Marketing… Going Out On a Limb

outonalimb

Marketing…
Going Out On a Limb

Getting our name out there is probably one of the hardest things you face as a small business. There are bigger entities out there, who have been in business longer, have more resources, and have their brand everywhere. So what can you do to compete? Well there are several things, really…

  1. Meet others in your industry.
    Talk to people. Get to know them as people, not just another person who writes what you write, draws like you draw, knows so-and-so, or works with such-and-such. While getting to know other people, they will get to know you. Slowly, you build up a network and share helpful tips and encourage each other.
  2. Talk to locals.
    Get to know the people who live in your community. There will be people who honestly wants to know you, what you do, and how you do it. You will find people who will want to support you. You will also find people who could care less too.
  3. Check out websites and blogs.
    See what others are doing. Leave a positive comment. If it’s a product, leave a review (hopefully positive). Tell others about what interests you. Share the knowledge kind of thing.
  4. Think outside of the box.
    Wonder “What If…” with your marketing. What if I approached honey dealers with my book about bees. Or What If I team up with the local bakery for birthday gift baskets? What If…

While doing all this, people will begin to ‘see’ you. Maybe follow you online. Maybe check out your products and services. Maybe leave comments on your blog. Maybe, just maybe, start talking about you to others.

I try to do these things. Meeting other writers, talking about other endeavors that could be explored. Reading blogs, commenting, and sharing content. I don’t only read writer and illustrators blogs… I read agent and editor blogs, book reviewer blogs, librarian blogs, mom blogs, and on and on. Do I comment on all of them. No. Do I share all of them. No. But I subscribe to a lot of these for email updates. I take time every day to read posts and share the ones that I really like.

I can see a difference in the traffic to this blog and my website. Hopefully they will spill over to sales, book signings, parties, and school visits.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What things do you do to go out on a limb?
Do you talk to people who work closely with your industry?
Do you venture out and try out several things? Like what?
Or do you stick to tried and true things? What are they?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

Advertisements

3 Ways to Connect

connecting3 Ways to Connect

If you have your own business, you have to make connections. Connections with your industry, connections with your customers/clients, and don’t forget your connections with potential co-workers and customers/clients.

How to make those connections?

  1. handshake_01.svg.medPut yourself out there.
    Yep. Stick your hand out and introduce yourself to people. *introvert alert! introvert alert!* I know. Trust me, I know!!!! Take a few deep breaths. SMILE. Say hello. You will be amazed how many people will smile and say hello back. Think positive things about the people around you. You will begin to relax and feel more comfortable. THAT will come across as you look at them and speak. People will notice. Make sure you keep the conversation organic. If it comes to a “What do you do?” moment, let them know.
  2. radio_wireless_tower_cor_.svg.medUse out an ad or interview.
    Use your local newspaper(s) to carry an ad or write an article. Contact your local radio and TV stations, see if you can get an interview. You will be able to reach a different group of people with each of these, as well as a broader range. You can write or talk about your services, a new product coming out, or an overall review of what you offer. The newspaper might have a certain angle you can approach them with. Morning talk shows can be a great opportunity to get your point across those in their morning routine.
  3. monitor_shandy_brown_.svg.medSocial media activity.
    *ahhh, you knew this was coming* So many of us are online A LOT. There is a great opportunity (mostly free too!!!!!!) to approach people through social media outlets. Website, blogs, facebook, twitter, youtube, and on and on I could go, because there are so many avenues to pursue here. Each one has its own pros and cons. The main thing is to find what works for you and your business, stick with it, and remain consistent.

In short, get yourself and your products/services out there. People won’t know about you if you don’t make an effort. If this is something you love doing, it will come across that way. People will see your excitement and will want to know more.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Are you using these avenues to get the word out?
What else have you found to be beneficial?
Which one would you like to see a more in depth post on?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

Marketing Monday – Marketing takes time

MarketingTakesTimeMarketing Takes Time

Here we are well into January. I’m sure some of you have been creating a marketing plan for this year. I know I have.  I don’t care if you are an Indie Author or a Traditional Author, marketing falls primarily into the author’s lap. Marketing can be overwhelming and confusing. You need to post about your book(s), services, and other various things, but you don’t want to conk people over their head. The last thing I want people to do is skim over my name (along with my post) and quickly go to the next one. This can happen when you constantly post about only you.

Marketing can also seem like a lonely thing to do in the beginning. You have to build up an audience, network, make friends who will tweet/post/share/comment about what you are saying. This takes time. In the society we live in today many people have an instant need to see instant results. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Marketing is a lot like the publishing world…

Anyone who is involved in the industry knows that it moves at a snail’s pace.

