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ReadWave has just announced the launch of a new reading widget, that aims to revolutionize the way that stories are shared and authors promote themselves online. The widget allows bloggers and website owners to embed stories online in a compact form.
An example of the ReadWave Widget can be found at
The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget to allow readers to “follow” the writer. When a reader follows a writer they are added to the writer’s fanbase and can receive updates on all of the writer’s future stories. The widget is designed specifically to help writers build up a fanbase and grow their readership online. The widget is also the first to be directly integrated with Facebook, so that content is automatically shared via social media.
Raoul Tawadey, CEO of ReadWave commented, “The ReadWave widget doesn’t simply provide the technology for embedding stories online, it also provides a legal framework for re-posting other people’s content within the bounds of copyright law. Every day, millions of indie writers post up their creative writing for free on their personal websites with the aim of attracting as many readers as possible. Currently other website owners can’t repost those stories due to copyright law. Our widget eliminates this copyright problem, and enables anyone to post your story anywhere without limits, and it does so in a way that ensures the original writer is reaping the rewards.”
Existing widgets use a predefined page size, so when the widget is made smaller the text is made smaller. The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget where the width and height are fully customizable and the text automatically adjusts itself to fit the space available.
“The ReadWave widget is great news for website owners,” says ReadWave’s Chief Technology Officer, Simon Van Blerk. “Rather than linking to someone else’s website, the ReadWave widget allows you to keep traffic on your own website. This means website owners can retain visitors and keep them engaged for longer.”
ReadWave is a community of readers and writers who love to discover and share new stories from contemporary writers. Readers can access thousands of stories and read them for free on mobile or desktop. Writers can use ReadWave to build up a fanbase and market their stories online. ReadWave puts writers in touch with the readers who are just right for them.
New Libri Press announces publication of the second Street Stories suspense novel, Bend Me, Shape Me, by author Debra R. Borys, available in ebook with trade paperback to follow. Contact Stasa Fritz (above) with review or interview requests.
Bend Me, Shape Me is the second novel in the Street Stories suspense series and tells the story of Snow Ramirez, a bi-polar street kid about to turn 18. She’s convinced that psychiatrist Mordechai Levinson is responsible for one kid’s suicide, and may be targeting her brother Alley as his next victim. Once again, reporter Jo Sullivan finds herself the only person willing to listen to one of Chicago’s throwaway youth.
Snow Ramirez hasn’t trusted anyone in a very long time, not even herself. Memories of her childhood on Washington’s Yakama Reservation haunt her even on the streets of Chicago.
When her squat mate Blitz slits his own throat in front of her, she knows it’s time to convince someone to trust her instincts. Blitz may have been diagnosed bi-polar, like Snow herself, but no way would he have offed himself like that if the shrink he’d been seeing hadn’t bent his mind completely out of shape.
Normally she wouldn’t care. Who wasn’t crazy in one way or another in this messed up world? After all, she’d gotten out from under the doctor’s thumb weeks ago and it was too late for Blitz now, wasn’t it? Snow’s little brother Alley, though, there might still be time to save him. If only she can get reporter Jo Sullivan to believe her story before Snow loses her own mind.
Squatting with her arms tight around her legs and forehead pressed to her knees, Snow rocked on the balls of her feet. To the south, the hum of traffic along the Eisenhower Expressway. Nearer, beneath the dumpster, the scurry of rats looking for supper. That feeling in her center, the one she couldn’t describe except to say when she was a kid she thought it meant she was going to die, tightened her chest, filled her mouth, made it hard to breathe. “You must learn to trust,” the shrink had told her. “You must learn who to trust. Your brother is learning that, even if you can’t.”
Debra R. Borys is the author of the STREET STORIES suspense novels.The first book in the series, Painted Black, was published by New Libri Press in 2012. A freelance writer and editor, she spent four years volunteering with Emmaus Ministries and the Night Ministry in Chicago, and eight years doing similar work at Teen Feed, New Horizons and Street Links in Seattle. The STREET STORIES series reflects the reality of throw away youth striving to survive. Her publication credits include short fiction in Red Herring Mystery Magazine, Downstate Story and City Slab.
