At the last conference I attended, I took a workshop in marketing presented by NJ’s SCBWI chapter’s president.
* Published and unpublished authors need a website. Kathy was very insistent on this subject. She said it was an easy way to get 24 hour 7 days a week advertising. She is correct. For the past 15 years I’ve had a website for my art business, and it’s gotten me jobs from almost every state in the country and even Canada. The hard part is updating and keeping the website at the top of the list on the search engines. For example: if I type in pet portraits — ideally my site should pop up on the first or second page of websites listed. Since writing, I have really let the updating of my site slide. I’ve been relying more on word of mouth for consignments.
Kathy also recommended Vista Print for printing services. That company leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I used them because they were very inexpensive–while ordering; they offer a 10% discount on your order if you click on a certain link. I clicked and saw that to get the offer I would need to join some type of club. I backed out of the link and completed my order without the discount. Later, I found that the club had signed me up anyway (got my credit card # from Vista Print. I was charged $30 for two consecutive months(would have been longer if I hadn’t noticed it on my statement). When I called to complain and explain that I never signed up, they were very rude and said that just by clicking on the link I had joined. Had to make a fraud claim with my credit card company and get a new card. That’s just my story — others may be totally happy with them.
Newspapers, magazines, etc.– I found, with my art business, that if I write a press release with a complete article –it is usually accepted and published word for word.
School visits–great way to network. Although I do not have a book published yet, I’ve been making school visits for years. My local grade school does a “creating a picture book” lesson each year. I come in, show examples, talk to them about illustration techniques (bleeds, two page spreads, spot art, etc) and how to tell if their book has a plot. Some of their creations are hilarious. The kids enjoy the lesson and I gain confidence in presenting to an audience.
If you have children in school, I’d recommend volunteering for the PTA and taking on the job of booking assemblies. It will give you an inside track on how the schools pick the authors they invite to visit their schools.
Well, that’s all for now… have a great weekend!