Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Promoting Maggie

I said it before and I'll say it again.  Marketing a children's story book is amazingly difficult, especially for first-time authors. We compete with best-selling authors and celebrities whose well-known names gets people excited about buying their books. Likewise, established children's authors have already built a fan base. Nonfiction authors have it easier, too.  People buy these books because they want or need to learn something.

Newby authors like me will try just about anything to sell a book.  We search the Internet for solutions and try them all.  Some suggestions work, some don't.  A lot of authors, seasoned and newcomers rely on Facebook to spread the word about their books.  With Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, I had very little results.  But I didn't give up.  For me, it seems Pinterest works best.

I created several boards that reflect who I am and what I like.  One of my favorite boards is Inspirational Quotes. For this board, I design my own pins.  Creating pins help drive people to my website. Here's how to do it:

  • Search the Internet for free images or photos.
  • Copy them into a Word doc.
  • Search the Internet for engaging quotes that relate to writing and inspire people.
  • Insert the quotes with fancy fonts onto the photo.
  • Add the title of the book and the personal website. 
  • Upload the pin to a board on Pinterest.

In about two months, I've noticed a lot of impressions and engagements.  People are saving my pins to their boards, which is one of my goals.  Some Pinterest followers click on my website link.  And ultimately, this brings people to my homepage where they can take a look at my book.

Statistics have shown that Pinterest has quadripled pageviews to my website.  However, there have not yet been many sales.  It's like the old adage, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. So...I've been trying to figure out how to entice people to buy my book.  That took re-designing the landing page in warm inviting colors, adding explanations why the book is an important read, giving a list of its awards, and offering gifts that come with a purchase.

Time will tell how successful Pinterest will be.  So far, there's been terrific interest in my pins.  That makes me feel proud.  And the work continues.  The hardest thing is to do is to remember that it takes time and patience to market a book.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

10 Ways to Teach Your Kid to be Unique

As early as kindergarten, our children feel pressured to conform and live up to the expectations of those around them.  The pressure to conform to the status quo is a challenge that follows them into adulthood.   

Every parent wants their kids to be accepted and affirmed socially, but they also want their kids to be unique, to feel free to be who they are.  Being different is a wonderful thing. Teaching your kids to embrace who they are by showing them their qualities are unique is valuable lesson you can give.

The way that your kids perceive themselves will impact them for the rest of their lives. Here are tips to help kids appreciate their uniqueness: 

  • Teach your kids that the things that make them different from everybody else are the things they should be proud of.  
  • Praise their unique talents, their gifts and special abilities.
  • Teach them that different is not wrong. Tell them if everyone is doing it, talking about it, liking it, than it is not necessarily right. 
  • Show your kids that being different is a strength. Tell them about people like Rosa Parks, Charles Darwin, Christopher Columbus, Mozart, Picasso, Indira Gandhi, or even the Beatles.  
  • Read books about being special or unique to your child.
  • Become fans of their passions.
  • Attend their events.
  • Support their hobbies by supplying tools and materials or by signing them up for classes. 
  • Listen to your child and give them time to share.
  • Expose them to a variety of sports, classes, and events to help them discover what they like.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

5 Tips on How to Handle Peer Pressure

Peer pressure doesn’t go away.  Kids often go along with their peers, and it can be normal for parents to take their children's behavior personally.  It may be troubling, but try to remember that kids are trying to establish their own identity.

Whether your child is a popular kid in school or is someone who has a handful of friends, peer pressure can influence and push him or her to do unsafe or unhealthy things. Children need a parent's support to help them make good decisions. 

Here are some helpful tips for parents

Praise your child. Take time to celebrate his or her achievements. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.

Get to know their friends. Invite your children's friends over play dates or for study time. Get to know them. If your children have friends with good values and good self-esteem, they can help your kids avoid risky behavior, navigate new technology, and resist unwanted peer pressure.

Create a special code. Have a plan children can implement in uncomfortable situations.  For example, if they don't feel at ease at a party, children can call or text you with an agreed-upon phrase like, "Dad, I'm feeling sick.  Can you come get me?"

