Cynthia Leitich Smith: Blogs & Websites...
This session was another in the Increasing Books Sales & Revenue track. When this session ended my brain was tired--it was jam packed with information. Cynthia Leitich Smith could have given a day-long seminar. She knows a lot about making the most of the web in a marketing capacity and began with a rather unique approach to creating her online presence in 1998 when she got online. Cynthia's website offers a wealth of information about children's publishing and children's books including resources and book reviews. There's information about her books as well, of course, but what gets people coming back to her site over and over is the constant flow of new, useful information. She had 1.6 million unique visitors to her website last year (which is a tad more than visited my blog).
I couldn't possibly relay all the information Cynthia covered in this session. A few key points:
- Everything you put out on the web can effect your career--be careful what you say, even in "private" listservs. (It's very easy to hit that forward button.)
- Jane Kurtz told her that marketing is a never ending endeavor--try to do just one thing a week, "sprinkling seeds."
- It's really important and necessary to have a web presence if you're an author or illustrator. There's an expectation now in the school and library market that author info should be readily available online. Illustrators should have online portfolios.
- Work on a site once a book is sold before it is released. Building a proper site takes time--a site should be up and running before advance copies of a book are sent out.
- Offer a clear purpose on your homepage.