How do your kids find the books they read? How can they apply that to selling their own book?

I asked my boys on our now famous 12-block walk home from school, “So when the book is out, how should we promote it?”

My 9-year old is not usually motivated by money, but was inspired when we sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist this weekend and since he helped clean things up, he got a cut of the profits.

Working on your “book project” doesn’t only mean fleshing out character traits and plot lines. Get them into the promotion of the book and see what they come up with.

I started early in the walk so we’d have time for lots of ideas. The dog ate some poop along the way, so it threw off our concentration, but by the time we got to Kite Hill, we were rolling in ideas (not poop).

I’m going to get this more or less in their words below.

Li’s 5 Best Ways to Promote your Book

  1. Tell everyone in your class. Get your friends to buy it.
  2. Make a book trailer. A short film about the book. (Li didn’t say “book trailer” but he said something like a short film about the book and the characters).
  3. Create a print book version. Because more people read paper than on a Kindle.
  4. Make a Kindle version. Because Li has a Kindle and it’s easy to buy books on it (Editor’s note: a little too easy, in fact).
  5. Pay for ads. “But it’s really expensive,” Li added. We talked about how it depends on where it’s advertised. Maybe if it’s in their school newsletter, not so much, but more if it’s the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lu’s 5 Top Ways to Promote your Book

  1. Make a movie. Get it on Netflix. “That way, everyone can see it.” We talked about how this might be quite an undertaking … 😉
  2. Make an ad. Can make a little video and put it on YouTube. Just a thing that says, “It’s awesome.”
  3. Back cover blurb. Based on what Lu said, this sounds like a blurb, why the book is so good, a little bit about it.
  4. Funny examples of book on back cover. Lu showed me the back of his Big Nate books when we got home and they do a very animated job of promotion: examples from the book, promotional blurbs, even little incomplete lists that you can fill out. Fun stuff!
  5. Bribery. Give some extra money to the people who work at the book store so they put it at the front of the store. (Editor’s note: I am laughing out loud as I write this as I love that he thought of this on his own!)

How would your kids promote what you worked on together? Think they never think about this stuff? Well, maybe they don’t, but if you ask them and give them a few blocks of walking (and few other distractions), they might surprise you.

Bribery is classic!

Bring out the band! How does a kid think about book promotion? Well, they don't. So ask!

Bring out the band! How does a kid think about book promotion? Well, they don’t. So ask!