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Market a Children’s Book

How to Market a Children’s Book in 2024

Getting a children’s book in front of its intended (young) audience can be tricky. Unlike novels aimed at adults, kids don’t typically buy books themselves. That means in order to be successful, children’s book authors need to market their books not only to kids but also to the gatekeeper adults like parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians.

In this complete guide, as a professional children’s book printing manufacturer, I’ll cover several proven children’s book marketing strategies you can use to connect with readers, spread awareness, and sell more copies of your book.

Market a Children’s Book

Why Marketing Children’s Books is Different

Before jumping into specific tactics, it’s important to understand why promoting children’s literature requires a different approach compared to other genres. Here are three key differences:

1. You Must Appeal to Two Audiences

As mentioned earlier, kids don’t purchase books—the adults in their lives do. So your content and messaging needs to resonate with both kids and grown-ups.

For example, your book cover design should feature colorful, fun illustrations that appeal to young readers. But the title and book description should clearly communicate the story’s key details, themes, and benefits to adult purchasers.

Striking this balance between captivating kids while providing enough information for adults is critical for children’s book marketing success.

2. Your Distribution Channels Are Unique

Children’s authors need to focus on promotion channels like schools, libraries, and educational catalogs. These avenues simply don’t exist for most other book genres.

For instance, placing your book into school reading initiatives or getting added to approved library vendor lists opens up access to key gatekeepers. Teachers and librarians directly influence which books kids read.

So you need to treat these distribution channels as priorities, not afterthoughts.

3. Your Competitors Are Relentless

Here’s a sobering statistic: Approximately 5,000 new children’s books are published every day in the US alone.

That insane amount of competition means even amazing children’s books can quickly get lost in the noise. Simply publishing your book isn’t enough—you need to actively promote it so it reaches kids and the adults buying books for them.

Understanding these core differences is the first step to creating an effective children’s book marketing strategy. Now let’s explore some proven tactics.

11 Children’s Book Marketing Tactics That Work

Here are 11 battle-tested promotion strategies for getting your children’s book in front of more young readers:

1. Identify Your Target Audience Persona

Defining your target audience—especially the adult gatekeepers—is absolutely essential. After all, you need to understand who you’re marketing to before you can reach them effectively.

Start by creating a detailed customer avatar. Outline demographic details like:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income level
  • Family status (kids? how many?)

Then expand your persona with behavioral data such as:

  • What social platforms are they active on?
  • What blogs/news sites do they read?
  • What conferences or events do they attend?
  • What retail outlets do they shop at?

Armed with this intel, you can fine-tune your messaging and identify the best channels to promote your book. Without clarity on your target audience, your marketing attempts will seem scattershot at best.

2. Research Relevant Keywords

Conducting keyword research is equally important. Keywords allow you to understand what book-related topics and issues your readers care about.

For example, potential search queries could include:

  • Best fantasy books for 8 year olds
  • Dyslexic reading books
  • Picture books about making friends

You can then create content and marketing materials optimized around these keywords to improve discovery and click-through rates.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest make researching keyword ideas simple.

3. Create Video Book Trailers

Short videos can be an incredibly effective way to promote children’s books.

For example, a book trailer introduces the key details of your story and themes in a visual, engaging format. Kids love watching videos too, so you instantly grab their attention.

Here are some helpful tips for creating awesome book trailers:

  • Keep it under 90 seconds long
  • Use fun music and lively footage/animations
  • Showcase your eye-catching book cover
  • Feature key characters, scenes, and settings
  • Close with a strong CTA to purchase

Once your video is complete, publish it on YouTube and promote it across your other marketing channels.

4. Run Amazon Ads

With over 300 million monthly visitors, Amazon is by far the world’s most popular bookselling site. So if you want to move copies of your book, Amazon ads need to be part of your marketing mix.

The key benefit of Amazon ads is hyper-targeted reach. You can show your ads to people searching for specific keywords or browsing certain book categories. This level of precision is unmatched.

For example, you could target parents of toddlers looking for potty training books. When one of those parents lands on your book’s Amazon page, your ads increase the likelihood of a sale.