Praise for PAINTED BLACK
“Painted Black is about the young faces we see on the streets, covered in dirt, wearing worn out clothes, shrouded in looks of hate, pride, and fear…. There isn’t a part of this book you don’t feel, it reaches into your core…. There are many enjoyable books out there, but there aren’t many that make you feel, make you think, make you sit back and contemplate the uglier side of life we try so hard to ignore its existence. This was a very well written book on all accounts.”
—Darian Wilk, author of Love Unfinished and Reinventing Claire
“Painted Black has a Silence of the Lamb’s feeling about it…..there’s something dark and ominous going on here.…. Fiction can be a great vehicle for exposing the darker side of the human experience in ways that are both important and meaningful and I think that Painted Black fits into this category.”
—Quinn Barrett, Wise Bear Books All Things Digital Media interviewer
“Borys gives us a glimpse into the vagaries of street life for teens without wallowing in sentimentality or false compassion. The mystery here is not who did it, but how finding the truth will change the life of a street kid we’ve come to care about.”
—Latham Shinder, author of The Graffiti Sculptor and professional memoir ghostwriter
New Libri Press | http://www.NewLibri.com
Started making some “ghosties in a jar” to help build up my writer’s platform in the world of paranormal peeps. This should help me when it comes time to promoting my newest WIP, ‘Abandoned’. https://www.facebook.com/teresa.nordheim.9?fref=ts
I’m also pleased to announce that I have obtained over 90% of the photo permissions needed for my book. I have met many generous photographers via Flickr and hope to be sharing their talents with you on my blog. I would like to blog about each and every one of them to help promote their photos. I can’t believe the talent out there that is hidden from the world. I hope my book will sell and promote all of them as well as me.
More to come…
Coming soon! Interview with Dr. Louis Koster on October 29th as part of the 2012 Virtual blog tour announcing the release of A New Language For Life: Happy No Matter What!
2012 Virtual Tour Itinerary for
A New Language For Life: Happy No Matter What!
by Louis Koster
Tour Itinerary at Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist Blog
Tour Itinerary at Literature & Fiction Blog
Highlighted Title Listing at Independent Publisher
Review by Irene Roth at Blogcritics
Review by Irene Roth at Roth’s Book Reviews
Review by Laura Strathman Hulka at Readerwoman Blog
Review by Dr. Grady Harp at Powell’s
Interview and excerpt at Book Promo Central
October 16 – October 29
Three international ebook giveaways at Library Thing
Podcast with Big Blend Radio
US paperback giveaway at Curled Up With A Good Book
Interview at Curled Up With A Good Book
Review by Barbara Bamberger Scott at Curled Up With A Good Book
Review by Viviane Crystal at Crystal Book Reviews and at The Best Reviews
Interview at Alpha Chick
Review, video & excerpt at Spiritual Lounge
Excerpt at Your Awakened Self Blog
Review by Helen Gallagher at New York Journal of Books and at Open Salon
Author essay, excerpt & giveaways at One Story At A Time
Podcast with Where Am I Going Radio
Interview at Literature & Fiction Blog
October 30 – November 12
Three US paperback giveaways at GoodReads
Review by Christine Zibas at Digital Journal and at Bookpleasures
Review by Irene Conlan at The Self Improvement Blog and at Ezine Articles
Review by Gloria Oren at Gloria’s Corner Blog
Excerpt at Night Owl Reviews Blog
Interview by April Pohren at Blogcritics
Interview by Cheryl Malandrinos and giveaway at The Book Connection
Podcast with Conversations Live Radio
Videos at Preview The Book, Flickr, Photobucket, & Daily Motion
Review by Darin Godby at Luxury Reading and at Book Blogs Ning
Enter Writer Advice’s New Contest: SCINTILLATING STARTS. Grab and hold us with your opening paragraphs.
Deadline: October 15, 2012.
Details at www.writeradvice.com
If your opening is shared on Writer Advice, you’ll be able to tell prospective agents, publishers, and book buyers that you were one of the winners of Writer Advice’s First Scintillating Starts Contest.
