Friday, July 31, 2009

What Teachers Want -Promotion Ideas

The teachers have been talking, and I've been lurking and listening. They are getting ready for a new school year. Conversation has revolved around storage ideas, meet the teacher night and room decoration.

Teachers are a gateway to a huge market for our books (their students). By appealing to their needs and wants. So let's talk storage.


Classroom Storage Units

Discount School Supply

Dollar General Stores

Family Dollar Store

Homeroom Teacher

Kid Cubby


Oriental Trading Company

Visit your local dollar store, thrift stores and the closet storage centers at Wal Mart, K Mart Target and your local hardware or grocery stores. See through over the door shoe holders, hangers that hang multiple pairs of pants and skirts with clips (attach see through bags you can store things in), Plastic zip containers sheets and blankets are packaged in could be useful. Attach promotional stickers to them.

Do a Google search for "classroom storage".

Make a storage item to give to a teacher when you do author visits and book signings, offer to do a drawing at PTO meetings for a prize for parents or teachers would find useful & collect teacher and parent emails, at teacher conferences you could do a drawing for classroom storage items.


Monday, July 27, 2009

How to Write a Biography - Research Findings

When writing my biography I researched "how to write a bio" by visiting all of the websites listed on my July 24, 2008 post. I came up with the following areas to review.

What is my bio's purpose?

I need it in my press kit to promote my motivational and inspirational speaking and writing.

Who is going to read the bio?

Media and people I’m trying to get to promote, publicize and hire me and anyone I would send a press kit.

Where will I send them?

RADIO - Program Directors

NEWSPAPERS - Promotions Editor

EMPLOYERS – Human Resource Manager

CLIENTS – Kiwanis clubs, Rotary clubs, Hospital personnel (nurses and doctors)

GENERAL PUBLIC – Anyone looking for information about me.

What should be included?


Home location


What’s important to me?

What makes me an expert in my field?

Tips to Write a Good Bio

Introduce yourself and what you do right off the bat. Don’t make them hunt for the information. Write in first or third person. There is some debate which way to go.

I wrote mine in third person to avoid the constant use of the word “I” because I write in the third person regularly. It was easier for me to toot my own horn and not sound like a disgustingly vain person.

Keep the verb tense consistent.

I wrote it in the third person, because that is the tense I'm most comfortable writing.

Inject the positive aspects of your personality.

I think I’m positive, witty, entertaining, successful and professional. That may sound vain. I know I have faults, but this is not the place to extol them.

What motivated and influenced you to become you. How has it impacted your writing and speaking engagements?

I’m a big kid which is why I chose to write for children. I love to laugh and make others laugh. I’m a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. It has caused me to overcome adversity and find the positive.

Choose a central theme. Don’t include absolutely everything you’ve ever done. Your bio shouldn’t be longer than a page. Highlight your accomplishments, awards you’ve won, activities you have participated in or organized without supplying a boring laundry list. You can supply a resume’ or list of writing credits and accomplish that.

I have included information about my writing awards, publishing successes and speaking engagements.

Use your imagination and try not to use a canned template.

I did this by injecting my personality by quoting a phrase my mother says and a quote of me using my off -beat humor.

Update your bio often.

My first book is being drawn, As soon as it is available for sale, I will make adjustments.

After I read what each of those websites and several prominent author's biographies said. I sat down and wrote my bio. Here it is.

"Hometown: McKinney, Texas

Current Residence: Mineola, Texas

Birthday: June 12, 1971

Occupation: Children’s author, inspirational, motivational and educational speaker

Education: University of California Davis BA in 20th Century in European History with a focus on the Holocaust ‘95

J. Aday Kennedy, author and speaker, strives to abolish the phrase “I can’t,” from the world. Her mother is fond of saying, “Can’t, never could do anything.” Aday has woven the saying into the fabric of her life.

In 1998, she caught spinal meningitis. Due to complications, she had a stroke and fell into a coma. Two hours after the doctors pronounced her brain dead, she woke from the coma.

When she woke her dreams of motherhood, teaching and marriage evaporated. The mantra, “Can’t, never could do anything,” was forgotten. Aday was a legally blind, ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. She was bombarded by the belief she couldn’t do anything.

Unable to breathe unassisted, move her limbs, walk, or teach, a belief she was worthless infused her. “Can’t”, was all she could see.

She descended into a deep depression. In 2006, she took a class called Write Your Life Story on the internet in an effort to end her days of boredom. The independent lady that had become dependent in every area of her life discovered something she could do on her own without assistance. After fifteen writing courses, three publishing contracts and numerous speaking engagements she reinvented herself.

By keeping a focus on speaking to adults and children and writing, her skill advanced rapidly. She received two honorable mentions in the Writer’s Digest 76th Annual Writing Contest of 2007 in the Memoirs/Personal Essays Category among 19,000 entries. Four of her essays were published in the world renowned Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. Her speaking engagements have included presentations to Rotary Clubs, continuing education classes for respiratory therapists, student nurses, girl scout troops, and more.

Always ready for a laugh, she says, “I have a secret. I’m not really paralyzed or ventilator-dependent. I’m very lazy. People wait on me, because they think I’m disabled. I wonder how long they’ll be fooled.”

In truth, her disabilities have provided her with the opportunity to hone her craft. Not many people have that option. While most people have to go to work, clean house, care for their spouse and children and cook dinner, Aday focuses on her writing and speaking engagements.

When Aday speaks to an audience of adults or children, they are amused, entertained and inspired. It is difficult for them walk away from Aday’s inspirational presentations without seeing the blessings in their lives. Aday’s author visits to schools and libraries have spurred children’s creativity and desire to read.

With J. Aday Kennedy’s writing skills, speaking talent and approach to life’s challenges, she personifies what it means to be ‘differently-abled”. She keeps her eyes trained on what she CAN DO not what she can’t."


***One of the pointers a site gave me was to provide information that might interest people. If someone wants to write an article give them information to fuel different article slants.

Geographic History: where I lived at various ages

Education: fields of study, school names and how I am a high school drop out and college graduate

Family: Siblings, story of our unique names and her mother and adopted father

What do you think of my bio? Any criticisms or suggestions you could give me would be appreciated. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.