What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'website')

Recent Comments

Recently Viewed

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 7 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: website, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 160
1. My Website Got a Facelift...

0 Comments on My Website Got a Facelift... as of 4/15/2016 12:59:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. How to Set Up a Website

A question I used to see a lot from aspiring writers when I was still working in publishing was Do I need a website? Do I need to get on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram/[insert social media platform]? What do agents and editors mean when they say “online presence”?

I won’t lie; whenever I received a submission from an agent, the first thing I did was Google that author. I wasn’t necessarily looking to see if the author had an enormous platform or following; I just wanted to get a sense of the person behind the words. For me, it was always the most helpful if the author had a personal website where I could go, read their bios, find their social media links, etc. Not having a professional website isn’t a deal-breaker, but these days, it would strike me as a little odd.

I’ve been coding and designing websites since I was in high school (does anyone else remember Geocities? No? Bueller? Bueller? Okay, I’m just old then.), so I’m pretty comfortable with this sort of thing, but I know this entire process bewilders a lot of people, so I thought I would write a tutorial for our readers (and some of our members!) to help them out.

Full disclosure: Here at PubCrawl, we use Bluehost, so the screenshots used in the tutorial will be of their website. We’ve been pretty happy with Bluehost in the five years we’ve been with them and would never endorse something we ourselves did not use or wholeheartedly support. There are a myriad other hosting options out there, but if you choose to go with Bluehost, we would appreciate it if you would click on the link we’ve provided, as it generates a little revenue for us at PubCrawl. We do what we love here for love and not money, but a little kickback would help us fund our giveaways and keep the lights on!

This is a bit of a long post with a lot of images, so the rest is under the cut!

1. Pick a domain name.

A domain name is your address on the internet, as it were. Ours is publishingcrawl.com, but as an writer, it’s best to have a domain under the name you’re writing under. (For example: Mine is sjaejones.com because I am writing as S. Jae-Jones.) The first thing I would do is check to see if your name is available. The easiest way to do that is simply type yourname.com into your browser and see if anything turns up.

If your name is already taken, then you can add -writer or -books to the end of your name, or else try .net or .biz, although .com is probably best for search purposes.

2. Select a web hosting plan and register your domain.

Most web hosting services will register your first domain for free, and for the sake of simplicity, I would recommend you do it all at once.1 Select your plan of choice. (For most writers who don’t expect heavy blog traffic, the most basic plans are sufficient. You can always upgrade later.) Register your new domain name with your host provider.

3-Domain Registartion

3. Install WordPress.

Okay, now here’s where things get a bit complicated. Think of a website as a piece of property: the host is the land itself and the domain is the address. If you want to live on that piece of land, you need to build a house.

If you know HTML, you could code that house yourself. (I’ve done so; it’s incredibly time-consuming and exhausting.) Or you could download and install a CMS, or Content Management System, like WordPress, Joomla, or similar. We at PubCrawl use WordPress (and I do for my own website as well).

Once you’ve set up your domain, you will prompted to set up a username and password for your host. Once you’ve done that, log in to access your Control Panel (usually called cPanel by most hosting services).

9-Bluehost login

Once you’ve been logged in, at the top navigation bar, you will see cpanel. Clicking on that will lead you to your Control Panel, which will look something like this:


Bluehost and other providers will often provide a 1-step installation for WordPress and other CMS builders. Under Website Builders, click on the WordPress logo and you’ll be brought to a page that looks like this:


Start a brand new install, select your domain name, and Bluehost will do the work for you.2 Set up your WordPress login with a username and password.

Once everything’s been installed, in order to access the backend of your website, type www.yourname.com/wp-admin/ and you’ll see this:

18-WordPress Login

Fill in your username and password and that will take you to your Dashboard, which looks like this:


Ta-da! Now your website has been set up. Time to make it look pretty.

4. Select a theme to install on your website.

The default WordPress theme is actually pretty decent, but if you want to put your own personal stamp on your website, I would recommend browsing the WordPress themes gallery. There are a lot of themes you can choose, many of them for free. You can also hire a designer to make your website more personal at this point, but to be honest, a lot of the free themes at WordPress are clean and professional, so there isn’t a huge need to break your bank account.

5. Fill your website with content.

In your WordPress Dashboard, you’ll see an option on the lefthand navigation bar titled Pages. This is where you can create different pages for your website: an about page, information about your books, a blog, a contact page, etc. As an editor, I didn’t need all that much, just a place to contact you. Readers may like a lot more extra content, so include as much information about your book as you please!

