Thursday, December 31, 2009
One area an author can utilize branding is by writing a series of books with the same setting, same characters, same theme...at least some thread tying them all together as Jennifer Chiaverini has done with her Elm Creek Quilts novel series. I've written about this technique in the post, Branding - The Elm Creek Way.
Have you looked into developing a brand for your business or name?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The reviewer seemed to grasp what I was trying to accomplish with my book and "hit the nail on its head:"
The stories are from the heart and home, reflecting an understanding of children and childhood in a way that reaches out to children and lets them feel connected to the stories.
I also discovered that the book is available on Amazon. A friend said she'd carry it on her site, too.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Something seems to be nudging me back to my art work. Many years ago I worked in oils, acrylics and watercolor. I also sketched and did pen and ink.
I took private lessons and my teacher, a well known artist in Waco, TX, encouraged me to keep going when we had to move from the area. Eventually I took a two-year correspondence course with the Famous Artists School. That stretched me in my abilities and introduced me to various medium.
I sold quite a few of my paintings. In looking over those remaining, I have to admit, I'm impressed! I can envision reprints, greeting cards and postcards, perhaps notepaper, even items like mugs, aprons, t-shirts and more.
Is that cheapening my work? I think it allows more people to enjoy it...and hopefully be uplifted.
Some of my variety of work:
- Home portraits
In the form of:
- Canvasses of various sizes
- Greeting cards
- Book Illustrations
Then I became more involved in quiltmaking and writing. Nowadays, I find myself sketching on note paper and envelopes. I've pulled out a small sketch book I can tuck into a pocket or purse.Something tells me I can combine all of these, especially with the new innovations of selling online.
(Image by sxc.hu)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
One of my popular children's stories, Sarah Jane's Daring Deed, in the anthology, Tales of Adventure and Discovery, is set in the pioneering era of our state.
The teacher interviewing me has encouraged me to develop the activities and extended history I've been planning for students and teachers. So...I'm trying to work this into my summer plans.
She may use some of these with her students. Then I'll get to see if they work.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Then how, I ponder, do I find them?
At one time I was much better organized. However, after living in a multi-generational house for more than a decade and balancing several jobs or businesses along with my writing, I sometimes feel I'm buried in chaos.
So, after hearing a couple of speakers mention the 20 Minutes a Day to Organization process, I determined to stick with it. (I've started several times, saw no progress in my mess and gave up.)
I've been doing this for about two weeks. From the outside, it doesn't look like I've accomplished much, but I know I'm making progress. My husband says he can see the floor in our bedroom/living room area!
I've found some older drafts that I can revitalize. I discovered greeting card designs from the days I made these for sale. I've found research, family memorabilia and other items to stimulate my writing.
So I'll stick to my 20 minutes of making sense of my chaos.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I must, this summer, squeeze in more than hit-and-miss time if I'm to finish:
- Sarah Jane picture book
- Papa Goes to War chapter book
- Uncle Buffalo Bill picture book
- Promoting my Family Story Writing classes
Decide upon a direction....and focus until I'm finished!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
There are differing opinions to this. If you focus on one objective, you will miss other opportunities. If your chosen field falters, you may not be able to move forward in it.
I've been a multi-faceted throughout my life and have had many writing experiences. Where do I go from here?
Do I focus (brand myself) on one area exclusively? Or do I venture into the various opportunities that come along, or that I seek out?
Friday, April 03, 2009
Do you want to enhance your blogging and learn more about getting the utmost from your blog? Perhaps you don't have a blog and want to learn how to set one up.
Check out Susan Gunelius' Google Blogger for Dummies. Here you'll find helpful instructions for setting up your Blogger blog as well for enhancing ones you already have. Learn about monetizing your blogs, too.
Read more about Google Blogger for Dummies in my review at Blisstree.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
When I discovered the children's story book, The Quiltmaker's Gift, I didn't realize there were related books with quilt patterns and suggestions. In researching an answer for a reader's question about this book, I discovered more and wrote about them in Follow-up Books for the Quiltmaker's Gift.