B. Lyn Goodwin, Writer, Advice Managing Editor
Author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers
Congratulations to the winner of my Party Animals book giveaway: Kristen Muscat! In addition to the book, Kirsten has also won a WellerWishes "doggie prize pack" consisting of:
A set of four (4) WellerWishes "Garden Pug" art magnets
(Art detail above)
And, last but not least, a hand-painted, original art wood ring featuring a cute little doggie! Modern palette of black, white and red! (Silver-plated adjustable ring base.)
Congratulations to Kirsten, and Thank EVERYONE for Tweeting and Facebooking and commenting up a storm! Wish everyone could win! But don't fret - you can still get a copy of the Party Animals book here, and every penny of the proceeds goes to A Place To Bark.
That is totally cool and totally worth it!October 15 will see the start of the Party animals original art auctions on EBAY!
Please check it out and if you are so moved, please bid. And remember that 100% of the proceeds from the original art auctions are going towards helping stray and abandoned animals have a NEW LIFE, thanks to A Place To Bark's hard work and all - around amazingness. You can sign up to get auction updates here (bottom of page).
I just updated my web site. A few small changes add up to a much better experience.
you can now purchase books on my Books
page. I've added an art licensing
section to my portfolio. I've revised the navigation too. I think these few small changes add up to make a much improved site.
By: Kathy Weller
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My "Party Animals" original pen/ink/watercolor painting up for auction to benefit A Place To Bark
Hey all! I am very pleased to announce that the Party Animals
original art auctions to benefit A Place To Bark
are now LIVE and tick-tick-ticking away on Ebay! All auctions are five-day auctions only. All of them will end on October 20th. Plenty of great artwork to be had, and all of the auctions start at just $20! This is all-original art we are talking about, too! Very exciting, very fun, and ALL proceeds go to benefit animal rescue sanctuary A Place To Bark
. The proceeds will go directly to taking care of and rehabilitating previously abandoned and abused animals.
There is not a better feeling than being able to helping another living being who desperately needs it. This is a wonderful way to give of your heart but also get something wonderful in return. All of the works were created with big hearts and a generous, giving spirit. All of the works of art were made expressly for the Party Animals
project, and were made with positive intentions for the animals. Please find your favorites, and please bid!!!> See all of the art auctions here
This is going out soon to some choice mailboxes! It's a 5.5 x 8.5 oversized postcard. Back is pretty cute, too-- it has an icon from the front and a friendly message with logo and contact info. This one taught me a LOT about illustrating/doing line work in Flash.
Looking for an original Xmas gift for the kids? Buy both our latest titles and save!
Xmas Pack contains -
The Adventures of Saxon - It's Cool to be Different and
Anacondas to Zebras - Alphabet Fun
$30 plus postage and handling
Get your copies today. View Xmas Pack Now
A few weeks ago, a custom sticker printing company called Stickermule
emailed me with a nice offer— a juicy discount on a sticker order, in exchange for a simple mention in my blog. It was a very nice offer for sure, but the only context in which I felt comfortable about mentioning Stickermule on my blog is if I tried the product myself and shared my experience. (I don't have any advertising on my blog— save for a couple of affiliate links on my sidebar, which are only for products I've tried and I love. If that ever changes, I will be sure to let you know, loud and clear!) So, I took Stickermule up on their kind offer, and I decided to actually write a complete review of my experience with them and their product for you all.Stickermule
specializes in die-cut stickers, though they have a variety of non die-cuts as well to choose from. I decided on the die-cuts not only because of this, but also because this was just the best excuse for me to order die-cut anything! (What is more fun than a custom die-cut?!)
I placed my order, used my discount coupon code, and uploaded my art to their site. While there are templates available on their site, there is no special template or instructions available for die-cut stickers. They figure out where the cuts should happen, you just upload your work. Looks like they have an automated system (or not?) where they make the die from about a quarter-inch or so around your design, which leaves a thinnish white border around your end product. It is apparent from the samples on the site that they also do full bleed printing as well. The art I chose for my sticker has a fairly intricate border, so I thought this job would be a great test of their die-cutting skills! All in all, the process was very simple and streamlined. I've had all kinds of experiences with print orders online, and this was among the most simple and least annoying. (In fact there was nothing annoying about the process at all.) The only wrinkle I encountered was self-imposed-- I sent my art file prematurely, and I needed to retouch my art and resend. I ended up sending the new art in an email, and they were happy to replace the old art with the new.
