I am an independent children’s novelist. As such, I’m faced with all the quality control issues of indies and all the challenges of selling work in the notoriously difficult children’s genre. It’s a double whammy, but I’ve done my homework. I hire out my editing then run my ms through a gauntlet of teachers and writers. I experiment with giveaways, blog tours, and freebies. I’ve created a dynamic platform. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I have a Newsletter. I cross-advertise with other indies, solicit reviews, and interact with other bloggers. But the children’s genre is a unique market, and I’ve become convinced that the strategies that work in the adult digital world are insufficient here. In a year and a half, I’ve only hit triple digits thrice in monthly sales, and the goal is, after all, to turn this hobby into a career to pay for kids’ college.
Instead of giving up, however, this spring and summer I’ve been brainstorming. I need a new strategy. Something fresh, something original, something that hasn’t been tried before. And it occurred to me that my plan needs to include those adults who care about what kids are reading. Who are the most influential adults who fit that bill? Teachers! And how can I gain their help? By giving them my books risk free!
It’s the perfect fit! I am a teacher. I write with students in mind. And over the past year I’ve had several teachers tell me they’ve used or plan to use my books in class. I even have classroom resources already in place for each of my novels. So I’m wrapping up this series by announcing a new policy:
From now on, any teacher can get any of my books FREE anytime.
Details can be found on my “For Teachers” page at the top of my blog. (They’re on my author website, too.) Getting a copy of a book is really easy. Teachers can either email me with a request or use the provided Smashwords coupons. All my novels are available in MOBI (Kindle), EPUB (most ereaders), and PDF (opens on any laptop) formats. And there are no strings. Really! I’m counting on both digital and paperback sales rising naturally through increased exposure.
But to make this work I’m going to need some help, my friends. I know a lot of teachers, but I don’t know the ones you know. To make this truly effective, word has to spread. So today I’m starting a Tell a Teacher They’re Free campaign. The new policy is long-term, but for the next four months, from September till December, I’m going to really push the telling of teachers. Will you help me? Will you tell the teachers at your school? Will you post it on Twitter and Facebook? To make it easier, I’ve created the campaign logo that appears at the top of this post. I’ll keep it on the top of my sidebar with a link to the details on my teacher page. All you have to do is pass along my blog’s name or homepage link, mention the apple icon, and teachers can find this information easily. Feel free to “borrow” the logo and link up, too. Or share my advertisement video.
So that’s the brainstorm I’ve been hinting at for three weeks. We’ll see how she flies. Thanks so much, everyone, for your help!