You may want to check out these books:
The Quiltmaker's Gift
Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift
More Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift
How can you expand upon the books you write, whether they're for children or adults, fiction or non-fiction. Put on your thinking cap!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time by David Prerau
Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time by Michael Downing
Crafting Springtime Gifts: 25 Adorable Projects Featuring Bunnies, Chicks, Lambs & Other Springtime Favorites by Tone Finnanger
Time for Change: Setting Clocks Forward by One Hour Thorughout the Year by Mayer Hillman
The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Her book, Ladies: A Conjecture of Personalities, presents the voices of the First Ladies in novel format in an entertaining way. The Ladies talk with one another without regard to time and express their thoughts and feelings. Garfield's Train, although not specifically about First Ladies, relates the death of President Garfield in novel form. Thus it ties in with the topic of the Presidency.
To further aid writers, Feather has written an e-book, On the Road with the Old Gals. Here she gives hints on how to promote one's book through lectures/speaking engagements.
Are your topics ones you can specialize in, become an authority in, so that you are invited to speak and teach?
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I'm also incorporating this idea into a workshop I'm teaching this week for a group of homeschoolers.
(If you'd like to learn more about my workshops for young writers, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Featuring some of the best Christian writers on the Internet, this book represents work that has appeared in the Eternal Ink E-zine since it’s inception in 1999.
In addition, Mary gives presentations and teaches workshops at schools, libraries, writers’ conferences, and for other groups. Some of her talks include topics such as Alzheimer's and caregiving, quilt history and quiltmaking, New Hampshire history, and writing.
I was pleased when Ms. Grisham selected some of my stories for inclusion in this anthology. It's exciting to encourage and inspire others with my writing.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
So when Susan Gunelius invited me to write a guest post at her Women on Business blog gives, I provided 10 Tips On Finding Time for Your Home Business.
Hopefully these tips will be particularly helpful if you're balancing family and business.
Incidentally, writing guest posts is an enjoyable way for an author to visit other blogs and web sites.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Included are essays by Ripley on various type of gardens and gardening history. Even though I don’t do so much gardening as I once did, I enjoy reading about various plants and their backgrounds. Some topics covered in the essays: bog gardens, low maintenance gardens, water gardens, annuals, garden tools and more.
I love to visit gardens, whether public ones, historic ones, or those simply growing around friends’ homes. Personally, I don’t have the time or patience I once did to dig and plant around our home. Perhaps one day I will again. My daughter enjoys this when she has time.
Other books in the Louise Eldrider garden mystery series: Mulch , Death of a Garden Pest, The Garden Tour Affair and Death in the Orchid Garden.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
This is a fun activity youngsters...and adults...may enjoy. I know a variation of it was fun for students I worked with the other day.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Perhaps you'd like to check out these posts and let me know what you think.
Interpreting an Author's Meaning - Particularly in The Rainbow Fish
What Does The Rainbow Fish Mean? Is There An Underlying Meaning?
Rainbow Fish Makes a Comeback at Our House
(The Rainbow Fish available at Amazon - link above)
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Each Sunday, I try to post a writing tip at my One Book Two Book blog. This week, since we've just experienced the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, I gave suggestions for writing about this occasion.
Even though these ideas were directed toward young writers, you still may find something to jumpstart your writing. If you have young writers in your life, teach school or home school, you may find them useful in that area.
Check out Mary Emma's Writing Tip - What Did You Think of the Inauguration?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Yet he was important to the black people because he issued the Emancipation Proclamation giving the slaves their freedom. Also, his leadership ensured that our country stayed together.
Abraham Lincoln for Kids: His Life & Times with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Janis Herbert
A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler
A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden
Abraham Lincoln and His Family Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney
You Are There: Abraham Lincoln's Greatest Moments: The Emancipation Proclamation/The Gettysburg Address (DVD) starring Walte Cronkite and Paul Birch
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America by Allen C. Guelzo
Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln (The Story of the Gettysburg Address) by Jean Fritz
Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips (One of my favorite books about Lincoln)Emancipation Proclamation Silk Necktie (produced for the NY Historical Society from Lincoln's handwritten original)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ladies generally are fascinated by what the First Ladies wear, the fashion trends they set, how they entertain and with what taste they decorate the private quarters of the White House. I thought this would be newsworthy and fun to write about. So I've begun a blog, White House Fashions - Past & Present, to explore history and today through the style of the First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama.
My first post is What First Ladies Wear and mentions how I got started writing this blog, as well as highlights some of the ladies' styles.