We get an idea…   We write…   We research…   We revise…   We gather critiques…   We revise…   We submit…   We wait days/weeks/months…   We get a pass…   We revise…   We gather critiques…   We submit…   We receive an acceptance… We revise from edits…   We wait…   We get assigned an illustrator…   We wait…   We receive our galley…   We revise…   We wait… WE HAVE A RELEASE!

Now this may not be EXACTLY how your journey goes. I usually have a lot more revising and critiquing going on.  😀   But you can see how long and drawn out it can be. It can take months, if not years

Marketing can take as long. You have to build up all your connections through networking, making friends, getting to know those in your field. Then you need to come up with…

A Plan…

  • What avenues are you going to approach? Social media? <- Which one(s)?  Newsletters? Newspapers, TV, Radio? Blog?
    With each different avenue, there will be a different way to approach. Social media is easy and usually free. Local newspapers, TV stations, and radio are great to reach a different audience, but normally you can’t do this consistently enough unless you get a normal gig to fill a niche. Blogging can be great. You can host your own blog or guest blog on others. Either way, you need to be consistent with postings.
  • When will you post or approach?
    Each of these will determine how much you can make contact. I try not to over do my marketing. I have one post a day scheduled Twitter and Facebook. Only one. BUT I may talk about my books or services more often when it comes up organically in a conversations. I blog here twice a week. I have found (and read) that by blogging at least twice a week will help your SEO. It also creates consistency when you have a schedule and stick to it. For instance one week I post Monday (marketing) and Wednesday (website). The next week I post Tuesday (tips) and Thursday (thoughts). Does this change from time to time… yes, BUT for the most part it stays the same. Newsletters can be done differently. I’ve seen people post weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, and quarterly.
  • How will you generate interest?
    Ask questions. Challenge people to do something. Create a normal circumstance for conversation to happen (either on the blog or else where). Remind people to RT, share, and comment. Give them easy access buttons on your blog/newsletter to spread across social media. Comment and share other peoples blogs, posts, successes, and so on. When you help get the word out about people, people tend to want to do the same for you. A lot of my posts and tweets are about other people and articles that I like. It not only help promote others, but it can inform people about your interests and if they line up with what they want to know.
  • Be consistent. No matter what, do this. Create a look and use it across everything you do. I revised my look for 2016. Did you notice? Anything that I’m working with on my marketing will have the same look… blog, twitter, newsletter…

There is a lot to do. Like I was talking about on my time management post, make a plan and stick to it. It will take time, but little by little you can build up a following, make friends, and network with those in your industry. This doesn’t happen overnight. I started in 2014 with the sole purpose of building my platform and separating myself from someone else with my name (who is also on best selling lists). It was a challenge, but within six months I saw a difference when I searched for myself.  Depending on what (or who) you are against, you may see a difference a lot quicker than me.

The thing is, you have got to get out there and get to doing it!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

How do you market?
Do you have a plan to go by?
How do you reach out to others?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, andCOMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

3 Thoughts on Time Management

timemanagement3 Thoughts on Time Management

Let’s face it, we are all busy. There are certain things that happen and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Making time to do the things we love or want to accomplish is usually on the top of our list though. But what about the other things that need to be done? Things like marketing, research, and other things that help everything come together. Honestly, it can be overwhelming.

Here are a few things I do to help manage my time and accomplish certain goals.

  1. Calendaring – I’ve been doing this for a few years now. It has made a major difference in my productivity too! I wrote a blog post that you can read HERE on how I set up my calendar on my laptop. I designated a day (Sunday for me) to sit down and prepare what I want done over the next seven days. I’ll enter it in on my calendar. This includes blog posts, writing, doctor visits, research, website design, anything and everything that I may be doing for that amount of time. As the things are accomplished, I highlight them in green. I like green.  😀
  2. Timer – This is my key when I’m doing social media. I allow a certain amount of time for me to scroll on social media. It can be five minutes to thirty minutes on a certain outlet. I may be doing research on how to utilize something better. Or I may simply be scrolling through and being “social”. The thing is keeping my time centered and not letting hours *you know what I mean* go by and then looking around wondering where my day went.
  3. Blocks – I will use blocks of time to accomplish certain things. I block out time to write my blog posts. I’ll use downtime (night time) to upload videos. While sipping coffee, I’ll look over my email, read blogs (where I try to comment and share), and catch up on friend’s and family’s updates. I’ll redo this while eating lunch and maybe at night, if I have time. I block out time to schedule tweets and facebook posts too. Those scheduled tweets and posts are to promote my books and business.