That’s all for this post. Hope this was helpful for everyone who’s looking to set up a website and didn’t know where to start. If you have any further questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer, although each case will be different, of course. 

  1. If only to avoid the headache of having to go into your domain registration page and point the DNS servers to a different host, etc.
  2. As opposed to having to set up an FTP login, finding an FTP client, access MySQL databases, fiddling with wp-config.php files, etc. I’m an old hat at this, you guys.

Add a Comment
3. New website

F I N A L L Y.
The new paulapertile.com is live!

It needs 'more' (mostly, art samples), and a couple of fiddly tweaks, but over all I'm pretty happy with it. I used the godaddy website builder, mostly because I have my domain name registered there already, and also had a credit. So it made sense. I wanted something simple, and I like the scroll-down design rather than fancier bells and whistles. I went with the business site option, which lets you have a lot of pages. They have several templates you can choose from, and I chose the "Freelance Portfolio" one - and then completely changed it (of course). Its all 'drag-and-drop' and really easy to use. They give you a lot of options for little design-y things (I got so excited over the 'make rounded corners' thingy!), most of which I didn't even use. So I would recommend this. (*godaddy is not paying me to say any of this, by the way)

Besides the business option, they have a simple and inexpensive 5 page option, and also upgrades for SEO optimizing, as well as a store-builder. It can add up, but they have sales often so I plan to wait for one of those before I sign up for anything else.

There are so many options for website building software these days. Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, come to mind. They're all beautiful and modern and fancy and hip. I kind of like the idea of not being so trendy though, and sticking with something a little more classic. It fits my style. 

Another really good thing with this is that its mobile-friendly! (All those other options I listed are too, I'm sure.) I looked at my old site on my phone and it was microscopic. The godaddy website builder lets you preview how your site will look on a desktop and a phone as you go along, so you know exactly what you're doing. On a phone, it arranges all the images in a single file 'up and down' scrolling thing, which are sometimes a little out of sync with how they're arranged on the page, but its still 100% better than what I had before, so I'm fine with it.

Full disclosure: there are a couple of things I'm not 100% thrilled with, and wish I could change.

1) You're allowed 2 drop-down pages for each main page. Which is great. But. Normally, if you hover over a page title that has drop-down choices, you just pick one of those and go to that page. With this design, the main title page is also 'clickable', and is still a stand alone page by itself. So you need to have stuff on there as well as the drop down pages, which feels a little redundant, and I'm not sure how to get around that. (Like, if you hover over "Children's Books", "Color" and "Black & White" pages come up as the drop down options. I think most people would just click on one of those, and not the actual main page - does that make sense?).

2) Another thing is, the way I designed my pages, every element - image, or type - is independent, and can be dragged around to go anywhere on the page. Which I love! But, when I decide to update the site with new work, which will go on the top of the page, I'll have to rearrange the whole rest of the page downward, one piece at a time, rather than selecting the whole lot and dragging it as one thing. Pretty sure anyway. There might be some way to do it easier that I haven't figured out yet, so don't quote me on this.

Still, I'm super happy to have this done, and it will be fun to update things and fiddle around with it as I go. I know several people who are re-doing their websites right now. It must be "website re-design season"! Its soooooooooooooooooooo much easier now than it used to be - remember using (or trying to use) Dreamweaver or . . . what was the other one? Go Live, that was it. Blimey! I never did figure those out.

Please let me know if you find any links that don't work, or if anything feels clunky or 'off' or weird.
Happy Website Building!

0 Comments on New website as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. Site Update

Well, this is a long awaited update to my blog. Hopefully you've been awaiting it...

I will get right to it. The update today is to announce the new design of my website.

The goal was to deliver something light and fresh. All of the key points are there and link across a variety of social media. It is an active site which will constantly be updated from the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

One of the most exciting things is the new MillerWords store.

Follow the Order link to connect with the official Square store. Currently, all of my paperback books are available with free shipping and a personalized autograph. We are in the process of adding hand-made jewelry and all of my eBooks. (the link to the store is also at the top right of this blog)

I invite you to visit the links and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. As always, your feedback is most welcome in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

0 Comments on Site Update as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. SBI Website Revealed

A big project that's been underway since December, my website.

I have many goals for what it can provide my customers and potential clients, yet until all those goals are met, there are a few that have been reached and I feel the site is ready to be revealed.

