Marketing Monday – Have a Website

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Why You Should  Have a Website

In my video, 12 Marketing Tips to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money, my #1 tip is to have a website.

It doesn’t matter if you are pre-published or published. If you are in an industry where you are submitting your work,as we are, people will look you up. You want to be visible and have a good presence. Trust me, chances are you are not the only one with your name.

Here’s a little test:

  • Click here to go to GOOGLE
  • Type in your name
  • Hit enter
  • See what is on the first few pages

Were you there?    Did you see others?

When I did this (after I had a few magazine articles under my belt), I was shocked and began blushing on who was pulled up.  SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t me. Or a the little green men. Let’s just say, it wasn’t my genre. I wanted people to know me for what I do, not for what someone with the same name does.

“But I’m not published yet…”
I wasn’t either when I started my own website. And you should too, if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. In fact, most people get aggravated by the bells and whistles. You have to think of the ones who, like me, live in the boonies and don’t have the best internet connection. It can be slow, people.

You can have as little as one to two pages to start with. Something simple.

“I’m published!!!…”
All the more reason to have a website. You can begin to expand with a ‘books’ or ‘credits’ page. You can be published in a newspaper or magazine and give links back to them. When you have books out, give each of them their own page. Include book trailers, awards, and reviews on their individual pages.

What Should A Website Contain

  • Picture of you
  • Description of you
  • Credits you have pertaining to your field
  • Video
  • Supporting material
  • Extra

Picture:
~Have a good headshot. It doesn’t have to be done professionally. The one on this blog of me is a selfie. Yep, I took it and added a little bit of editing.   😉   The one on my website that I use for flyers, my son took when he was 13.   😉   I paid him in gum.  Yes, I paid BIG BUCKS!!!! Hahahahahahhaa!
~SMILE in your photo.  Seriously, don’t be a sourpuss.
~Good lighting always helps… editing does too.

Description:
Use your own judgement and go with what you are comfortable with. If you look over my ‘about me’, you’ll see I have the month I was born in and where. You’ll also read that my papa would tell me stories and started my love of learning.
This is where people will get to ‘know’ you. What do you want to be known for. What are your dreams? Are you involved in anything associated with your field?

Credits:
Don’t sweat this one too much. Do you have a newsletter you publish? Do you contribute to a well-known newsletter or podcast or (something)? Newspaper articles? Magazines? Volunteer reading or teaching art at a local school? All these can build you as a credible person.
You should include any organization you are involved in that is helping you further your field. This can include: SCBWI, 12×12, etc. You should also include any formal classes you have taken. This can include a number of professional artist or classes from the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL).
Give your BOOKS a shout out when they come out. I have a ‘books’ page and from there you can go to the individual pages.

Video:
Welcome people to your website. Invite them to read about you and explore your other page(s), read your blog, etc. Tell them you are a writer/illustrator and how excited you are to be pursuing your dreams.
By having a video you use sight and sound to make a connection. Again, SMILE while you are taking your video, make it genuine. Let your personality come through.

Supporting Material:
This could go with extra depending on your experience.
You can include links to your favorite websites.
You can have links to material that support your books too, such as teacher guides, and coloring and activity pages.

This is only a suggestion and not a ‘you have to do this’ format. As you gain experience, your website can expand.

Where Can I Have A Website?
There are tons of places you can begin a website.
FREE- WordPress is an option. You don’t have to have a blog to do this. Although, you can tie the two together nicely here. I use them for my blog.    🙂
FREE- Wix & Weebly are a couple of other ones off the top of my head too.
FEE- Yahoo is what I use. I’ve been there for over 10 years and have never had a problem with my website. There is a fee for being at yahoo though.
FEE- Any server will have website service, with varying amounts.

 

Just Remember…   This is you we are talking about. Build your website to suit you, your needs, and your message. By doing this, you will begin to have a foundation to market yourself and the products you produce.

I hope this helps you see how important having a website is.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about having a website.
How important is it to you?
Are there things you include that I don’t? WHY?
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tips – Idea Jar

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~ Catching Ideas ~

*sparks*                                                 *flash*                                                           *spark*
*jolt*                                            *bang*
*flash*                           *spark*                                                         GOTCHA!

Have you ever felt like that? There’s a tickle of an idea… yet it fades out before you can fully mull it over and grasp it.
I think we all do this from time to time.