When my art was ready to process, I received an on-line proof via a URL link in an email. It looked great, and I approved it.
Stickermule promises your stickers 10 days from print production. They delivered on that time line, with a couple of days to spare. Stickermule ships via UPS, and they include standard ground shipping—it's free on all orders. I LOVE FREE SHIPPING. It has a huge "We Care About Your Business" factor for me.
By: Kakie Fitzsimmons
Blog: Bur Bur & Friends: Community Blog
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(Share yours on Facebook and you could win an autographed Bur Bur and Friends multicultural children book of your choice!) Our Minnesota Governor has proclaimed the month of March to be nutrition month. Well, you might be thinkin’ that’s wonderful and all, but if a proclamation from the governor isn’t enough to get your kids [...]
I've been mentally preparing for Surtex and doing little things to get ready for months now. But in terms of hard-core prep, I have been in the tornado for about a month. There is still so much left to do, but I am finally feeling like I am in decent shape.
To pull things together the way that I want it has been an interesting exercise. My banners have all been designed, sent, proofed and approved, and are in production now. In some ways, it's a load off. In other ways, I'm flying blind. I've never sent such a 'physically large' or 'important-to-me large' job to print. Plus, I know what they will look like (well, for the most part I do. I certainly hope I do!) But, I am not a technical genius, and there was a fair amount of measuring and numerically-figuring-out involved. So, once they make it up on the walls, I'm sure hoping that they all fit properly and correctly. And, I hope none of the colors decide on a whim to clash at the last minute. All told, It's going to be exciting to see everything come together. I've also designed and placed orders for print and promotional goodies, getting all of my my materials all ready for the show. Most are off and printing now. Aaaahhh. No matter what happens, I'll be smiling, I'll be happy, I'll be grateful, and I'll be ready.
The Press Kit. I actually quite hemmed and hawed on doing this. It was such a huge undertaking to make happen, on top of everything else that needed to be done. It was so BIG... I'd never done one before, and well, it's a little nervewracking to take on this type of project for the first time.. As such, at the last minute, I bailed.. But then, at the 30-seconds-to-go mark, I renegged! I switched gears, I got really inspired, did some research, got even *more* inspired, and then bang, as if possessed by the Easter Bunny banging out all those baskets for the big day, I did it.
I just hate missed opportunities. It is important to be ready for anything. I generally walk around feeling like I am ready for anything which, let's face it, is the gift of delusion (thanks mom!), so in order to keep that going, I at least have to come through and make the physical effort with the Press Kit. So this weekend, I went for it, just Tasmanian Devil'ed it into creation. And I'm so happy I did. I think it is going to come together just great. I look forward to seeing all of the printed pieces once they arrive, and then piecing it all together. Hey, the first time at anything is an expiriment— there is not a hard and fast rule roadmap for a Press Kit. There are guidelines (thank goodness!) but most of the work is creating and putting together the content, and that comes from you and you alone. Therefore some personal excavation, list-making, organizing, time-mapping all come into play in the process. (No wonder people can get overwhelmed at the prospect of making one of these things!) I learned a whole lot more about myself and my business by going through the process. Now I'm so 'in it' that I might have really caught the bug! I also do marketing & advertising illustration and design as it is (and am a total marketing/ad geek at that). Turning the tables on myself, dissecting and pulling apart WellerWishes became much more than just the process of creating a Press Kit. It also served as a great brainstorming process to further distill the philosophy, ideals, target market, current offerings and services and present and future goals of WellerWishes. (Kind of like writing a business plan!) So all in all, though it may have hurt (a little), it was, overall, a HUGE positive. I now look forward to creating my Press Kit version 2.0, because, of course, after barely finishing version 1.0 there are now 101 revisions I want to make. But 2.0 is bound to be a whole lot easier, now that I have the general framework completed. Yee-ha!
