Doing many things but writing

I sub-titled my blog “Thoughts on writing”–(not very creative, I know–that makes this one among thousands of writers’ blogs)  but for the past few weeks I’ve been in heavy promo mode in anticipation of the release date of my new picture book and I’ve been doing all kinds of things but writing. Though that isn’t completely true either. I wrote articles, email, letters (old fashioned snail mail–with stamps!) press releases, blog entries, tweets. Just no fiction. Not for children. Not for adults.I know this won’t be news to anyone who publishes books–writers have to promote.

I’ve been learning this promotion stuff from the ground up. Even though this is my third book, it’s my first in this age of social media promotion. I’ve known for quite awhile when the book was coming out, but I had my MFA program to finish, and truthfully, I was intimidated by the prospect of mastering all these new (to me) promotional tools.

Thanks to a recommendation on the NESCBWI list serve, I got a copy of Katie Davis’s ebook “How to Promote Your Children’s Book.”  I’ve tweeted about the book before, but I can’t say enough how helpful I’ve found Davis’s advice. I read the book. Then re-read it, taking notes (on a legal pad with my pen–I’m old fashioned that way), and I’ll re-read it a third time to make sure I haven’t missed anything. There are some things I don’t think I’ll tackle–I don’t feel comfortable promoting on Facebook and I’m not sure a Facebook page has any great value for promoting picture books (and my publisher already has one). But I’m tweeting, I redid my website to add Twitter, I’ve started this blog and connected it to Twitter and my website. After the pleasure of navigating around WordPress, I realize my website is a bit archaic,  but for now it will be the mooring space for my kids’ books. This blog will be the space where all my writing comes together. That’s another potential post–on balancing writing for adults and children.

I’ve got two more big promo projects on the way, both of which will require me to master new skills. The first is making a book trailer. For this, thanks to Katie Davis, I’ve just bought on Kindle Darcy Pattison’s How to Create a Book Trailer.

I’ve got iMovie 2008 on my mac and Garage Band and I’m going to learn how to use those apps. When I do, I’ll post the trailer here.

The second project is creating a Teacher’s Guide to use with SFGT. For that I need to learn about the new nationwide teaching standards.

If I’m going to do all that, better get back to work.

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