Take Your Child to a Bookstore

Did you know that this Saturday is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day?

The idea is the brainchild of author Jenny Milchman. Of the day, Jenny says, “Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day began when my children were little and I was going to story time at bookstores nearly every week. Did all children know the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore? I wondered. Of being drawn into a magic world for a while, then being left to choose treasures on the shelf? I wanted to begin a holiday that would expose as many kids as possible to this joy.”

This year marks the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

If you are the author or publisher of a children’s book, you can capitalize on this day to get some exposure for your books. After all, not all parents may be able to physically take their children to a bookstore on December 3. Some live too far from a local bookstore, others may just be too busy.

Why not offer a discount on your children’s books for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day? Encourage parents to take their children to your virtual bookstore if they can’t get to a physical bookstore and offer them a great discount on your books as an incentive. After all, December is a Christmas gift shopping month. Remind parents that they can purchase books for their children at the discounted price, but that they can also pick up an additional book as a gift for one of their children’s friends or maybe a niece or nephew.

The official Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day offers free digital images you can use in your promotional efforts.

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Now Thank We All Our God

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who is going through a hard time. She kept talking about people who have it better than she does. Each time she told a story about someone who is better off than she is; my friend would then ask why God is not doing this or that for her.

I told my friend I thought she was focusing on the wrong thing. I reminded her that for every person who has it better than she does, there are more that are worse off than she is. I told her I thought that for every person she thinks of who is better off than herself, she should think of two or three who have it worse than she does. Then, she should thank God that she is not that bad off. I encouraged her that each time she thought of someone worse off than herself she should say “but for the grace of God, there go I.”

We have so much to be thankful for. It’s all in our perspective and what we choose to focus on.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the ways that God continues to shower his blessings.  Here are a few:

  • Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) has over 110 member publishers, our highest membership rate since we started in 2004.
  • The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award had more nominations this year than it has had since its inception in 2008.
  • Christian Small Publishers Association’s new blogger book review program, BookCrash, has over 130 bloggers signed up to review books and that program just started a few months ago.
  • Small publishers continue to rise up and publish outstanding materials to strengthen and encourage the body of Christ.

Martin Rinkart penned these words in his “Now Thank We All Our God” hymn in 1636:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

Thank you God for your blessings and gifts of love!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Chain Reaction

In March 2006, Thomas Nelson published a book titled Akiane: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry. At the time, Akiane Kramarik was a ten-year-old prodigy. At age four, she had visions of heaven and began painting beautiful pictures.

Because of her unique story and incredible paintings, Akiane received much professional media coverage.  However, while the book that Thomas Nelson published featuring her fascinating story, her artwork, and her poetry sold well (after all it has 108 customer reviews on Amazon), it was not a bestseller.

Enter November 2010. Thomas Nelson publishes a book titled Heaven is for Real. The book is about a four-year-old boy, Colton Burpo and his experience in heaven. Heaven is for Real became a New York Times Bestseller (and has over 2,000 customer reviews on Amazon). The book references a painting that Akiane painted of Jesus when she was eight years old.

Now, the book, Akiane: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry, is beginning to appear on ECPA’s weekly bestseller list.

What does this data suggest?

I think the suggestion is important and one that every publisher (and author) should be aware of. Any activity that directs attention to a product is marketing. This activity does not need to be overt, it can be subtle (as in this case).

People who are reading Heaven is for Real are interested in learning more about Akiane’s story due to its similarity to the Colton Burpo’s experience. After being introduced to Akiane in Heaven is for Real, readers are seeking to learn more about her. A search of Amazon reveals that Thomas Nelson’s book is the only one readily available that tells Akiane’s story. As a result, readers interested in more are buying it.

Consider carefully what you put in your next book. Should it sell well, it could help another book sell.

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Interactive Children’s Books

Have you published a picture book for children? Are you interested in making your book into an interactive ebook but have no clue how to do this or where to start?

TaleSpring is a new service that allows anyone to create an interactive book online and publish it to mobile devices as an app. This service is affordable and easy to use.

Watch this video to learn more about TaleSpring. Then visit their website (www.talespring.com) for the full scoop.

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What Will $5.00 Purchase?

In today’s economy, everyone is looking for a bargain. Small publishers’ budgets are tight. Finding ways to run a business affordably and produce and market books is no small feat.

Many people in today’s economy are looking for ways to get what they need at an affordable rate. Others are looking to make a little extra money.

The two can now meet in a website called fiverr (www.fiverr.com).

Fiverr allows people to post what they are willing to do for a fee of $5. There are literally thousands of offers posted on fiverr’s website. Individuals offer to do anything from create a short video, to create a logo, to draw a cartoon, to paint your message on their lips and take a picture of it.

The ideas on this website are amazing. This website alone offers interesting, creative promotion ideas for $5. Here are a few:

  • I will get your website promoted with this short and unique movie for $5.
  • I will do a professional voice over for up to 1 minute for $5.
  • I will shout anything you want in a banana costume for $5.
  • I will tweet your message and link to 31,000 plus followers 5 times for $5.
  • I will send 25,000 unique visitors to your website for $5.
  • I will take 3 nice pictures of my hand painting art with your message for $5.
  • I will have my 8 year old son record a kid testimonial for any child appropriate product for $5.

The great thing about fiverr is that it is only $5. For that amount of money, you could get something really great or something unusable. However, if you don’t like what you purchased, you are only out $5.

Head on over to fiverr’s website and check out the offers for yourself.

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