Marketing Your Work: Create a List to Sell All Your Books

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Friday, I was fiddling around on Twitter. One of my favorite picture book authors, Peter H. Reynolds, had tweeted this image. It isn’t just a list of his books. It is an updated list. And it isn’t just informative. It looks good. I might be a wee bit jealous.

But I’m not so jealous that the wheels didn’t start turning. We authors do bookmarks. We make buttons. Items like those advertise one or two books, tops. But this list has 38 entries including 3 that aren’t out yet and 3 collections.

Maybe people who write for adults don’t think like this but children’s writers are trained. What can we produce that is inexpensive and can be handed out to every kid we see at a school visit? That could be anywhere from 30 to 300 kids. The answer – a book list.

Don’t ignore this idea if you don’t write for kids. Something like this could also be given out at a conference. Or posted on your website. Or tucked into copies of your book at a signing. The possibilities are endless.

But first you need the basic list. Easy peasy. Right?

The first thing that I learned is that this is harder than it looks. I know. I’m probably the only one who is surprised. Here is my attempt. I pulled this together in about 40 minutes and it looks like it. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to work on it until I get it right. I want to:

  • Find a better font. I want it to be interesting, but not distracting. And bold enough to grab attention but not too bold.
  • Fix the photo. I managed to turn a full color into something that looks like a black and white sketch which de-emphasized it, but it isn’t the look I want. I’d like a pen and ink line drawing.
  • Layout. More graphics. Make it more engaging.
  • Bold. I'm not sure why it looks so washed out, but that needs to be addressed.

A friend recently told me to just use a Word template. I’ll have to check them out but I don’t do so great with templates. I tend to get a vision. Yeah, I’m visual but not artistic. I did my version in Publisher. I’m sure Publisher has templates since it is by the same people as Word.

I definitely think it is a good idea to have an attractive list of all my books so I’ll keep working on it. I mean seriously. If a world famous picture book illustrator can do it, I’m sure I can too. I have a few ideas.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins September 10th, 2018.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--I'm sure you have MORE than a few ideas. And very soon, you'll find the perfect combination of picture, format and font that makes your publications pop.

Good luck. (Does one sheet of paper have enough room to list all your books?;)

Angela Mackintosh said...

Sue ~ That's an impressive list! And much appreciated. I didn't know you'd authored so many books! Seeing them all on one sheet is amazing. You're going to have to print on both sides of the paper soon.

Now you know what it feels like to be a graphic designer! You just have to keep working it until it looks right. I like the hand drawing look of Peter's list and there are a lot of fonts that have that look. One site I like to use is - they have a lot of creative, artistic fonts.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Believe me - if he can get his books on one side, so can I. But you gals are super sweet!

I have a better font now. Need to play with it a bit.

And a graphic I drew. May need a second drawing.

Thank you for the suggestion on fonts. This could be all consuming so I'm going to put it aside for a few days. Can you believe I took two days off. I haven't written all day!


Margo Dill said...

This is very helpful and actually pretty simple--instead of making things so complicated--it's a list! An organized list. I love it. I'm thinking this could be used for more than books. I am thinking that it could also be used to advertise editing services for example.

Great post!

Jackie Pick said...

I love this idea -- elegant and smart!

Renee Roberson said...

What a creative idea, Sue! I am so impressed by your catalogue of books, too! I found out about a great program called Canva ( that has helped me with all types of designs I can't do at home without photoshop. You can even create social media banners and collateral pieces. I've been having a blast with it.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I have Photoshop and PUblisher but looks amazing. I'm going to sign up and use the design posts as a tutorial. This is going to be so fun! Thank you.

Sorry. My design geek self got a little carried away there. My poor husband had to call me to dinner several times when I was looking at fonts yesterday. I blame Angela.


Peter Reynolds said...

Honored! So happy my list caught your eye! I actually made this list original just for ME so I could keep track! I own a bookshop near Boston - The Blue Bunny. I realized this list would be handy for my readers there... you inspired me to add a photo and some art. Thanks again for sharing my list - hope it inspires lots of fellow writers and helps "connect the dots" to their readers!

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