Monday, April 11, 2016

Getting Creative with Promotion by Tracy Bryan

 Getting Creative…

So you have a new book coming out and you want to spread the word? It’s never too early to start your pre-release marketing.

Promoting your book before it’s published is not only smart, it’s essential in this growing industry of children’s books.
According to, “The best time to design and implement your marketing plan of action is before you even start writing your book. It takes time to build relationships, learn your readers wants and needs and develop a base of rabid fans that clamor for more.

Grow your readership as you write your book, and when it’s time to launch your baby, you’ll already have an invested and an eager audience waiting.”

The pre-release process should happen after you have established your author platform (your target audience and readers). There are millions of resources to help you with these steps, so research as much as you possibly can about tried and true strategies that other children’s authors have used. Some may not be suitable for your needs, but hang in there and you might just be surprised and find an approach that works for you.
 Next, once you have built an author platform (through your community, social media, book fairs, bloggers, conferences and other networks) lay out your marketing business plan. Again, there are literally millions of resources available to authors here, so read as much as you can, talk to other authors and then map out the components of your plan. What is your vision for your project? Who are you focusing this project on? What is your budget? How can you be different than your colleagues and your competition?

When you’re ready for the pre-release marketing stage, there are several ways that you can spread the news about your new book- word of mouth, social media, author visits, e-mail, community involvement, etc.

Why not make a book trailer? Book trailers add value to your marketing plan because they are living proof of what you are about to release. Talk is one thing, but people love and need to visually explore what you are offering. Book trailers offer a quick peek at your new work in a fun and creative way. Particularly with illustrated children’s books, it’s important to be able to display the illustrations that will actually be in the book. This gives a little glimpse at the storyline, style, and feel of what your book will be all about.

Where to begin?

There are several routes you can take here. Even if your book is being published by a traditional publisher, chances are you may have to create the book trailer yourself. You might just want to create it yourself anyways. Why? The more shareable material out there about your new book, the better!

I think novelist Catherine Ryan Howard says it best:
the purpose of a book trailer is to let as many people as possible know that your book exists, then your book trailer has to have a high share value. Basically, it has to be something you’d tweet a link to, or post on your Facebook wall, or include in a blog post. And what would make you do that? The holy trinity of social media: entertainment, information or connection. In other words, the video would have to be funny, useful or something a large number of people could relate to.”

You can hire someone to make your book trailer if you want, but this can get pretty pricey. Before you invest your money in this kind of service, do more research and watch as many children’s book trailers that are out there today.

This kind of research was really fun for me because I watched so many trailers. Some were good and some were not so good, but surprisingly, the best ones were from the author’s that created them themselves! These just felt more genuine to me somehow.

How do you make a book trailer?

I personally used iMovie. They have step-by-step tutorials on YouTube, so this was great because I could stop and start again in the tutorial when I needed to. Plus, they have many tutorials that link to one another, depending on how technical you want to get. You can find a link to my book trailer here and in my bio at the bottom of this post. 

Some other options that are downloadable, free and easy-to-use are; Photo Story, Movie Maker, AnimotoPrezi, and PhotoShow. To learn more details about installation and use of these applications, click here.
Add pictures of your book, include live footage of you, the author and the illustrator and make sure to bring in an exciting soundtrack to enhance your footage!
Keep in mind the copyright issues for your images and your audio track. To learn more details about this visit here.

There are plenty of sites where you can buy (for a reasonably small fee) royalty-free and public domain music. 

for a complete listing of legitimate places where you can buy the copyright to your soundtrack. 

Whatever you decide to go with and whatever you choose to add in to enhance your video, just have fun with making your book trailer. Get creative!

 *All Image Rights for this post purchased from

Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 4-12. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, mental health, mindfulness and social issues.
Tracy’s debut fiction picture book called Put Away Your Phone! will be released May 2016. This quirky and important tale about modern technology stars a little girl and her dislike for grown-ups who are always on their phone.

View the book trailer for Put Away Your Phone! here. To learn more about Tracy, please visit


  1. Thank you for visiting My Word Playground, @Lauri Meyers! So fun to see you here :) A Yellow Brick Road playdate at the playground LOL

  2. This is a must-read for writers--so much useful information! Thank you both for sharing :)

  3. This is a must-read for writers--so much useful information! Thank you both for sharing :)

  4. Awww, thanks, @Rosie.pova -- always glad to see you here and thank you for your kind comments. Glad you found it helpful!

  5. Thanks for sharing such valuable information, Tracy and Lynne.

    1. You are very welcome @Eiry! Thanks for stopping by My Word Playground. Please feel free to sift through the sand in the archives. Lots of gems there!