What Does My Site Offer Now

Goals For the Site

  • List all of my original artwork for sale, paintings and drawings
  • Move prints from Etsy to personal site
  • Offer more licensed gifts such as figurines, mugs, puzzles, etc. 

It would mean so much if you could take a visit and see what's new. Enjoy! :)

Visit the new SaraB Illustration site

0 Comments on SBI Website Revealed as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. Things Look…Different

Pub(lishing) Crawl Logo 320So…as you might noticed, PubCrawl looks…different today.

We have some changes being implemented around here, one of which is a website redesign. On the front end, the reader experience should be improved with cleaner, minimalistic layout and good typography, while on the back end, the posting process should get streamlined for us.

In theory.

Your humble self has undertaken the task of updating PubCrawl’s design to take advantage of mobile reading devices as well as the desktop screen. Read it on your phone or tablet! No really! And then tell me if it looks okay. PubCrawl 2.0 is still very much in beta, but we don’t want to deprive our readers of content any longer than necessary, so click around. The posts are still there (formatting will be, uh, a little helter-skelter for some of them until the clean-up crew—i.e. me—goes in there and tidies things up).

If the blog looks a teensy bit (okay a lot bit) like a hack job at the moment…that’s probably because it is. Sort of. (I’m self-taught.) However! It should not remain this way for long. Based on your feedback, I can make changes as necessary, so please leave comments and let us know what you think, what you miss, what you’d like to see.

Thanks for your patience!

Add a Comment
7. Why My New Web Site Animations Have Me So Excited!

If you had visited my website (www.briannacaplansayres.com) yesterday (or any day before then), you would have seen a beautiful blue sky with two lovely trees and one yellow digger busily digging away.

But if you visit my website now, you will see a beautiful blue sky with two lovely trees and one yellow digger busily digging away PLUS one fierce T-Rex putting her tiara on and off and one sweet steam train puff-puff puffing away. (Huge thanks to Jeffrey Duckworth  for these awesome new animations!)

The addition of these two new animated gifs means a lot to me. It all goes back to my initial vision for my website...
When I first envisioned the site, I pictured a very happy "Briannaland". (Yes, I am silly.) Basically that beautiful background would become a home for little graphics related to all the books I would publish someday.

And so I started with a graphic for my first book, WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT?-- a busy yellow digger. In one way, it looked perfect, but... in another way it looked sort of lonely.

Would my yellow digger ever be joined by other graphics? Would I someday have more books to make graphics for? I wondered and I hoped and I wrote...

So today I am super happy that that wonderful digger has two "friends" joining him on my website. The T-Rex with the tiara is for my upcoming picture book, TIARA SAURUS REX (coming out in February! Yay!) and the happy, puffing steam train is for my upcoming companion book to DIGGERS, WHERE DO STEAM TRAINS SLEEP AT NIGHT?.

The site is getting pretty busy! Yay!

But, like most writers, I can't wait to make it even busier! Definitely a fun way to track my writing progress!

What writing milestones should you be celebrating? Starting a new manuscript? Finishing a manuscript? Making a commitment to sit down to write? Please comment below and let's celebrate together! :)

0 Comments on Why My New Web Site Animations Have Me So Excited! as of 1/20/2015 3:21:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. Email Marketing and The Evergreen System (it has to do with autoresponders)

How do you create a marketing system that converts, and one that keeps working without any effort after the initial setup? It’s called the ‘evergreen system’ or the ‘autopilot system.’ And, it involves email marketing and autoresponders. I’m in the process of creating this type of system. I’m hoping to have it up and running in the new year. Interestingly, each pro marketer has their own

0 Comments on Email Marketing and The Evergreen System (it has to do with autoresponders) as of 11/10/2014 6:30:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Content Marketing and Your Website - 2 Tips to Powerful Product Pages

Most people think of content marketing as blogging and article writing. While this is a large part of the strategy, there is lots more involved. Another essential content marketing element is the copy on your website, especially your product page. Why is your website copy super important? Simple: Words are powerful. Words can sell. Tip #1 Your Product Description A well thought-out and

0 Comments on Content Marketing and Your Website - 2 Tips to Powerful Product Pages as of 7/14/2014 8:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform?

