Marketing Monday: 7 Reasons Why Business Cards Are Important

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Business Cards, 7 Reasons Why Are They Important

I would say business cards, besides a website, are the most important marketing component you can have. It will put your face out there. *Literally if you do your business cards like me.* I’ve come up with some valid reasons on why you should have a business card.

check_mark.svg.medIt makes you seem more legit.

check_mark.svg.medPricing! You can get more bang for your buck. I use VistaPrint and I buy when they have a sale.   *VistaPrint link on this blog is an affiliated link*

check_mark.svg.medAll your information is convenient. Put your name, phone number, email, and website on there. If you have a store-front business, put your address on there too.

check_mark.svg.medYou can use both sides to add information. I know people who will have information on both sides of their card. The front offers contact information. While the back may include books, author visit information, or whatever they may specialize in. I have left mine blank so far, which give people a space to write reminders, or tips, or something I might have said to them.

check_mark.svg.medAdditions. You can have pictures, qr codes, calendars, and many other things on your card to make it more interactive and keep people interested in you and your product.

check_mark.svg.medIt is a lingering reminder of who you are.

check_mark.svg.medBusiness cards can help jog the memory of what you do.

As you can see, business cards are very versatile.

You can hand them out. Leave them on a counter for people to pick up. Put them in a gift basket. Hang from an item that is for sale. Taped on a piece of candy. Among other things.

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you include on your business card.
Are there any other ways you promote your business?

Let me hear from you!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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8 Things to be SCHOOL VISIT Ready

authorvisit38 Tips to be School Visit Ready!

Today I’m continuing my posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR TIME = LEARNING STUDENTS

Before you contact a school, as a presenter you need to have several things in order.

Just as in trying to be published, you want to put your best foot forward. I have composed a list of several things I think you need to have to be SCHOOL VISIT ready…

  1. Presentation(s)
    Have several – Just as when you write, you will need presentations to meet the age groups you are speaking to. I have several: a reading level, which works great for the youngest, the writing mechanics, which works really well for the mid range, the business side, which works well with the older range. I also have a writing workshop. You can also develope presentations that will coinside with one particular book or series.Note Cards – Yes. Write down your key points. Keep them handy during your presentation. It helps to have this, even if you have done the presentation a million times.

    Rehearse – Get in front of a mirror and pretend you are talking to the crowd. Notice your facial features and how you move. Time it too. Most people will want to know how long your presentation takes. Take your time and go through all the motions until it feels natural.

    Flash Drive – Back your presentations up on a flash drive. I usually try to send my material a head of time, but sometimes things fail or won’t come up when you need it too. Have your flash drive handy to save the day.

    Have a Back-Up Plan – Even when you plan, things do always go as planned. Computers going down is only one senario. Always have a back up plan.

  2. Forms, Flyers, & Business Cards
    Information is the key. Try to lay everything out for your contacts. I have several flyers that are pdf files.

    • Author Is Coming – This flyer is for them to post on their walls. I have a spot where they can include the date of the visit, as well as a picture of me and my books available.
    • Bio – This flyer should be sent home to the parents. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t like it when I didn’t receive information about the person who was visiting my children’s school.
    • Book Form – This form will be sent home to the parent too. Hopefully, increasing your sales.
    • Agreement / Contract – Yes, you should have one. This puts in words what both parties expect.

    Then I also bring these along:

    • Business Cards – I usually have a few (media specialist, principals, teachers, parents) who will ask if I have one on hand.
    • Mini-Flyer – This is something I added. It tells a story on how and why I became an author and how they can find out more about me (website). I use these to autograph for the children who forgot their money or were not able to purchase a book.
  3. Mic & Speaker
    I request the school to provide one for me, but I have one as a back up. Mics are relatively cheap (under $50). Speakers…. well I’m ‘barrowing’ my oldest son’s electric guitar amp. It works though and he doesn’t mind.
  4. Pens & Cash
    PENS – You need those for signing. And yes, they WILL walk off when you are not looking.Cash – I bring a change bag, because you will usually have someone who forgot the correct change or they may have the wrong amount on the check.
  5. BOOKS!
    Yes, bring extra books. Even when the school does order (which I ask them too, but not all schools will), you will have late orders or the wrong book(s) may have gotten shipped.
  6. Emergency Box
    This is another thing I’ve incorporated, an emergency box. You can your a recipe box or whatever. Some of the things I have inside are:Tissues – teary eyes or runny nose
    Cough drops – dry throat or stubborn cough
    Peppermint – same purpose as the cough drops, but smells better
    Eye drops – dry eyes or allergies.
    Band aids – I’m a clutz and have had to have one at the worse of times
    Eye glass wipes – the better to see you my dearsNote Card of Presentations
    Flash Drive
  7. Carrying-Tub or Bag
    So I will put all my items together, because being organized is hard and I have to do this a head of time.In my carrying-tub I have:

    • mic w/ cord
    • book stands
    • flyers
    • books
    • cash bag

    One day I want to incorporate an easier way to lug all my items. 🙂

    In my bag:

    • Pens
    • Emergency box

    Then I have my speaker too, if and when needed.

