Thursday, February 2, 2012

Banana Peelin' with Katie Davis

So talk about luck...Somehow the universe worked it's magic and had me email the author Katie Davis at the time she was scheduling her blog tour. (I also might be included in one of her podcasts!) Before we hear this children's literature expert describe a couple of her own banana peely moments, I would like to expand upon what I mentioned in yesterday's post...the book giveaway!

So...I have a proposition for you. I know what you're thinking, and no. Not a government proposition like making chocolate it's own food group, to be recommended by high-up officials for daily consumption. Actually, this proposition is more of a contest. (Although just as sweet!)

If you, YOUR NAME HERE, promote Banana Peel Thursdays in any of the two ways listed below, you will be entered to win a free, downloadable version of Katie Davis's new book, How to Promote Your Children's Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller!

This could be yours...

Here are the two ways you can promote my Banana Peel Thursday series:

1. Add the glorious Banana Peel Thursday badge (created by the talented Heather Newman), to your  blog sidebar, with it linked back to my page.

2. Promote Banana Peel Thursdays to your writer friends via your blog or a Facebook shout out, describing in your own words what the heck Banana Peel Thursdays are all about!=) (Please mention we are currently accepting banana peel slips from authors of all shapes and sizes and DO NOT discriminate on the basis of  preference for popcorn over chocolate, although I might have to give you a funny look.)

If you should choose to do one of the above options, your name will be entered once in to my magic hat, (which thankfully you are not here to smell). You will have one chance to win our author's new book. As an added bonus, you'll officially go down as being great in my book.

If you are a super star and decide to do BOTH options because you are just wonderful like that, then your name will be entered TWO times into the magic smelly hat. (And I might mention your name in the dedication of my fist book to be released sometime in the 22nd century... hopefully.)

To enter, please just leave a comment after this post letting me know what you have done by this Sunday. =) Thanks so much and con suerte (good luck)!

The smelly hat, the smelly hat, it reeks like this, it reeks like that.
It sits atop my head and stinks, so much so, I dare not breathe!
(Sad tribute to Mem Fox. I love you Mem.=))

So without further ado, I would like to present to you the banana peel slips of Katie Davis!


I have been known to use banana peels as stepping stones. So take this from a banana peel expert, before you can avoid mistakes, you have to know how to make them. Here is your tutorial.

How to Make At Least Two Huge Mistakes

1.   Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Case Study: When Little Chicken's Big Day debuted, I built a big marketing campaign, details of which are in How to Promote Your Children's Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller. One part of it was a sweepstakes. I spent an inordinate amount of time on this thing, creating art for every week, designing different fun challenges for entrants, and thinking up truly awesome and unique prizes. The first week was great! I even made a funny video pulling the names out of a hat to announce the winner.

Result: The work to advantage ratio was not good. By week two my audience was not interested in investing the time on my oh-so-clever challenges and frankly, I was exhausted with the whole thing by that point.

Next move: Sure I'd be humiliated or chastised for abandoning it, I fretted. I finally decided to just end the thing. No announcement. Just stopped. And you know what? No one even noticed.

Lesson: Have giveaways but let your blog hosts benefit: they get comments from participants and all they have to do is pull a name out of a hat!

2.    Have a Launch Party That Costs You A Lot of Money, Time and Effort to Plan

Case Study: For Little Chicken's Big Day I spent lots of time organizing a pre-Easter launch party at a great indy book store. I bought a pile of craft supplies for kids to make chicken related art, made chick related food centerpieces (Peeps, anyone?), and gathered donated door prizes from local merchants, giving them promotion on the invitation cards I had printed and set out all around town.

Result: I had a blast celebrating the debut of this book with the family and friends who came out on that unseasonably cold and horribly rainy day. I think one person who was not related to me showed up. I had expected selling tons, stacks and bookshelves full of books as I had in years past at launch parties.

Next move: To celebrate the next children's book launch, (and you should always celebrate that), I'll gather those I love and raise a glass. I'll also arrange traditional signings at the book stores, avoiding the extra work - for the employees and myself - that a party requires.

Lesson: Plan a much sleeker, less costly, and definitely easier launch effort - as long as you have a crack team of blog tour hosts like mine! So thanks, Elizabeth, for having me here and making this launch an un-banana peel moment!

Watch This Silly Katie Davis Video!