All this helps me accomplish things and not be as overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong. I do fall behind at times and not understand how to utilize things to the best of it’s ability. BUT by doing these three things, those times happen fewer and further between.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

How do you manage your time?
Are there other things you do to plot out what is to be done?
Do you utilize these same things?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, andCOMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

4 Ways to Organize Your Writing in 2016

organize

4 Ways to Organize Your Writing in 2016

Over the past few years I’ve gotten in a better practice in organizing, with my writing especially.

I had files scattered, drafts placed here and there, several notebooks in various places. I had to look for things I KNEW I had written, but where did I put it. *sigh* I began (slowly, but surely) to gather things and put them in the same area. Then I began to organize that better. I finally have things where I can find them. *YAY* It takes time. I thought I would pass on some of the things I’m doing and maybe you can incorporate it and make it work for you too.

  1. Laptop -In the past few months I had to save everything to thumb drives. *Yes, I needed plural* As I was reloading, it gave me the perfect opportunity to reorganize. I deleted duplicate copies. For manuscripts, I created folders and made sure all my revisions were placed in them. I was able to get my workload refocused. Creating folders, and sometimes subfolders, helped organize all my work. It took a few days… Okay a week, but it is done and I can pull things up and bam-o it’s all there!
  2. Notebooks – I still love to write long-hand. Most of my first few drafts are long-hand. While it’s a great way to show students how I do what they do, it can amount to a lot of paper. I have several notebooks with stories in various stages. I gathered them all together and went through them one by one. On the inside front cover I wrote the titles of all the stories included in that particular notebook. This way I can simply open the notebook and see if it is the one I want. Bam-o!
  3. Ideas – I have a few things I do to keep my ideas together. I have an ideas notebook, an ideas file, and an ideas jar.
    I use the ideas notebook for challenges that I do, like #PiBoIdMo. This way I can start a new page with every idea.
    I use an ideas file on my laptop for the ideas which have more potential on becoming an actual draft. If/When the idea forms into a draft, I move the document into my stories file.
    I use an ideas jar to keep all my best ideas where I can see them. REALLY see them. I have a jar (large pickle jar that I’ve cleaned to be precise) on my table next to my laptop. Inside that jar is scraps of paper. On each paper is an idea. Whenever I get stuck, feel in a rut, or just blah about my writing, I pull out my stack of papers and go through them. Something will trigger in my brain and there goes my imagination.
    The thing I’ve found about keeping my ideas up front and center is that it keeps my muse happy. A happy muse and you’re writing. Bam-o!
  4. Thumb drives – Or as I say back it all up and then back it up again. Back in the dinosaur age of computers, I used floppy disks to back up my writing. One day my floppy disk stopped working and said it was corrupted. THANKFULLY it was at the beginning of my career. I didn’t have many stories. Most of them were mailed *yes, mailed* out on submissions and I got those back. Three weren’t. I remembered the jist of two and lost the other one. Lesson learned! Now I back up my stories on a thumb drive (organized by files), on email, and I have a hard copy printed off. Overkill? Maybe, but I have it.  😀  Thumb drives are wonderful, compact, and have multi uses.

Maybe this can help you on your journey. Let’s start 2016 in a positive note. One where we have a writing right where we need it to be, so we can push it further!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

How are preparing for the new year?
Do you have different ways to organize your writing?
What are some things that work for you?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, andCOMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

Wednesday Writers…

BLOG- Wednesday Writers...Wednesday Writers…

As I am winding my blog down for the year, I would like to highlight some authors who I think are just plain out awesome sauce! I fully recommend their books and think they would look wonderful sitting on your shelf (the books, not the author. *hahaha*). So please read below and see what these people do for the industry, and if you will… buy some of their books.

Julie Gribble

Julie Gribble

Julie Gribble is the owner of New York Media Works which creates and produces works for children and the children’s literature community in both the United States and Great Britain. She founded KidLit TV to help children’s authors and illustrators broaden their audience by using new technologies to complement and promote their work. KidLit TV is the first online resource of its kind for parents, librarians, teachers, and kid lit creators.

Find out more about Julie, KidLit.TV, New York Media Works, and her amazing book at her WEBSITE.

Tara Lazar

wpid-tarafall2011picclose.jpgTara Lazar is the founder and leader of PiBoIdMo. A picture book writer’s challenge to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days. She has just completed her 7th annual contest. She is the author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was A Bear Book, & Little Red Gliding Hood.