Almost two years ago I wrote an article titled, “Do You Really Need an Author Website?” In that article I explained the need for a website and included a couple of statistics proving that need. Since then, social media has exploded. It’s become more powerful than ever, and more and more people and businesses are using it as an integral part of their marketing strategy. In fact, social media

0 Comments on Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform? as of 5/26/2014 7:48:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. Website Woes

I recently redesigned my website from scratch.  I used a content management system (CMS) to build it.  For the uninitiated, this type of system allows you to change the data on pages fairly quickly while keeping the style of the website intact.  It’s a far cry from the first website I built using Microsoft Publisher.  The problem with that program is that it would never look the same depending on what computer and browser I was using.  Anything that looked terrific on Internet Explorer, would look terrible on Firefox and vice versa.  So I found myself forever tinkering with my website.  It was a great when my writer’s block would kick in.  I would have a legitimate excuse for not writing because I had to fix my #[email protected]^&* website.

I used to work in a technology unit at my old day job.  I am far from being a technology expert.  But I have a basic understanding of how technology works and I’m willing to teach myself just about anything.  So with enough time and patience, I rebuilt my website.  I used a CMS called Joomla.  It’s a pretty popular system.  But Joomla was entirely different from anything I used before.   I would have to start at the beginning to learn it.  So with the help of the internet and armed with a “Dummies” book, I went to work. 

First problem I ran into:  Joomla was upgrading versions and the new version wouldn’t work with my current internet hosting.  I contacted customer service and they sold me on trying a new hosting platform they were rolling out which would support the new version of Joomla.  So I backed up my website, or so I thought, and had them convert me to this new hosting platform. 

So I find out that I didn’t quite back up my website correctly (“D’oh”-with apologies to Homer Simpson).  Also, when I switched platforms it deleted my old account.  My website and everything else stored there was gone (“Double D’oh”). 

If I had backed up my website correctly, I could have just imported it into Joomla and it would have converted it automatically (“Triple D’oh).  But anyhow, now I finally have a nice, shiny new website, with plenty of bells and whistles.  If you would like to see the results, please visit www.kevinmcnamee.com and let me know how it looks to you.

Unfortunately, now I don’t have any more excuses for not writing.  Back to work.

0 Comments on Website Woes as of 4/29/2014 5:31:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. New Art on the Site


0 Comments on New Art on the Site as of 4/8/2014 9:55:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Make a Great First Impression with a Homepage

Most bloggers display their latest posts first — reverse chronological order is the classic blog format, after all. Many WordPress.com users, however, choose to build a static front page — a homepage — that creates a website feel and brings your long-term content to the front.

A well-designed homepage has always been a staple of major websites, like The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation — a WordPress.com VIP partner. You don’t have to be a large company or non-profit organization to see the advantages of a homepage, though. Artists and other creative professionals enjoy the benefits of portfolio sites and personal pages to showcase their talents. Increasingly, so do personal bloggers across a wide variety of niches. To give you a taste of what a homepage can do for your blog, here are some sites that use this option in a smart, creative way.

Groovy Bow Sequence

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.43.54 AM
Claire, the Seoul-based kindergarten teacher behind Groovy Bow Sequence, put together a sleek-looking homepage for her travel-focused personal blog

She uses Moka to great effect. The theme offers the option of adding a splashy post slider to the homepage, enticing visitors to click on Claire’s striking landscape images and read her posts, while still maintaining the easy navigation and streamlined look of a fixed front page. While sites with a homepage often still feature a blog section, Claire has opted to forego one altogether, presenting some recent posts on the homepage itself, and letting the rest be easily accessible through the sidebar menu.

Alexandra Corinth

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.18.07 AM

Writer-blogger Alexandra Corinth deploys a homepage — and especially her site’s primary menu — to direct readers to her various writing projects, from her young-adult books, to her multi-genre portfolio, to her personal blog.

She chose the clean, easy-to-navigate Suits, and kept most of the theme’s out-of-the-box look. The focus here is on her content, and her homepage is a distraction-free zone — visitors will only find an author’s portrait, along with a short bio tucked into a Text Widget in the sidebar. They can then quickly decide which section of the site to explore first.


Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.20.20 AM

Dan, the blogger behind redstuffdan, is a retired expat living in the southwest of France. His blog is mostly about his art — a mixture of photography, digital art, and painting — and he’s opted for a homepage to showcase his creations. Right beneath a short introductory text to his site, visitors quickly plunge into a colorful tiled gallery full of Dan’s art. The gallery’s composition can be modified whenever new material is uploaded — just because the page is “static” doesn’t mean it can’t be updated and refreshed.

For the rest of the content on redstuffdan, the sidebar gives visitors easy access to the site’s top posts and pages, most recent posts, as well as to older content through monthly archives.

