by Nancy Sanders
When your book gets published, a good way to generate exposure for it is to submit it to various state reading lists that it qualifies for.
Even if your book does not get selected for the list, it is still being read by teams of professionals in the world of literature. This in itself is good exposure.
And if it's selected for reading lists, the exposure is really great!
Cynthia Leitich Smith has compiled a great list of state reading lists on her Official Author Site at: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/lit_resources/awards/stateawards.html Check it out!
It can be daunting to look at the huge list of state awards and reading lists, at first glance.
But if you break it into smaller chunks, it can be very workable.
After I submitted my manuscript to the publisher on my deadline for my book, America’s Black Founders, I knew it would take nearly a year for the manuscript to go through the process of becoming a book.
So during that year, I planned small sessions when I would sit down and go over various links to lists for awards and state reading lists. My goal of course was to win an award or be selected for a reading list, but secondary to that was exposure for marketing to increase the sales numbers of my book.
So over the months, I compiled a list of links that worked. I read about each different state reading list. I made a file of the ones my book qualified for and that interested me to submit to.
I especially noted the deadline for each one. I arranged them in order according to their deadlines so I could see at a glance which ones I needed to work on first.
I tried to enjoy this process and also kept in mind potential future books I might do this with, so I felt it was worth my time to create this master list that I could use again in the future.
After I compiled my list of state reading lists and awards that my book, America’s Black Founders, could qualify for, I looked over that list.
For some state reading lists, all you have to do is e-mail them the name of a book you’d like to nominate.
So I did! And of course, I nominated mine!
For other lists, someone who was a teacher or librarian had to contact them and nominate my book. So I contacted my teacher and librarian friends and they were happy to send in the nomination.
For other lists, anyone could nominate the book, so I contacted a writer friend who also had a new book coming out and we swapped. I submitted her book for nomination and she submitted mine.
Networking is so important in this industry! This is just one example of what you can do to help market your book when you network with friends and fellow writers.
As I looked over the list I had compiled for state reading lists and awards, there were a number of them that required either a copy of my book or a fee, or both.
I contacted my publisher about these.
I sent my publisher the list I had compiled. Then they met and they discussed the budget they wanted to commit to my book for this type of thing.
Then they got back to me and offered to submit my book for the reading lists and awards that they felt were important to them.
By now, I had my own list left. I went over this list and created my own budget for this according to the worth I gave to each place. Then I submitted my book for these.
Whew! All in all, by the time my book came out and over its first year, it was submitted to a number of state reading lists and awards.
I was hopeful it might win something. But even if it didn’t, I know it’s gotten some great exposure. And I know that will help sales.
And the good news is, it actually did win an award! America’s Black Founders was selected as the Award Winner in the “Best Books 2010″ Awards in the Children’s Non-Fiction category, sponsored by USA Book News! It also won Honorable Mention for Children’s Books in the New England Book Festival.
Nancy I. Sanders (http://nancyisanders.com) is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 80 books including the ground-breaking book for children’s writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career. To learn more about this book and how it can impact your writing career, visit the website at www.YesYouCanLearn.wordpress.com. Nancy is also available for Virtual Author Visits for your writer’s group or small group of writing friends. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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