Monday, August 31, 2009

Standouts for me are....

Ok late again... but can chant this now...I’ve been busy!

Storylines, conference, storylines, conference, conference .....etc... only three weeks to go.

Storylines is over for another year. (Onwards to the next big event I wonder what that is....?)

We had nearly 3000 people through the doors last Sunday. (...we still haven’t cracked it....still trying tho)

There were lots of great moments. Standouts for me...Mrs Wishywashy (aka Martin)

Children, yet again, going nuts over Hairy Maclary and also The Wot Wots who made their debut at a Storylines event. The Wot Wots were Richard Taylor and Martin Baynton... The creators dressed in WotWot costumes and holding animatronic puppets.

Richard Taylor, is such a nice guy, genuinely interested in what children wanted to know...he brought along a couple himself....You wouldn’t see a five time Oscar winner in Hollywood packing his own gear in and out and blowing up balloons for a display, huh! Martin Baynton was Mr Enthusiastic. Such a great pair.

They brought along a bigger than life size model of Jane from Jane and the Dragon...Martins book which WETA have done such a superb job of animating. There were some great moments in their sessions too like Richard saying that the state of animation is moving so fast that they haven’t got the time to train people up so they are pinching them from the Wot Wot team. Children’s Television being the best training ground for animators.

The Illustrators were their usual super cool selves. I finally got a dream wish come true. Frazer Williamson was doing little sketches daubing them with Gouache watercolour and giving them away. We are now the proud owners of a Surfing Penguin on a Fish...framed the next day. But a knockout was witnessing Frazer being given a drawing from a young fan, in appreciation. Such moments, priceless!

Now onto another topic.

Shelli Johannes has a cool blog called Market My Words.

She is a mg/ya author who, like me, is interested in marketing ideas for authors. Shelli interviewed Molly O’Neill of Katherine Tegen books an imprint of HarperCollins about author web presence and best marketing ideas. The interview is a great read with some good advice from Molly. Below is just one of the pieces of advice that Molly shares.

Go to Shellis blog to read the whole article....I recommend it.

I’ve got a handful of additional advice, mostly gleaned from talks I used give about marketing:

• Take the time before each book is published to sit down and make a marketing plan for yourself, separate from anything your publisher may be doing. Think about your limits and be realistic. It’s great to come up with wildly creative ideas, but sometimes carefully thought out simpler ideas can accomplish far more. Set goals for yourself, and make sure they are goals that you can accomplish, not something that you have little control over (like winning an award). Set specific goals, and give yourself benchmarks to measure if you’re meeting them. For example, don’t just have goal of “make brochures.” Make it be “make brochures and distribute at least 50 to local area teachers.” Instead of just “set up local book signings,” which may or may not be successful, add to it, set up book signings and attend 4 other events at your local bookstore, so you can see what works—and
doesn’t work—for other authors, and so you become a familiar face. And make sure on every marketing plan, there are a couple things that are new—maybe even things that seem a little scary...whether that means cold-calling schools to offer school visits, or trying blogging, or speaking in public….Growth in your approach is important, and trying new things can open up possibilities you never even considered.


pic is Richard Taylor as a wotwot and Jane (storylines wellington 2009)

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