Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The shoemaker's children....
The first thing to update was the Web Gallery. I've had fewer new web sites but far more complex ones than in years past --- shopping carts, slide shows, Flash galleries, XHTML galleries. So you can see some of the new web sites here: Valentine-Design Web Gallery
Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The City of Gloucester, which I love, is going though tough economic times, like many of us. One of the hardest decisions the mayor had to make was to eliminate the position of Director of Tourism. This left the tourism council with a tough problem, how to maintain their web site. They asked for volunteers and I raised my hand.
As I familiarized myself with the web site I saw a lot of problems with it. It is loaded with good information but is not particularly attractive (it suffered from too many cooks...), loads slowly and is not particularly enticing.
Because I love Gloucester and all it has to offer I contacted two of my fellow lovers of Gloucester, Jay Albert, the photographer who maintains Cape Ann Images, and Joe Ciaramitaro, of Good Morning Gloucester. "Let's make an awesome web site that really promotes our city," I said. "Count me in," they said. Thus began the redesign to show the world the Gloucester we love in the hopes it will entice people to come here.
Once we had the site underway, Jay and Joe supplying the images for my design and organization, we approached the Tourism Council. The response was very positive. This is the new home page which features audio and a Flash video you have to visit the site to see.
Many of the pages have been completed but we still have work to do. But the main objectives are to 1.) show the many amenities Gloucester has to offer including activities, culture, dining, shopping, etc. and 2.) to provide as much information as possible that will allow those planning their vacations to consider Gloucester as a desirable destination.
As a further enhancement we are adding a new, sexier URL: www.iLoveGloucester.com. Right now it points to the test server but eventually it will be attached to the actual site along with the exisiting URL.
So, we have work to do but progress has been exciting. We have a fantastic product in our beloved city, packaging and marketing it is the challenge. Take a look at the site and let us know how we're doing: iLoveGloucester.com
Thursday, January 29, 2009
What Have You Got To Sell, Part 2?
Sarah is a motivational speaker for a popular course in spirituality. In the 1990s she traveled the country lecturing and selling tapes of her lectures at the retreats where she was a speaker. Now she is retired and doesn't want to continue traveling despite many offers to do so. However her tapes have become a significant source of income for her and this is how she did it.
With the help of the engineer who originally recorded her lectures she had them all reformatted into MP3 recordings. These files are in a database on the internet linked to her web site which describes the various lectures. Those wishing to purchase the lectures can do so for a modest fee which they pay for by credit card or bank card through PayPal. The site is set up so that as soon as a customer pays for a lecture they are automatically redirected to a page where they can then download the MP3 file to their computer, MP3 player, or any other device. Simple as that.
There are several advantages to this system. 1.) Anyone, anywhere with computer access and a bank card or credit card can purchase from her. 2.) It doesn't matter what time of the day or night they do it and doesn't need Sarah to be involved. Plus it is instant gratification for the customer. 3.) Once a week Sarah checks her PayPal account and transfers the funds that have accumulated into her bank account. That's all she has to do!
Brian is a composer. Over the years he has written dozens of original pieces as well as created arrangements of well-known songs. With a web site that describes his work, which includes small audio clips that can be listened to, Brian is able to sell his composition and arrangements in PDF format. Like Sarah Brian did all the work when he created his pieces and scanned them in to his computer. Now musicians can just pay for the music they want and be immediately taken to the access page where the piece is downloaded. Brian's job is to transfer funds when he feels like it.
Bonnie loves to cross-stitch. For years she designed her own cross-stitch patterns and friends often begged her to share her designs --- which she usually did for free. When she started sorting through her patterns she had over a hundred of them all drawn out on graph paper and colored in with colored pencil. Like Brian, Bonnie picked her favorite designs, scanned them into the computer, and created PDFs. By creating a web site and using the simple pay/download technique Bonnie's designs are available to needleworkers around the world.
Knitters, quit pattern designers, crocheters, and other fiber artists are finding the internet a rich market for selling what they used to give away!
Whether it is music, audio and video files, photography, designs, instructions, lectures, stories, poems, songs, or more, if you have created a body of work you could be earning money from it. At Valentine-Design we have helped a number of creative individuals get started generating streams of passive income. What can we help you with?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Okay, I'm Embarrassed....
Like a lot of small publishers I started out with a web site for my small press, www.ParlezMoiPress.com. Then, on the advice of several authorities on marketing, I purchased the URL for my name, too, www.KathleenValentine.com and set up a page for that. After that I acquired the URLs for the books I was either publishing or promoting through Parlez-Moi Press. Every time I did that I set up a web page to go with it. All well and good except..... As I talked more and more to clients about establishing their "look" I became increasingly aware that I was not practicing what I was preaching. It got to the point where it was embarrassing. So right after Christmas I set myself the task of re-designing my own conglomeration of web sites.
Since the site I liked the best was www.KathleenValentine.com, I decided to use that as the model for the rest.
First I re-did www.ParlezMoiPress. I still have content to add but at least I'm not embarrassed by the look of it any more.
Then I went on to add the pages for my four current books --- two of which are published and two of which will be within the year. The first of these is my collection of romantic short stories, My Last Romance and other passions at www.MyLastRomance.com.
Then came the page for The Old Mermaid's Tale. I had a rather extensive site for that and I realized that most of the stuff I had on it was just fluff. I trimmed it down to one page and it is now at The Old Mermaid's Tale:
Since I am frantically trying to get The Mermaid Shawl ready for press (it is with an editor at the moment), I wanted to get that updated because it is getting a lot of visitors. It can be seen at www.MermaidShawl.com:
And, finally, my soon-to-be-published novel, Each Angel Burns, which is going through the final set of editorial changes, need to be added. It is now at www.EachAngelBurns.com:
So, that's my current effort to do for myself what I do for others. I discovered I am an unruly and impatient client! But I think this is a big improvement. Now to get the books out!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
What Have You Got To Sell?
I live a few miles from the mill outlet store for a manufacturer of very popular and pricey outdoor wear. For years I drove by it every day and often thought that, if I had time, I'd buy up their discontinued items and sell them on eBay. Of course, I never did but a lot of people do.
I'm an avid knitter and seamstress and I purchase a lot of fabric and yarn on eBay. One of the things I love is having access to fabrics and fibers from other parts of the country that I could never afford without eBay. Recently I purchased several balls of 100% cashmere yarn for less than a quarter of what it would cost locally and the vendor I bought it from, who lives in the midwest, told me she is doing so well with her eBay shop --- selling yarn from a local mill --- that she is doing it full time.
One of my favorite clients has opened up a Cafe Press shop to sell her unique cat designs. Clare Higgins called me about setting up a web site for her Modern Art Cats that would link to her Cafe Press shop. Her designs are so unique and charming that she is beginning to develop a following and cultivate a market for her artwork.
Another friend is a writer who is working with Valentine-Design to establish an ePress. Her web site will contain PayPal buttons that access her short stories when the customer pays for one. More about this in my next blog!
If you have an idea we are always happy to talk with you about it. Finding a marketplace for your goods, services, and creativity has never been easier!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Be A Show-Off
Glen Magna is a historic estate which is used now as a function hall. They wanted a web site that would showcase the romantic nature of their gorgeous estate with all the varied opportunities for photography. Please take a look at Glen Magna Farms.org. Thank you.