Thursday, September 14, 2017


Cathrine, Cathrine Bailey -- sorry I have "Ice, Ice Baby" stuck in my head (it's the only Vanilla Ice song I can remember). I can only blame Catherine's post for this. Catherine's latest book "Lucy Loves Sherman" illustrated by Meg Walters is out on the shelves. In her post Catherine goes into detail with some of the things you can do to promote your book. Pre-published? That's okay too. A lot of these things you can do with your own illustrations to get yourself better known before you're published!

Catherine Bailey's "Hypnosis Harry" illustrated by Sarita Rich is in stores now! Catherine's other new books include Lucy Loves Sherman illustrated by Meg Walters and "Mind Your Monsters" Illustrated by Oriol Vidal


Yup. I’m quoting Vanilla Ice. But I have a good reason. Please let me explain.

As a children’s author, I do not have much input during the illustration process. And you know what? That’s fine with me! I happily trust the artists bring my characters and scenes to life, and they always surpass my expectations.

BUT - once the book is done - I love to collaborate with the illustrator on promotion. And considering these joint efforts as the book is being designed generates fabulous marketing material, plus you’ll already have a lot of the images saved in files and ready to go!

(1) COLORING / ACTIVITY SHEETS – I have a section on my website called FREE DOWNLOADS where I have coloring sheets and activity pages for each of my books. I could not offer these if my wonderful illustrators didn’t make them for me (or at least email me some images I could paste into Word documents). The best format includes a space for the child to write their name, the book title, ISBN number, and names/websites of the author and illustrator. Also, for coloring sheets, be sure the black and white image can be easily colored by little hands with fat crayons, (ie not too much detail), and includes the main character.

(2) IMAGES FOR PPTS – Many of my author visits involve PowerPoints, and the audiences LOVES when I can show how a character or cover developed over time. To that end, keep a file of images – from black and white sketches to colored final images that you can share with the author for when they (and you!) visit schools and libraries. Other fun images to pass along are pictures of your office, yourself, and any inspirations. Plus these pictures can be used for interviews, which I’ll talk more about below.

(3) BOOKMARKS – Get ye to Overnight Prints, and design ye a bookmark! Then please oh pretty please share the design file with your author. Just like the coloring and activity sheets, they should include the book title, your names, and the ISBN number. And leave some blank space for signing on the back (not every child can afford to buy a book, so signing and giving away free bookmarks is a cool alternative!).

(4) INTERVIEWS – Here’s a fun idea – if somebody wants to interview you, propose a joint interview with your author. You can ask each other questions and generally have a blast splitting the work of making a post / article. You can generate a bank of material for these interviews if you make notes about how you got hired, your inspiration, etc. as you illustrate the book.

(5) SOCIAL MEDIA – Make sure you and your author use the same hashtags when posting about your book. Consistency is key! For example, I could have used #HypnosisHarry or #HypnosisHarryBook when promoting my second book. Also share and like each other’s posts on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. If you mention your author in a post, include a link to their website if possible, and ask them to do the same.

(6) VIDEOS – This is my newest idea and, I’ll be blunt, I just love it! I reached out to two of my illustrators and asked them to make 1 minute videos of themselves drawing our characters. The results were SO FLIPPIN’ AMAZING! With their permission, I use the videos in PPTs, and posted them online on my YouTube channel. Plus I am working on a dedicated VIDEOS page for my website. Now I understand making a video sounds scary – especially for us introverts. But it can be as simple as having a friend hold your phone (gotta love that camera function!) over your desk while your hand sketches a character’s face. 30 seconds – and boom! – done. The best part is that your author can return the favor and record a video for you to use as well. I made one about the inspiration for my books, and have more in the works (mini tour of my office, etc.).

Thinking about these ideas and planning for them during the illustration process will make the collaboration process quick and easy.

I hope my ideas are helpful to you, and, to quote Vanilla Ice one more time, Word to ya mutha.

Catherine Bailey is the author of MIND YOUR MONSTERS, HYPNOSIS HARRY, and LUCY LOVES SHERMAN. Forthcoming books include LUCY LOVES SHERMAN’S BEACH, as well as two titles from Disney-Hyperion. When she’s not writing books or quoting cheesy rappers, she’s taking care of her family in sunny Florida.
You can learn more about her work at,
follow her blog at,
and see her videos at
She has worked with the following uber talented illustrators: Meg Walters -, Sarita Rich -, Oriol Vidal -

Smart Tip: Take a step back today and look at your drawings from a distance. It also helps to take a picture with your phone. It's amazing how many issues you'll find doing this!


  1. Free downloads ... what a great idea!

  2. Not published but these all sound like fun promotional ideas. Also, I couldn't agree more with the smart tip. Stepping back helps ALOT.

  3. Great promotional ideas! I especially liked the one minute video suggestons.

  4. Great ideas! I often use a mirror to spot wonky images. Reversing them helps spot problems too.

  5. It's all about the collaboration! I love it! Great insight. thanks!

  6. working together...what a great time to celebrate that!

  7. Thanks for sharing your tips, Catherine! The videos are so fun!

  8. These are fabulous ideas, Catherine. Thank you so much for this post!

  9. While I have seen those promotional ideas around, I really appreciate Catherine putting them down into one concise and easy to grasp list! Thank you!

  10. Thank you for the wonderful promotion ideas Catherine!