Categories

Marketing My Children’s Picture Books with Paper Craft and Book Making Classes

For me, the hardest part about being a children’s picture book author is the marketing. One of my most successful, marketing techniques is to teach paper craft and book making to young children. My classes and /or demonstrations are held at schools, book stores, toy stores, museums, galleries, at book fairs and even on the street. I find this is an excellent way to interact with young readers, their parents and grandparents. These classes and demonstrations provide an opportunity to advertise future events, publicize my books and keep my name in the local media. In addition, the places where I teach the classes often allow me to sell my books, or they will sell them for me. These events allow me to develop an email list which I use to send out a newsletter and publicize additional events, any new books and my web and blog sites.

I now have a variety of book forms, from simple accordion books to more complicated forms, to be used in a variety of class situations and even street-side locations. Much depends on the age of the children. I like to limit formal classes to children over the age of seven, because the younger ones do not have the cutting and other skills needed to do the projects. However, if there is an adult present ready to help or the class isn’t too full, younger kids do attend. And with this adult help, they do quite well. Even two-year-olds like to have a piece of paper or book for drawing.

The young authors and artists are free to decide how to decorate their book, what to write and what color pages and covers to use. It is amazing how creative these children are and how they dive right in and start writing and drawing. I provide a variety of colorful paper choices and pens as well as other supplies to ignite their imagination. Sometimes I charge a small materials fee and sometimes not, depending on the location.

I have a pile of my children’s stories available for the kids and parents to examine and read. When the class is over, I hand out brochures detailing my stories and listing the places where they can be purchased, either online or at local stores. Naturally, it’s nice when my books are bought on the spot as happened this past week at a class.

Recently, I have developed book making projects that directly relate to my published children’s picture books. For example, “Hopping to the Moon” is a story about a frog that dreams he has hopped to the Moon and what he finds there. It’s designed to teach children about the Moon and space travel. The accompanying art projects I call a Moon Book, a circular form with a picture of the Moon on the cover. After reading the story, we talk about the Moon and space travel. They cut out the front and back cover out of card stock and make colorful circular pages that they string together at the top to form a book. Depending on their age, the kids are encouraged to write a story about life on the Moon, or draw pictures of the Moon surface and decorate their book with the pens, punches and other supplies I provide. Their final art book is designed to be hung in their room.

bgfront cover f 2x2 92cd ft cover f 4x4 180I also have a couple of butterfly book forms that corresponds to my stories, Butterfly Girls and When Caterpillars Dream. Here again, after I read these stories, the children make a book that looks like a suspended butterfly that can be used for story writing or pictures or merely a sculpture that again can be hung in their room. Of particular interest to children along the Central California Coast is the Monarch butterfly because of it’s long, winter migration to the Pismo Beach area.

 

I’m continuing to develop other book forms that correspond to my other children’s stories. Even if I don’t sell any books, these classes and demonstrations are fun. I love to interact with the kids and their parents and to see what wonderful creations the youngsters make.

For me, the hardest part about being a children’s picture book author is the marketing. One of my most successful, marketing techniques is to teach paper craft and book making to young children. My classes and /or demonstrations are held at schools, book stores, toy stores, museums, galleries, at book fairs and even on the street. I find this is an excellent way to interact with young readers, their parents and grandparents. These classes and demonstrations provide an opportunity to advertise future events, publicize my books and keep my name in the local media. In addition, the places where I teach the classes often allow me to sell my books, or they will sell them for me. These events allow me to develop an email list which I use to send out a newsletter and publicize additional events, any new books and my web and blog sites.

 
clap your hands book 4x3Clap Your Hands book

I now have a variety of book forms, from simple accordion books to more complicated forms, to be used in a variety of class situations and even street-side locations. Much depends on the age of the children. I like to limit formal classes to children over the age of seven, because the younger ones do not have the cutting and other skills needed to do the projects. However, if there is an adult present ready to help or the class isn’t too full, younger kids do attend. And with this adult help, they do quite well. Even two-year-olds like to have a piece of paper or book for drawing.

The young authors and artists are free to decide how to decorate their book, what to write and what color pages and covers to use. It is amazing how creative these children are and how they dive right in and start writing and drawing. I provide a variety of colorful paper choices and pens as well as other supplies to ignite their imagination. Sometimes I charge a small materials fee and sometimes not, depending on the location.

I have a pile of my children’s stories available for the kids and parents to examine and read. When the class is over, I hand out brochures detailing my stories and listing the places where they can be purchased, either online or at local stores. Naturally, it’s nice when my books are bought on the spot as happened this past week at a class.

Hopping ft cover 4x4 92

 

Recently, I have developed book making projects that directly relate to my published children’s picture books. For example, “Hopping to the Moon” is a story about a frog that dreams he has hopped to the Moon and what he finds there. It’s designed to teach children about the Moon and space travel. The accompanying art projects I call a Moon Book, a circular form with a picture of the Moon on the cover. After reading the story, we talk about the Moon and space travel. They cut out the front and back cover out of card stock and make colorful circular pages that they string together at the top to form a book. Depending on their age, the kids are encouraged to write a story about life on the Moon, or draw pictures of the Moon surface and decorate their book with the pens, punches and other supplies I provide. Their final art book is designed to be hung in their room.

 

 

Butterfly Books made by my students

I’m continuing to develop other book forms that correspond to my other children’s stories. Even if I don’t sell any books, these classes and demonstrations are fun. I love to interact with the kids and their parents and to see what wonderful creations the youngsters make.

IMG_1726

 

IMG_8846_pp1crop to faceBeryl Reichenberg has been an artist for many years, and in the past eight years, she turned to writing and illustrating children’s picture books. Remembering when she was young and her grandfather told her stories in an old, rocking chair by the fireplace, she started writing stories for my own grandchildren.

Beryl now has produced over 35 titles, illustrated with her drawings and photographs. Oak Tree Press has published six of her children’s picture books. Other books have been published by Blurb.com and Createspace.com.

She holds a Master’s Degree from UCLA and taught school in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. She is a member of a local writing group, SLO NightWriters, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the National Storytelling Network

Visit her website at www.berylreichenberg.com or her blog at http://berylreichenberg.wordpress.com for more information. She is also on Facebook, Google plus, Amazon Author’s Central, ManicReaders and Linkedin.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.