Find out more about Tara and her amazing books at her WEBSITE.

wpid-monstorecoversmall.jpeg   bear-book-final-cover  littleredglidinghood  coming March 2016:  normalnormancoverfinal

Susanna Hill

slh wyoming

Susanna Hill offers an online writing course for picture book writers. She also host many writing contests through the year. Susanna is also a great writer’s advocate as she features a “Would You Read It?” post on her blog as well as “Perfect Picture Book Friday” where she gives a shout out to some of her favorite books.

Find out more about Susanna, her workshop and her amazing books at her WEBSITE.

CSWSphyllis cover  Nsfcover-210-exp  Airplane_flight-210  Beer Is Zo Moe! Cover  listbooks_1  listbooks  Not_yet_rose_ca-210  Traincoversmall-210

Kami Kinard & Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

kami and s Kami & Sudipta are the FANTASTIC duo who put on the KidLit Summer School. These two multi-talented peeps. *you’ll get this if you’ve attended the classes. :)* Have an assortment of publications to their names.

Find out more about each of them and their awesome books at the their websites… Kami’s WEBSITE & Sudipta’s WEBSITE.

Kami: Screen Shot 2011-09-16 at 8.22.47 AM  boy problem cover  Screen20Shot202011-09-1620at208.21.2020AM       Sudipta:  DDM Cover  252_51VEwFVZ7LL._SS500_  267_image025  316_9781442406735  109256679  9781477847176_p0_v1_s260x420  hogprince  Pirate_Princess_Cover-filtered  Sleeping Beauty  Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

Elaine Kiely Kearns & Sylvia Liu

Elaine-&-SylviaElaine & Sylvia are the FANTASTIC duo who put together KidLit411. This is the place where you can find tons of links to help you out as a writer and/or illustrator.

Find out more about each of them and their awesome books at their websites… Elaine’s WEBSITE & Sylvia’s WEBSITE.

Sylvia:  8735302_orig

 

Alison Hertz

Alison K. HertzAlison Hertz is not only an author, but a fantastic artist as well. She heads up Doodle Day to help get those creative juices flowing as well as providing a daily exercise to draw and improve your craft.

Find out more about Alison, Doodle Day, and her awesome book at her WEBSITE.

5636063_orig

So there are my few top pics of authors and illustrators to support.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books?
Do you know of any other great authors/illustrators you would like to add to my list?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

  • Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT on this post.
    Easy, peasy buttons found below.
  • Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
  •  Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.

ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHome8x300[1] LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 Arachnabet 91RmjVjmjxL._SL500_SX310_ CXW8x150 100PFT300

Holiday Contest! – Zipping Around on Christmas Eve by Tracey M. Cox

Hi everyone.

Most writers have heard about the world famous Susanna L. Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest. WHAT? You haven’t heard??? Well go HERE to read about the contest. I’ll wait…

Okay, now that you’re all caught up, I have to say I {{{LOVED}}} listening and dancing to this song growing up. I immediately thought of a spin off and started to work. Would you like to read it? You would? Yay!

But wait! Where ARE my manners. Susanna would be so embarrassed about my hostessing duties. Let me offer you some goodies. Smell that? Yes, fresh out of the oven COOKIES! Peanut Butter Cookies w/ M&M Minis.
image

Didn’t think I would forget the chocolate, did you Susanna?  🙂 And don’t forget to grab a cup of cocoa to wash it down.

Now that I’ve made sure you’ve been properly welcomed, here’s my story for Susanna’s contest.

Are you sure you don’t want another cookie? Or need your cocoa refilled?
No?

Okay, here we go…

Zipping Around on Christmas Eve
 
Zipping around on Christmas Eve
All over the town square.
People are out, busy bees
In the frosty, cool, crisp air.

People shopping for their gifts
Tied with a pretty bow.
Others are talking merrily.
Children sledding through the snow.

We can grab some cocoa and join
Right on in.
Skaters spinning. Carolers singing.
Charity bells ring-a-linging.

Christmas trees and twinkling lights
Can be seen all down the street.
Snow falling all around,
Crunching under feet.

We can grab some cocoa and join
Right on in.
Skaters spinning. Carolers singing.
Charity bells ring-a-linging.

Zipping around on Christmas Eve
We have to be on our way.
Everyone now dashes off
To beat Santa and his sleigh.

Want to read more stories? Visit THIS POST on Susanna’s blog to see the list to everyone’s holiday posts!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of my story.
Did it get you in the holly, jolly spirit?
Remind you to enjoy all the winter activities?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Easy, peasy buttons found below.
* Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my Newsletter sign up page.