I like to think of ideas as fireflys.  Zooming around, every now and then a flash, and then gone.  When I was little, I loved catching them in a jar. I would get on their level, watching them up close, before letting them go again. There was still the mystery of them, but I had enough to hold onto… until the next time.

I like to think of us writers and our ideas like that too. We get that spark, flash, jolt, bang, and we are off. We are on a chase, trying to capture it. When we do, we pull it close, inspect it, and give our observations. Then we release our ideas into the world as manuscripts. In hopes that an editor will see the  mysteriousness of our story and want to capture it too.

Now… to keep those ideas fresh in our minds. We don’t want that spark to fade. Or the flash to dim too quickly. What can we do??? I have a video where I show you what I do:

I hope that helps give you some inspiration on keeping your ideas fresh.   🙂

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of my Ideas Jar.
How do you capture your ideas and keep them fresh?
If you choose to make (or already have) an IDEAS JAR, I would {{{L-O-V-E}}} to see it!!! Blog about it or post it on social media and tag me in it!

Here’s to many captured ideas!!!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ from Tracey M. Cox

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~Happy New Year~

Welcome to 2015!

I know many of you are focusing on your New Year’s Resolutions, and I do have a few of my own, but today I like to reflect back on the past year and see where I have grown and what I have accomplished.

  • Platform Building
    My goal for 2014 was to establish myself on the internet and become comfortable with what I stand for. Pre-2014 when you did a search on “Tracey M. Cox” you would find a different author. Now I have at least 2 pages full of articles, videos, social media contact, etc where you can find me. My platform? How to market with little to no money is still in its infancy, but I know the direction it is heading in and I feel confident in where it is going.
  • Better Content
    I’ve done research and feel my output is so much better this year. I hope others learn from me and can pass it forward too. Better content also builds on platform. I hope to be known as a trusted source and someone who loves to bounce ideas off with.
  • Marketing
    THIS was a biggie for me. I’ve learned to toot my own horn. Carry business cards and books with me. Not to be shy about telling others I write AND love it!  🙂  I also am learning the fine line of marketing and being pushy. Nobody wants to be battered over the head and I don’t want to be the person you see and want to run from.  😉
  • Writing
    My writing has improved so much this year. Researching again and again. Critique groups!!!!!!!!! Taking classes. All this, and an open mind, has contributed to my writing this year.
  • Friendships
    I’ve lost some this year. Some by death, others by their choice. I don’t know which is harder. Still, you have to learn to let go.
    I’ve gained some this year. There are some wonderful people I can’t wait to get to know better.
    Then there are the ones who have remained a constant in my life. I’m thankful for all they have given me. I only hope they feel the same about me.

So what is up with this year?

I’ll be keeping up with the same schedule:
Monday – Marketing
Tuesday – Tips
Wednesday – www.
Thursday – Thinking
Friday – Features (when I have some volunteers)
So two to three posts a week.  🙂  I plan on going into better depth and expanding my knowledge on marketing and kidlit. I hope to have a few surprises this year too. *fingers crossed*

What I hope to accomplish past this blog?

  • Learn to use social media more effectively.
  • Get an agent
  • Book contract
  • Work on writing
  • Work on illustrating
  • Books Love & Taters Book Festival (4th annual) to be bigger and better this year

I hope to see you into the year too!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you would love to achieve this year.
What are some things you accomplished in 2014?
How do you plan to build on last year?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

*Don’t miss one post! Email sign-ups are over here —>
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www.Wednesday… Your Appearance Matters

Your Appearance Matters

 

I know several people have asked about setting up for video and what they should do. I thought, being the picture book writer that I am, I could SHOW better than TELL. *wink, wink. You see what I did there, right?!?*

So here is a video of how you don’t want to come across:

 

Yes, I went out on a limb. Nooooo, I don’t like everyone seeing me frizzy do.   😉    But I did it so you can see some big ol’ no-nos.

NOW, onto better things. What do you need to do and how do you want to come across? Let’s see if this is any better?

Better? I hope so.  🙂

Well you heard the video…

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of the videos. Did I do a good job???
What else do you do with your videos?
Questions and comments are welcomed!

Until 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

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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

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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…!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND WHAT IF A FROG HAD WINGS?
IT WOULDN’T BUMP IT’S BUTT EVERY TIME IT HOPS!

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!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
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!
~t

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