Beyond The Book – Shaping Up Valentine’s Day

Shaping Up Valentine’s Day

On BTB (Beyond The Book), I would like to look at SHAPING UP THE YEAR. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I use to make my own Valentine cards when I was little. I loved creating each card, making each one extra personal. It’s a great way to use your imagination. Not to mention you can create all different kinds of cards.

How does this tie into the book? Well, your card is a rectangle. You can cut out hearts and stars for different looks. Or you can combine shapes to create other things. A square with a triangle on top could be a happy home. The possibilities are endless.

To help you out, I have an activity page on my website that you can download, print out, and color to give you a head start. You can also find it here: Valentine Card Print Out.

I hope you enjoy making some wonderful cards and memories. Post your cards online and tag me in them. I would love to see what you create! Use the hashtag: #TMCcreates

Until next time…

Happy reading & creating!
~t

FIND ME: 
www.traceymcox.com
www.lefthookcrochet.com
www.youravon.com/traceymcox

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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www.Wednesday… Website Ready for AUTHOR VISITS

Welcome to my:

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR TIME = LEARNING STUDENTS

block of blog posts. Today I’m covering the author side.

WHY should you have a website???

ComputerI know you’ve heard it time and again…

HAVE A WEBSITE!

Here is a very good reason to have one, even if it is just one page. A (principal, media specialist,  pta member, etc) will definitely search for you on the internet.

By having a website, you ensure the information out there on you is accurate. You can also control what they see and what you promote.

WHAT SHOULD YOU INCLUDE ON YOUR WEBSITE?

Honestly, any and all information you  need to encourage people to buy your books, invite you to their school, use your services, etc.

While you might not have all those categories, and might have others, be straight forward with your information. Be honest and up front. People like to have their information where they can processes it easily. They also like to feel as if they know you. Make it easy and simple.

Here is my website link:

Tracey M. Cox, author

When you click over you will go directly to my landing page. On my landing page I’ve included several things:

  1. Welcome Video – This allows people to see and hear you. Body language is wonderful. You don’t have to guess if I’m joking or being sarcastic. You can see it. It also lets your personality begin to shine through. That builds on people getting to know you.
  2. Latest Book Release – Let you newest baby have the spotlight for a while.
  3. What I’m Available for – Here I already begin marketing and promoting my author visits, books signings, and guest speaker invites.
  4. Social Media Links – Contact is key! I include links to my Social Media on EVERY PAGE. The more they see you, the more they get to know you, the more they trust you as an expert in the field.

Pages I included and why are:

  • about me – Here I let people get to know me a little more. I share a some background information, as well as how I began to write professionally.
  • books – I have the cover art for each book that has been authored and/or illustrated by me. When they click on the cover art, it will take them to a paged dedicated to that book.
  • for teachers/parents – I have pdf downloads here. Everyone loves freebies. I have included coloring pages and activities that coincide with my books. I’ll be adding Teacher Guides (ever so important with Common Core) and word searches too.
  • author visits – On this page I have a few pdfs and information about what author visits I offers. I also include my fees here. Not everyone does, but I don’t mind people knowing what I charge. I live in a rural community and charge accordingly. I also have links that include fund-raising opportunities (Title I Monies can go towards AUTHOR VISITS, did you know that?) and my CALENDAR OF EVENTS so they can see my schedule.
  • contact –  I include how to get in touch with me. Which is AWESOME when you get fan mail. 🙂  I also have links for my newsletter and book launch teams here too.
  • services – On this page I’m advertising for myself. I offer platform building consultant services as well as a pb critique service.
  • blog –  Well, you are here.   😉  I have a link on my website too.
  • reviews – I also have a pb review blog, which is under a major renovation right now. The link up there will take you to the older one, for now.

Your website may or may not have all those elements, but that is why you are unique and what you offer is a one-of-a-kind deal!

The key is getting your name out there where you can be found and have your information correct. Build that trust and help promote literacy.

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

Let me know what you think about my website. What do you include in yours? What information do you think is most important to include on a website?

Til next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

 

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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.***

Tuesday Tips: 4 Facebook Tips

Last Monday I talked about marketing with Facebook. Today I thought I would give you 4 ways to utilize Facebook for your marketing needs.

4 Facebook Tips

I utilize Facebook more than most social media outlets. Why? I guess it suits my tastes more. I have friends that LOVE Twitter. I have friends that use Tumbler. (something I haven’t even touched yet.) I like the versatility that Facebook offers and the fact that I can create and invite people to different things and not aggravate everyone on their newsfeed. All this is a plus for me.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you use all the features on Facebook?
Have you had a successful event?
What groups do you think are a necessity?
What are your other ideas? I’d love to know what you think!

Happy writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday: 8 Author Visit / Promotional Printable Needs

Instead of giving an idea on writing today, I thought I would give some ideas on what to have on hand for promotional needs and author visits that can be loaded to your website for easy printouts.

Here is a pdf on

8 Author Visit or Promotional Printable Needs

All of these I have either incorporated onto my own blog OR I’m working on them.

Why do I think this is necessary?

  1. You want your information to be available to your audience.
  2. You want the convenience of printouts to help teachers, media specials, pta members, or any other contact person be able to make the best presentation of you for you. So give it to them.
  3. By using some or all of these printable needs, you will increase your likelihood of being booked for a visit or book signing or speaking engagement.

What else do you think you could add? LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW to add to this great list and keep everyone informed! Let me know what you do.   🙂

Happy writing!