Book Marketing on a Budget with Penny Lockwood

Penny is on a blog tour for her new book Boo's Bad Day and I'm so glad to be a part of it. For her stop here, Penny has some advice on promoting a book without spending lots of money.

Promoting Boo’s Bad Day On a Budget

By Penny Lockwood

One part of the writing process that seems to cause most authors to shudder is marketing.  Granted there are a number of authors who know how to promote their books and are quite successful at doing so.  Many others are more like me, left wondering where do I start…

I live in a small rural community in NW Oregon.  Our county seat, which is one of the two closest towns, had a lovely, small independent bookstore until a few months ago.  Anticipating the release of my picture book Boo’s Bad Day, I hoped to include a book signing as part of my promotion. Unfortunately, due to economic pressures, the owner had to close.  Now, our only bookstores are one used bookstore and used books from thrift shops. I was excited when the owner of the used bookstore told me she’d let me do a book signing there as well as sell the books on consignment. While Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is only about a half hour away, due to family obligations, I am unable to travel far for personal book signings.

My major form for promoting Boo’s Bad Day, therefore, has been to go to the Internet for exposure.  One of the things I did well before the release of my book was start a blog One Writer’s Journey.  At first, I wrote articles offering writing tips.  I soon realized there are already a lot of blogs doing that, and it was difficult to create blog traffic.  I then switched my focus to interviewing other authors.  I now have a couple thousand followers through Google and Networked Blogs.  By offering this free promotion to other authors, I have made connections that allow me to approach other authors who offer their blogs as a venue for marketing. 

By contacting children’s authors who appeared on my blog, I have thirty-four blog stops scheduled for my Boo’s Bad Day blog tour. During the tour, I have bloggers who have volunteered to review Boo, interviews, and guest posts, such as this one.  I will visit each blog on the day I’m scheduled to appear, answer any questions commenters may leave, and keep track of their names to be entered into a drawing for a copy of Boo at the end of the tour.

The other marketing technique I’ve utilized is publicity in local newspapers.  I sent media releases and review copies of Boo to the small newspaper publishers in the closest towns as well as the two large statewide newspapers.  One newspaper has offered me an interview in addition to my press release.  Another statewide newspaper, Statesman Journal already posted information about Boo on their biblio blog.

I will be contacting the two libraries in the closest towns to arrange for a visit during their story times.  My plan is to donate a book to each of the libraries and hand out bookmarks to the kids during my visit.  In addition to the libraries, I will contact the local preschools and kindergartens to arrange for author visits.

I personally contacted people I know who have children or grandchildren aged eighteen months to six years and have sold several copies through this method.  In fact, one contact ordered six books so she could give them as gifts.

I realize there are a lot more things I should do, most of which won’t cost anything.  I already have Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Jacketflap author pages.  I still need to set up an account with Goodreads.  I’ve also been reading about the advantages of Pinterest, but sometimes I find it’s hard to keep up with all these networking sites. I’ve tried to keep the number down thinking quality might be better than quantity.  I am curious which sites will actually bring more exposure.

I know several authors who have newsletters, and I understand this can be a great way to promote one’s books.  Right now, I don’t have this set up, but it’s something I’m exploring.

There are, of course, a lot of other marketing ideas, many of which cost money.  I’m not in a position to spend a lot of money on promotion, so I look to those things I can do which are low-cost or no-cost.  I’d be interested in hearing what some other folks are doing to promote their books, too.  Please be sure to leave a comment.

Here's a brief description of Boo's Bad Day:
Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.


Boo's Bad Day is getting great reviews, so be sure to get your own copy today. Here's the information:

By: Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years
Published by 4RV Publishing
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8
4RV -

Look inside at Amazon:

About the Author

Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.  Visit her web site at

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

Social links:

Twitter: @PennyEhrenkranz


Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Penny,
Thanks for the great marketing advice. I had no idea that Jacketflap has author pages. I'm in the process of marketing through social media until my book comes out through 4RV Publishing next year. I hope (I know I'll find out) if you can create your Jacketflap author page before your book comes out. Being creative on where you can do your book readings/signings gives me a lot of ideas. Thanks!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Deb, glad you found it useful. It's been awhile since I joined JacketFlap and I don't remember, but I think you do have to have a published book to join. I could be wrong. It's worth checking out as it's a site dedicated to children's writers, illustrators, librarians, and publishers.

Karen, thank you for hosting me today and giving me this chance to tell your readers about Boo's Bad Day.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Deb, I'm a member of Jacketflap, but don't take advantage of all it offers. Penny gave some great tips.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Penny, it was a pleasure having you here!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Penny. Best wishes with your book tour. Great marketing tips.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Susanne, nice to "see" you. Glad you liked the tips. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Crystal Gordon said...

These really are great tips. It's really well written, and personable commentary.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Crystal, I'm glad you found the tips useful and thank you for the kind words about my writing.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Thank you for the helpful marketing tips, Penny. We all need new ideas on marketing from time to time. Best wishes on your book and Happy Memorial Day.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Deanie, thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you found the information useful and a happy Memorial Day to you, too!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Congratulations to Susan York Meyers! She's the winner of an autographed copy of Boo's Bad Day.

Karen Cioffi said...

Congratulations to Susan!