Up From The Deep

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.21.16 AM

Up From The Deep is the labor of love of Mark Ellinger, a musician-turned-photographer who chronicles the gentrifying streets of San Francisco’s grittiest neighborhoods. Creating a homepage allowed him to highlight the different types of writing on his site: a blog to which he uploads new photos regularly, as well as long-term project pages, like the ones on the Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods.

The homepage layout features a selection of images that whet the visitor’s appetite, and its primary menu leads not only to the site’s main content, but also to an extensive bibliography page and a Prints page, where interested readers can order copies of images from Mark’s website.

Creating a homepage

If you’d like to try out a front page that isn’t populated by your latest posts, setting one up is a breeze. Go to the Settings → Reading tab in your dashboard, and select “a static page.” Then, choose your desired page from the “Front page” drop menu, and you’re set. If you wish to add an optional blog section to your site as well — where your posts will be displayed in reverse chronological order — specify a separate “Posts page” in the second drop menu. Note that you can also set up a homepage from the Customizer, where you’ll need to go to the “Front” panel.

Looking for more ideas for your homepage? Here are a few more examples to inspire you:

Filed under: Better Blogging, Customization, HowTo

10 Comments on Make a Great First Impression with a Homepage, last added: 2/12/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. pippa and maggie...

a package deal! :)

finally got around to making some changes to the sketches on my website over the weekend. i re-drew them all because i prefer my mechanical pencil to a stylus ANYDAY!
please, it took me almost 14 hours straight just to re-configure everything and "clean up" the sketches a bit in photoshop...and add the pink.

14 hours on a Mac in photoshop...no thanks! i much prefer my pencil and paintbrush!
so happy it's done though....:)

0 Comments on pippa and maggie... as of 9/16/2013 8:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. A Gluten-Free Birthday For Me - Website

There is now a companion website for the new picture book, A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by me. Check it out for free downloadable coloring and activity pages, gluten-free resources, and information about author appearances and other events.

0 Comments on A Gluten-Free Birthday For Me - Website as of 9/12/2013 12:26:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. Happy July!

It's summer time, the kids are out of school and it's a lovely long weekend here. And with the start of summer comes the start of July. Boy, didn't June just zip by?  It's been an exciting month, with the release of my debut picture book, Skink on the Brink, written by Lisa Dalrymple, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
 I must say, it was such a thrill to walk into my local Chapters and see our book on the shelf, for the first time "WEHOOO!". And my friends and family have been so so sweet to send me images and info of our book on the shelves of stores across Canada.
Lisa and I have been busy prepping for the official book launch next Saturday, July 6th from 1-3pm at  the Intergalactic Travel Authority( Story Planet). If you are in the area, please join us!  We have another launch and some exciting signings coming up as well in July/August and some great interviews that I will share in  series of  upcoming posts, so stay tuned.  I have some of the upcoming events posted in the News section of my website.
This months calendar features another  interior spread for our book. It's one of my favorites...OK, they are all my favorites, they are my babies, after all. This foot-tapping, bug-dancing, jubilant illustration is just right to celebrate our book's release and upcoming launch activities.
To download, simply click on the required screen resolution above,then right click and save to desktop.
Please check back for more info on our upcoming events, printable activities and even a few interviews...there's lots to share :)
Happy Canada Day!!

0 Comments on Happy July! as of 6/30/2013 4:47:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Do You Have an Online Marketing Focus?

A new year is in front of us. Hopefully, we learned a thing or two over the past year and are ready to move forward. One of the things I learned is that focus is an important element of any online marketing strategy.

But, what has focus to do with your online marketing strategy?


You must be aware of all the marketing courses, programs, ebooks, and numerous other learning tools that the heavy hitter marketers sent to your email box on a daily basis. Buy this now to make thousands selling your books – invest in this new course to get the best marketing program to date – get this ebook today and learn everything you need to know about creating ebooks and making money. The promotional emails go on and on.

If you’re like me, you’ve bought into a number of the new ‘flavor or the week’ marketing promotions. The goal for this year is to STOP. Don’t buy another product or service until you actually take advantage of (use) the ones you’ve already purchased.

You might be thinking that you don’t have the time to invest in the products you already bought and that new one being promoted looks simple . . . and it doesn’t cost that much. Again, STOP. This is most likely what you thought about the other marketing products you bought. Make this year a year of accountability. If you bought it or buy it, use it.

Okay, so you have your marketing direction. Go over the marketing strategies you bought into and determine which are doable for you. This step is essential. If you take on a marketing strategy that you don’t have the skills to succeed at or is too time consuming, you’ll become discouraged and possibly waiver in your online marketing strides.

