A Talent for Quiet
ISBN: 978-1-935137-56-6 PRINT
ISBN: 978-1-935137-57-3 E
ISBN: 978-1-935137-58-0 DVD
Copyright: February 2009
Reanie is a shy girl. She has a new step dad whose shoulders seem to fill their small house. Afraid to disappoint him, she retreats to her room whenever Bill asks her to play. But when he invites her on a photo safari in the creek, Reanie can’t resist. As the father and daughter splash through the water, they encounter many creatures. Bill teaches Reanie how to handle a camera, and her new step-dad doesn’t seem so strange anymore.
Illustrated with Kim Chatel’s photography, this is more than a story. It is a journey with Reanie as she finds her voice and her artistic talent. The back of the book includes 4 nonfiction pages about photography: a glossary of terms, tips on taking better pictures and historical tidbits about photography.
KIM CHATEL-McDOUGALL BOOK PROMOTION INTERVIEW
J. Aday: What plans do you have for promoting “A Talent for Quiet”?
Kim: For my first book, I created a detailed marketing plan that included venues for promoting, plans for events and local media that I wanted to contact. You can read about my marketing plan in Susan Stephenson's Muselings column in the Muse Marquee at http://themusemarquee.tripod.com/id351.html.
That marketing plan took me over a month to prepare. Much of that time was spent just learning what a marketing plan is. With my second picture book I already have the ground work laid out and many local contacts, but I will still follow the same plan. Here are some highlights:
- Local reading at schools and libraries.
- Media releases to local papers (highlighting the local features of this book) and to national media.
- Reviews at selected review sites
- Book trailer and website updates
- Photo contest for kids (to go with the photo theme of the book)
- Contests (even ones that you don't win bring exposure)
- Targeting niche stores (in this case photography stores)
- Google alerts
J. Aday: What has been and has not been successful promoting your books in the past? Explain the results?
Kim: I've had several people contact me after watching my trailer and wanting to stock the book in their specialty store, so I think the trailer has been successful. Also, I mentioned Google Alerts above. I get alerts for all my books titles, pen names and topics that relate to my books. When I see a blog about them, I post comments and this brings traffic to my site.
Unsuccessful promotions for me have been my own blogs (I'm not consistent enough with blogging to create traffic) and bookstore events. The few events I've done at large chain stores were fun, but I don't think they did much to promote me or my books. I did some readings and kids's parties, but mostly the parents were there for the freebies, The events have been so hectic that I wasn't able to connect with the parent. I've been much more successful at craft fairs and art shows, selling many more books and making valuable contacts.
J. Aday: How will you differ promoting a children’s picture book like “A Talent for Quiet” and a book for adults?
Kim: The main difference is the readings. For picture books, I visit schools and read the entire book to the kids. We often play a game or do a craft project in conjunction with the books. Also, both of my children's books, while fiction, have nonfiction pages at the end. So I've been able to target niche stores. My adult books are fantasy and so I've been more traditional in my marketing approach.
Also, for adult books, I spend more time in chat groups and posting excerpts on sites like Manic Readers and Novel Spotters.
J. Aday: How do you select people to review your books? How many reviews will you seek? (estimate)
Kim: I try to pick sites that seem to have honest reviews. Readers are smart and they can pick up on review sites that aren't honest. I also try to pick some reviewers that will have exposure to different markets, such as homeschool parents or grandparent groups. I will probably send out about 20 books for review by the time I'm done.
J. Aday: What types of venues do you target? (online, blogs, magazines, newspapers, etc…) What would be like a dream come true to receive a raving review from for your children’s book “A Talent for Quiet” and why?
Kim: I target mostly online venues simply because many magazines won't review books that don't have national bookstore placement. Meaning, it has to be on the shelves in major chains all across the US, for them to review it.
I once received a review for Rainbow Sheep, saying the book was a homeschool parent's dream, because it was both fiction and nonfiction and gave parents a unique craft to do with their kids. This was exactly what I wanted from this book. I try to give parents more for their money. I want to create books that both parents and kid will return to again and again. I also love to hear that my books are being used in art classes or school programs. That makes me feel like I've created something to inspire children.
J. Aday: How do you approach a local or distant book store to stock your books?
Kim: For local stores, whether it's a bookstore or a specialty store, I bring them a press kit with a poster that includes reviews, an intro letter with ordering information, a list of the different kinds of readings I can do and other promo materials like bookmarks.
For long distance bookstores, I send a postcard with book information and then follow up with a phone call.
J. Aday: Where does an author post a book trailer other than YouTube and their website?
Kim: Most of the social networking sites can accept video as well as the many writer/reader forums that are popping up (such as Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction). You can also post your trailer on Amazon as a review on your book page, but read Amazon's guidelines carefully. I always make a second trailer without url's to conform to the guidelines. TubeMogul is a new service that posts your videos to several sites at once. There are also some new sites (like my Blazing Trailers) that showcase just book trailers.
I mentioned that I don't keep a very current blog of my own, but I am often invited to post on other people's blogs. This is a good way to reach new viewers and I can often post my trailers there.
Finally, there are several less well known video sites. A simple google search will bring up a huge list. Here are some of my favorites: TeacherTube.com (kids books only), Vimeo.com, Break.com and Gather.com.
J. Aday: Why should someone choose Blazing Trailers to showcase their book trailers?
Kim: YouTube and other such media sites are a great place to get strangers to find you. Post your trailer there and you have a huge possible audience. However, if you have a newsletter or are chatting on a forum, and you want to invite someone to view your trailer, Blazing Trailers offers much more for your viewer. Each trailer page has a blurb, excerpt, review publishing info and links to author and publisher website. And most important, after viewing your trailer, the viewer has the opportunity to buy the book immediately. This is important. On a video site there is no immediate click through to a buy page and those all important impulse purchase could be lost.
Besides, Blazing Trailers is free for authors and it's serious fun. There are little quirks hiding on every page and more in the works. We think that books should be fun and we're trying to keep to this theme.
I should mention that the site is still under construction. The 'Sumbit a Trailer' page is not yet live, so anyone who wants to post a trailer should email me at email@example.com
J. Aday: What else can you tell us about book promotion?
Kim: Book promotion takes a lot of time. It is exhausting, sometimes exhilarating, other times depressing. I think authors shouldn't get so caught up in promotion that they put aside new writing. Your best marketing tool is your next book. The more books you have out there, the more name recognition you'll have.
Also, name branding is as important as sales, especially for new authors. It's easy to fall into the trap of judging a promotion by how many books you sell. Sales are not always a good meter. For instance, I often read at libraries and don't sell any books. But all the parents at those readings will remember me. Online promotions can work the same way. Get your name out there. Comment on other people's blogs, enter free contests, post articles. Each time your name appears, the might search engines will remember.
Free site for authors to showcase book trailers and readers to browse for books.