Take the blame. Let your kids know that if they face peer pressure they don't know how to resist, they can refuse by blaming you: "I'll get in trouble if I do that. My mom and dad would ground me." 

Stay informed. Pay attention to what interests kids, the way they dress, and the social media they are using. The more you know, the better you can protect your kids and help them learn to make good decisions.

Make every effort to stay in your child’s life.  Plan family activities that include them.  Talk to them about their friends, interests, music, and accomplishments.  Ask them about the things that bother them.  Let them know you care, but make it clear there are rules they need to follow. 

For the entire article, visit: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/abl0972

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

5 Ways to Help Kids Handle Peer Pressure 

Peer pressure is a huge theme in the children's book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  And in the last blog post, we discovered that peer pressure can begin as early as kindergarten. 

Brett Laursen, PhD, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University, defines peer pressure essentially as influence.  He states that peer pressure begins as soon as children start to pay attention to what other children think about them. So, peer influence is seen in the very early grade school years. 

Laursen believes there are things parents can do:  
  • Explain to children that attempts to influence them are everywhere. 
  • Help children understand that our culture is full of influence attempts and peers are just another set of forces that are vying for our attention and are vying to shape our behavior.
  • Ask children how these influences make them feel.
  • Talk about how to resist that influence. 
  • Plan a strategy beforehand.

When the school year begins, students are dealing with classes, classmates, and other extra-curricular activities. Students may face an entirely different set of challenges with peer pressure. Parents may notice a change in how their child dresses or behaves at home.

Parents should have discussions about influences before their children start school.  According to Parent magazine, reading books about peer pressure is a good way to start that conversation.  Books can help young kids recognize peer pressure before it begins.   

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

3 Tips on Teaching Kids about Peer Pressure

"What are you bringing for show-and-tell, Maggie?" I draw a big fat zero. 
Stories like Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell can help kids understand peer pressure.

"Some kids don't even recognize peer pressure when it's happening, while others may be overly sensitive," says Fran Walfish, Ph.D., a child and family psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California, and author of The Self-Aware Parent.  Peer pressure can come from social issues (hair styles or which television shows to watch) or material things (having the coolest lunch box or school clothes).                                                                                                  
Kids experience peer pressure as early as kindergarten. Teasing and being laughed at is often a part of the pushiness.  No parent wants that for their kids.  Therefore, it's important to teach children what about peer pressure early on so they will know how to react. 

  • Child psychologists suggest parents can help children by crafting a clever and kind response which can be rehearsed through role-playing and used in any situation.  
  • Parents can also help their children feel good about their own preferences by giving them frequent opportunities to talk about their likes and dislikes and things that are troubling. 
  • Parents magazine says that picture books will help children learn why it's important to not give in to peer pressure. Pick up a copy of Maggie and teach your children to recognize peer pressure.  
Here are more helpful books.   
A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon
Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes 
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown
Riding the Tiger, by Eve Bunting 
One of Us, by Peggy Moss  

I'd ♥ to hear from you.  Be sure to leave a comment.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Maggie News, Events, and Happenings

January - February
Share the Love
Summit Family Chiropractic (859-271-2285). 
Pick up a copy of Maggie and part of the proceeds benefit Woodford Humane Society.

February 24th: 
Happy Tails Craft and Story Time
Brier Books (859-523-6404) with 
KY SAVE and Randi Lynn Mrvos. 
Listen to a story, make a craft, adopt love

Coming this spring:  
Randi Lynn Mrvos and local authors' book signing at the Lexington library

Maggie is available at:
The Cottage in Lexington, KY, 90 Lexington Green Circle, 859-273-1552.  

Buy a book and get a free puppy washcloth!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Won't Go Viral

Wouldn't it be exciting to create a Youtube video that would go viral?  That's what I'd LOVE to do to promote my book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  

I searched Goggle to find out how to get a video to go viral and found one of the requirements:  cute animals. 

My cat Ozzie qualifies!  But, the trouble is he sleeps most of the day.  And that wouldn't make an entertaining video.

So, I did the next best thing:  I made a montage of his favorite napping places and his favorite book and added music.

Please enjoy "Won't Go Viral," courtesy of Ozzie:  


And if you like it, Ozzie says please share.