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Creative multi-marketing effort helps author create reader interest in her book

For a person with no previous publishing experience, Meg Walsh has taken to marketing her book with the tenacity of a seasoned professional. Knowing her intended demographic has allowed Walsh to promote her book to the audience in a targeted way.

Marketing her book Mama, Won’t You Play With Me? is not merely about sales figures for Walsh; it’s about spreading a valuable message. She came up with the idea for the book as she battled a severe bout of systemic lupus. She wanted a way to tell her young sons that her illness or inability to play in no way diminished her love for them, and the book came from that.

“I decided early on that because of the nature of my book, I would not only do traditional marketing but include illness-related charities,” she said. “Thank goodness for the Internet, as I was able to spread the word easily to many non-profit organizations.”

Walsh has also taken to the Web in other ways to promote her book. She posts updates about her upcoming events, provides links to purchase her book, shares information through links, and uses her blog as a platform to inform others about lupus, which she was diagnosed with ten years ago.

“Since the book’s release date, I have also been donating a portion of the proceeds from each book to an illness-related charity,” Walsh said.

Mama, Won't You Play With Me Cover

Though she has combined multiple marketing tactics, Walsh said one has stood out as the most effective: “I designed an eight-inch plush of the book’s main character, Dudley Duckling, and he definitely draws a lot of attention,” she said. “I wanted to design a special friend for those children with an ill or disabled parent; a friend to snuggle with who ‘understands.’”

To round out her marketing efforts, Walsh also hosts book signings at schools and other locations. She also recently won Best Book in the Children’s Interest category at the 2010 North American Book Dealers Exchange (NABE) Pinnacle Achievement Awards.

“It is such an honor for this book to be recognized,” Walsh said. “The added publicity will certainly help in raising awareness of the fact that eight million American families have a sick or disabled parent, and that the children cannot be left in the dark during this time."