So, creating the Press Kit and accompanying materials has really put me in a great headspace (albeit an exhausted one). I highly recommend doing it, if you h
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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, Publishing Industry
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, Barbara Karlin Grant
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This week I found out that Annie Silvestro received a Letter of Merit from the Barbra Karlin Grant & Amazon for her story, Midnight Rooster. Annie told me she was completely shocked to see her name on the list of Letter of Merit recipients for the Barbara Karlin Work-in-Progress Grant for my story MIDNIGHT ROOSTER.
To Quote Annie, “I didn’t even know they offered such a thing! I applied for the grant as motivation to keep writing — I felt like it was a great challenge and a fantastic opportunity. In a field where rejection can sometimes feel like the norm, this honor makes me more confident that what I’m doing is not a futile exercise. I am extremely grateful for the recognition.”
Here is a little information about The Barbara Karlin Grant has been established to recognize and encourage the work of aspiring picture book writers, and is made possible by a generous grant from Amazon.com as part of the SCBWI Work-In-Progress grants.
Eligibility: The Grant is available to both full and associate members of the SCBWI who have never had a picture book published and do not have a picture book currently under contract.
Grant Amounts: One Grant of $2,000 will be awarded annually. A Runner-Up Grant in the amount of $500 (funded by a generous donation from Ann Whitford Paul) will also be awarded. In any given year, the SCBWI Grant Committee reserves the right to withhold the grant for that year.
Description: One picture book manuscript per applicant may be submitted. The text may be an original story, work of nonfiction, or a re-telling or adaptation of a fairytale, folktale or legend.
Hope you think about submitting next year.
At Chronicle Books, Molly Jones moves up to associate managing editor; Bridget Watson is associate editor, Art & Design; and Sara Schneider becomes executive publishing design director.
Longtime publishing director of Bloomsbury Children’s in the UK Sarah Odedina will become managing director of “an entirely new children’s publishing company” in London as part of Bonnier Publishing. The line will launch in late 2011 or early 2012, focusing on children’s fiction across all age brackets.
Writers House has learned that a series of fake emails claiming to be from WH agent Jodi Reamerhave been circulating to self-published authors this week. “These emails, which contain a number of false statements, have not in fact come from Jodi Reamer and should thus be disregarded.” One easy “tell”: they advise that any e-mail from a non-Writers House address “expressing interest in representation is counterfeit.”
At Candlewick Press, Maryellen Hanley has been promoted to assistant art director.
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Today, for a special treat, I made up a computer screen wallpaper for you from my Pas De Deux piece here
. Just click on your preferred desktop screen resolution below, install and enjoy.1920x12001280x8001280x10241366x7681400x9001600x9001680x1050
FYI, I put a kibosh on the rest of the polls this week and instead, I will add additional prize drawings to Friday's bigger drawing. All you have to do to enter to win is "LIKE
" my Facebook page. Please feel free to tell your friends about Ballet Week
, too. It's fun to win cute stuff!
Kids who love Bur Bur and Friends™ have been sending us coloring pages from all over the country and we appreciate that! Clearly they are having fun and are excited to show us their talent. Below are a few coloring samples children have shared from the Sun Country Airlines In Flight Activity Books featuring the [...]
Just revised my portfolio on portfolios.com -- uhmmm, I mean, creativeshake.com!
(The former...) Portfolios.com slightly revised their business model recently and, following suit, they changed their name to reflect their new identity and services. It seems like the verdict is still out on how people feel about the name change thing, but name change or no, I am aware of the wide reach they have in some specific niches of the creative industry. So when I got a great "speak now or forever hold your peace" type of offer recently, I took the chance and upgraded my portfolio. It was too good to pass up, and I've gotten work from having just a FREE portfolio on portfolios.com. So, that was already a strong built-in advertisement!
Book Bites for Kids
Is on the Trail of Children's Authors with Cool Book Trailers.
These days, a book trailer is the hot new ticket
that promotes your book.
Cute, funny, delightful or with WOW appeal, illustrations feature BIG!
Then there's voice over, music that fits the story + that all important
text to clinch the deal. Put together by a pro, it all comes together in a
vivid and moving musical and pictorial "tease" - The Book Trailer!
This week, Suzanne Lieirance, of Book Bites, is offering those with
a great book trailer, the Opportunity to go on radio with her, and brag your
heart out about YOUR particular trailer.
