Congratulations! You followed my previous advice on CAT NIP and now have a wonderfully professional, uniquely yours, exciting portfolio/website ready to show the buying world! YES!?
HOW do you get all this wonderful work seen? Remember, the ART DOES THE TALKING.…but there has to be someone listening and looking go get hired. 🙂
First: WEBSITE: get it up if it isn’t yet, and work it! Advertise it every chance you get…all correspondence, business cards, sample postcards, SCBWI meetings, bulletins, visits, T-shirts (!)..where ever you are, your website address should be as well as email. (suggestions: squarespace.com, wix.com, godaddy.com etc.)
Second: POSTCARDS PROMOTIONAL PLAN: get one and stick to it! Persistence will get you jobs. We suggest 3-4 mailing a year to a list of buyers at Pub. houses, educational publishers and design studios. SCBWI has a good list (each Aug. published and continually updated). I like the 5×7 – 6×9 ish sizes (glossy often). Both sides with art. Smaller get lost in mail and piles on office desks. These sizes are small enough to tack up on boards or walls, but bring enough punch to see easily. If buyers contact you for MORE…send ‘back up’ to the style you sent on postcard. They will have checked out your website. (Vistaprint.com, Moo.com, americasprinter.com etc.) Once they have shown interest HANG ON and then you can occasionally send an email sample and note…DO NOT ANNOY!
NOTE: no CD;s, originals, or ‘returnable’ anything. NOTE: don’t call to introduce yourself…postcards work best! NOTE: contacting AGENTS – best to email quick intro note, link to website, and attach 4-5 of your favorite images (don’t forget sequential now!). Saves time and $!
Third: CONFERENCES – GO! regional and national SCBWI are SO worth it! you meet editors, AD’s and agents and hear what they want! And make lots of new artist/writer friends. Hand out postcards everywhere!
Forth: COMPETITIONS: enter those if in your area of expertise if legit. Especially at SCBWI conferences etc. (have postcards available!) other artist blogs or sites can clue you in on some. (and check out kathytemean.wordpress.com ) Try to get your b/w used on SCBWI bulletin!
Fifth: SOCIAL MEDIA: use it wisely and lots. Facebook (separate for biz), Twitter, Blog interviews, comment and follow Ad’s and houses you like, follow and get to know other artist sites you enjoy. Showcase your work (covers etc) and brag about book launches and such. Never negative or too personal…you are a professional! To use Social Media well you have to spend time on it…but don’t let it suck your creativity!
Sixth: VISITS: hard to set up, but great if you can get in. Mostly NYC and Boston, but lots of other ops too! Editors and ADs have little time. Seeing an agent allows them to know work from 30 artists in same time they might give to you=one. But if you get an invite – GO! (note section earlier on visiting portfolios and ‘leave behinds.’)
Start a month before your visit. Do your HOMEWORK to know the houses. Email Sr. editors or head ADs (start at top) about your plans and ask when they might be able to visit with you. WATCH city travel time… leave plenty if you have several appointments. Confirm before leaving…things come up all the time. Have your postcards and dummy copies handy to leave. Follow with ‘thank you’ and more samples, and keep them on your ‘A list’!
NOTE: If you have an agent, they will help contact possible people of interest, but you should make the times. NOTE: remember to be your own ‘rep’ on visits. Allow criticism and don’t argue – listen! Try not to take things personally and ASK for honest feedback. Watch body language too.
NOW you are ready to jump in there and keep kicking! Remember to have FUN! it will show in your work.
This CAT NIP Promotional series is complete for now…. though I WELCOME comments and questions to continue the conversation! email@example.com any time!