So, choose one or two strategies that you feel comfortable with. Maybe it’ll be using social networks more, maybe it’ll be posting regularly to your blog, maybe it’ll be guest blogging. Whatever it is start working at it today and be consistent.

A key element to this marketing focus is to stay with these specific one or two strategies. Work them until you feel very comfortable with them and you begin to see results. Don’t add any other strategies until the ones you’re currently working on are on autopilot, or close to it.

This is online marketing focus.

The main idea behind it is to keep from grasping at shiny objects and wasting money. The next reason to use this strategy is to be focused. Focusing on one or two online strategies will enable you to stick with it and it gives you a clearer picture of what’s working for you.

Along with your one or two marketing strategies, add reviewing and tweaking your website to the mix. This action step should be done on a regular basis, maybe once a month or every other month. Make sure your website is current, focused, and has the needed elements to make it effective. This will help bring focused traffic to your site.


Need help with your online marketing strategy? Need help tweaking your author website to be focused and effective? Check out this ecourse:

Creating and Building Your Author Online Presence
From creating an effective website to beyond book sales – you get a free basic website critique with it.


Book Marketing – Learn How to Create Your Author Online Presence
Book Marketing – 9 Quick Tips for Being a Guest Blogger on Blogging Sites
What is an Author Platform and How Do You Create It?

To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi

0 Comments on Do You Have an Online Marketing Focus? as of 12/31/2012 7:23:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Book Marketing - To Niche or Not to Niche

I was recently asked about having a marketing niche. The writer wanted to know what a niche was and if it was important.

My reply:

A marketing niche is simply a specific topic you’re focusing on. One writer may write for children, another may write business content. Then there are also more specific niches: writing children’s picture books or writing specifically on business incentives in the business arena.

And, there are niches within niches. In the writing arena, you can be a children’s author, a romance author, a nonfiction writer, a biographer, a ghostwriter, or copywriter, among a number of other niches. So, to say you’re a writer, while it may be true, it’s not specific enough. It doesn’t give the listener, reader, or viewer enough information about you and what you have to offer.

Having a specific niche is important so you can create the element of expertise in it. This doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one niche, but you do need to keep them separate and promote each separately.

For example, I’m a children’s writer of picture books and middle grade books. I’m also a nonfiction health, business, and marketing writer.

If I had one website for all these niches, it wouldn’t be focused. And, when marketing who would I market to? You wouldn’t want to bring people looking for health information to a children’s book site or vice versa.

You can’t market to everyone; you need to decide exactly who you will focus your marketing efforts on. And, that audience needs to be brought to a site that focuses on that niche.


Commenting on Blogs Still Works
Plan a Virtual Book Tour: The First Steps
Book Promotion: The Foundation



7 Day Ebook by Jim Edwards

Don't have a book yet? Don't fret. You can have one in a week with 7 Day Ebook by ebook and marketing pro Jim Edwards. This ebook provides step-by-step details spelled out quickly, by a real-world expert who can teach you the ropes.

Check it out HERE!

To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).
Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services

Author Online Presence and Book Marketing Ecourse:


2 Comments on Book Marketing - To Niche or Not to Niche, last added: 12/23/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
19. Free 'Learning Resources' for Teachers and Students

About 3 years ago, I re-jigged my website. I kept most of the content, but got someone to make it far more user-friendly and to update all the admin behind the scenes. It works SO much better these days.

But it's a pretty big site (I keep getting new ideas for extra stuff to add...) so, instead of paying for it all to be done at once (gulp), I left the Kids FunClub area to come back to another time.

Well, that time is now, only I had a bit of a re-think: instead of aiming it at kids, I thought it would probably be of more use generally, if instead I aimed it at adults working with kids, like teachers, librarians, parents etc  

So, the site now has a brand new Learning Resources area, which still has all the fun puzzles and quizzes from the old FunClub... 

...and all the bookplates, bookmarks, colouring sheets etc to print out, but now also has a whole lot of new stuff. 

The illustrated work-sheets, which analyse specific aspects of some of my illustrations or books, are designed to work with either children or students (or just be extra info for interested adults). 

The story-machine (much improved since the Funclub version) should be of help to teachers of reluctant writers, as well as providing inspiration for those kids who simply love making up stories.

A brand new feature for kids (and some grown-ups?), is the how-to-draw series of animations, which guide you step-by-step through the creation of my book characters. There are just 3 at the moment, but I can build that up.

