If you are interested in writing for middle graders, check out Middle Grade Magic, an event put on by School Library Journal. Can’t attend on April 8, 2020? Not a worry because the sessions are recorded and you can watch them later. I spotted sessions on writing humor, writing stories about friends and friendship, and using mythology to help write fantasy. So that’s reason #1 to sign up.
Great Sessions. Panels of authors as well as librarians share their expertise on these topics and more including Family Ties in middle grade books as well as library programming for middle graders. Learning about programming is a great way to improve your own author events. Me? I want to learn all about escape rooms.
Equally Great Speakers. Not sold on the topics? Then take a look at the speakers. Personally, I’m eager to hear Linda Sue Park speak. She is the final keynote. I also want to hear editor and author Andrea Davis Pinkney. Why haven’t you signed up yet?
Cost. This event is absolutely free. Absolutely? Yep. There are no hidden costs like some events that get you to sign up only to discover that to access the full program you have to sign up for a class that costs $597. You also aren’t going to have any travel expenses although if you want to use Door Dash to order food in no one can stop you.
The date for this even is on a Wednesday which is one of my busiest days but that’s okay. I’ll watch the videos later on while walking on my treadmill. The authors and librarians who speak at SLJ events are excited about books and reading that their enthusiasm rubs off. Why not benefit from this excitement? You may hear something that sparks an idea or solves a problem in your current WIP.
Recently I saw a post, a know not where, that listed the four types of book events you can do. An author signing. A group signing. A workshop. A school visit. I looked at that and thought, “There has to be more.” And there are.
Creative Venues. This weekend fellow Business of the Book speaker Dan Killeen advised us to get creative when coming up with venues for a book event. He’s sold books as fantasy conventions and even the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Other possibilities include nature centers, historic sites, and animal rehab centers. Think of locations that might be willing to let you set up a table.
Unique Holidays. Then I saw a Flashlight Press add that discussed holidays throughout March and their books that tie into those days including World Sleep Day and Pack Your Lunch Day. I wondered what other oddball holidays I might be able to find. A quick Google search led me to Holiday Insights where I discovered that March is both National Celery Month and National Frozen Food Month. Week long celebrations added National Bubble Week to my list. And then I spotted National Pig Day and Middle Name Pride Day. This could get interesting fast!
What’s In It For Me. Another Business of the Book Speaker, Tamara Grantham, discussed making sure that every contact you make with your reader is clear about one thing – what is in it for them. Give aways and freebies don’t have to focus on tangible items. You can also make PDFs of art available. Or MP3 files of original music or poetry you read aloud. You’re a creative professional. Use it to market your book!
Go beyond the ho hum and the ordinary to draw in not only your readers but also the curious who may not know yet what you are all about.