November 30, 2013
PUBLISHING ESSENTIALS, READING FICTION
assemblies, Assembly rooms, books, children's book, Children's Books, christianity, education, group dynamics, kids, Organizations, Pupil, reading, Student
In a few weeks, I will be doing an assembly for a local school. I used to do assemblies when I was an administrator at a school, but this will test my skills in a new direction. The topic and purpose, you guessed it, Stink Bomb; but I will be promoting my book and teaching students about writing and literacy.
What’s the purpose of an assembly? I would say that assemblies involve building a positive group identity and previewing a new topic. Students want to have fun and be with each other. At a school, getting everyone together can improve how the overall school functions. As a result, you can actually tell a lot about a student body by how they respond in this format.
The following list on contains some of my own ideas and a few I borrowed from a site.
- Decide on your learning objectives.
- Know your audience. Talk to teachers, librarian, or administrator before you get up in front of the school. They can help you win over your audience with the right topic.
- Keep content simple and aim for the right age group.
- Use music to set the mood, and have it playing as pupils come in. Turn music off as a signal to begin.
- Assembly rooms are bigger than classrooms. Will everyone be able to hear you? What about lines of sight – will everyone be able to see you? If you have visual aids, are they big enough to be visible from a distance?
- Eye contact is especially important when you’re working with large groups, so pick three or four pupils in different parts of the room, and make eye contact with each of them in turn. You’ll look engaged with the audience.
- Aim to involve your audience. If the core of your assembly is a story, and mine is a book promotion in part, begin by asking questions to help pupils focus on its subject.
- Child-generated props, masks and costumes add to the fun.
- Remember that stories are better told than read. Master the bones of the story, then improvise around that structure.
- Remember to speak more slowly than usual. Give your words time to sink in.
- Make pupils work. If one of your learning objectives is to get them to examine and to change their views on an issue, begin by taking a vote to establish what they think before your presentation, and take another after it.
- Help them take what they know and encourage them to think about it, and reflect on their own experience.
- Involve parents. Does your school usually invite parents to class assemblies? It may be a nice idea to record the assembly on video.
- Students will be going back to class afterward. Don’t over-excite students.
Now it’s time to plan. It’s going to be the bomb!
November 27, 2013
Children and Youth, children's book, children's fiction, Christmas, Classroom, Directories, God, History, Holiday, insects, kids, stink bomb, Thanksgiving
As I approach Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year, I am so thankful. It is not hard to share my gratitude for all the support I have received from family, friends, fellow bloggers, and those who have walked down this road with me. Writing a book and having it published has been a grand experience and all of you have been there cheering me on. Thanks!
If you don’t have a copy of Stink Bomb yet, remember, it makes a great gift for young relative ages 7-11. If you have a young child or know one, you can read it to them. It’s a great read.
Again, thanks to all of you for your support.
November 23, 2013
bugs, California, Caught, children's book, children's fiction, Fish, Fisherman, insects, kids, Magazines and E-zines, Outdoors, Recreation
Let’s face it, most authors want to land a big book deal and sell a lot of books. What author doesn’t want success? Still, I keep reminding myself that like the writing process, selling books is a step by step process. It takes time to develop your brand. There isn’t a lot of instant gratification in the world of writing and publishing. Like catching a big fish or a lot of little fishies, it takes skill, hard work, and a little luck.
What keeps me pushing forward? Well, when I’m out fishing, my motivation is hard to explain. In the world of bass fishing, past success breeds confidence. I’ve caught so many fish that I know my next big fish could suddenly appear. Time on the water always produces success if you’re using the right bait, fishing in the correct spot, and you’re using the right technique. You can’t catch a fish if your aren’t fishing though. 10% of fisherman catch 90% of the fish because those fisherman are out on the water more.
Book promotion is similar. Like any type of sales, you have to get out there with the right product, contact the people you know, and communicate how great your product is. Then, quite suddenly, your golden moment happens and you start reeling. But what really keeps me moving forward with book promotion is the thought of thousands of children reading my stories and raving about one of their favorite authors. Isn’t that what we want as authors?
November 23, 2013
Book, Book signing, Bookselling, Business, Children's Books, children's fiction, kids, marketing, promotion, Publishing, Shopping
What a week!
My book arrived and now the work begins.
Here’s a picture of the actual book and me opening up the box.
I’ve been making calls, sending emails, and promoting Stink Bomb a lot since then. I’ve had a lot of success with educators I know. I’ve even lined up an assembly, which means I will have to order more books. My goal is to do one thing every day to promote my book. Here is an idea for today. Remember, attitude is everything.
Cultivate a positive attitude about book promotion
Think of book promotion as storytelling. The story you are telling is why you wrote your book, how it can help others, and how the world will benefit from your book.
If you can develop a positive attitude about book promotion, people will pick up on it, and tune in immediately. Some writers resent the chore of marketing. Their attitude seems to be, “I’m a writer. Marketing is the publisher’s job. Promoting my own book shouldn’t be my responsibility.”
And then, another surprise came in the mail–a poster. I can’t wait to display it at a book signing or assembly.
My son said, “It’s so big!”
November 19, 2013
FAMILY LIFE, VIDEOS AND TECHNOLOGY
Arne Duncan, assessments, books, California, Common Core State Standards, Common Core State Standards Initiative, elementary school, high school, kids, learning, math, measuring, Organizations, reading, school, standards, State school, tests
Take a look and a listen to this video on the Common Core State Standards. If you had any questions, this will help you visualize what the standards are and why we need them.
November 17, 2013
arts, Book, Critical thinking, education, Language, Language Arts, reading, Vocabulary
What causes people you know to read a new book? What motivates your children to buy a book or want to read? Some people love to read and do it regularly. Others find it a struggle to want to pick up a book and read. What type of person are you? Why is reading so important? We say reading is crucial, but what is it about reading that makes it a necessary habit or hobby? I’m sure you have pondered questions like these at one time or another. When we talk about reading, we often talk about motivation. We often forget to talk about the benefits.
What are the benefits of reading? Let’s dig deeper.
Enhanced Intelligence: Reading helps in almost every area of intelligence.
Reading reduces stress: When I’m reading a book, my mind shifts gears. Where I might have a had a stressful day, a book can easily distract me and reduce my stress level.
Improved analytical thinking: Analytical thinking is boosted by reading. Readers improve their general knowledge, and more importantly are able to spot patterns quicker.
Increased vocabulary: It’s no secret that reading increases your vocabulary and improves your spelling, but did you know that reading increases your vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching?
Improved writing skills: Reading improves vocabulary and critical thinking. I feel like a better writer, as I’m constantly surrounding myself with works from people who are better than me. The more you read, the better of a writer you’ll become.