Here's the phone number for your brag-fest: 1-646-716-9239.
If your book doesn't have a trailer you can brag about, there is hope. . .
I can personally recommend Kim McDougall and her trailer magic.
You can watch many of Kim's trailers HERE.
Her fee is reasonable, and the end results are terrific!
However, there is a waiting list - so be patient.
We writers know all about patience - right?
Her talents are in great demand!
If in doubt. . .
Check out my "Rattlesnake Jam" trailer at the top of this page.
Cool - right!
PS: Better hurry. Those crafty, talented, and promo savvy
G.A.P authors are leading the pack
It's all About YOU!
You don't think books signings are worth the effort.
You don't think readers pay attention to promotional mailings.
You don't have a web site to promote or don't update the one you have.
You don't have time to call bookstores to tell them about your book.
You don't have time to call libraries to tell them about your book.
You don't have time to do speaking engagements.
You don't have time to post announcements on the Internet
You don't have money to travel to conferences.
You don't have money to advertise/market.
You don't have copies of your book on hand to sell.
Blog Book Tour August Challenge #22
©Karen L. Syed
Sun Country Airlines has been ranked the Top Domestic Airlines in Condé Nast Reader’s Choice Awards in the Top 10 Domestic Airlines category.
By: Jenny Turner
Blog: Quake: Shakin' up Young Readers
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I know, my authors are groaning again as well, "You're sick." and "You need to rest." are their favorite sayings right now, but I have to tell you, a little bit of heart failure is not going to keep me from selling books and seeing old friends. I am excited about this weekend. It will be my first time at the VA Festival of the Book. Katie Hartlove (Erotiqué Press) and I will be heading in on Friday to get ready for a day of selling books on Saturday. You'll want to check us out; we will have some really AWESOME deals. I'm just saying.But I am mostly excited because I will get to see and chat with one of my favorite people again. I met Nikki Leigh online several years ago and she has become a bit of a role model for me. She is not only a great author, but an excellent business woman, a promotional guru, and a pretty neat gal. That's right, I said it.Nikki does something that few can, she writes non-fiction that teaches and entertains at the same time. What she teaches is marketing and promotions for authors, as well as business techniques for everyone. I was fortunate enough to be featured, not once but twice in her book 365 Foolish Mistakes Smart Managers Make (w/a Shri Henkel).Nikki is one of those people who welcome you into her world and makes you want to stay and learn. I am currently reading an advanced copy of her upcoming book Book Promo 201. It is captivating. Not a word you usually hear where non-fiction business books are involved, but it truly is. My Palm T/X and I have bonded over the last couple nights with this book and we are both very happy. We love this book.If you are an author, or a business person, you need to look into Nikki's books. She makes learning ainless. None of like to admit that we don't know what we are doing, but I will say right now, that before I started reading Book Promo 201, I thought I had it all going on. But I have learned so much throughout the pages of this book.This isn't just for authors. If you have ANYTHING to promote, Nikki is your gal. Check back in a couple days for my official review. This was just random praise.If you are in the Charlottesville, VA area on Saturday March 21, 2009, you should look Nikki up and tell her I sent you. Then after you talk to her, come on over to the Echelon Press table and take advantage of our great deals.Karen Syed
I know. I was AWOL last week. Sorry.
Actually, I was in Oahu promoting the Sir Newton Color Me Hawaii book. It was an impromtu trip, so I didn’t have time to set up too many events and get good marketing around them. But I did do two retailer events and spent the rest of the time visiting other retailers, both who carried the book and didn’t.
I did signings for the launch of the Sir Newton Color Me Cayman book, the first in the line, and they were successful. But this time, I wanted to do something that I thought would show off the nature of the book more — coloring activities. I made up two sheets featuring coloring pictures from the book then presented them to the kids and their (paying) parents, showing them that there’s more fun, activities and information in the book. The kids got to choose which sheet they would like to color, then when they were done, I gave them the other sheet to do at home plus a sticker of the book’s host, Sir Newton. All of the kids at both sessions seemed as though they had a great time, although I have to admit, I think they liked the sticker best of all. Go figure. The main thing is that the book got some exposure — and some extra sales — and the kids and my husband and I had fun doing the sessions.
