Tonight we chatted with Ben Zackheim, middle-grade fantasy author, or “writer of smart books for smart children.” He’s worn a lot of hats in his working life and a few years ago switched from the game industry to self-publishing his own novels. He’s also a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where he shows creative people how to market their work. You can say hi to him on Twitter and check out the first book in his Camelot Kids series on Amazon.
Here’s a little of what we talked about tonight:
- The challenges of marketing middle-grade books
- How independent publishing differs from film-making and video game creation
- Working with artists for quality covers and possibly in-book material
- Thoughts on blogging, social media, and “building a platform”
- How many people are overlooking local markets in their marketing attempts
- Utilizing visual artwork to help sell your books (Don’t have any? Commission some for your world and your character.)
- Costly ads and other marketing schemes that should be avoided
- Focusing on a series and publishing regularly
- Is it worth trying to target fans of a popular series by writing something similar?
- Getting a table at conventions and selling directly to your target audience
- Amazon ads (and what analytics Amazon shares with authors) — will they be better in the future?