The first batch of Squirky books has arrived. It feels surreal to flip through my “debut” children’s book. It also means I have to begin something which I’ve never fancied that much: marketing (ironic since this blog here is also one of the marketing platforms heh).
My past experience with book publishing has shown me that authors should never just leave promotion to the publishers. However, promoting this book in particular really terrifies me. It’s such a personal project, and I remember telling my husband, “I’m probably going to be very angsty about ‘pimping’ this book, so I’m telling you in advance to please bear with me because I’m feeling vulnerable for us as a family.”
At AFCC this year, I had a short chat with editor Stacy Whitman from Tu Books, an American publisher that does diversity books. “Help!” I told Stacey, “I’m doing a children’s book series on adoption but no one in Asia has really done children’s books on adoption. I feel like I have nothing to refer to and I have no idea how to promote it.”
She pondered for a while and then replied, “Well, for a start, you’ll have to be an advocate for adoption.”
Initially, I’d totally rejected that idea. I’ve just been an adoptive mother for just two years – what authority/credibility do I have? Also, as a conflict-averse person, I’ve mostly kept my thoughts on politics/current affairs/society away from social media because well, you know how things get.
As you can see with this post and that post regarding the NLB book ban involving a few adoption books, I did get quite opinionated. I felt my views should be heard even if they weren’t mainstream/of the majority/ “what proper Christians ought to think”. One of my friends who disagreed with my views, but who was open-minded enough to have a discussion with me about the various perspectives surrounding this issue, told me, “If you don’t like what is happening, then you have to do your part to make the changes you want to see here.” And I finally agreed with him about something.
And so it begins. Lots and lots of Squirky promotion that is not just about pushing book sales but also raising awareness on adoption issues. And at the end of the day, it’s really for this story to reach the children who might feel a little less alone in the world after meeting Squirky.