LET’S GET SPARKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yes, this is it!

Summer Sparks
starts TOMORROW!

A few of you might be wondering what to expect. Here’s what is laid out:

  • SUMMER SPARKS runs from June 21st to July 4th (officially). There’s one bonus post and a few follow-up posts from me though.
  • Each day a new blog post will appear. Make sure to follow my blog. Email sign-up is over here —>.
  • Learn something new about the writing process, some ins and outs of writing, writing tips, etc everyday.
  • Writing prompt! Get inspired and let those sparks fly!
  • Comment on posts. I would love to hear how you are doing. What you thought about the post.
  • Join the SUMMER SPARKS fb group page to ask questions and to intermingle with other participants, if you like.
  • Have fun. This may be a writing challenge, but the main purpose is to inspire you, learn, network, and take some pressure off.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. Or ask over on the SUMMER SPARKS fb group page.

Happy Writing!


www.Wednesday… KidLit TV


KidLit TV, which will launch in the fall, will be the online video resource for the greater KidLit Community.

So why am I telling you about this web site now? There has been a FB group created for KidLit TV. This group will be your place to post videos or links to videos! Share your book trailers, news videos, interview videos, school visits, book signings, how-to advice on everything from creating awesome picture books to making animated presentations. You can also share others that you have found helpful, even if you have not created them. This is your video group in the KidLit world. 

I spoke with Julie Gribble, the creative brains behind KidLit TV and here’s what she had to say about it:


Our exciting new venture, KidLit TV, will leverage our experience with other forms of media to help parents, teachers, and librarians learn more about the world of children’s literature. It will feature interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators and will be an online visual resource for the greater KidLit Community.
The KidLit TV website and YouTube channel will be launching in fall 2014!

Remember the FB Group Page I mentioned earlier. There is a ‘soft’ launch going on TONIGHT! Julie and I will be online at 8 pm est to answer your questions and take suggestions.
If you haven’t received an invite to the virtual launch, let me know you would like to be invited. We’ll have to be friends on fb. You can friend me on my page. Also here is the page for the KIDLIT TV FB GROUP PAGE.

Hope to see you all there. Now, get those videos going!




Only three more days to sign-up for


There’s a line up full of great advice, story sparks, and some prizes scattered throughout.

So go to this JUNE 1st POST to SIGN-UP!

***Sign-up is June 1st through June 14th.  You MUST comment on the June 1st post, complete the challenge, and comment on the last post to be eligible for prizes.***

Tuesday Tips: YouTube hints and tricks

I’ll admit it…

The whole YouTube – Video was intimidating to me. I mean come on! You want me to get in front of a camera and talk. UGH! And what to talk about???? What if I mess up? What if I freeze? What if…? WHAT IF…!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, let’s all feel a little froggy and get to hoppin’.    😉

I went on YouTube and looked at all sorts of videos. Trying to see what worked and what didn’t. Trust me, there are plenty of examples of both.

What should you video?

Sometimes I look up topics and can’t find exactly what I’m looking for.  BINGO… video idea

I started doing my book reviews via video. I thought it would be a great way to let people see a few illustrations and also the size of the books. Also, who doesn’t like talking about books.

Interviews. I did my first with Katie Davis and had such fun! Can’t wait to do another one.

Silly videos, promotional videos, and then you can go more personal. YES, I have puppy videos. hahaha. Why  not videos for  the newlyweds or family reunions? The possibilities are unlimited.

So here’s a tips and hint sheet I worked on to help you on your way of mastering YouTube:

5 YouTube Tricks and Hints

Hope you have found this post helpful!

Let me know what you think.
Do you have a YouTube channel?
What videos do you find beneficial?
What videos would you like to see more of?

Happy Videoing!

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SUMMER SPARKS Writing Challenge sign-up is still on going.

Click HERE to be qualified for the prize swag at the end of the challenge!

Monday Marketing: YOUTUBE *video killed the radio star*

Today I’m talking about Marketing with VIDEO.

Yes, video!

What better concept to get your message across. Let’s face the facts. MOST PEOPLE ARE VISUAL LEARNERS. This means a picture is worth a thousand words.  (which makes me sad… I’m an author! I live on words.) You can tell someone something (directions/recipes/variations of color/yadda yadda), but if you SHOW them… It clicks!

Think of other social media. Sure you read peoples status updates, but the ones with pictures will grab your attention faster. Right? RIGHT! The ones with videos on how-to or something funny last with you longer. Right? RIGHT! This is one reason why Pinterest has blossomed like it has. It works with pictures.

THEN ADD GOOGLE TO THE MIX! Yep, I said it. Google is the #1 search engine and if you load your videos onto YouTube (which is #3 search engine, btw!!!) You  will get tones of hits. Because Google owns YouTube. PLUS, PLUS, PLUS YouTube has made it so easy to add categories and tags to your posts to make them easier to find. THUS enriching your seo!

