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by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

I’m in the throes of marketing madness. It’s a whirlwind. The view from the eye of the cyclone is breathtaking! Ideas are swirling all around. Each wind gust propels me forward. However, promoting 10 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD is not something I have done alone. I’m certainly glad that I started the process a year ago, because marketing takes on a life all its own, and it’s imperative to have innovative and trustworthy people in your corner.

What did I write? Who was I? What did I stand for? What did I have to offer? These questions were always in the forefront of my mind. I wanted people to know exactly what they’d be getting from my book, a critique, or an author visit from me.

Each step has been its own adventure. All writers must walk their own steps, sing their own song, and dance their own dance. What I’ve learned over the past several months, as I’ve prepared for the release of my book, is that you can NEVER start marketing early enough. EVERYTHING takes a tremendous amount of time, along with a conscious effort and many different resources. I’ve met and worked with some of the best people in this industry over the last year—top-notch, top-of-the-line creators!

After assessing my web presence, I realized that the first thing that needed a complete overhaul was my website. My website is my business card. I surmised that it is my introduction to the literary world. Through it, librarians, teachers, editors, and parents would catch a glimpse of my life and my writing style.

I held to the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and I kept that close to my heart. I needed and wanted to put my best professional foot forward, and so for me, this meant a completely fresh design.

I wanted a site that was colorful and fun in the same taste as the art of 10 TURKEYS, illustrated by the talented David Slonim. I turned to Donna Farrell who executed exactly what I needed and wanted. She did a superb job. We had the same vision, and she didn’t  disappoint. She goes over and above for her clients, and each website she designs is unique in its own right.

Marketing takes money, and you’ll want to make sure that you plan accordingly. I was fortunate to find talented people along the way that added a sprinkle of magic to everything that was created for my site. My teachers’ guides were written by my daughter-in-law, Whitney Reeves, a stupendous and creative educator and inventor. Whitney is not only a fabulous writer but also co-creator and founder of Bitzy Baby, a revolutionary company that provides safe sleeping and innovative crib bumpers for infants.

My friend, critique partner, and the very talented author/illustrator Carrie Clickard (Victrica Malica, Flashlight Press, 2012), created my puzzles, puppets, book trailer, and also my sorting game, along with some snappy songs. Carrie has a plethora of advertising knowledge, and she helped me compose fun activities for children of all ages.

I hired Renee Gray-Wilburn of A Way With Words to proof and copy edit content. Renee questions every comma and picks up on every grammatical error!  I was determined to give 110% to my site, just as I do to my writing because it is all interconnected. If you want your site to be the best it can be, you must seek out those who can add their own brand of magic to your work.

I made contacts with The National Circus Federation and The National Wild Turkey Federation, and I contacted reviewers. I also hired master marketer Kirsten Cappy of Curious City to help implement a strategy.

When I was not writing, I was planning and researching where I could market next, and every day I stepped on new stones. I kept climbing and continued plodding along the windy path.

My business cards were ordered through Vista Print with the cover of my book on the front of the card, along with a QR code, which links directly to my site. On each puzzle and activity page, not only was my QR code for Amazon added, but also my QR code for my website. When children bring home activity pages, I wanted their parents to have a way to wave their smart phone and order TURKEYS if they were so inclined.

In marketing, people want to purchase something WHEN they want it.  It is my job to make it easy for them to say “YES” without facing lots of unneeded clicks and unnecessary steps.

We’re all busy, and there are numerous wonderful books out there from which to choose. As a professional writer, I want to satisfy my audience, and so I think about ways to make EVERYTHING easiest for them.

Every day is a day for marketing madness. I’ve had fun, learned a lot, met great people, and have loved every second of bringing 10 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD to you! I appreciate all of you who have helped me in this endeavor. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise a reader. I am sincerely and eternally grateful to each one of you that I now call friend!

Brenda is giving away a signed copy of 10 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD! Leave a comment to enter and a winner will be selected in one week!

As a child, Brenda Reeves Sturgis fell asleep with picture books in her hands and a thumb in her mouth. Now she’s a picture book author who recently won a Mom’s Choice Award. She lives on a lake in Maine with her husband Gary. When Brenda’s not busy enjoying life, she’s researching and writing, writing and reading, and she’s very busy grandparenting. Learn more about her books, school visits and critique services at

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