At SpaceRace, we are cosmically fortunate to work with some amazing authors, including Anita Reynolds MacArthur, creator of the award-winning MacCheeky series. Anita pulls inspiration from her own family for these engaging children’s books, which are delightfully funny and beautifully illustrated. We Skyped Anita from Mission Control for a wee chat about her successful use of social media tools, her inspirations, and her predictions for the future. Enjoy!
(the audio version of this interview is not available due to interference from a nearby alien craft)
1. Hi Anita. Is that a new space helmet?
Hi Aerin. Yes, my space helmet is brand new. It’s not too big, is it? There are so many different styles to choose from!
2. Self-publishing is a very entrepreneurial initiative! What prompted you to publish your own stories?
After 15 years editing other people’s words, I felt it was time to write some words of my own. Self-publishing was the easy part–it’s spreading the word to the public about the MacCheeky picture book series that’s challenging.
3. You use technology a lot in spreading the message about your books. How have social media channels helped you?
Getting the word out via the web is quick and easy, can be done from practically any location, and best of all, it doesn’t cost anything. People all over the world are learning about my picture books every day. It’s very exciting.
4. What is your favourite 2.0 technology tool?
I’d have to say Twitter is my choice 2.0 techie tool. The possibilities are endless.
5. What are your recommendations for other authors with access to the web?
Build a website, start a blog, open a Facebook page, and create as much Twitter buzz as possible.
6. What is your favourite science fiction movie?
Hmmm, I’m going to mention two movies, if I may. My favourite new sci-fi movie is Avatar, and my favourite old sci-fi movie is Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
7. What considerations went into the development of your most excellent website?
My most excellent website? Wow! Thank you for the compliment. Ease of navigation for the user was first and foremost on my mind. A lot of thought went into creating the home page. It had to be inviting, capture as much information as possible without being too wordy, and it had to hold a person’s attention in order to keep them on the site for as long as possible.
8. What are your predictions for the digital future of educational publishing?
Digital learning tools in the classroom will take over sooner than we think. Students today live, eat, and breath technology outside the classroom. I predict that cumbersome hardcover Student Books will soon become a thing of the past as student e-books and SmartBoards become mainstream learning tools.
Learn more about the adventures of the MacCheeky characters and read Anita’s blog at www.maccheeky.com
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