Monday, March 30, 2009

Just a Brief Note

I have been making a lot of little changes, like: my blog tour calendar; starting a list of children's books I like; and posting classroom photos.

I will figure out how to add audio of me reading my book soon. I am on a deadline, plus trying to work on blog interview questions, whew. I love it, but I am tired.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blog Tour to start soon!

When asked if I wanted to do a blog tour, I thought, hmmm, what exactly is that? Gosh, I feel old.

My blog tour with is March 30-April 30th. I just got notice that I have two dates already established with blogs. That news excites me!

April 10th -

April 20th - Read These Books and Use Them:

I will spend some time on the blogs that have signed up; have mini interviews or book reviews. Each blog might want me to participate differently. It sounds really interesting to me. I'll write about any success I might achieve.

It is funny, I have three people signed up to look at my blog. I am not sure how many people actually view my blog. I wonder how many will see my blog during the tour. I only get about 100 unique visitors to my personal web site per month, I need it to be much higher to make it count for the book.

I should update my home page to show that I am selling artwork that goes with the book. High concept marketing, right? I just got a t-shirt with the image of the tiger on it. The tiger is on the cover of my book. I then added iron-on gems over some of the dots. I am going to wear it during readings and signings. It is cute, but boy was it expensive to create. I couldn't sell those at bulk. It cost about $20 just to make one shirt.

I am starting to fill my calendar, thankfully, with book events. The more I promote the book, the better. It has slowed my next book production down a bit. Author, Hope Marston gave me some advice. She said, "while you wait to get your book published, start the next one!" I'll definitely follow this advice in the future.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

First Signing

We sold 7 out of 10 books today at my first signing at a small local gift shop. I wasn't too sad, since every group that came in the store bought a book. So, if more people had wandered into the shop, then I would have probably sold more books.

I had a lovely time talking to people about my book. I am getting used to bringing it up in conversations. If this is going to be my living, I have to believe in myself and value what my book offers to others. I just don't like asking for money and don't want to boast. It is such a fine line in my mind.

I love to look over my shoulder after I have dropped my book off to shops for review, the people are drawn into the book. I have seen repeatedly people paging through the book instantly, mostly interested in the artwork. If I can get people to open the book with the art, inevitably they will read the words.

I do realize what a long road I have to travel in order to make a living as an author and artist. It is daunting. I am up to the challenge.

Recently, I got rejected for an MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Art. The rejection made me question if I am a "real artist." I guess I am a real artist, just not a "fine" artist. I need to keep working. I am going to try to video my next painting and post that on here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In the Classrooms

I wanted to start including some images as people read the book in other locations or places I visit. If you read my book at a school group, please email me your photo:)

The first photo is a Librarian in Ulladula, Australia NSW. My Aunt Nancy is a teacher in the elementary school and sent it to me. The group of Australian kids look so interested:)

The second photo I took today as the kids finished placing paper feathers on a drawing I did of a full-sized California Condor.The oooo's and ahhhh's are so great when I roll out the bird. The kids can't believe just how large the condor is. I hope to fill the bird with feathers placed on there by the different classes I present the book to.

Again, if you read my book in a school, send me a photo:)

Monday, March 9, 2009

That Darn Time Management!

I don't know if I ever manage my time very well, "says the girl getting less than 7 hours of sleep." We have all heard the jokes: if only they could clone me; sleep is highly over-rated; growing another set of arms would be nice; add a few more balls in the air wouldya?

Then I take a step back and start asking myself the right questions. Am I happy? Am I following the path I want to be on?

I think I am. There might be holes, hills and things that trip me up, but as long as I focus on what is around me and whether the journey is filled with learning and joy, then I think it will be great!

I have been reading to some elementary school classrooms: three first grade classes, one first through third mix class and a pre-k. Wow, those experiences make my book worth it! The kids are just as inspiring as ever. They were filled with questions and passion and enthusiasm. It was beautiful.

Kids just want to make the world a better place. They still have this innocent ideology that they can fix what is broken, and in some respects, they can.

I tell the kids that each animal has a job to do. Each one is special and on the planet for a reason. I also tell them that we are all connected and that the Earth constantly tries to create balance. These are big messages, but with enthusiastic longing, children give me hope.

I will have my first book signing this weekend in Folsom at a little gift shop. That will definately be interesting.

Other signing/reading opportunities are finding their way to me...or my bothering them enough has brought them to the conclusion that I will leave them alone if they just schedule something with me.

So, in the weeks ahead I have some goals for my blog. I want to continue sharing my learning curve, but it might be nice to have a focus. Part of me just wants to document my experience and my process. The other part of me wants to share interesting experiences with anyone out there that might connect in some ways with me.

Blog ideas: reading my book to children; book signings and marketing them; setting up signings and readings; getting into schools to read; managing my time as it fills up with commitments; writing the next book; high concept marketing - will my artwork become more valuable, now that it is published?; how do I win an award - since it seems to matter in this industry.

Well, those topics should keep me busy:)