Guest post: 4 children’s book author blogging ideas

Vivian Kirkfield

Vivian Kirkfield is my poster child for what’s possible for self-published authors. In 2010, she self-published an award-winning parent-teacher resource book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking; in 2016, she signed a contract with a traditional publisher for her first children’s picture book. That didn’t just “happen.” Vivian worked hard to make it happen. She is passionate about helping kids become lovers of books and reading and hopes that the stories she writes will have kids saying to their parents, “Read this one again, please!” Learn more about Vivian on her blog, Picture Books Help Kids Soar; follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.

Guest post: 4 children’s book author blogging ideas

By Vivian Kirkfield

At the end of 2010, I jumped into blogging. I had just published a resource guide for parents and teachers. And I planned to write picture books for children.

I figured I should start a blog, but I knew nothing about blogging. Fortunately, I took Sandra Beckwith’s Book Marketing 101 for Nonfiction: How to Build Book Buzz e-course and I learned a lot. Sandy and the other experts I spoke to had the same advice: Blogging is a great way to connect with your audience.

But who would that audience be?

  • Blogging as a children’s writer, you want to appeal to parents, teachers, and librarians . . . if you write for older kids, you might want to think about connecting with them . . . for younger kids, you can provide activities or printables (like coloring pages) that parents can download.
  • You also want to connect with other writers. Writing is a solitary occupation and blogging can offer a writer the support and encouragement of a community of like-minded people.

So knowing this, what should you blog about? Here are four children’s book author blogging ideas:

1. Book reviews

Depending on the genre you write, review a book on a regular basis. Your recommendation will help parents, teachers and librarians. And reading books in your genre will help you become a better writer.

Some bloggers organize blog hops with link ups that help them connect with other bloggers while they gain new visitors to their blog. What type of blog hop would be fun for you to do?

2. Author/illustrator interviews

4 children's book author blogging ideas 2Who doesn’t want to get a peek inside the life of a favorite author or illustrator?

Parents, teachers, librarians, as well as fellow writers, will appreciate finding out how an author or illustrator went from idea to published book. I’ve had a series called “Will Write for Cookies” for the past several years. I reach out to friends who are published authors or illustrators.

I also connect with authors of books I love and authors I meet at conferences. I develop a relationship by leaving comments on their blog or Facebook page.

You’d be surprised at how happy authors are to appear in an interview on your blog—it’s a win-win situation because they are getting some exposure for their books.

What spin could you put on a series?

3. Writing prompts, contests, and challenges

If you are looking to connect with other writers, most of them can’t resist a writing challenge or a contest.

Several writers I know run challenges that grew out of their own needs. One writer wanted to generate more story ideas so about eight years ago, she organized Picture Book Idea Month. PiBoIdMo encourages writers to come up with a story idea (or title or character name) every day in the month of November.

Each day, she has incredible authors, illustrators, agents, and editors who write a guest post with inspiring thoughts and great writing tips. And at the end of the month, she awards prizes.

Another friend did that challenge and wanted a way to motivate herself to turn those ideas into stories. So she organized her own challenge to encourage writers to write a picture book draft every month. She started it in 2012 and called it 12×12 and now she has hundreds and hundreds of followers who register every year to participate.

What challenge could you start?

4. Book content and teasers

4 children's book author blogging ideas 3Most picture book writers I know don’t post their stories on their blogs because of intellectual property issues. But if you have a book coming out, you might want to post a trailer for it.

If you connect with other bloggers, you might arrange a virtual book tour, where other bloggers showcase you and your book or where you host them on your site. This helps widen your audience.

If you are a nonfiction writer, you could write about the topic of your latest story. This would appeal to other writers as well as parents and teachers. My debut picture book is about a former slave who received the first U.S. patent awarded to a black woman.

I plan to highlight an invention every month that would appeal to kids—Silly Putty, Slinky, Playdoh—the stories behind these inventions are fascinating and would appeal to parents and teachers as well.

What content are you comfortable writing about?

I think children’s writers make the best bloggers. Just keep your content fresh. Leave comments on other blogs. And most important of all, have fun.

What do you blog about on your site?


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27 Responses to Guest post: 4 children’s book author blogging ideas
  1. Vivian Kirkfield
    February 10, 2016 | 12:45 pm

    You are a magician, Sandy! This looks fantastic! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about blogging as a children’s writer…I hope it’s helpful to all of your readers.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 10, 2016 | 1:31 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with such generosity, Vivian! I’m grateful! And I have to confess…that photo I used for “Will Write for Cookies” inspired me to make gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies over the weekend. Yum!

