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Do You Have a 'Play Area' on Your Website?

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Hello,

We're a quiet bunch in here, aren't we! haha

I've been thinking for a while about having a 'Play Area' on my website and I was hoping to get some thoughts from you guys before I put the work in (not workshy, just busy).

It would have things like pages to print out and colour, simple drawing step-by-steps, wallpaper, party invites to print out etc...

I quite like the idea of it but not if its going to collect cobwebs...

It'd be really good to hear what you think/your experience with this kind of thing.

Cheers,

Max x
#1 - September 15, 2011, 11:35 AM
Big Whoop! (Pow! Books) July 2014
Sorry, Dad! (Caterpillar Books) May 2014
Pi-Rat! (Caterpillar Books) Aug 2013

KenH

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I added one to my website, but haven't been tracking traffic yet as I just built the site and am still populating it with content. I call my "fun page" the kidzone:

http://www.kjhowebooks.com/kidzone.html

Not too much on there (an online "pong"-like game, poem, dowloadable coloring sheet and some samples).
#2 - September 15, 2011, 03:35 PM

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I'm not an illustrator but I LOVE when illustrators have these kinds of things on their sites. I spend quite a lot of time perusing illustrators' websites because it's a bit like eye candy for me. If they've got something I can download and print off, or ideas for crafts, etc, I'm so happy. From a marketing point of view, it's a good idea: at my daughter's nursery they have literature day, where the focus is on one book with games/activities/crafts based on the themes in the book. If an illustrator can provide materials in the form of print-outs on their website, I'd imagine that would make the book more likely to be featured.

I know Jan Brett has one: http://www.janbrett.com/index.html And there's some other examples here: http://webtech.kennesaw.edu/jcheek3/authors.htm

My favourite of all time, is the Toymaker, though. http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html Admittedly, her site and books are different in that the books she creates are all about crafts/making things, so it's not quite the same as an author/illustrator website. But she sends out a newsletter to email subscribers with free toys/print-outs to make. It's a great way to get people to see what she does and want to buy her books!
#3 - September 15, 2011, 05:30 PM

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Thank you for the links! These are just what I meant, somewhere to put downloads and colouring in sheets. I think I'll go for it...Cheers xx
#4 - September 20, 2011, 03:09 AM
Big Whoop! (Pow! Books) July 2014
Sorry, Dad! (Caterpillar Books) May 2014
Pi-Rat! (Caterpillar Books) Aug 2013

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Coloring sheets are an easy way to get started! My illustrator is doing them for the bunnies, although we don't have a site up for reals yet, since we aren't in release mode. I have no control over any of it; I'm just along for the ride. One thing about being the author in an electronic project like an app, you are pretty secondary in everything even if you did create the whole darn world and its characters. It becomes bigger than you.
#5 - September 20, 2011, 06:10 AM
Author of iPad apps, MG books, and women's fiction

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Elizabeth Dulemba  (http://dulemba.com) is another author/illustrator who's been very successful with drawing traffic to her website with her coloring pages.  She spoke at our SCBWI Midsouth conference last weekend.  Don't quote me since I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure she gets more than a thousand hits for her coloring pages.


Then, of course, there are people like me.  I'm not an artist, but I do offer math coloring sheets on my site, and I get almost no hits for them.

So I hope you'll be more like Elizabeth.   :crossedfingers
#6 - September 21, 2011, 10:44 AM

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