Writing Marketing Materials

Today my editor wrote to suggest I draft a press release. He and I are collaborating on the marketing plan for Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. Such is the nature of publishing with a small publishing company. (Actually, I think it is the nature of publishing, period.) We all have to pitch in and help with everything that needs to be done. A few weeks ago, I sent in a list of names to add to Boyds Mills‘ master list of reviewers, librarians, teachers, science magazines, etc., who will get an advance copy of Growing Patterns. Among them were librarians and bloggers I have met or followed during my nearly two years as a published author. I looked at each blog carefully to determine the individual blogger’s policy for submitting books for review. In some cases, reviewers want to read about a book and request a copy if interested. So, I started the press release.

The last time I wrote a press release for a book, the target audience was local media outlets at the time of Wolfsnail‘s launch at a local bookstore. I had to convince general interest publications to run a story or blurb about a local woman becoming a published author. My charge this time was different. In the first place, I was writing for specialists. Folks in the Kidlitosphere are discerning readers of children’s books. They stay abreast of what’s being published and they know what they’d like to have in their libraries, classrooms, and homes.

As I stared at the blank screen, I was temporarily stymied. How could I describe this 811-word book in a few sentences? Sometimes, when you’ve lived with something so intimately for so long, you believe you can’t find one more original thing to say. Then I remembered that I am the only person (with the possible exception of my husband and my editor) who has been living and breathing this book. To others, it will be new. This freed me to write about why I think this book will be a good addition to any (and every) library in homes and schools and cities and towns. I want kids (of all ages) to open this book, to count flower petals, to add numbers, to discover a pattern, to trace spiral shapes, and to search out examples of Fibonacci numbers in their own neighborhoods.

In a way, I was writing a review of my own book. It felt strange. I am curious about how other writers handle the marketing responsibilities that come their way.

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