The rest of our time in Oahu, my husband and I visited retailers who are already carrying the book, telling them thanks for the support, giving them my business card and letting them know we’re available to help them in any way they might need. One store manager seemed a little resistent when we first went in, as though he was bracing himself for expected complaints. I can’t be sure if this was really case, but when I said we just wanted to come in and say hi and thank the store for its support, he seemed genuinely surprised. And by the end of the conversation, he actually looked happy I had come in, which was a contrast to his first expression. I had asked if he gets a lot of authors coming in the store and he said, “Yeah, every day,” and the way he said it, he didn’t make it sound very pleasant. So my immediate thought was that he had had complaints from authors in the past. Again, I can’t be sure, but if that’s the case, it’s a shame.
The truth is that authors like us need retailers. We need them to stock our books, display them on shelves and recommend them to customers. Because without readers, we’re not authors. Sure we can be writers, but an author is someone who publishes books, and to publish books is to sell them, to have an audience that reads them. And to sell them, we need to promote them, but we also need the help of retailers.
As authors, retailers are our friends, and expressing your appreciation for their support and making yourself available to help them sell your books is good. Retailers will thank you for it. The ones I met did — every single one of them. It was worth it.
The other thing we did in Oahu (we didn’t have time to visit the other Hawaiian islands) was scout out stores that weren’t carrying our book that we thought should be. Although local residents can be entertained by our book, it’s geared toward tourists. And my husband and I found a number of tourist-styled stores that were not carrying our book. We took the book around with us, showed it, explained its benefits for their customers, and we got names that we can pass on to our distributor to close the sales.
So, get out and visit the retailers in your area. If they carry your book, tell them thanks. If they don’t, show them your book and explain why they should. Make friends with them. Retailers and authors need each other.
See more BH Union Square 2009 photos on my Flickr photostream
Today was THE DAY! The Boston Handmade Marketplace Union Square show that I've been incessantly tweeting, Facebooking and blogging about finally took place today! The weather was sunny and beautiful, and we all were breathing a grateful sigh of relief, I am sure, on waking up to this weather today. It was so nice to be 'gifted' with good weather. Given the summer we have had thus far, it was, indeed, a 'gift'.(What is Boston Handmade? Read Mission Statement here.)I shared a tent with my sister Nancy of NancyRosetta jewelry. It worked out just great to have her as a tent-mate. First of all, I do not have a tent of my own, and she likes to share, and I was thrilled to share myself, so it worked out perfect! Not to mention that she came and picked me up at my home, with all of my wares, so that was also a great thing. I'm pretty excited to be joining with her again for at least TWO dates in AUGUSTat SoWA (8/02 and 8/09 for sure, and possibly 8/30). So.. Be There, Or Be Square!
For the past week, I've been going at breakneck speed and intensity getting ready for this show. I have not done a show in *gulp* at *least* ten years... and, back THEN, I was selling ONLY greeting cards, and I'd really only done a couple of shows.
This time, it was going to be much, much more involved. I not only had to figure out what I currently had for inventory, what I wanted to add to it, and HOW I wanted to 'design' my entire stock of inventory (no, you can't just throw a bunch of unrelated objects on a table! sorry! ;) ). But, JUST as importantly, and some might say even MORE, was the fact that I needed to figure out a key element of this whole project -- my DISPLAY!!
I really don't think you can overestimate the impact of the impression your display will make to your visitors. It gives them some key unspoken clues about you. First off, it shares information about your entire visual aesthetic and your creative philosophy. It also tells them how you view your own work and how, or even WHETHER, you value it. (Surprise! You probably did not know that your choice of display had the powers of X-Ray vision!)
But, the most significant thing is that, regardless of how you "show yourself" to the public, whether consciously or not, you are making decisions on how people will size up you and your work. WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. You know that saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression"? That saying, though I know it's a generalization, applies profoundly here. So, if you do not put the work into your own display, you are really cheating your chances at success. IF you are putting time and effort into doing shows to begin with, I think it's greatly important to put your best foot forward.
