A Birthday Reflection or What Happens When a Picture Book Debuts During a Pandemic?
One year ago on April 7th, Someday We Will debuted ready to greet the world with its message of the joy that comes with anticipating a visit with those we love, especially visits with grandparents.
As the book popped out ready to make the rounds of library story hour, school visits, bookstore events, the world closed its doors. Visits of any kind became questionable. One year later visits are still questionable and promotional visits are simply not happening, at least not yet in person.
So–how does a new author promote a debut book when the traditional methods are not readily available?
Well, it takes a bit of creative flair for certain.
For one, since the local library was closed to gatherings, such as story hour (still is) and local schools were on in person hiatus until fall, and the local bookstore was closed to large events (still is,) I hosted a virtual launch party. If you missed it, I’ve decided to have a Relaunch Birthday Party. I must say it is easy to organize. Baking massive amounts of cupcakes has never been easier. Go ahead and click here and grab a cupcake and sign the guest book.
The next steps involved contacting as many publications as possible ranging from the local newspaper and magazines to AARP to my alumni newsletters. I contacted reviewers such as Susanna Leonard Hill. I received some decent promotional splash in that area.
I then moved on to creating a virtual story time on YouTube and discovered other individuals had done the same. Serendipity had its moments.
Social media continued with blog posts and learning Instagram.
Word of mouth, friends, giveaways–yes, all of that.
After a year of watching and waiting and checking and continuing to promote, today I am reflecting on how pleased I am that my debut is holding its own among the other splashier releases. I have received kind and glowing feedback on Goodreads and on Amazon and my publisher, Beaming Books provided support and encouragement along the way.
I remain hopeful of celebrating the transition of “Someday we will…” to the “Someday is here!” moment when all is safe again for visits with loved ones, and traveling is no longer cautionary.
I look forward to story times, and book signings. A book debut during tenuous times has taught me to be even more tenacious and persuasive and creative about sharing my book with others.
I think it’s a great little debut, and I hope you think so too.
Don’t forget to grab a cupcake on the way out.
Want a signed copy of the book? Easy. Contact me through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where you purchased your copy of Someday We Will and I will send you a signed bookplate.
Psst–did you sign my guest book?