Friday, February 25, 2011

How do we reeech dees Keeds?

Hola all!

As the countdown to the Big Day (the release of POSSUM SUMMER! Have you PREORDERED yet? HA!) arrives, I find that my marketing that I do for myself has concentrated and narrowed down, because of one question:

How best to reach my target audience?

As I write MG, my set of kids aren't normally online the way that I think most us writer types are. And their moms and dads have lives that normally revolve around them ... taking to sports, hobbies, school, and so on. It's conceivable to think that these kids receive their book information from a) librarians b) their parents and c) possibly bookstores/online/etc as a distant third. So as it got closer and closer and I reviewed my marketing efforts for the release I thought about how I reech dees keeds -- >

And just for you followers of Project Mayhem? A free signed POSSUM SUMMER for the first person to comment that knows who exactly said that phrase.

On the 15th my book comes out.

And on the 15th I release my Major Idea (tm) on the world, with the hope that I can reach some serious kids with it (of course I'll talk about it here!) And, if you're interested, we can do a review of my marketing ideas at that time. I'll know how it's going by then.

But let me go on. What I'd very much like to know from you, my Dear Reader, is how do you find out about books? Ask around. Think about that particular family that you know that doesn't live online (do you know anybody like that? I wonder if I do!) How do they hear about them?


  1. I think that parents who are into books do some of the research to find their kids books that they'll connect to. Some parents might rely on teachers or librarians, or friends who have Middle Grade aged kids. Just some hard data to back this up. I'll be interested to see how you targeted your marketing.

  2. I write MG as well and you're absolutely right that online marketing just doesn't work as well for that age group. A big part of it, I think, is word-of-mouth. And, if all else fails, going door to door. :-)

  3. From author Jon R. Parker..Cartman said it!!!!!

    as for me with my childrens picture books coming soon.... I contacted every school in my tri-state area and told them of my books, and offered to do speaking events and asked about putting my books in their classrooms and libraries... My childrens books are about how a kid with adhd,add, etc. like my son, get into trouble, try to fit in, learning from mistakes etc.

  4. I religiously cruise the new releases section of my local bookstore and libraries. You can find so many fabulous new reads!

  5. Anonymous, you won! It was CARTMAN! (And how awesome was that btw?)

    Email me at jaekaebee (at)GMAIL dotCOM and I'll get you set up!


    Paul, I'll share it as soon as I can.

    Anna, I like the door to door idea. Too bad I live in Berlin, Germany. Ha!

  6. My first middle grade novel, The Well of Sacrifice, is still in print 10 years later mainly because teachers have picked it up for classroom use when they do segments on the Maya. That kind of happened organically, and I imagine once some school started using it, other teachers heard about it. But if you have a good classroom connection, reaching teachers can help. Which brings up the question of how do you reach teachers....

  7. I think being an MG writer, it's much easier to have your pulse on things, simply because we're so connected on-line to everything MG going on. I would have to guess it's much harder for kids to find out about new or even classic MG titles. I think librarians and teachers do such a great job of promoting new titles, but it can't be all that easy for them either, with so many new books coming out every year. Too many to easily miss a great MG novel.

    Therefore, I say read EVERYTHING! Then you cannot go wrong! ;)

  8. I can't wait to hear your big marketing secret, Jen!

    I think parents, teachers, and librarians are the primary influencers of MG readers. But I also think an intriguing cover and some connection to a favorite author. When I taught 5th grade, I knew kids who loved the Redwall series and would pick up books with a similar premise as a result.

    Although I am learning that today's MG readers seem to be online a bit more than I would've expected. (Which, yes, makes me feel super-old). Given that they often have webtime in the classroom or at home, I can see parents and teachers encouraging them to spend time on author's sites and things of that nature because of their educational potential. A friend of mine was also saying how her MG son would watch youtube all day if she'd let him, so I think it's up to us to think of how to creatively reach MG readers in the limited time they are online.

    Okay. End of a long comment. I also wanted to link to this article that I thought had some helpful info:

  9. I'm late to this party. Word of mouth is how I pick up new books for my kids. A lot of my friends are readers and have started MG book clubs for their kids. So we're always swapping the next great story to keep them reading.

    Librarians are definitely the key. They decide who makes their lists and get great exposure on the shelves.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!