But I don’t know how to make a video. What kind of equipment do I have to buy?
Do you have a smartphone? Here’s a quick and simple video I did for an example:


Another option is using your Google+ account and making the most out of Google+Hangout On Air.



Using videos will only add to your search engine optimization. It is a total Win situation.

You don’t have to be on camera either. There are tutorials such as power point, book trailers, interviews, and so on. BUT by being on camera, your customers, followers, and others in your field will be able to get to know you more, such as your mannerism, voice, smile, sarcastic remarks. They will begin to trust you more because their is the “PICTURE” of you right there in front of them.


Let me know what you think. What ideas have you seen worked? What else would you like to know about video? I’d love to hear from you.

Now get out there filming!

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Tuesday Tips: 4 Insta Tips on Starting to Market on Instagram

Last week I discussed the marketing possibilities on Instagram.

Seriously consider it! Like I said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let people see your product. Let your product stand for itself! Here is a downloadable tip sheet to get you going on Instagram and before you know it you’ll be Instagraming it all over the place. 🙂



4 Insta Tips to Start Marketing on Instagram

While you are out and about, check out my profile on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/traceymcox

I would love to hear how you use INSTAGRAM to market you and your products!

Happy writing and picture taking!


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Monday Marketing: INSTAGRAM *smile*





Who likes to take photos? I think we all do and most of us have phones that actually double as a camera. With a handy dandy tool at your finger tips, why not make it work for you and do some marketing?
Yep, I said marketing on Instagram.


Take pictures -Lots of Pictures- use your phone or tablet. There is an app you can download and then connect with right on your device. I love the efficiency of being able to take and share my photos. It doesn’t matter if you are doing this for your family or your fans. People like to be in each others business. YOU might as well put the business you want out there. Who knows? Maybe you get a few new fans to follow you and maybe some loyal customers too.


The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a picture is worth a thousand words! You can show people exactly what you are talking about. A cake? A piece of jewelry? A book? SHOW THEM IN A PICTURE!


So you are thinking… WHO will be interested in what I have to offer. YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED! Seriously. Remember those hashtags I talked about when using Twitter? WELL GUESS WHAT! You can use them on Instagram too. HECK, you can connect your Instagram with Twitter! I DO THIS!!!! It gives you great coverage with two social media outlets. I have my Instagram connected with Facebook too. The hashtags can be searched and connected with others who have used them, very convenient. So you get a gathering of people without even knowing them. Some will wind up following you to see what you post next.


What to post? Well that depends. Do you want to keep it business? What do you do? I write. So I might take a picture of my laptop on my desk, at my dining room table, in my back yard, at the beach (snort, I wish), or where ever I might be. I can post pictures of cover art, book signings, author visits, boxes when my books arrive, are you getting the picture here?  🙂  Be creative with your pictures too, have fun.
I also post pictures of my dogs, children, scenes, and anything that interests me.  *yes, the giant whoopie cushion got my attention!* I don’t have my account focus only on my business. I think people like to see that I enjoy things and I’m not out there ONLY promoting my book. They get a sense of a real person.

So go out. Take some pictures. Take a selfie. Do a silly face. Just remember….


Til next time,

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Monday Marketing… Pinterest… Just Pin It!



By now, I’m sure most (if not all) of you have heard about Pinterest.

Have you thought about using it for MARKETING though?  Pinterest has expanded F-A-S-T! It is being pulled faster and quicker  by search engines because of the size and the “meta tags” that go on in the background. *you don’t even know they are there, but they are* Meta Tags are what signals to search engines!  🙂  Google, Yahoo, Bing, whatever you use… all search engines will pull up a Pinterest board.

So, how can you turn this into MARKETING and PLATFORM BUILDING?

  • Think about reciprocity… are there boards you can create where you can give a nod to other people in your field?
  • Think about information… are there boards you can create where you give information that you found useful?
  • Think about marketing… are there boards you can create where you feature what you do? Books? Cakes? Crafts? Jewelry?
  • Think about fun… are there hobbies that you enjoy? Things that interests you, even if they are not related to your marketing?

There are tons of ways to connect with people. BUT just like other social medias. DO NOT make it as a sound board to say BUY ME… or  LOOK AT ME… or HEY DID I MENTION ME? ME? ME! Make your boards interesting and fun who knew you liked silly socks or had a sock-monkey collection. What about crazy colorings or match-box cars? How about celebrating your home town or where you live now?
By making it interesting (Marketing & Personal), you will draw in pinners and bring your marketing and platform to the forefront of valuable search time.

Next week I will have some great tips about PINTEREST that I have found interesting. So go ‘pin’ something!

Let me know what you think about PINTEREST and if you can think of any other great ways to use this social media to your best interest!

Happy writing,