The Educational Market: Marketing Your Books to Schools and Teachers

Teachers and school administrators are constantly looking for fresh teaching materials. It's not always easy, however, to figure out how to sell to the school market effectively.

Selling effectively to the educational market begins before your book is even published. Before publication you should examine how your title will fill curriculum requirements. If you can tweak your text to more perfectly align with particular objectives and outcomes for a specific curriculum area, you'll have a much easier time selling your book to schools and teachers.

Plan Ahead

In the US, not all states use the same curriculum framework, so you should go beyond federally mandated common core materials when researching curriculum requirements and also investigate state mandates as well.

Many supplemental materials used in schools are funded with special programs. Whether that's gifted education, ESL training or special needs help, knowing what needs these programs fill will help you explain how your book meets the funding objectives. That crucial information might help you make a sale in a market where money is tight.

Additionally, when teachers seek out resources, they're also often looking for materials that represent their increasingly diverse student population. If possible in your title, be sure you appeal to and/or include all ethnic groups, economic situations and family types.

Finally, you should time your educational releases to take advantage of the educational cycle. New releases are best published in August/September so they can be evaluated during the current school year and purchased over the summer for the following year. (No one said the educational market was a fast sale!)

Seek Out Endorsements and Reviews

If you plan on selling to the school marketing extensively, you'll want to develop relationships with well-known educators, and understand the power of reviews in this market. Advertising and seeking out reviews in educational periodicals can pay dividends. Educational organizations often endorse products and administer awards in their fields. These too can be great avenues to give your title credibility to teachers and administrators.

Be Helpful

Teachers are busy and often overwhelmed. The more assistance you can give them in the form of lesson plans, handouts, activities, supplementary material and other teaching ideas can make a huge difference in the willingness of educators to introduce your book into their teaching plans. Be sure to emphasize these materials when you send out marketing materials to these markets.

In addition, hosting these materials on sites like TeachersPayTeachers.com, TeachersNotebook.com and ShareMyLesson.com can create awareness of your books in places that your marketing cannot reach.

Wendy J. Woudstra

Mom, coder, web developer, book lover, geek, writer, and a pretty nice person. Find out more about me at WendyWoudstra.com.

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