I've also pulled together links to some of what I think are the most useful articles I have written here on the blog for aspiring, or new, illustrators or authors, dealing with how to build a folio, how to approach publishers, self-promotion, authors looking for illustrators, doing school visits etc. Plus there's an updated film page, which again should work with most age groups.

I'm thinking too, that these resources will make a perfect build-up to my school visits: a way to really get the kids prepared and excited, as well as a great way to assist follow-up activities after a visit.

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think and what's most useful, so I know what to add to the most. If there's anything not working, or anything you'd like to see that isn't there, do please let me know!

3 Comments on Free 'Learning Resources' for Teachers and Students, last added: 9/30/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. Updated Site

I've updated my website!


(And I finally wrapped my head around Wordpress without losing all of my hair.)

2 Comments on Updated Site, last added: 10/1/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
21. New website: Chickasaw TV

One of the very best things teachers and librarians can do is to select a single tribe and learn all they can about it. Going in-depth with a single tribe provides you with a depth of knowledge that will help you recognize bias, stereotyping, and errors in materials about other tribes. This is especially important as school districts across the United States implement the Common Core and increase their use of nonfiction materials. It is vital that students get the very best out there.

Today, I highly recommend you visit Chickasaw TV. Here's a screenshot:

At Chickasaw TV you can choose from several different channels:

  • Government
  • Commerce
  • News
  • History and Culture
  • Language
  • Cultural Center
  • Arts and Creativity
  • Destinations
  • People

This is a primary source! There is no reason to rely on biased or outdated information in standard encyclopedias! Check out Chickasaw TV today. 

2 Comments on New website: Chickasaw TV, last added: 9/14/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. Bullet Train

After what seemed like forever trying to get this project off the ground, I have reached the point where things are going very quickly lately, almost at lightning speed. The proof of the book is in my hands, electronically. The marketing consultant is calling me every few days. I received a new coordinator at the publisher 2 days after providing some feedback on the performance of my last one. I requested a consultation with the design team who did the layout and they called me this weekend (which they apparently don't usually do).  They normally go by email direction only. Once I decide on the final comments, there is only the final quality assessment and then it will be put in the line to be printed! I also discovered that the unusual accent, which I could not place, of my coordinator was due to the fact that she is in the Phillipines even though the publisher is out of Indiana.

I have consulted with a good friend of mine on marketing and decided to have her company help me with my website. Thanks to Facebook we were recently re-connected after 20 years! I bought a website domain name consistent with my company name. I used GoDaddy on recommendation from others. I need to sign up for web hosting. This is all new to me and I have no idea how much space I need. I most likely need to complete the layout to determine the space.  I will most likely go with the publisher's marketing deal for press releases in 5 major cities around the country. My friend will also tap her resources, and then there is the connection with the American Red Cross to make.

I am trying to control the speed of this train and make sure we don't hit any caribou along the way to the destination. And I am trying to keep my budget in check. I am starting graduate school in the fall and need to really take some time to figure what my budget can handle and how much I can put into it right now. For tonight though, this engineer needs some sleep. 

0 Comments on Bullet Train as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. Peek behind the scenes of my new website

Hi all,
I've been working away on my plans for the new website that I am building and I wanted to share a bit of it with you. Above you can see a sketch for my new town which will be featured on the website. I hope it will be a place mostly for kids with fun things to download and how to draw movies. I'll also be able to share more about me and my books.

I'll post some more sketches for the site below in hopes you'll get a little excited about it.

1 Comments on Peek behind the scenes of my new website, last added: 6/15/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
24. Update to Changes on Website

In February, I posted about changes that were made to YALSA’s website that required a login to reach the selected lists and awards. I explained the rationale and indicated that there would be refinements in the process.

There have been refinements, but we haven’t done a very good job of sharing that information with you, so I want to apologize for that lack of timely communication and try to remedy it now.

First of all, I do apologize for the early glitches and for the unfriendliness of ALA’s web interface. It can be very discouraging to click on a link that says “login” and immediately get an “access denied” message. However, if you just click on the ALA login link in the upper right corner of the screen, all will be well.

Second, the award and list content other than the lists themselves is now outside the login area. If you click on “Book Awards and Book/Media Lists” on the homepage, you get a drop-down menu. This menu includes links to selection and award list contacts. If you click on an individual award, like the Michael L. Printz Award or the Odyssey Award, you are taken to a page that includes policies and procedures and a link to the form for submitting suggested titles.