      Sandy

  2. Iza Trapani-Hare
    February 10, 2016 | 2:35 pm

    Great suggestions, Vivian. I love your Will Write for Cookies series!

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 5:10 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Iza! And thank you also for being the absolutely FIRST author to grace the Will Write for Cookies series when it started a couple of years ago.

  3. Adam
    February 10, 2016 | 3:24 pm

    Great article! As someone who is about to start blogging, and was wondering about things like audience, etc, this has been a real help! So thank you!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 10, 2016 | 4:04 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Adam. I’m glad Vivian’s article was so timely for you.

      Sandy

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 5:13 pm

      Your words are music to my ears, Adam…I am thrilled that the article was helpful. It can be overwhelming when you first wet your feet in the blogging/social media world…just take it step by step. And remember, there are always so many avenues of help and resources available…Sandy’s blog is one of the BEST.

  4. Mary Jo Beswick
    February 10, 2016 | 3:33 pm

    Great guest piece Vivian. I love your blog and now you have introduced me to Sandra Bechwith’s blog! I’ll be back Sandra!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 10, 2016 | 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad to hear it! Just add yourself to my email list using the form in the upper right of the page or at the bottom of the blog post and you’ll get an email notice when each new article goes up on Wednesday mornings.

      Sandy

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 5:15 pm

      Oh my gosh…Mary Jo…you will be so happy to have discovered Sandy…she is a whiz! And when it comes to ideas to generate buzz for your book, she is a magician. I’m so glad you came over…make sure you sign up for her email…her newsletters are the bomb!!! Glad you enjoyed the post…you’ve got a stellar blog yourself!

  5. Barbara Ann Mojica
    February 10, 2016 | 3:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing….all great suggestions though I have the most experience with book reviews and book content. Perhaps I will work on the numbers two and three.

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 5:16 pm

      So happy you came by, Barb! Your website rocks! But I’m glad you are taking away a couple of new ideas. 🙂

  6. Lindsay Nell
    February 10, 2016 | 8:18 pm

    Thanks so much! This post is exactly what I need to take my blog to the next level.

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 11:57 pm

      Hi Lindsey…you are so very kind…I’m glad you are finding ideas that you will be able to use on your blog. Thank you so much!

  7. Jilanne Hoffmann
    February 10, 2016 | 9:14 pm

    Great advice, Vivian!

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 10, 2016 | 11:58 pm

      Hope there were some takeaways in the post, Jilanne! Glad you stopped by to read it. 😉

  8. Kristi Veitenheimer
    February 10, 2016 | 9:20 pm

    Great article, Vivian! I want to start blogging on a regular basis, so this is great information.

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 11, 2016 | 12:00 am

      Howdy Kristi…thank you for coming over to read my post…Sandy’s website is so very helpful for writers and bloggers…glad you are getting a chance to visit here. 😉

  9. Lori Dubbin
    February 11, 2016 | 12:44 pm

    Vivian, you connect with other writers and readers in the most charming way. Thank you for all these great ideas to try and avenues to take to become a better blogger!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 11, 2016 | 6:12 pm

      Lori, you expressed Vivian’s “style” so perfectly!

      Sandy

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 12, 2016 | 6:00 pm

      Thank you so so much, Lori…I’m so glad the ideas are helpful…you know how much I love being in our kid lit community. 🙂

  10. Cheryl Carpinello
    February 11, 2016 | 5:06 pm

    Hi there,

    I interview childrens/MG/YA authors every month on my blog. http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com. It has helped to build my readership and given visitors a look at new authors and books. I use to review but just can’t fit that in anymore with my writing and such. Thanks for sharing, Vivian and Sandy.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 11, 2016 | 6:11 pm

      You’re welcome, Cheryl. I’m so glad Vivian was willing to share her experiences with us.

      Sandy

    • Vivian Kirkfield
      February 12, 2016 | 6:05 pm

      Hello Cheryl…I will definitely come and visit your blog…author interviews are such fun. 😉

  11. Vickie Weaver
    February 18, 2016 | 12:14 pm

    Will write for COOKIES? Hey, I’m the cookie monster (hee-hee).

  12. Tracy Bryan
    March 6, 2016 | 8:12 pm

    Vivian always has the most valuable and helpful advice! Thank you Vivian for being such an inspiration to so many children’s authors like me!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 6, 2016 | 9:05 pm

      She does! So glad you’ve noticed, too.

      Sandy

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