Saturday, January 26, 2013

Missed It by That Much!

Just today I saw that the 2013 schedule for a literary festival that I have previously participated in came out while I was sick in bed this week. Drat!!

For the past several months, I had planned to contact the new organizers and express my interest in presenting my newest picture book. Too late. I felt like the beautiful SS Minnow had just left the dock for the 3 hour tour and I didn't have a ticket.

But rather than dwelling on what might have been, I decided to skip the pity party. Instead, I sat down and updated my to do list based on known family commitments (graduations, new babies, birthdays, etc.) and decided to get a handle on my planned and potential marketing commitments. I did it by: 

  • Creating emails to potential bookstores regarding signings
  • Updating a list of blogs looking for guest bloggers
  • Compiling a list of related businesses, etc. with parallel interest in the new book
  • Updating the Alphabet Puke: Monster's Medical A-Z press release
  • Getting out the 3-ring binder I had purchased to keep all my marketing notes, punching holes in all the information I had compiled in the past several months, and defining topic sections
  • Making a list of writer friends who might lend a hand with (or at least point me in the right direction) for facilitating the best social media buzz on the day of the book launch
  • Resolving to get more knowledgeable about Twitter and connect with folks who might really have a bonafide interest in the new book (besides the obvious of wanting healthy kids)
  • Re-working my blog and Facebook signatures to do a bit of passive marketing for my previous writing as recommended by friend and adept online author/marketer Darcy Pattison.
  • Making plans and reservations to attend a new SCBWI conference.

Organization is good! I'll keep you updated on how well the next few months unfold. I expect clear sailing ahead for much longer than the 3 hour tour.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Revisions Rule

When I was in high school I competed in speech and debate. I preferred expository speaking, but our coach insisted we try different events. In extemporaneous speaking you get a topic and then speak on it for about 5 minutes or so with only a minute or less to prepare. Depending on the topic, a sensible and non-rambling delivery can be tough to achieve. 

Sometimes, I feel like the first draft of a children's story is like that. An idea pops into your head, you process the various tacks the story can take, and then you deliver your ideas on a blank page. If it rambles too much, you want to throw out the whole idea. Fortunately, writing gives you plenty of "do overs" (i.e. revisions) to harness your creativity and hone a great story. The trick is remembering you have that capability. The first draft is never the last (at least for 99.999% of writers).

And let me know how the elf and dragon work out the cupcake sharing...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Big Dog, Little Dog

With the publishing world in a major state of flux, have you ever wondered whether you make a difference? When you see the rankings of well known authors in the high thousands, do you cringe and wonder if there is any hope for the average dedicated children's writer? 

I used to think that way until I figured out that I need to create children's stories based on who I am and not follow trends (although I've never wanted to write about vampires or a zombie apocalypse). I'm not a big dog (yet), but I'm not a tiny dog either. I'm just a writer focusing on being #1 to the reader who buys my books. (Readers are #1 to me.) 
What do you think?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Into the Fray

My new picture book, Alphabet Puke - Monsters' Medicine A-Z is coming out in March and I need to jump on the internet marketing highway in a major way. Yikes!

Do I know all the things you need to do to get a book noticed among the thousands of children's books published each year? Nope, not even close. Am I going to throw up my hands in defeat? (maybe) I mean, NO! 

I am going to assimilate all the marketing wisdom shared by children's authors and other online experts to guide my forays into advertising and "horn tooting" territory. I may even buy a bigger horn! (Probably not, but I may get one with more bling or maybe a steampunk horn. I'll let you know.)

Got any marketing pearls to share? Pass them forward and I'll do the same. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Clean Slate

As you probably noticed, my last post came just after the big Christmas Day snow storm. Until today, everything remained pristine white. Today started the big thaw. I even waited until melting started before walking in the backyard to maintain the perfect white a while longer. (We get deep snow so seldom.) 

Anyway, it got me thinking about the first day of each year and how we all have a clean slate (not counting looming deadlines) for our ongoing editing, new ideas, and submissions. It's like a do over. We can forget any rejection letters, delayed responses, or other less than hoped for outcomes. We are on top of our game with a clean slate. I started to fill mine today. How about you?
Happy New Year!