My first book comes out on Tuesday. Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, so lucky for you, I don’t plan on talking about it in this post.
Today it’s how to support picture book authors and illustrators.
One of the best things you can do is buy their book(s).
But what if you’re not in the market for picture books at this time in your life, so the idea of buying one doesn’t really interest you? Maybe it doesn’t fit your budget. Or maybe you have an irrational fear of cute animals and anthropomorphic breakfast foods.
Here are ten ways to support picture book authors and illustrators:
Give the book as a gift. You probably know someone who might like it. Give it to her/him. Or donate it to your library.
Request that your local library purchase a copy. This can be done in person or often in an online form.
Reserve and borrow it from the library. Increased circulation of books is noticed by librarians. They are smart people.
Review the book. On goodreads. On Amazon. On bn.com. Text reviews are even more valuable than just star-ratings.
Talk about the book with librarians and booksellers. There are a lot of great books out there. Get this book on their radar.
Talk about the book with friends. Or parents of your child’s friends. Or your child’s teacher. Or strangers on the street.
Share the book on social media. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Post on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace, etc. about it. Share the cover image. If you see it in the wild, snap a picture and share that. And tag the author or illustrator (or both). We love that!
Share the author or illustrator’s posts on social media. Follow them on social media sites and share with your networks.
Read the book in public. Like at the park. Or in a restaurant. Or the airport.
Make your own fan book trailer. And post to YouTube. If that’s your thing.
Note: I’m not the first to write a post like this. Here are a few other posts which have similar and more detailed info. Please check them out:
For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.
On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 3:29 in the afternoon, my phone gave two short bursts against my leg notifying me that I had received an email. When I pulled it out of my pocket and looked, I saw a subject line containing the title of one of my manuscripts. In most circumstances, this would mean a form response from an agent (and in rare cases, the agent may have read enough of my manuscript to explain why it wasn’t a good fit). But unlike most emails with one of my titles in the subject, this one didn’t start with “Re: QUERY.”
In fact, this wasn’t a response at all. Someone manually typed the name of my story into the subject line of their outgoing email. This had never happened before. My head spun as I read words and phrases like “editor” and “imprint” and “really like the spirit.” I couldn’t believe this might actually be happening.
A dose of reality smacked the pit of my stomach when I got to the words “as it currently stands, I’m afraid it probably won’t work.” Nooooo!!!!! Could this be nothing more than the nicest rejection letter ever?
But wait! There was more. When my eyes arrived at “Would you open to writing a revision?” I realized this was not actually a rejection! And a few sentences later, the author of this email actually said “I look forward to hearing from you.” THEY were looking forward to hearing from ME?!?!? (how weird – that’s exactly what I say at the end of all my queries)
The next two weeks were a flurry of revisions and excited anxiety, and some day I’ll tell the whole story. It was another four months and more until I received offers of representation and publication.
But precisely one year ago, at this very moment, I received the first ever positive response to one of my manuscripts from an industry professional. *shivers just thinking about it*