Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Tips and Takeaways From Our Published PAL Members

Each month our traditionally published members meet to chat about topics relevant to launching and marketing their books, as well as sustaining career longevity. Below are key takeaways from those chats:


Organizing Your Research Notes

Whether you write nonfiction, historical fiction, science fiction, or any other type of story that requires research, it can be a challenge to  keep all that information organized.  Not only do you need to find the facts you want easily, your notes can make the pre-publication fact-checking process much easier.  Here are three helpful services: Microsoft OneNote, Zotero, and EasyBib.

–This tip is courtesy of Heather Montgomery, author of 17 nonfiction books for children


YouTube and Target Audiences

When using YouTube for promotional purposes, carefully consider who your target audience is. Young readers, librarians, parents, or other writers. . . See Irene Latham’s Tuesday Two Minute Writing Tip for an example of short, pithy videos targeted for writers.  

–This tip courtesy of Claire Datnow, whose next book, THE ADVENTURES OF THE SIZZLING SIX: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING BIRDS (Star Bright Books) will arrive September 2022


Learn How the Big Publishers Market

Sign up for marketing newsletters from various publishing houses. Take note of what they do to market their books, and the timing of those actions. Apply what works for you.

–This tip courtesy of Stacy S. Jensen, whose debut book BEFORE I LIVED HERE (Neal Porter Books) will arrive Fall 2024


Should you be on TikTok?

Librarians, readers, and bookstores are turning to BookTok to find the next great read. Like on Instagram, hashtags are key–choose wisely. Tiffany D. Jackson (YA) and Darshana Khaini (PB) are two #kidlit authors whose posts gain a lot of attention on TikTok. The app makes it easy to record and post short videos. To make the most of your time, be sure you decide what it is you want out of TikTok, and who you want to view your posts (for instance, librarians and teachers or teen readers).