Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Independent Publishers Meet-Up Notes 7/14/22

The purpose of this Meet-Up was for independent publishers (formerly called self-publishers) to share their ideas and provide feedback to SCBWI LI on their needs.

Independent Publishers’ Suggestions, Ideas, and Advice

Marketing and PR

  • • Independent Publishers voiced a strong need for marketing workshops.
  • • Make sure the book cover is eye-catching to draw readers into the book.
  • • Write a press release about your book. Send it to reporters, newspapers, magazines, and bookstores both locally and nationally.
  • • Social media is important. If your book has a connection with a trending Twitter hashtag, use it in your posts. Consider also using Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • • Recruit a college student or family member to help with social media and other needs.
  • • Networking is important. Join local networks (e.g., local group for women business owners).
  • • If at a show, make signs advertising “Meet the Author” and “Book Signing.” For some Independent Publishers, these signs made people stop at their tables.
  • • Think out of the box. Is there a holiday or other subject related to your book? For example, for a needlepoint book, contact a yarn store or needlepoint magazine.
  • • Think of creative ways to brand your book. Examples include flyers with your event dates, postcards with your book cover on the front and author information and where to buy on the back, bookmarks, stickers, coloring pages, and pencils.
  • • Hold book signing events where authors sign and sell their books under the SCBWI LI banner.
  • • Create a “Read Local” brochure of published books by SCBWI members to mail out to schools, PTAs, libraries, summer camps, and bookstores.
  • • The New York Library Association (NYLA) holds two conferences a year. Consider having a table at the conference to do book signings and to sell books.

School Events

  • • Hold workshops on how to do school events (virtual and in-person).
  • • Find out what schools require (e.g., commercial insurance, pre-order book forms, etc.).
  • • Authors can ask schools to purchase their books.
  • • Include a craft to engage the students.

What SCBWI LI Will Do

  • • Form organized committees to reach out to libraries, schools, booksellers, students, PTA, teachers, and translators to help get Independent Publishers’ books to children and teens. To volunteer on a committee, please contact Roberta M. Rivera, RA, at
  • • Arrange for another meeting in the fall. Further explore Independent Publishers’ experiences with self-publishing companies (Ingram vs. Mascot vs. Amazon). Consider combining the meeting to accommodate both Independent Publishers and PAL members.