You guys have heard a lot about Katie Davis on this blog lately, however, it’s all been in the context of ME being featured in HER space. Today I am so pleased to turn the tables and announce Katie as our featured 12 x 12 in 2012 author for March. Katie has been very busy this month spreading the word about her new eBook, How to Promote Your Children’s Books: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Creating a Bestseller (see a list of all the stops Katie’s made on her blog tour at the end of this post). Readers, I have read this book, and I must tell you this is MANDATORY reading for anyone who is serious about publishing and promoting their books. Every question you could possibly ask about marketing and promotion is covered in this book. What’s even better is that it’s written in Katie’s trademark voice, which means it is actually fun to read. AND, Katie is giving one lucky 12 x 12 participant a free copy of this book.
If you are a regular blog reader, you know I am now a monthly contributor to Katie’s Brain Burps About Books Podcast. I’ve also been a subscriber of the podcast for well over a year. I’m continually amazed by the amount of information imparted in the shows. Every time I have a question about something related to kidlit, I ask myself if maybe Katie’s done a show on the topic. Recent examples of questions I had were on author websites, school visits, eBooks, writing retreats. Podcasts addressing those issues? Check, check, check and check. Katie provides this great service for FREE. I am so passionate about the value of these podcasts, (and NOT just because I am in some of them – I swear) that I want more people to take advantage of them.
Yes, you can listen to the podcasts directly for free. However, I find that it is much easier to have the Brain Burps iPhone app. All of the episodes are there and searchable. You can stop and go back and listen where you left off. You can “favorite” certain episodes. But the best feature is that you have them with you wherever you go. Standing in a long line? Just pop onto the app and listen while you wait. In fact, I love the app so much, that in addition to Katie’s giveaway, this month I will draw two additional winners who will receive the app from me as a gift!
Now you’re probably wondering when the heck Katie is going to show up in this post, and that is right now. Lest you think her book, podcasts, etc. aren’t applicable to you if you are pre-published, I asked Katie a few specific questions on how the advice and tips in her books are appropriate for ALL writers – not just published ones. Take it away Katie!
Many of this blog’s followers are pre-published authors. Which chapters or parts of your book do you think are most critical for them to read and why?
I think Chapters 1-30 would be best. Oh, wait. There are 30 chapters in the book…
I really can’t choose just some sections because it’s one of those more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts kind of thing. All the chapters together teach a way to approach this business. Picking out one thing would be like pulling out one domino; they’re all interconnected.
Why do you think it is important, even for pre-published authors, to develop an online presence?
I’ve heard of publishers looking online to see what kind of presence prospective authors have. I can’t believe if someone isn’t online it would jeopardize getting a contract if the story is publish-worthy, but imagine if you have an odd subject or niche book. An editor sees you have a following and knows that you’ll be proactive in the marketing support of that book. These days we all need an online presence and if you already have one firmly established, you’re that much more ahead of the game. But nothing will help a badly written book, so the thing you need to concentrate on most is writing well, learning your craft and making sure that you’re creating your best possible work.
The 12x team has been debating on the Facebook page whether or not they should use their names in their blogs or whether they should set up websites if they don’t yet have a book to promote. What’s your advice?
I vote for using your name in your blog site. Your blog should be contained within your site so visitors don’t have to go to two different places to find you. Your name is what people will search for and you want it to come up on the first page of the search, right? Also buy your title.com the minute you know it – or just buy it if you have a potential title.
I am so happy I bought katiedavis.com when I did back in the late 90’s because do you have any idea how many Katie Davises there are out there? And at least two are authors, and another Katie Davies is a children’s author and published by S&S like me! So go buy yourname.com NOW.
I’ll wait here.
Okay, now that you’ve done that, let’s continue this interview.
Actually, I have to interject here and agree wholeheartedly with Katie. I bought juliehedlund.com three years ago and I am just now starting to build my author site from that domain. How happy am I that I own it now that I am ready? Seriously. It costs, like, $12 a year for a domain. Go Daddy (which Katie mentions in her book) is the registry I use for all my domains.
What are the biggest mistakes newbies make with promotion activities?
- Forgetting that the more you give, the more you get. Remember to do things for other people first, and it’ll all come back to you, as sappy as that sounds. The minute, and I do mean almost to the actual minute I started looking outward and promoting other people, I could tell my career shifted.
- Being scared that you’re not doing enough and/or that you’re doing the wrong thing and then freaking out because of that. Do what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t like blogging, don’t do it. Pick something you can handle and most of all, enjoy.
- 3. Forgetting it’s about connecting with people, not marketing.
What is your own biggest marketing/promotion blooper?
Where to begin?! I got a bunch of ‘em! I spent money on stupid marketing efforts that didn’t work, or I’ve spent a ton of time on a complicated idea that fell flat. During this blog tour for How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller one of the stops was all about my mistakes, called Banana Peelin’. The more you try, the more you fail, but the more chance you’ll have at succeeding.
What is your biggest marketing/promotion success?
If you were in a reality T.V. show about the “real” life of a children’s book author, what part of it would viewers find the most surprising?
Very weird you’re asking me this, since last week I was asked to be part of a pilot for a new “Housewives” type show! (I said no.) However, since you put “real” in quotation marks, I will take that as not real so I suppose you’d be most surprised at all the butlers I employ. They carry me from my front door to my studio so all my shoes remain spotless. This is also the technique I use to wear high heels so my feet never hurt. Plus I have an app that writes all my books.
Children’s author/illustrator Katie Davis has published nine books and appears monthly on the ABC affiliate show, Good Morning Connecticut, recommending great books for kids. She produces Brain Burps About Books, a podcast about kidlit, a blog and monthly newsletter. Katie has volunteered in a maximum-security prison teaching Writing for Children and over the last dozen years has presented at schools and writing conferences. She’s a 2010 Cybils judge and has also judged the Golden Kite, smartwriters.com, and Frontiers in Writing awards. Recently Katie was selected to be on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a literacy-based charity.
Participants – to enter to win Katie’s Book and the Brain Burps app, you must be an official challenger and leave a comment on this post (INCLUDING YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME) any time during the month of March for one point. On March 31st, l’ll put a check-in post on the blog. If you completed a picture book draft in March, you can let us know in the comments of that post for another point. I will draw a winner using Random.org and announce on April 2nd.
Check out the rest of Katie’s blog tour stops!
Feb 1 – E is for Book – www.eisforbook.com
Feb 2 – Banana Peel Thursday – http://bananapeelin.blogspot.com
Feb 3 – Creative Spaces – http://chrischengauthor.blogspot.com
Feb 6 – DearEditor.com – www.DearEditor.com
Feb 7 – Writing With a Broken Tusk – http://umakrishnaswami.blogspot.com
Feb 8 – Shutta Crum – http://shutta.com
Feb 9 – McBookWords – mcbookwords.blogspot.com
Feb 10 – Kerem Erkan- keremerkan.net
Feb 16 – Elizabeth O. Dulemba- http://www.dulemba.com/
Feb 17 – Fiction Notes – http://www.darcypattison.com/
March 1 – 12×12 in 2012 – http://writeupmylife.com
March 2 – Christine Fonseca, Author – ChristineFonseca.blogspot.comCategories: 12 x 12 Featured Author, 12 x 12 in 2012, Apps, Authors, Children's Books, ebooks, Giveaway, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Publishing, Social Media, Writing · Tags: 12 x 12 Featured Author, 12 x 12 in 2012, apps, Author, Brain Burps About Books, ebooks, How to Promote Your Children's Book, Julie Hedlund, Katie Davis, Marketing, Podcast, Social Media, Writer