Monthly Archives: June 2013

Deb Hockenberry Joins the Fun with a Guest Post




YAY! I did it. I guess by now you’ve heard that my picture book is being published by 4RV Publishing. Okay, that’s great news for me but now what? I know I have to market and promote my book but exactly how do I do that?

First, it’s important to have an web presence. Start a blog, a website, or both. If you want to do both, Weebly is a very good webhost. You’ll find this at It’s a WYSIWYG website and that makes it very friendly for a non – techie person like myself. They also give you the choice of using HTML if you prefer. They let you have unlimited pages in your site so you set up a blog among your pages. They also let you post videos and audio files. I’m finding out in my research that posting videos on your website is just as important as the website itself!

Read books about promoting your book. They give you good advice. I know that there are people out there who say discouraging things about them like, “These books are a year or two old. They’re outdated.” Nothing is further from the truth. Now, I have some good news! I’ve been reading two other marketing books. One is called EIGHT HOURS TO JUMP START YOU CAREER, THE EIGHT HOUR SERIES by Tammie Clarke Gibbs. The other is THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER by Carolyn Howard – Johnson. Both have excellent advice and are available in both print and Kindle formats on

I have to stop here and let you know that these two books have nothing to do with marketing and promoting children’s books but I think this is just fine. They’re both about promoting the book which is my goal. The emphasis in Ms. Clarke’s book is on ebooks written for adults.  Ms. Howard – Johnson’s book is about marketing and promoting all books in general before and after publication. As with Ms. Gibbs book, I’m using Ms. Howard – Johnson’s suggestions to promote my children’s book. The point here is that you can take the suggestions from any book about promoting and marketing, tweak them to suit your needs, and use them for your own book. I’ve even garnered a few ideas of my own from reading them!

Both books emphasize the importance of social networking sites like Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, Shelfari, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Author’s Den and others. Both books emphasize joining groups that are similar to your book and being active in them. They also state that you should start your author pages on these sites. Unfortunately, a lot of these sites require your book to be listed on or Barnes and However, Facebook will let you. I’ve been advised that the sooner you create one there, the better. So, I did. I have everything up there but a picture of the book cover. Heck, I even have a few posts up now!

We all know how social networking sites are constantly popping up on the ever changing Internet. We all have to do our own work to seek these sites out. There’s no getting around this at all! I can’t finish this paragraph without mentioning the ning groups. These are groups within groups and they cover every subject imaginable including every aspect of writing there is. One of these groups is called BOOK MARKETING. You might want to check this group out. I’ve listed the URL for the group below.

There are many other groups about book promoting on the other social networking sites too. I advise that you join these. You will get so many ideas and good suggestions from the other members about marketing your book! No matter what social networking site you’re on, just search for ‘book promoting’ or ‘book marketing.’

There are some good marketing blogs out there too. I’d advise you to subscribe to these since they offer up – to – date and fantastic advice! I’ve listed some of these below as well.

So, get yourself a web presence so you talk about your book. Start a blog, a website, or both. This is so important! Read those marketing books and form your own ideas. Join the many different social networking sites, get to know the people, and let them know you!



Deb Hockenberry

More Information about Deb

Deb has always wanted to write for children. She loved making up stories and telling them to her younger brothers, sisters, and neighborhood friends. If no – one was around, she told them to her pets – and she still does!

Finally, she decided the time had come to write these stories down. But she knew that in order to do it properly, she needed to study. So, Deb took two courses in writing for children from the Institute of Children’s Literature. She also belongs to the ongoing children’s literature workshop called The CBI Clubhouse as well as S.C.B.W.I. They are always such fun!

Deb was born in Pennsylvania. When she was in her early teens her family moved to a special place in Central Pennsylvania. She enjoys living there, particularly watching the mountains. There’s always something to see!

Deb especially likes watching the mountains wake up after a cold dreary winter. She enjoys watching the pale green leaf buds popping out on the trees and slowly changing into bright green leaves. She especially loves the fall when the trees change their colors. Then the mountains are dotted with the most colorful reds, yellows, and oranges you ever saw!

When she’s not writing Deb enjoys reading and reviewing books, watching movies, television and doing crafts.

You can learn more about Deb by visiting her

website at, The Bumpy Road To Writing For Children (blog): or on her facebook page: or on twitter @storiesfan.




Review of New Children’s Book, Butterfly Girls


A new review of my currently released book for young children, Butterfly Girls has been posed online as well as an interview.



Writing and Publishing Children’s Stories: A Class for Adults



         I was expecting four adults to attend my class on Writing and Publishing Children’s Stories. When I arrived at the Curious Cup Bookstore, I found that thirteen people had signed up. Fortunately, I had enough handouts for that many participants. The class was to run only an hour. Those that came were in various stages of their creative journey. One woman had already self-published a book; while another woman came because writing stories for young children sounded like something she might like to do. Most of the participants had started a story or had an idea of the kind of book they wanted to write.

         We sat around a big table and introduced ourselves. I had asked them to say something about where they were in this process and what they wanted to learn from the class. That way, I could tell how to structure my presentation.

         I started the class with the definitions of children’s books, focusing on each genre and how they differed from one another. Then I moved to a more detailed discussion of picture books. This was the type of book the majority of those present wanted to write. Then, I turned to how to write a story and some considerations that must be taken into account, including types of illustrations and size of the book. The final part was reserved for publishing, both self-publishing options, as well was traditional publishing.

         In looking back, I learned valuable lessons about giving this class. Some of the things I did were effective. In other instances, I learned where I could make improvements in both my presentation and timing.

  1. Definitely have handouts that summarize the presentation and bring more copies than anticipated. I basically followed the information in these handouts in my presentation.
  2. Circulate an email signup list. I told them that this was in case I found something else on the internet that might be of interest. Next time, I’ll include a column where they can specify what information particularly interests them.
  3. Hand out business cards and brochures and encourage class members to contact me if they have further questions or need something clarified.
  4. Sit around a table, if possible. Participants feel more comfortable and can       interact with one another in a more relaxed atmosphere.  Thus the class becomes more of a discussion, than a lecture. I encouraged questions and participation.
  5. I started on time. Nobody wants to wait for those people who are late. After all, people value their time and so should I. 
  6. Have samples and examples of what I would be discussing, preferably from my own books.
  7. I tried to pack in too much information. I should have allowed two hours rather than one. Although I stayed late until I had answered all their questions, some people had to leave, and I found I rushed through the last part of the presentation.
  8. Send out emails afterwards, asking for comments and suggestions.
  9. Thirteen people seemed to be enough given the size of the room. I would not have wanted more than 15 participants.

Maybe you have other suggestions that I should try next time. I could consider a power point presentation for a large audience. I’ve never done one, so I would need to learn how to set one up and practice.  However, I liked the informality of the class as I had structured it, and I think those who attended did too.