    Yes, I have to make more than one trip. Working on that.

  8. Tablet & Projector
    (this is on my want list)
    Tablet – there are so many wonderful tablet out there now that can take the place of your computer. My heart is set on one that have a usb post to hook my flash drive into.Projector – have you seen them lately!?! They are small and compact. By having one of these I’ll be able to showcase my presentation almost anywhere!

 

Here’s a printable list for your convenience too. 🙂

8 Things to be SCHOOL VISIT Ready

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

Let me know what you include for your school visits!
Have a question? Ask in the comments and I will answer it as best as I can.

Hope you found this useful. Til next time…

Happy writing!
~t

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Teacher Guides + Common Core = Common Ground guided by Marcie Colleen

TEACHER GUIDES + COMMON CORE = COMMON GROUND
GUIDED BY MARCIE COLLEEN

 

Hello everyone.

I have been wanting to address a subject that has been giving numerous writers, and parents, some trouble. I think it is in the understanding of the topic really. COMMON CORE has come to your local schools. While a lot of heated debates have happened, I have sat down and began to study it. Really dig deep, and try to understand it. While it can be overwhelming, I think it can be a good thing.

I asked one of my colleagues, Marcie Colleen, if she would answer a few questions about Common Core. I wanted to pass it along to my readers so they can benefit too. Marcie is so generous as you will see below. So, take a deep breath and lets look, really look, at Common Core and find out how it can be beneficial.

PLUS, for my writing friends, how adding a Teacher Guide (a/k/a Lesson Plan) can help your book become Common Core friendly, and hopefully get your book into more children’s hands.

 

 

I’m wanting to give my readers more information on the Common Core. It can be confusing when you first begin to look into it. How would you explain it to someone who has no knowledge?

I’d actually beg to differ. It’s not the Common Core that is confusing, it’s the emotionally charged opinions that are plaguing our media that are hard to decipher. When so many people are speaking out about their feelings, it can be difficult to make sense of it for ourselves.

Therefore, here are 3 helpful resources to help YOU make sense of the CCSS for YOU!

  • School Library Journal 6-part webcast series about the Common Core. This series is FREE and very helpful, especially Part One: Getting Real with Marc Aronson and Sue Bartle. Although they are geared toward professionals in the education world, they will give you a good overview on what the CCSS entail and how educators are “unpacking” the standards for themselves. You can find the entire series here. http://www.slj.com/webcasts/commoncore/#_
  • The Common Core State Standards. It’s always best to go right to the source. These standards are not rocket science, but they can be overwhelming. Look at the tables which include each standard by grade level. Limit your focus by standard and grade level so that it is easiest to digest. They can be found, in detail, at http://www.corestandards.org/

Unfortunately, there are really no shortcuts. If you want to be a part of the conversation, these resources will help you.

To better understand, let’s look closely at a few of the standards.

Excerpt from Grade 3 Reading: Literature Standards

Key Ideas and Details

1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

Craft and Structure

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

5. Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

7. Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).

In isolation it becomes clearer that:

  • The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of benchmarks which focus on the development of essential skills at the most appropriate age and development stage for students.
  • They are skill-based, not test-driven, and in theory will prepare students better for life post-school.
  • They also allow teachers to be unique in their approaches to instruction, not dictating what is to be taught or how. The focus is on results, not means.
  • They are not rocket science or really that confusing.
  • Every book can be Common Core compliant.

 

I wanted to ask you also to explain why is good to offer Teacher Guides.

A Teacher’s Guide is

  • A tool for teachers to use to gain immediate access into your book and adapt it quickly and easily for classroom use.
  • Aligns your book to the current curriculum and curriculum standards (state standards, as well as the Common Core)
  • A marketing tool which promotes you within the educational environment and helps you garner more school and library visits.

But to answer your question, I want to tell a story. I was recently hired by Adriana Brad Schanen to create a Teacher’s Guide for her debut middle grade novel Quinny & Hopper (Disney Hyperion, 2014). Fast forward to Adriana’s first school visit to a bunch of 4th grade classes. In addition to presenting to the classes, Adriana gave each teacher a copy of the Teacher’s Guide. By the end of the day, the teachers were raving about how comprehensive the guide was. They loved how many options and avenues into the book it provided. In fact, the teachers decided that perhaps next year they would forgo the usual Superfudge unit and instead teach Quinny & Hopper!!!

Teachers are busy. They are overworked. They are spread thin. The easier you can make it for them to use your book in the classroom the better your chances. Of course they have been teaching Superfudge. There are a zillion lesson plans and activities for free on the web on how to bring Superfudge into the classroom. A Teacher’s Guide can help you “compete”.