I learned a lot about my products and displays my first time out. There are some display tactics I tried that worked well, and there were some that were not successful. I took notes on these while I was still there AT my table, not after. The minute I close up shop, I know I am liable to forget all of these valuable bits of wisdom. So I made sure to seize the moment with pen and paper. Now, for the next show, I now will have a much-improved display (and maybe this will pay off with increased sales)!
In terms of product sold, I did okay today. I came away very pleased with my sales for the first time out. To be fair, the crowds were much, much thinner this year than last (which I attended but did not exhibit)... and, there were a lot of looky-loos, but not a lot of buyers. (I think people are way less impulsive to buy. At least they were today). In all honestly though, regarding sales, I was happy to get any today. And I do not mean that as a self-deprecating remark at ALL... Here is the thing: I believe in my product, in my artwork, and I absolutely ADORE it. (In fact I think I am my own biggest fan. I hope that admitting that doesn't lose me any fans.) But, I also know that this is my first run out here. I have no illusions. My plan today was to observe what people gravitated toward, what parts of my display seemed to work well and what parts did not work. To have a presence, say Hello, show my face, name, and products and make sure that my take-away "contact info" cards were within easy reach. Hey - maybe I'd even sell something (wink wink). Basically, I was entering this particular arena with a "This Is Me Putting My Best Face Forward, My First Time Out, Before I Have The Luxury Of Experience" attitude.
I have been working as a professional artist, illustrator, and graphic designer for 15 years. I have worked in various commercial markets and I have even proudly earned a little visibility in a couple of them. But, this *specific type* of market -- this live, open-air arts and crafts market for my work, is more or less new to me (save for that 6-month stint over 10 years ago I mentioned already). So, I say, jump in with both feet, but don't forget the life-preserver!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my first art market in a really long time. I'll be doing at least two more shows this summer and I will be sure to post about the show prep as the dates grow closer. Maybe I might even be able to do a little show-and-tell on the process of product I create. I really would have loved to post a "diary" of sorts for this show - especially because it was so much trial-by-fire and that is something interesting to go through and to share. But the prep, I have to be honest, was just way too frenzied and franticfor that to happen this time out. Next time, I'll be able to be a little more relaxed about it because I now have a base to work off of. SoWA, here I come! Stay tuned for more on those dates, plus a couple of new pet portrait commissions in the works!!
By: Kathy Weller
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I recently took part in a truly wonderful art project. I, along with 20 other pet portrait artists, were invited to create and contribute works of art to be published in a uniquely themed art book.
It's called "Party Animals", and if you remember last years' benefit art book that I contributed to and blogged about ("Dogs Rule"), this one could be considered a "Part Two" of sorts. Jill Beninato of Sit Stay Smile is the responsible "party" for "Party" -- she spearheaded the "Dog's Rule" project herself and made it all happen! She came back at us with "Party Animals" this year . Once again it is an honor to be a contributor. Like last year, this years' book includes art images that were specifically created for the project by each of the artists. The interpretation of the theme of "Party Animals" was the goal, and each artist was given free reign!
(See "You Tube" video demo series of my watercolor painting for the "Party Animals" book)
This time though, the party is even BIGGER and more shareable (yes, that's really a word - I looked it up), because, unlike last years' project, ANYONE can enjoy a beautiful copy of this years' collaborative project because copies are for sale, with ALL proceeds - every nickel - going to benefit A Place To Bark. (Plus, your purchase is entirely tax-deductible.)
I can tell you first-hand that the quality of the printing and binding of this 'zine is gorgeous and lovely. I am proud to have my work in the book, and to be among so many other extremely talented artists who are not only each boldly unique in their own artistic voices, but who are also very generous and caring people who are all joined by our love and support of animal welfare. Because the entire monetary proceeds of the 'zine go directly to A Place To Bark, you know that your $20 purchase is making a HUGE positive impact. (The great art, beautiful printing, and inspiring words in this book make it truly gift-worthy as well).
If THAT isn't ENOUGH, the ORIGINAL ARTWORKS printed in the 'zine will be auctioned off on Ebay on October 15, with all benefits going to A Place To Bark. Mark your calendars!!