Barack Obama, President for a New Era (Gateway Biographies) by Marlene Targ Brill
Barack Obama: Our 44th President by Beatrice Gormley
Barack Obama: Out of Many, One (Step Into Reading) by Shana Corey
Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady by David Bergen Brophy
The U. S. Presidency (Our Government) by Muriel L. Dubois
The American Journey of Barack Obama by the Editors of Life Magazine
The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Patricia A. Pingry
Time Line Presidents
Presidents Learning Placemat
Presidents of the USA Floor Puzzle
Do you have any favorite books or resources that have informed you about the Obamas, the Presidency, and former Presidents?
Monday, January 19, 2009
More than any other presidential candidate, Barack Obama and his team appear to have utilized the wide reaching appeal of the Internet and the technique of branding to appeal to the masses and promote him as the best person to lead our country. Whether you agree or not with the results of the presidential election, you’ll have to admit that the Obama team used promotional methods that worked.
Can we as authors learn from this?
BRANDING – Finding a key word or buzz word that captured the attention and emotions of the public seemed important in the campaign. What did they settle on? Something very simple…. the word CHANGE.
This word has a different meaning for everyone. It can evoke images of change for the better or fear of change for the worst. Somehow the Obama team was able to construe images of changing one’s present situation for the better so that the majority followed blindly with images of something they considered “better” dancing in their heads.
As more and more people picked up on CHANGE, the campaign gained momentum for most Democrat candidates.
Can you find a buzz word that will appeal to your readers? It should be something simple…something that ties in with your book, your writing, and/or you. It should evoke appealing images and emotion in the minds of your readers (who will become your fans or followers).
However, be cautious that your buzz word doesn’t give the idea that you promise more than you can deliver.
USE OF THE INTERNET – In today’s world, it’s almost imperative that you utilize the Internet as much as you can. You saw this in the Obama campaign with web sites, blogs, and YouTube town meetings.
Web Site/Blog - Most authors have a web site and/or blog where they post information about their books and their lives. Blogs enable them to keep their readers informed on a day-to-day basis.
YouTube can help you with book trailers, talks, and demonstrations, even meetings with your readers. How did Obama utilize these online features to reach the public, whereas other candidates appeared still to be learning there was an Internet out there?
Do you have a Buzz Word?
Friday, January 16, 2009
I'd read The Quiltmaker's Gift to children when I was subsitute teaching and mentioned it on my Quilting and Patchwork blog. A reader inquired where she might find fabric with the Quilter's Gift as a theme.
As I was researching her query (and I haven't found any fabric yet, but asked for other quilters' input), I discovered some books with quilt patterns that accompany the story book, called Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift and More Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift.
Another quilter read my post at Quilting and Patchwork today and said she checked out these quilt pattern books and discovered they are "must haves." She's going to get one as a gift for a friend, too.
Monday, January 12, 2009
For me the real topic is this: Why is it that literary fiction seems to be losing readers? The only reason my literary novel This Is the Place sold well in 2001 (at least for a first novel) is that I am also a marketer and took lots of time nurturing the sales and thinking of angles that would appeal to large segments of readers (yes, like the romantic aspect, that it is based on a true story, etc)
Here are some reasons I think literary work is not being read, in no particular order:
* Literary fiction (including poetry) isn't being published, at least not in the numbers it was published in the past.
*Publishers are assigning their marketing dollars to their top authors and stars and very nearly ignoring their midlist people. In fact, they aren't building midlists in any genre as they once did which doesn't bode well for publishing in general as the big names age and retire.
*Our education system isn't encouraging critical thinking or reading.
*Our education system is failing to teach reading/vocabulary building, etc. at a level required by many literary novels. So must we dumb-down our literary writing?
*Evidenced by the way our culture votes for their leaders, it doesn't much value anything intellectual. No matter what your politics I think we writers might agree that Obama's critical thinking, speaking and writing skills might be an encouraging sign for the future.
Please don't forget to discuss the sorry state of poetry. I read recently that even poets aren't buying books or chapbooks of poetry. Sorry, I can't find the article in my files.
Carolyn's web site: How To Do It Frugally.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Bird Books: Stories, Information & Fun
World War II Books for Children & YA
When you check out these lists, you'll also find the information about where they're available. Also, you may be able to find most of them in your local library.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
It's cold (3 degrees F.) and windy here where I live.
But we're looking forward to a grand 2009 with writing goals coming true.