Chances are that your book is not going to be the next Harry Potter series. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t steal some ideas from its billionaire author (and the publishing company).
Just this week, it was announced that Scholastic has launched the new online Harry Potter Reading Club. You can check out the site for yourself here.
Now, put all these brilliant minds together and you’re bound to have an author website that’s leading the charge in the children’s book industry. And the rest of us can steal some of those ideas and follow suit.
Here are the new, creative aspects of the site that I think we can all learn from:
1. Reading club bonuses. Right at the bottom of the homepage, it says: “Get a FREE welcome kit for your reading club that includes nametags, stickers, bookmarks and more.” This is a great way to offer some kind of incentive for people to start a reading club around a book or series.
2. A webcast. J.K. Rowling is doing an online webcast in October for teachers and schools throughout the world. Anyone can sign up and join the conversation. There’s no reason that other authors shouldn’t offer the same. Don’t expect the same sign-up as J.K. Rowling, but something is better than nothing!
3. Discussion guides, themed activities, and more. This ties back to #1. If you make it easier for a teacher to make your book part of the curriculum, you’re only going to increase the odds that someone takes the plunge. So offer things like discussion guides and glossaries of terms to sweeten the pot just a little bit. After all, no teacher would complain about having a little work taken off his or her plate.
4. Teacher tips. If one teacher likes your book, then others will follow. So make sure to give educators a place on the website to share their rave reviews of your book, and tips on how they worked it into the classroom.
So is there any drawback to this website? Well, they require you to register to truly access any of this content. That’s great for Scholastic, as it allows them to collect your information. Not so good for the user.