Day 4: How to Market a Book

For the last three years, I have been a member of the Regional Chamber of Commerce (Attleboro – Franklin) in Massachusetts. As part of the Network Group, we get to present our business to the group. Wednesday, July 16, I will present my book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender for K-8. This will be one of my not-so-virtual appearances.

These are my trusted friends, advisers,  and colleagues. I presented my quilts to this group as a business challenge. Once the book is done and out…what do I do with the quilts? Their answers were interesting! But that’s not what my talk is about…

For this group of marketing-minded people, I presented How to Market a Book.

Marketing a Book like marketing any other Product needs to be marketed so you get in front of your audience – your buyers. For books, you are looking for the demographic of who is going to buy this book. My target audience is GLBTQ kids (K-8) and Parents of GLBTQ kids and teens.

The best way to reach this audience is to do a Virtual Book Tour (VBT), which means exactly that: take a tour in the virtual world. This requires some places to visit, of course. Prime real estate online is Blogs! Find the blogs that are on the keywords, visit them, get to know the blog owners ,and then ask to be a Guest Blogger.

My tour began with a Guest Blog spot on an author friend’s Blog who runs a Parenting Blog to help parents discuss some difficult issues. GLBTQ issues definitely fit into her blog.

My Day 2 was to be interviewed by Domenic Cotoia at AM 1320 or http://SOMA1320.com.

My Day 3 was to talk about what a VBT was to my Writers’ Lunch Bunch group.

Day 4 on my VBT hasn’t happened at the point when I am writing this blog…and I’m not totally scheduled with firm dates for many of my next stops. Check back on my EVENTS page to follow my VBT!

 

 

Day 2: SOMA 1320

Today, I appeared on SOMA 1320, an AM radio station in Attleboro, MA. It was also streamed live at http://soma1320.com. I was on Domenic Cotoia talk show this morning to talk about my new book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8.

It was lovely to be interviewed by Domenic. This was my second visit to his show. I appeared there about eight months ago and talked about my writing and publishing business (http://publishwithconnie.com).

It was very nice to appear as part of my Virtual Book Tour. For more information, check out our EVENTS Page!

Day 1: Today Is a Beautiful Day!

Today is a beautiful day! Whether there is rain, snow, cold, warm or whatever, it is still a beautiful day! Today, is the first day of my Book Tour for When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, and we are visiting my good friend Peggy McAloon’s site at http://publishwithconnie.com/peggymcaloonblog.

Peggy writes a parenting blog with some updates and insights from her characters in Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals, a YA Fantasy that can appeal to adults as much as to young adults. To read more about Elle and her adventures, go to  http://peggymcaloon.com/books/#.U7W3TR0sZxM. To purchase her book, go to:

Why I Wrote. . .

Why I Wrote “When Panda Was a Boy: A Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8”

Some people wonder why I would write a book full of stories on Gender Identity. First, when I use Gender Identity, I include GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Trans <Transgender or Transsexual or Gender Neutral>, and Questioning), because in the early stages of gender questioning, many of these identities come up.

When children as young as two-and-a-half begin exploring who they are, they don’t actually have the maturity or the words to explain what is going on in their heads. It is actually best if parents support this exploration, because it is a natural part of discovering who they are. To explore, young children mimic what they see or what they feel. If they have both a mother and father in their immediate family, they simply take on their own interpretation of what their parents do.

For example, when I was very young, I used to get shaving cream to put on my face and a razor with no blade to wipe it off. This was not a decision that I felt that I was a boy on the inside, it was simply role play. Children may take it to a new level and want to dress the part. Parents who indulge their children help their children explore what it means to them to be male or female. The children who emerge as “trans” are much more emphatic about their toys, clothes, colors they like, and activities for which they want to do.

Boys who want to take ballet are not necessarily making a statement about being gay or “trans;” they may simply want to dance, which is enjoyed equally by boys or girls. At two-and-a-half or three, it may be hard to tell whether it is role play or a decision, but relax. You’ll know if your child is “trans.” There will be plenty of opportunity for your child to make that decision. Being supportive for whatever they do actually helps the child be okay with their gender, whether it is male, female, or trans, and whether they grow up to be gay or lesbian, as well. Remember, their DNA is already determining these factors. You are simply watching them grow into what has already been programmed.

“Trans” children tend to make a decision before they are seven, if they are given that opportunity. This decision is often dramatic. They may refuse to where clothing if it is something the child identifies as being typically the gender they present and not the one they are. Toys and choices of color, activities, etc. are often the same way.

“Trans” children who are not supported by parents and other adults in their family may not come out until their teenage years or much older. As children grow into teens and young adults, it becomes a harder decision, because they have learned how to stuff those thoughts away. They may be unnecessarily moody or unhappy. Often, these children and teens are depressed and may try drugs or attempt suicide. Naturally, these are not the only reasons why children and teens become depressed, try drugs, or even attempt suicide, but this can be one cause.

As these people grow older, it becomes even more difficult to come out, especially those who have continued stereotypical roles. They often get married, have children and with each passing year, it gets harder. Most end up coming out at some point, because it becomes harder to stay in the closet than it does to come out.

The reason I wrote these stories is to help those children who identify as GLBTQ that it is okay. The adults in the stories are also role models for parents, which help the parents see how easy it can be to communicate about these issues.

Even if your child is totally into the stereotypical norm for gender, it is good for them to hear these stories to understand what other children may be going through. Developing compassion and empathy for others is difficult if parents shade them from those children who do not fall into the stereotypical norms and lean toward LGBT.

To order this book, go to: http://publishwithconnie.com/whenpandawasaboyonamazon

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