Home Schooling lists are in my sights as well. To top it off, I have a bunch of terrific reviews posted on Amazon,
Powel's, my website, and elsewhere.

I have done BookTours for previous books, with no noticeable upsurge in sales - though they did get the title and my name out there. Maybe I need to go this route once more - for "Ruthie's" sake.

So , with desperation kicking in, on Friday I blogged on HOOK KIDS on READING -
(the entry just below this one)

I offered FREE copies of "Ruthie" for some comments, + a coloring sheet, bookmark , and a personalized autograph for those who bought "Ruthie' from my website. So far there are just 2 comments - and one is my answer to the first. YIKES!!!

What's an author do for sales ideas,
when she is stuck behind a desk
without a leg (again literally)
t0 stand on?

Everyone who reads "Ruthie" loves it - the wonderful illos by K.C Snider, the pink hippo, even the rhyming story. And the parent-teacher guide helps kids and parents deal with the big changes in their lives - like those in Ruthie's life.

I want this fun book, with its helpful message, to make kids giggle. I want them to remember the rhyming verses and root for the pink hippo. I want them to learn that change is not always bad - it can be fun, adventure, or a wonderful new experience.

I KNOW it could become a favorite book if only . . .


Pink Hippo's of the world UNITE!!

Show me how to sell you to . . .


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

Did I mention "Ruthie," and that scene stealing Hippo's Fat Behind?



  1. Have you sent press releases to local papers? Zoos?

  2. Margot if you come up with some ideas will you post them? I'm always looking for new ways to promote. Have you thought about an app for the iphone?

  3. Yes Janet, I have done that - I mentioned it in the blog. Not the ZOO though. Our Zoo never responds to letters or e-mails, and they never return my phone calls. I have sent them Press Releases before - zip!!

    Jill, I wasn't so much looking for new ideas, as i was commenting on how little return I got for all the work I put into this promotion. I offered 2 free books + authgraphed copies in THIS post, and all I got was comments form you two wonderful ladies.

    I am deluged with promo e=mails and promo blogs every day in my IN box. I guess there is just too much of it coming into our collective mail boxes and people just delete without really reading the stuff.

    So much for promoting books via blogs and writing lists.

    I rhank you both for reading my post and taking the time to reply.

    Margot Finke

  4. Margot, you have certainly been doing all the right things. Part of what makes a book successful is word of mouth. People buy them, enjoy them and tell others, who do the same and they buy them for gifts. It's hard to get the ball rolling, but hopefully it will soon with Ruthie and you'll be making more sales. The economy has really slowed down people's spending, and I keep hoping, as everyone does, that it will improve.

  5. Connie, I am sure you are right.
    Let's hope "Ruthie" and her pink hippo strike a chord in those who read it - and the word spreads. . . .

    Jo Rowlings did it. Hey, what has she got that I haven't? Oh, lots of adverbs, magic, Hogwarts, and of course ALL those fabulous characters.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques