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My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! #AmWriting

My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! #AmWriting

I was standing in line of a dive Brazilian buffet restaurant with my husband for lunch. The food is inexpensive and delicious and we joke that this would be like visiting our grandmothers, if they lived nearby and were Brazilian.

Panela De Barro Restaurant

There was a line at the meat counter where it’s sliced off the skewers for you. A contractor was in front of me. He was a big guy, but not immense. All of a sudden, the image of a sumo popped into my head. By the time, I sat down with my food, I had all kinds of rhymes about Sumo Joe. I quickly typed them into my phone and then sat down to eat.

Panela De Barro Restaurant

Nothing much happened for a few weeks. Then one day, I had to go into work for a meeting and needed to find someone about a project I was working on.

Aquent OfficeMy office is a “hoteling” system so no one has assigned desks. Instead, everyone gets with a storage locker and a file folder drawer to store their stuff (which encourages electronic files), and can sit any where they want all day in a series of “neighborhoods.” Thus, no one really has stuff on their desk; without an assigned desk, there’s very little family photos or pencil holders on the workspace.

So… imagine my surprise to run into this:

My First Picture Book Submission: Sumo Joe! Read more…

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

When your new little bundle of joy arrives, there’s a lot to take in. Now, you’re responsible for a tiny little human and everything that goes along with that. The other thing to think about is how you’re going to continue to meet your own needs. The postpartum period can be a challenge, but you can make it easier on yourself by dressing strategically. Here are 10 comfortable and flattering postpartum fashion choices for new moms.

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

1. Maternity Clothes

After having your baby, you may be surprised or disappointed to realize that you most likely still look pregnant. The reality is recovering from delivery takes time, and until your body makes the adjustment, you’ll need to continue wearing maternity clothes for a few weeks or months. On the plus side, you know you’ll be comfortable in your favorite maternity essentials. Read more…

Books for Young Activists

Books for Young Activists

In the last month, I have written a half-dozen letters to politicians and even make a few calls. That’s more than I’ve ever done in my life politically, with the exception of that Saturday in New Hampshire when I first arrived at college. My friend, David Nacht, persuaded me to campaign for Gary Hart and I spent the day in knocking on doors and talking to mostly elderly white people. I hated it. Even worse, the campaign staff persuaded made me write handwritten letters to everyone that I talked to. (I hate writing handwritten letters. My hand cramps and my handwriting is illegible, even for me.) I was done with politics, forever!

I’m not sure if I am a “snowflake,” but I do know this. Last night I shoveled one foot of snow around my house, and it was a tad overwhelming. In the same way, small acts can add up to a very powerful message.

trump nordstroms tweet

For example … like you, I was shocked that Trump used his POTUS account to complain about Nordstrom’s dropping the Ivanka brand. This tells me two things: Read more…

I Appreciate You: Sports Team Bonding Idea

I Appreciate You: Sports Team Bonding Idea

I posted on two of my kids’ I Appreciate You graduating gift idea — Grasshopper and Sensei and my son’s 5th grade I Appreciate You class certificates are on my blog. The ideas is that each student in the class writes one sentence about every other student, and these are typed up on a certificate. It’s a snapshot of how they were perceived during their year in 5th grade.

I Appreciate You: Sports Team Bonding Idea

The problem is that I can’t find PickyKidPix’s I Appreciate You certificate! I searched and searched, and I can’t find it. She doesn’t seem too unhappy about this, but luckily I found something similar for her from her old soccer team. In 5th grade, her town soccer coach had each player write I Appreciate You cards and exchange them before a game. It was a nice way to build team bonding. To be honest, PickyKidPix often forgot to do hers so she had to give a verbal one. These were the cards that she received.

I Appreciate You Because…

Read more…

Family Vacation in Quebec City, Canada

Family Vacation in Quebec City, Canada

Our short but sweet driving vacation to Quebec City was a lot of fun. We always have a great time in Canada so much so that our youngest wants to move there someday.

Family Vacation in Quebec City, CanadaLast summer we drove to Ottawa to catch the Women’s World Cup Soccer Quarter Finals: U.S.A. versus China. This time, the old walled city beckoned.

Family Vacation in Quebec City, Canada

I did some research to supplement my husband’s guide-book to plan our family vacation to Quebec City. I had earmarked: Aquarium du Quebec, Old City, Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, Montmorency Falls, Samuel Champlain Walkway, and The Battlefields Park: Abraham’s Bus and the Odyssey experience at the Plains of Abraham. Read more…

How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

I recently got an email from a new author asking for advice on how to get her book noticed. I wrote her a short reply about The Long Road and The Immediate Fix. Then I got to thinking that I really didn’t cover it enough so I thought I’d try to tackle that today.

First of all, I will say that while I am a marketer with an M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurial Marketing, and I started a company, Aquent (renamed from MacTemps), out of college that landed on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Company six years later at the #12 spot, I have never worked in children’s book publishing nor marketed a book.

Aquent

I do, however, know how to get bloggers to notice your book, from the backwards perspective of publishers, PR folks, and authors asking me to cover their book. And I also I think that building the brand of YOU, THE AUTHOR, is not so different from building a blog following. Over the past seven years, I built a blog audience of 100,000+ page views a month, and a social media following:

I have a Twitter following of 76,900

My Pinterest following is 143,700

My Facebook network is 6,400 (personal and PragmaticMom)

My Google + network is 11,200

My Instagram following is 7,600

My LinkedIn connections total over 3,500

and I can share with you my learnings and takeaways.

So read on if you want my 2 cents …

First of all, I noticed that publishers don’t spent a ton of time or money on most authors. Sure, if you are Rick Riordan, they go crazy with a huge marketing campaign, but for most authors, it seems to be about a three week campaign. And here’s why …

Think about how many books publishers launch each year. And when they reach out to bloggers, the emails asking for coverage can feel like too many times to the well. Bloggers like myself stop reading and responding to these requests. Blog tours get harder to set up. You see where this is going … publishers want authors to set up their own blog tours. It’s because that a personal request from an author is going to get noticed a lot more than a mass email from a publisher or a PR firm.

Marketing for books  is generally a “set piece” comprised of:

  • Advertising (consumer, trade, school, library)
  • PR (bloggers, publications)
  • ARC distribution
  • Promotions (Goodreads, school and library conferences, trade shows)
  • Author appearances (school visits, book store events, conference events)

Authors get a budget based on how many books they are expected to sell. ARCS and advertising are hard costs. PR and outreach are staff time, and I am guessing most likely email blasts to internal lists. Read more…

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Sponsorships Closing Jan 6th!

The prep of the upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is humming right along! In case you’ve missed all the details, Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom are teaming up for the fourth year to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

BUT, ALL Sponsorship levels will be CLOSING on January 6, 2017!

Read more…

Boxing fitness giveaway

Boxing Fitness Package GIVEAWAY to 3 Winners!

One of my readers requested that I do my boxing fitness giveaway featuring BOXYGEN and Expert Boxing’s 30 Day Boxer’s Diet ebook again this year, so I am. In fact, this year I am doing it up and giveaway 3 sets of both the video and ebook! See below to enter.

BOXYGEN cardio boxing fitness DVD

BOXYGEN is a cardio fitness boxing trainer DVD created by my boxing gym, Nonantum Boxing Club. Eric is the cousin of my boxing trainer, Marc. It’s a very old school boxing gym run by 7 male cousins.

Use the BOXYGEN DVD for cardio boxing exercise. You don’t need special exercise equipment to do this great workout: Tthree 30 minute workouts plus supplemental workouts – focusing on different aspects of overall fitness: Body Strength, Body Core and Body Conditioning.

BOXYGEN Workout DVD includes:

  • BOXYGEN Punch Chart
  • BOXYGEN Training Calendar
  • BOXYGEN Training Guides and Instruction

The BOXYGEN DVD retails for $30.


Read more…

25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

I was in a pretty good habit of doing a daily Random Act of Kindness when I turned 48 that carried on for a year or so, but I’ve fallen off the wagon. It’s just so easy to speed through errands in a possessed way, and not notice or take the time for a small act of kindness. I need a reminder!

https://www.pragmaticmom.com/2013/01/randon-acts-of-kindess-rak/

I’m using my DIY Acts of Kindness Gratitude Advent Calendar as a kickstart. It feels like doing an act of kindness during the busy month of December is impossible, but I am finding that it’s really not. It’s just a mindset and a looking for an opportunity. Just keeping it top of mind helps immensely.

DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar

So, here are mine. Most are small, but all, as I note, are truly appreciated!

Dec 1

Ran out to hold the door for a mom with a singing toddler in a stroller at the post office. She told her child how nice I was to hold the door.

Dec 2

Ran ad in Craig’s List and Newton FreeCycle to donate my son’s old bike to someone who needs a gift for their child this holiday season.

img_5436Read more…