One of the jobs taking place in The Laboratory at the moment is the promotion of the children’s book Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow. In this post, I want to look at how we can promote our writing in a creative manner.
As the book has a main character called Will Blyton, it seemed obvious that he needed introducing. I know from my own experiences how attached I become to fictional characters. It is embarrassing to say but I miss characters from long running sitcoms and books when they end. When I know them really well, I feel as if I am meeting up with a friend or a member of the family; that is how important character is to us. I believe this happens even more with older children. As they follow a character’s adventures, they not only have the excitement of the story but they have a friend who never makes them feel bad about themselves. Great characters are addictive to the human spirit. So how could I promote my twelve year old character, Will Blyton before his first adventure is for sale?
The first thing I did was create a diary written by Will which was set a few weeks prior to his adventure. It introduces him, his friends and the place where he lives. It does, I hope, make him interesting to other older children. I also wrote some silly newspaper articles for The Groaningsea Gazette which is the local newspaper. A letter from the villain Master Corpsehound is also written as a post. I then placed them on this blog. It occurred to me however, that blogs seem to be read by adults.
A great truth hit me as I watched a book review show. The reviewers were three female celebrities. They were talking about Michael Morpurgo’s “War Horse”. One of the celebrities, Caroline Quentin, said that she had never read any of Michael Morpurgo’s books and started talking about the film or the play. The other two celebrities – I don’t know their names – gave me the impression that they hadn’t read the book either. They also spoke of the film or play. It was dull and painful. However, when the next book was mentioned, a thriller with a main character as a woman – they had all read it and talked animatedly about it. Apart from the fact that I question celebrities going on book review shows when they haven’t read the book, it seems like grown ups like reading their own stuff. I don’t blame them, I am simply making the point that to promote an older children’s book, you have to appeal to the kids themselves and not the parents – I think.
From the age of nine to twelve, my son loved Youtube. He still uses it but not as much. It would seem then that a good way to promote Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow would be to film the diaries and put them on Youtube. How easy can that be? I have decided that I fool myself about these things or I simply would give up and become a stand up comedian. In my next diary, I tell of my creative calamities.
- My Frankenstein Journey 7 – A Creative Writing Journal (loonyliterature.com)
- My Frankenstein Diary 8 – A Creative Writing Journal (loonyliterature.com)
- My Frankenstein Diary 5 – a Creative Writing Journal. (loonyliterature.com)
- War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, film by Steven Spielberg – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Happy birthday to the children’s books site (guardian.co.uk)