Learn from Katie and support her by following the author on her blog tour! Here is a list of where and when she will be featured:

Blog Tour Schedule:

Feb 8 - Shutta Crum
Feb 9 - McBookWords
Feb 10 - Kerem Erkan
Feb 17 - Fiction Notes
March 1 - 12x12 in 2012


I really just don't know what to say except for thank you SO much Katie for taking the time to participate in Banana Peel Thursday and for offering a book for the giveaway!  Good luck in the rest of your blog tour!  

(P.S. Thank you universe!)


  1. Thanks for sharing, Katie! Thanks for hosting, Elizabeth! Thursdays are the new Friday.

    And ooh, ooh, pick me! About to go share BPT with my followers - (not just to enter the contest, but because they will love it too!)

    1. Thank you so much Miranda! I will throw your name in the smelly hat! =)

  2. Great stories! Thanks Katie. You are such a great teacher.

  3. As usual, strong advice from Katie and evokes some "fun" memories, too. For my 2011 launch/book signing of "Giveaways" my ABC book on words from Native languages into English, I had tons of ABC cookies lined up in pretty paper cups, both chocolate & vanilla. Giveaways for "GIVEAWAYS!"
    Some are still in the cupboard...stale now. Hmm, decoupage is not out of the question.

  4. Good advice, Katie. Thanks. And I guess you can count the Peeps in the book launch headcount!
    Banana Peel Thursdays is a lot of fun.
    Thanks, Elizabeth. I tweeted a link and posted it on my facebook page.

    1. Wonderful Dana! Your name is officially in the smelly hat!

  5. Bang goes the mega launch I had planned in my mind. I feel bad about laughing here each week over these slips :) Thanks for sharing, Katie.

    Happy to spread the word, Elizabeth, but don't put me in the hat as I have already bought the book. Those of you who haven't it bought it yet, is PACKED with tips for us and, of course, super readable in Katie's style. I plan on reviewing it next week!

  6. Thanks, all, for the lovely kudos. Doing this post was no banana peel moment, as I love these connections!

    And Joanna - DO have a party! DO celebrate! DO set up signings with local indies. But when you calculate the cost against how many books you'd have to sell to match or exceed those costs, you need to ask yourself is it worth it? And this blog tour is touching so many more than are able to come to a brick and mortar.

  7. I like the idea of using banana peels as stepping stones, but maybe skates would be better? :-)

    Great stories Katie! There are so many things that you CAN do to promote, but it's good to ask the question - what SHOULD I do. Sometimes simpler is better. I'll let you know as soon as I have my first launch party! :-) (Although I must say I don't think a little rainy weather would have kept me away from peeps!)

    Elizabeth - I put this post on my author page today, but I'll go back and put a plug in for the series itself. It is an inspired one!

  8. Great post Katie and Elizabeth! Wonderful slips and tips to share! I hope to get Katie's book soon, but I might as well try to win it first! I'm going to put your badge on my blog and post on FB. Thanks for the giveaway and I love your Thursday posts!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! I am so happy you enjoy these posts! Thanks for spreading the word! I'll be sure to throw your name into the smelly hat!

  9. Elizabeth~What a great post! I put your badge on my blog and gave you a shout out on the 12x12, PiBoIdMo and Children's Book Hub FB pages.

    1. Thanks Penny for your support! I'm throwin' your name into the smelly hat!

  10. Another wonderful post! Katie has vast amounts of information over at her site-it's worth checking out. I picked up the book the other day and I'm looking forward to reading it this weekend.

  11. So stinkin' proud of you!!! The legendary Ms. Davis?! Good lawdy, friend!

    I have already posted the badge to my blog (I'm super cool like that. Ahead of the game.).

    Ms. Davis? Thank you for passing on your wisdom. We all benefit, no matter what you say!

    1. Yay Bethany! You are super cool like that! Your name is in the smelly hat. =)

  12. Thanks, Katie, for your tips on slips :~>

    Off to spread the word (via email) about BPT!
    Who can resist an AWESOME blog like this ;D

  13. Shared all over facebook! Love the name and idea of this site and will be back for lots more!

    Thanks for taking over, Katie. Sounds like a fantastic book.

  14. Fun interview, Katie and Elizabeth!

    I tweeted this yesterday, but will also post on my FB page.

  15. Another great stop on Katie's super blog tour. You're doing a super job.

  16. Great tips on book launches, Katie.

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