Amazon ads follow a cost-per-click model, so you only pay when someone actually engages with your promotion. Start small while testing different targeting approaches to learn which work best for your title.

5. Speak at Schools and Libraries

Directly engaging with your young readers is enormously impactful. And what better venues than schools and libraries?

Reaching out to organize speaking events, book readings, writing workshops, and other in-person activities gets your book physically into kids’ hands.

These sessions also allow you to connect with two other key audiences: teachers and librarians. Making a strong impression can lead to orders of multiple copies or additions to approved book lists.

So don’t underestimate the power of in-person promotion. A single 30-minute reading at an elementary school could result in dozens of new fans.

6. Attend Book Festivals and Conferences

Along similar lines as school visits, booking speaking sessions and vendor booths at relevant events offer fantastic marketing potential.

Two types of gatherings to prioritize include:

Children’s Book Festivals – Events focused exclusively on kid lit take place all over North America. They attract thousands of enthusiastic young readers. Look for festivals aligned with your book’s genre or theme.

Education Conferences – National and statewide teaching conferences provide access to influential gatekeepers. School principals, administrators, and officials have budgets for purchasing books. Get your title on their radar.

These live activities require a time investment, but they enable you to connect directly with your best customers.

7. Run Facebook Ads

Even though kids themselves aren’t on Facebook (at least not officially!), millions of parents use it daily. This makes Facebook advertising another solid sales channel.

I recommend structured lead gen campaigns with a multi-step funnel. For instance:

Ad – Runs at the top of the newsfeed promoting your book to parents in your target demographic

Landing Page – Lead capture page offering a free resource kit, printable activity sheets, or other lead magnet in exchange for an email address

Retargeting Ad – Dynamic product ad displayed only to people who visited your landing page but didn’t convert initially

This strategy nurtures cold traffic with relevant messaging to help drive book sales. The principle would be similar for Instagram ads as well.

8. Guest Post on Niche Blogs

Getting exposure on popular blogs related to children’s literature or parenting can introduce your book to new audiences.

Start by creating a list of 15-20 blogs that seem like a good fit. Reach out to the editors and propose ideas tailored to their content focus and audience interests.

Pay attention to guidelines around anchor text links back to your site. Avoid over-optimization. Write around topics for the readers’ benefit, not just to promote your book.

9. Use Email Marketing

Collecting email subscribers allows you to market your books directly on an ongoing basis.

For example, you can promote new releases, events/appearances, giveaways, special discounts, or free printables.

An effective strategy for list-building is to offer lead magnets in exchange for emails. These could be free ebooks, activity packs, coloring pages, bookmarks, or other assets related to your books.

Once your list has 50-100 targeted names, email promotion becomes quite powerful. Just be careful not to overdo the “salesy” pitches. Provide value and earn permission to market to readers.

10. Partner with Kid Lit Bloggers

Mommy bloggers have grown quite influential on topics like parenting tips, family activities, meal plans, etc.

And now “kid lit bloggers” are becoming popular within children’s book niches. They publish in-depth book reviews, author Q&As, cover reveals, giveaways, and other content voraciously consumed by young readers.

Reaching out to partner with these passionate book reviewers is smart. Having your titles featured naturally gets them into the hands of excited fans.

Blog partnerships work especially well when timed around a new book launch or the release of complementary materials like coloring sheets, posters, bookmarks, etc.

Most bloggers are receptive to author pitches that provide readers with exclusive value.

11. Leverage Hashtags on Social Media

Hashtags help people discover social media content around specific topics or themes.

Research relevant hashtags like #kidsbooks, #amreading, #bookworm, #childrensbooks, etc. and incorporate them into your posts across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.

Hashtags make it easier for your target audiences to find your content and brand. Over time, you can become THE authority voice within certain tag niches.

Summing Up Effective Children’s Book Marketing

As you can see, promoting children’s literature requires a different approach compared to standard book marketing tactics. I hope these 11 strategies provided some fresh ideas you can test for your own titles moving forward.

Remember, chasing flashy tactics won’t sustain you long-term. Keep your young readers’ needs and interests central to your activities. Deliver genuine value to both kids and parents, and your marketing efforts will thrive.

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