Third, the form for nonmembers to fill out has been streamlined. When anyone fills out the form (which now requires only name, email address, and two questions) they receive an automated email response that gives them links to bookmark so that they don’t need to fill out the form more than once. We have contacted the developer of the form module we use and requested that it be updated so that if you fill out the form once, you are automatically directed to the content, but we don’t have that functionality yet.

Members who want to access the lists on reference desk computers or other non-personal computers and don’t want to login with personal information can also bookmark the links for the lists and awards. These URLs are now posted in the “Members Only” section of the website.

Fourth, several people have raised the question about whether it is worth it to ask for this information. The answer is we’re not sure yet, but we think it might be. We have collected more than 16,000 email addresses since mid-February. We have used these addresses to encourage people to participate in the Tweet Your Senator campaign and virtual library legislative day (1,600 people requested more info on advocacy), for member recruitment, and to advertise subscriptions to YALS (4,000 asked for information on buying YALSA publications), deriving lists from areas of interest that people marked.

Keep in mind that addresses are not shared outside of YALSA, and anyone who doesn’t want to receive any further email from YALSA need only say so.

Fifth, some members have indicated that they are against this change because they feel that YALSA is restricting or putting up barriers to information. In fact, YALSA is doing the same thing that most of you do every day in your own libraries. If I want to access my local library’s databases from home, I have to put in my library card number and PIN. I don’t regard that as the library putting up barriers to my access. I recognize that the library needs to collect statistics about database use and they use those statistics to help justify the work they do and the cost of the databases.  YALSA, like libraries, is in the business of sharing information, but, as with libraries, that information is not really free. (See Fiscal Officer Penny Johnson’s blog post for more details about the costs of YALSA’s “free” resources.) In fact, for most libraries, I can’t use the databases at all if I don’t have a library card; YALSA is offering its resources free for simply signing in with an email address.

I hope these comments help members understand better the rationale

Add a Comment
25. Author Platform? But I’m Just Starting to Submit

You’re a beginning to intermediate writer. You’ve just getting to the point of submitting. Do you need a website, do you need to build a platform?

A platform just means that you have a following for some reason, a group of people that you can easily tap into to jump start sales. Keep that in mind: the purpose of a platform is to jump start sales–from a publisher’s point of view.

Yet, when you work to develop a platform, you can’t think that way. Instead, you need to consider your strengths and interests.


Do you have a passion for the environment? See AuthorsforEarthDay.com
Are you a former astronaut? See Marianne Dyson’s site where she reviews children’s science books, but especially space/astronomy books.

Here’s your first task: list five passions. Rank them. Which one(s) would you like to talk about a lot? And I mean–a lot.

Types of Content

Consider what sorts of content you like to produce: photos, videos, short commentaries or essays.

Does this match up with your passions? Can you consistently create content in one format or another that relates to your passions?

Content Delivery Platform

Once you know your passions and your strengths in creating content, you can start to build your platform.

  • Photos: Flickr.com (or similar sites), a photoblog and Pinterest
  • Video: YouTube, Facebook and blog
  • Text: Blog, then pull it into other platforms
  • The latest gossip: Hey, you’re on Twitter.
  • Instagram, Pinterest—other social platforms all have a typical type of content, too, but with a twist. Study each platform for what it requires.

Everyone Needs a Brochure and a Mailing List

Finally, everyone needs two things.
Brochure Website: This is a website that rarely changes and acts merely as a brochure for you and your work. It mentions your work as a writer and something about your passions.

Email Newsletters: Everyone needs to be collecting email addresses of people interested in your work and your passion. Use an easy program such as MailChimp.com or AWeber.com and set up a sign-up form. The list may grow slowly, that’s fine. The point is that it will grow.

Examples of Online Platforms

Puppeteer. For example, I recently talked with a puppeteer who loves working with kids and getting them excited about plays, voices for puppets, making puppets, creating sets, performing with puppets. What she can consistently produce is videos of puppet performances. She doesn’t want to do long how-to blog posts, so a blog doesn’t make sense. Facebook doesn’t make sense, either, because she doesn’t post multiple times a week which is needed to build an audience on FB. Instead, she can only post once a month. Our puppeteer needs a YouTube channel, where she posts monthly (important to be consistent, even if it’s just monthly) videos of performances. From her Brochure Website, she needs an email newsletter signup, so she can send out monthly info on how that video was produced, where it was produced, who was in it, etc. Or at least a

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts