Baby Steps on Marketing a Children’s Book


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Hi everyone! There’s great news developing on my book and I wanted to share much of it with you. Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore just got a 5-Star Video Review at Give Me Apps where also the reviewer mentions the great functionality and the collaborative efforts that went into the book. At one point in the review, he describes the animation as “something that almost looks like a Hollywood movie!” Here’s their Blog Review as well. Right after the review, Best Preschool Books, put Sam on their list! That’s some really great news and hopefully will continue to help me reach my target demographic, children ages 4-8.

In week two of the book’s release, the book made it to the 2nd Best App in the App of the Week Contest at iHeartThisApp. This is a parent/teacher/peer voting opportunity and you can help by voting anytime for the book by clicking the link above. Sam also reached the Top 100 Books in the App Store list for iPad, which in my elated and humble opinion is a major feat, given the legions of books out there! Today we are #100! Oh what it would be like to reach #1!

Aristo Media, the publicity agency who represents Robby Armstrong, the Nashville star who wrote and produced the book’s original Americana-style musical score, pressed news about Robby’s involvement with Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. That press release went out to all country radio news outlets, and the release has cropped up all over the web. It was pretty neat to see Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore mentioned on a CMT site! Country Pulse also wrote up a nice story called, “Catch a Rising Star,” about Robby and mentioned his collaboration on my book.

Further, I was interviewed in this great article at iMedia about technology use for children, and have also enjoyed being on various talk radio programs throughout the country. I really enjoyed this particular radio interview on Tots and Technology on IMI Tech Talk with Tom D’Auria. (Move ahead to about the twelve-minute mark to bypass all the tech news at the start of the show.) I am in the process of putting all my radio interviews up on SoundCloud, so stay tuned for links to all of those. This interview with Derrell Connor on 620 WTMJ Wisconsin Talks was another one of my favorites, if you haven’t heard it yet. I’ve guest-appeared on stations in Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Kansas, New York and even Canada, working to get the word out about the book.

I’m just now getting exposure in the blogging community, and will be introducing myself to “Mommy Bloggers” next. If you know any mommy bloggers who would be interested in writing a review about the book, I’d love to hear from you. One blogger, GONGLESHANKS, who is part of a huge artist community and company called Grimnian Promotions, recently made me their featured artist!

This week, I will be writing a bi-line article for Today’s Parent, on any parenting topic of my choosing. Today’s Parent boasts a readership of over 100,000 site visitors a month, and the article will include a blurb about me and the book.

Finally, this month, I will head to Philadelphia for a live presentation at the Central Library where I’ll also be interviewed live by Al Butler at WURD. I’m honored to have a library event in the fourth biggest media market in the country, with a reputable urban broadcaster interviewing me on site. I’m also in the throes of getting scheduled to speak at an elementary school that has recently moved to an iPad only curriculum, and really do hope to start working with children on writing and going after their dreams!

As you can see, we have lots of great things in the works. Writing a book is one thing. Getting it published is another. Marketing a book is still another. I can honestly say– it’s all hard work! Thanks for continuing to help me get the word out about Sam. It means a lot to me, and we all know it takes a community to raise a children’s book author and I still have a lot of work ahead of me! In all seriousness though, we’re not doing too shabbily for just two months of marketing and publicity!

P.S. If you don’t have an iPad, and want to hear the book, you can download the full narrated book with music here. Thanks again for all of your love, kindness and support!

P.S.S. Thank you for indulging me in some of these bragging rights. It’s these big and small accomplishments that get the media’s attention, which will help me market the book, but more importantly, it’s the word-of-mouth contributions that you are all making that is helping me immensely. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Tonia Allen Gould

Conventional Print Publishing or Electronic Device Book App?


Why App Developers Need to Be Looking Long and Hard at the Children’s Book Market

Wikipedia reports according “to an IDC study from March 2011, sales for all e-book readers worldwide rose to 12.8 million in 2010; 48% of them were Kindle models, followed by Barnes & Noble Nook devices, Pandigital, Hanvon and Sony Readers (about 800,000 units for 2010).” In 2012, the study shows that e-book sales slumped with a “26% decline worldwide from a maximum of 23.2 million in 2011. The reason given for this alarmingly precipitous decline is the rise of more general purpose tablets that provide e-books along with other apps in a similar form factor.”

Enter 2013: General purpose tablets, like the iPad, continue to offer more engaging and interactive experiences for the reader. As parents continue to streamline their own book purchases onto these types of devices—it’s no surprise that their children will expect to access their books similarly. App developers need to stop and take notice that there is an existing and increasingly popular book app market for parents looking to educate and entertain their children in much more visually engaging ways.

Before a developer can begin to tap into this market, they should understand four important things first:

• Understand that the market already exists: Legions of unpublished children’s book authors are looking to get their literary works published conventionally or digitally. It’s a crowded marketplace, coupled with significant barriers breaking into conventional print. If developers can figure out how to publish, distribute and market books so these unique “voices” can be heard, they’ll be onto something big. You can find these unpublished authors on Twitter in droves searching through hashtags like #picturebooks #kidlit #childrensbooks #author, etc.

• Understand the need for creative people to help successfully deploy a book app: Developers will need quality authors, illustrators, copyrighters, animators, stock music houses and voiceovers, not to mention a creative director with graphic designers at her fingertips who can pull all of those contributions together seamlessly. If you bypass any one of these things, your app may come up short. Remember, parents expect a professionally published book, just as they expect the same when they pick up a book for their children at Barnes & Noble. The only difference is that they expect an “experience” with a book app.

• Understand that the market is evolving and changing: Be prepared to keep on your toes. Already some book apps have cropped up that look something more like a Disney/Pixar movie production. Constantly improve and nurture your network of contributors and stay nimble with the changing publishing market. Make sure you understand that a few years ago, kids were snuggling up next to their parents to have a book read to them when their parents were ready to take the time to sit down with them. Today’s kids are getting their books on demand and being read to by professional narrators, when mom’s lap isn’t available, and they are reading right from the comfort of their own electronic devices.

• Understand the conventionally printed book isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Real books belong on shelves in libraries and in homes, and kids will always need them and should have access to them. It will be a sad day if electronics replace them altogether. Book apps are a vertical market to the conventionally printed book. Lines don’t need to be drawn in the sand about which is better.

Tonia Allen Gould is the producer and author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, published by Skies America (July, 2013) an electronically published book app, available in the App Store on iTunes, and is also available by audio on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, and other outlets. Gould creatively directed and hand-picked the celebrity talent to make this eBook/app an engaging experience for children ages four to eight-years-old, leading up to the animation where Skies America Publishing Company picked up the project and launched it on iTunes. The app was art directed by “Mr. Lawrence,” the voice of Plankton and an original storyboard director of SpongeBob SquarePants, and illustrated by Marc Ceccareli, another SpongeBob storyboard director. It was narrated by two-time Marconi Award nominee, and a top radio personality and broadcaster in the country, Mr. Steve McCoy. The original musical score was produced by country artist, Robby Armstrong. Gould is available for consulting projects and can be reached via http://www.toniaallengould.com, or at toniaagould@icloud.com.