One Writer’s Journey

May 8, 2017

Book Trailer

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:42 am
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Recently I came across the book trailer for Tara Lazar’s Way Past Bedtime.  

Lazar shared a funny story about her trailer.  She was fussing and fuming that she hadn’t gotten it together in time to have a trailer before her book launched.  She fussed and fumed enough that she got the attention of her teen who put together this trailer in one evening.

One.  Evening.

What did it take?  Clearly, she has a program that enabled her to do this.  In this case, it was iMovie.  She had a copy of the book.  And the appropriate music.  And her imagination.

Granted, this is the sort of trailer that is only going to work for a picture book.  Or maybe a graphic novel.

Young adult nonfiction?  Not really.

How could I adapt this approach for my books?  The Ancient Maya could feature images from Mayan ruins.  Spooky images.  Creepy music and prowling jaguar could set the tone.  “Who built these cities and where did they go?”

Honestly, that’s the easy one.  Black Lives Matter?  Maybe a newsroom set up.  Who is this group and where did it come from?

12 Incredible Facts about the Cuban Missile Crisis?  Audio could be news footage and images of kids practicing duck and cover.  “What brought us to this point?  What you need to know to understand the threat of the Cold War.”


What do you need to keep in mind when you put together a trailer?

The tone of your book.  Is your book silly or serious?  Upbeat?

Music.  If you are working with video, don’t forget the audio element.  What type of music can you use to capture the tone of your book?

Images.  A picture book is going to come with images.  But for older nonfiction you have to get creative.

The audience.  If your book is going to have school appeal, you want to create a trailer with visual impact because it may be playing in the background in a school library.

I’ve never made a trailer but this is tempting me to try my hand at creating this all important promotional tool.


September 27, 2016

Winter Reading List

 Are you an SCBWI Pal Member?  A Pal member is someone who has published a book with a recognized professional publisher. If so, take advantage of this Pal opportunity to promote one of your books.

The organization is pulling together a Winter Reading List for 2016.  Schools, libraries, bookstores and consumers will have access to the list via digital download. SCBWI will promote the list paid advertising, social media marketing and social media advertising.

I’ve already submitted my book for the list.  Have you?  If not, you have until September 30th to take advantage of this opportunity.  Send an e-mail to with the following information for your book:

  • Title:
  • Author:
  • Illustrator:
  • Genre:
  • 25 Words (or Less) Book Description:
  • Your City and State of Residence:
  • Publisher:
  • Publication Date:
  • Grade Level (Choose the closest match from this list/PreK-K; 1-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12)
  • Also let them know if this is the same book you submitted for the Summer Reading List. That’s okay but they prefer that you take the opportunity to showcase another books.

Remember, this is due FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30.  Take advantage of this free opportunity to showcase your book.


August 24, 2016

Early Literacy: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:50 am
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reading boyThe St. Louis County Library system has an exciting new program — 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.  Studies show that children who have been read to since birth have an edge when it comes time to learn to read.  Why?  Because they have stronger language skills and vocabularies than children who have missed out on this experience.  Children who participate get prizes at 500 books and the full 1000 books.

  • What does this have to do with writing?  Think about the many ways that this program could be to your advantage if you write picture books. Ask to host a story time at your local library.  Read your books.  Read the books of other authors.  Simply watching kids react to books is great research for a picture book writer.
  • Offer various book related material as prizes.  Perhaps you could offer copies of your books or posters of your book cover.  Maybe you could even make a coloring page based on your book cover.  All of this gets word out about your book.
  • Does your church offer a preschool?  Offer a post-school story time for the kids and offer to speak to the parents about the importance of reading aloud to literacy.

I hope that you see where I’m going with this.  Even if you don’t live in St. Louis county, many libraries and humanities councils have early literacy programs.  Look for ways to hook into these programs, educate parents and turn kids on to reading.

It’s a great opportunity to experience your audience first hand.



April 22, 2015

Goodreads Author: Join the Author Program to Promote Your Books

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussionIf you have a book that is listed on Goodreads, market it by joining the Goodread Author Program.  If you have an author listing, a reader who clicks on your by-line will find a list of all of your books.  You can post events and videos and even quizes on your topic as well as hold contests.  I also have One Writer’s Journey posted on my profile.

Joining is easy.  First, sign in to Goodreads.  If you aren’t a Goodreads member, you’ll have to register first,  If you are, log in and then search for your book.

When you pull it up, you will see your by-line.  Click on it.

This takes you to your author profile page.  If you aren’t part of the Author Program, this page is going to be pretty scant but you can fix that.  Scroll to the bottom and click “is this you? let us know.”

This will let you send a request to join.  Easy peasy mac-n-cheesy.  They say it takes them a few days to process requests.  I think it took one day.

I’ve already removed my birthday from my listing, added a photo of my book cover, and linked my blog into my new profile.  There are tons of things that I can do, now I just need to decide what to do next.  Any suggestions?


April 14, 2015

Promotional Items

I hadn’t intended to write about promotional items this week but I saw a blog post about the most creative business cards and WOW some of these things are amazing.  You can see the entire line-up in the video below.  That said, I turned off the annoying sound track. Still some of the business cards really made me think.

I especially liked the ones that were interactive: the bike tool business card from the bike shop, the hair dresser card that you rolled into a little person with wacky hair, the photographer’s card that was a clear plastic view finder, and the adventure company’s card that was edible dried meat.  (Ick!)

So what would be interactive and clever for a writer in general or for a particular book?

A spider web on a clear plastic bookmark for Charlotte’s Web.

Blood red nail polish in a bottle with the title and author for Dracula.

A blue semi-transparent bookmark patterned with sea weed for a mermaid story.

My Maya story calls out for a stone knife book mark or a create-your-own stella bookmark.

Pearl Harbor?  A plane spotters guide?

What about your books?  Or your favorite classics?




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