Morgan says: I've been an avid reader my entire life, so it was easy for me to name my favorite books from my childhood. Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Madeline <she's the reason I studied French throughout grade school...and I still have Paris on my bucket list>, and Barbar were among my favorites. What I quickly realized is that I remember the characters' names, but I honestly couldn't remember the authors! Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss were the only author names that I could recall, but they are also authors that I've researched and re-read as an adult.
As we researched site after site, this pattern held true with only a few exceptions: children's book authors have character based websites and promotions. Children tend to ask for books based on topics and characters. "I want to read dinosaurs" or "I want to read Angelina Ballerina" have both been uttered by any number of children around the world.
Common Children's Book Website Content:
- All pages include images of the characters and used colors and backgrounds that are in line with the book artwork, setting, and color palette.
- There is information about the author. Older books like Madeline and Eloise include a more exhaustive history of the book series, artists, and author(s).
- Most sites had a tab especially for child focused activities and extra content. For example, the Paddington Bear site includes a "Make & Do" tab that has links to craft projects and printable bookmarks and postcards. The Princess Cupcake Jones website has a "Print & Play" page that includes downloads for games, puzzles, and crayon friendly images.
- All of the sites included a contact page for inquiries.
- Most sites included a means to sign up for a newsletter or fan club.
With regards to other marketing activities for children's book authors, Princess Cupcake Jones has her own Facebook page. Again, the character is the key focus of this page. The author, Yellya Fields, posts pictures of little girls dressed as her character.
Points to Ponder:
- As a children's book author, are you currently engaged in character focused marketing?
- For all authors: How are you engaging your audience with extra content?
Our dear friend, Gary, is an author of children's books. In his 7 Book Signing Tips for Children's Author post, he provides great insights from his personal experiences. The first two tips are below this text. Check out the link to see all seven tips.