Monday, May 30, 2011

Marketing Monday - Jen K. Blom

Marketing Monday is back! (There are more in the works, I promise, but all of the wonderful authors who are contributing their experiences seem to be just as busy as I am these days. Lucky for them, they're not about to make an intercontinental move. It's not an experience I recommend.)

Today, I'm thrilled to feature a personal friend, Jen K. Blom, whose contemporary middle grade novel, Possum Summer, is just now coming out.

I've heard reports that people in the U.S. have received their copies. I'm still waiting for mine. *taps fingers* *checks clock* *sighs*

Possum Summer sold out quickly on Amazon, in large part due to Jen's great promotional activities. In fact, her marketing is what gave me the idea for this series. So here's a bit more about how she (and Holiday House) marketed Possum Summer.

What has Holiday House done to promote Possum Summer?

Holiday House has been great! They've promoted Possum Summer everywhere, and recently my little book is at BEA, being shown to all the great Booksellers out there! They also helped with the marketing idea I had (called the Showdown, see below) Holiday House FTW!

What is the Great Oklahoma Animal Showdown? How did you come up with this idea, and how did you manage to coordinate it from another continent? (And how is it going so far?)

The Showdown is going great so far! I wanted to address my readers directly, but I also wanted to have a sort of party for my book that included them. So I thought: why not Oklahoma, where I grew up? Why not the public school system, which left me so many positive (and negative) memories? All my great teachers? They deserve the notice. So I worked it up.

The book is in the schools (as of June 1) and will be featured on here soon. It was a bit of a headache getting everything settled from a continent away. :-) My sister and her kids *waves* did the hard manual labor of sending out the envelopes I sent out, and putting stamps on them. Holiday House was AMAZING on this front, really working with me to fine tune the competition and even the CEO, Mr. John Briggs, had extremely helpful suggestions! They really are amazing.

What role do you see social networking playing in your marketing and promotion efforts?

TBH, not much with the kids. More with reviewers, who could read and review my book, and librarians and parents. I find a huge amount of people I interact with online are other writers, but they're parents too, and they're searching for a book for their kids that excites them, makes them cry, and helps them out. I'm hoping that Possum Summer fits that bill!

How long will those who haven't pre-ordered have to wait before Amazon restocks? ;)

HAHAHAHAH The LATEST you'll have to wait is June 1 (I hope)! I was astounded that it sold out so quickly! It is all a dream. :-D

* * *

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jen, and congrats on the new release!

Jen K. Blom writes about animals, the land, and kids, not necessarily in that order. Her debut, POSSUM SUMMER, is available now.

Just the thing to give to a kid to start their summer of reading off right! (Available from your local indie, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Book Depository!)

Seen the book trailer yet?

If you are a published author and you would like to share your experiences with marketing and promoting your book(s), I'd love to share your story! Please contact me at anpstevens [at] gmail [dot] com. 


  1. Wow, I feel like I did so little for my book release...

  2. Alex: Jen has to reach her audience, and they're not reading her blog or following her on twitter. It's a completely different kind of marketing when you write for kids. :)

  3. Congratulations to Jen! I'm putting Possom Summer on my must read list for this summer! Thanks for sharing, Alison.

  4. Possum Summer sounds terrific! Can't wait for my copy :)

  5. I have POSSUM SUMMER and I can't wait to read it.

    Also, Jen has a wonderful online presence.

    Have a great weekend.

  6. I think childrens books are one of the most under marketed genre's out there. They don't get the hype, unless the author has already "made it big time". I didn't know Shel Silverstein put out that bunny book until I walked into a Waldenbooks and saw the prominent display.

    Childrens books seem to need a lot of author involvement in the marketing. And if you're not willing to self promot at local (for the writer) bookstores and online forums, you're not likely to be nationally recognized.

    I could be wrong of course - I'm not a childrens book reader even - but I do buy books for my grandkids, and if it wasn't for the well maintained childrens sections of local bookstores, I probably wouldn't know what is popular, let alone what should be bought for certain ages. Honestly, I get most of my recommendations on what to buy for specific age groups from the blogs.

    Maybe I'm just no looking deep enough into the advertising though . .