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5 Tips Every New Children's Author Needs and How to Market Like a Pro

Updated: May 28

I started writing in 2019, and within a year of self-publishing my first children's picture book, I sold over 20,000 copies and had one of the largest football franchises purchase over 2000 copies.


After graduating from the University in 2015 with my bachelor's degree in graphic design and a minor in marketing management, I had the delusional notion that I would instantly land my dream job and have my own corner office within 5-7 years. Gosh, was I wrong.

College was quite the experience, and I learned a lot while also having the pleasure of meeting some amazing people. Some of which I still speak to today. One thing college did not prepare me for was the struggle of finding that dream job. I spent three years applying to jobs and interviewing for positions, but I quickly realized that there is a bias towards people with disabilities. I never disclosed that I am disabled, as I should not have to, but as soon as I "walked" into that interview, I would get the same look and knew I was not getting hired.

college graduation cpp

Since I had no luck landing a job in graphic design or marketing, I decided to create my own job, and since I always loved literature and writing since I was in middle school, I figured let me give this a try.

If no one was going to give me a job, then I would create my own job.

At the time, I was working part-time with a beautiful family I've known practically my whole life, and the eleven children I had the privilege of tutoring and spending time with inspired me to write my first book, What If We Were All The Same! I wrote this story in a few short weeks and decided, yes! I'm going to publish this. The children who inspired me all hold a very special place in my heart, and I asked myself while I sat there watching them run around screaming as children typically do: what if this child was just like this other child? All eleven children, even the set of twins were all very different from each other. And so that sparked an idea.

I knew what my story would be about, and I got to writing.

I knew absolutely nothing about publishing and knew that I had to start researching before deciding to do anything. Google was my best friend, and I stayed up late for many nights reading countless articles about writing and researching different publishing companies that could help me self-publish. I'm pretty sure I knew right away that I wanted to publish my book on my own because I did not want anyone telling me to change the way my book looked or sounded. I wanted my story to be authentic.

After a couple of weeks of research, I found a self-publishing company that would create a book cover for me and format the interior of my book. All I needed to do was provide my manuscript and interior illustrations. During this process, I have learned a lot, had many successes, and made many mistakes. Now, five years later, I have eight published children's books and am currently publishing two more this year.

author C.M. Harris, denzel washington quote


5 important lessons I learned

  • Do Not Rush. Nothing good happens when you rush the process of writing and publishing a book. Whether you spent years writing your story or a day writing it, you should create a practical timeline and account for at least a 6-month plan. You wrote a bestselling book; now what?

  • Hire Professionals. This is the most important and valuable thing to do! Ok, you let your sister or husband read your book, and they said it was great, no! You need to have a professional editor help you develop your story and make sure that not only does your story make sense but that it is going to sell. Find an editor specializing in your genre and review their past work. How well are the books they edited currently selling? There are many types of editing, and hiring a professional editor can make or break your book. There is much more to editing than just checking for grammar. There are many ways to find an editor, but I like using You can read the profiles, view their past works, and receive quotes before hiring.

  • Don't Be Desperate. Be careful! There are many scammers out there, and unfortunately, there are many aspiring authors who do not research the steps to take prior to publishing. The internet is full of scammers. The second someone sees that you have started your author journey, they will slide into your DMs and offer to illustrate, market, or print your book, but you need to take a step back and ask yourself if it is legit. There are many great resources out there to walk you through the process of writing, editing, illustrating, publishing, marketing, printing, and all these wonderful things that come with publishing your book. Again, you need a timeline and do your research. Do not pay someone $20 so they can post your book on their Instagram page so their fake followers can "buy" your book. I fell for this and trust me, you're wasting your time and money. Don't be desperate for help. If you are serious about creating a book that is going to sell, do your research and reach out to other authors or join the many Facebook groups for authors where there is a plethora of helpful advice.

  • Do The Work. You've heard me mention research, but what exactly does that mean? It means exactly how it seems, if you're stuck then look it up. Google really does know everything. If you are struggling with developing your story, then search for "How to write a children's book," "What is the right illustration style for my book," or "How to write a rhyming book." Well, you are reading this blog, so good job! You are researching! The book market is overcrowded, and you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. How can you create a book that is going to sell? What can you do that others are overlooking? Make a "Book Plan" and write down your goals for each step of the process. What is your goal for your story? What is your goal for illustrations? What do you want your book to achieve? Who is your target market? Where is your audience?

  • Enjoy It! The process can be daunting, but it will be worth it. Receiving praise from your readers will remind you why you put in the hard work. Remember, don't rush it, have a plan, hire professionals, and take your time creating something you will be proud of.

If you are looking for help, I offer my services here, and if you are looking for a children's book publisher, check out my company, Purple Diamond Press, Inc.


Marketing Tips To Consider

  • Be prepared. Know your book title, ISBN, format, BISAC codes, full book blurb/summary, publication date, page count, and size of your book.

  • Start with your book cover first. You should have the illustrator complete your cover first and announce it as soon as possible. While your interior pages are being sketched and finalized, you should post your book cover frequently on social media to build anticipation.

  • Know your Metadata and keywords. This is how your book will be discovered in databases and online. You can update this as seasons change and holidays approach. Match the theme of your story to upcoming events.

  • Add professional reviews and endorsements to your book description prior to publishing your book. You should be getting book reviews during this 6-month period.

  • Have an author biography. This helps readers connect with you. Keep it short and relevant.

  • Have a good book description. Make it intriguing and descriptive without revealing too much. Imply there is a twist or something mystical without giving away the entire plot.

  • Apply for a LCCN and copyright your book. Registration is quite simple and easy.

  • Know your target market and your audience. How can you place your book where they will see it? Where do they shop? What websites are they using? Be creative and think about how you can reach them.

  • Monitor your data. Analytics are very useful, and you should know how well you are performing. Check your social media and website data. Yes! You need a website, and you should have a business Instagram account to track your growth. If your views are low, then don't hesitate to change your description, keywords, etc. If you notice it's not working, then change it, but give it time to process the changes and record new data.

  • Be sure to track your book and make sure it is still being properly listed on Amazon other sites. Make sure your links are active.

Remember, marketing never stops. It's important to market prior to publication and long after.

What has been your biggest challenge?

  • 0%Writing

  • 0%Editing

  • 0%Illustrations

  • 0%Marketing

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