 

When should you think about teacher guides?

Truthfully? Once your book is finished. Just like I wouldn’t want a teacher to “teach to the test”, a writer shouldn’t write to a Teacher’s Guide. Once your book is finished you can start to think about its life outside.

Six months prior to the date of publication is usually sufficient start the process of creating a Teacher’s Guide.

 

What if your story is fiction, can you still incorporate teacher’s guides?

Absolutely! In fact, out of the 33 Teacher’s Guides I have created for clients, only 3 of them have been for non-fiction titles. To check them out, all of my guides are available for free download on my website at http://www.thisismarciecolleen.com.

You’d be surprised what academic goodies can be pulled out of a fiction story. After all, isn’t The Very Hungry Caterpillar a great springboard for learning about food choices, the life cycle of a butterfly and metamorphosis?

 

Thank you so much, Marcie. You really have gone above and beyond.

 

 

MARCIE COLLEEN

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Education Consultant, Marcie Colleen, is a former classroom teacher and curriculum creator turned Picture Book writer. Her Teacher’s Guides, which align picture books and middle grade novels with the Common Core and other state mandated standards, have been praised by both teachers and librarians. Her Teacher’s Guide for Picture Book Month, Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms, validates the use of picture books across EVERY curriculum and provides teachers with a hands on approach to adapt any picture book for educational use. Her work with Picture Book Month has been recognized by School Library Journal and the Children’s Book Council. Marcie is also an Education Strategist, providing one-on-one consultation guiding authors and illustrators to best position their books for school visits and classroom use. Visit her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com to discover how Marcie can help you navigate the world of children’s literature and education.

 

 

I hope that give you all some stepping stones to begin the journey of understanding Common Core and how books, with Teacher Guides, can play a vital role in children’s education.

Happy writing/reading everyone!
~t

 

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#summersparks and that’s a wrap!

Summer Sparks

Oh my goodness!  What a whirl wind of two weeks.
Have you been inspired? I hope those sparks flew and a few caught.
Not only that, I hope you gathered more information on the writing process and will be able to incorporate it into your own writing to improve.

Did you miss a few days? Is okay.  You have until Friday,  July 11th at 11:59 pm, est. to finish the challenge and qualify for prize swag. Time cannot be extended because it is scheduled through Rafflecopter. So make sure you have them finished and logged in to any of the raffles you want to enter!

So lets look at what you need to do now:

  • Registered for prize swag
  • Have at least 14 new story sparks.
  • Take the pledge:

I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.

No wait,  wrong pledge.   ; p
Now raise your right hand and say:

I promise that I have had at least 14 new story sparks during the Summer Spark Writing Challenge.

  • Now comment below that you have done these three things and include your name too.

I will have two more follow up post during the week and finally,  FINALLY, I will post the winners Saturday, July 12th.

Thank you so much for participating. I hope you have gotten as much out of this experience as I have. Have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend for those of you celebrating!

Happy writing!
~t

 

DON’T FORGET:

You have five more days to finish qualifying for the raffle prizes!!! All entries must be done by Friday, July 11th, at 11:59 pm, est.

 

Missed a SUMMER SPARK? Don’t worry, you can find them here:

Day 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic  by Kelly Milner Halls
Day 2:  The Power of Doodling  by Alison K. Hertz
Day 3: Cause & Effect  by Alayne Kay Christian
Day 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja  by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Day 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End  by Julie Gribble
Day 6: The Final Word  by Jodi Moore
Day 7: Inspiration Station  by Susanna Hill
Day 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar
Day 9: Platform Building Can You Build It? Yes, You Can!  by Tracey M. Cox
Day 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line  by Kirsti Call
Day 11: Burning Down the House aka Revision by Donna Earnhardt
Day 12: Persistence  by Donna M. McDine
Day 13: Writing Your Way to a Spark  by Kris Dinnison
Day 14: Hope In Your Heart  by Carol Gordon Ekster
BONUS: What Songs Rock Your World?  by Claire Rudolf Murphy
THAT’S A WRAP!
Follow-up #1: TIPS
Follow-up #2: 9 Ways to Tighten Your Story
Prize Announcement: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

LAST DAY to sign-up for SUMMER SPARKS!!!

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN-UP FOR…

image

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

 

Sign-up by 11:59 pm est to be registered! You can still participate, but will not be able to win prizes.

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.***

One more day to sign-up for SUMMER SPARKS

Only one more day to sign-up for…

image

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.***

www.Wednesday… KidLit TV

KidLitHeader

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:


ABOUT KIDLIT TV


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!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THIS FALL TO PARTICIPATE THOUGH!
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!
`t

 

 

DON’T FORGET…

Only three more days to sign-up for

image

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.***