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Website (Re)Launch Bootcamp with Janna Morishima

Virtual Event Virtual Event

July 12, 2023 @ 12:30 pm August 17, 2023 @ 8:00 pm EDT

Don’t have a website or are unhappy with your current one?

Do you feel you aren’t tech-savvy?

Are intimidated or overwhelmed by all the website puzzle pieces?

This course is for you.

Focused Guidance on the Essentials

Determine your goal, choose a website platform, then design and build your site alongside a collective of other creators. At the end, celebrate with a “Demo Day”!

Pin-point your ideal audience

Explore website examples of a range of writer and/or illustrator creatives and what agents, editors, art directors, parents, teachers, and librarians are looking for.

Showcase your unique voice

Unsure how to best present your work and yourself online? Explore with exercises that will help you find your core message and gain confidence in your online presence.

OVERVIEW

In this bootcamp, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to create an effective author/illustrator website. And beyond learning what you need to know, you will put it into practice! 

Within six weeks, you will have a brand new website that you built yourself and know how to edit.

This course includes numerous templates and checklists to help guide you through the process. Within six weeks, you will have a brand new website that you built yourself and know how to edit. 

If you need more time to complete your website, no problem. The course materials are yours to keep. You can finish at your own pace.

All lessons and meetings are held on Zoom, so you can participate online from anywhere. All calls are recorded and replays are made available within 24 hours, so if you can’t attend some of the lessons or meetings live, you will still have access to the content. 

By the end, you’ll have a professional, organized website that showcases you and your work in an attractive way, and you’ll have taken an important step toward connecting with your ideal readers!

OBJECTIVES

  • You’ll learn about the different website platforms, and how to know which one is best for you
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  • You’ll decide which types of pages you should include, learn how to incorporate “search engine optimization” into your web copy, and more.
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  • If you’re an illustrator, you’ll know what you should put in your art portfolio website, and how to use your site to market your work.
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  • If you’re an author, you’ll learn why an author website is important, and what to include.
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  • We’ll examine lots of examples of effective websites for specific cases, like comics creators who also do freelance illustration; picture book authors who also write graphic novels; unpublished authors and illustrators; creators who are both self-published and traditionally published; and more.

Syllabus

The course begins on Wednesday July 12th and ends on Thursday, August 17th. The first lesson is on July 12th, at 12:30 pm EST. After that, there will be five more weekly lessons on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm EST.

There will also be three Friday co-working sessions at 10:30 am EST, and three Monday office hours at 11:00 am EST.

We will have a “Demo Day” celebration on Thursday, August 17th, at 7 pm EST.

WEEK 1: July 12, 2023
Why Your Website is Important, and How to Get Started Launching/Revamping Your Site
What agents, editors, art directors – and parents, teachers, and librarians – are looking for. Determining your goal. Starting with who you are. Finding inspiration. Choosing your platform: options include Google Sites, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. Deciding on and purchasing your domain name.
WEEK 2: July 18, 2023
The Main Sections of an Author/Illustrator Website
Your homepage, books page, portfolio, about page, contact page, blog, events page, shop, etc. Deciding what you want on your site. What to do if you’re unpublished. “Wireframing” on paper. Choosing your color palette, fonts, and other design elements.
WEEK 3: July 25, 2023
Write and Compile Your Website Content
Writing for the Internet – how it’s different from other types of writing. What to put on your homepage. How to write your About page. Compiling images and how to name them.
WEEK 4: Aug 1, 2023
Build Your Site
Setting up your site. Adding copy and images. The importance of metadata. Using hierarchy and design to make your site as user-friendly as possible.
WEEK 5: Aug 8, 2023
Make Your Website “Sticky”
Why you need a mailing list signup form. How to set up a mailing list. The blog -> newsletter -> social media system. How to write and set up your automated welcome email.
WEEK 6: Aug 15, 2023
Launch Your Site
It’s time! Announce your site to friends, family, and your wider network. Make a plan to keep it fresh and updated.

TESTIMONIALS

“Janna really helps demystify the business side of being a writer or artist and also turn it into something positive instead of scary and boring 😊.”

– Jenny Mannis

“I really gained important must-know information and resources that improved my comic craft and thoroughly explained what goes into marketing your work; the course is very student-friendly, and the lessons were explained in an inclusive language that I could easily grasp.”

– Alondra Araujo

“Janna’s courses are not for the casual creator – they require a commitment, but the amount of information and support received cannot be overstated.”

– Noella Bickel

“I appreciated Janna’s insider’s perspective and the deep dive she offers into craft and marketing — a great window into the behind-the-scenes workings of the kid lit industry.”

– Milani Hunt

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima is a literary agent specializing in graphic novels and visual storytelling. She currently represents a diverse range of comics creators, including Misako Rocks, Shauna Grant, Andi Watson, and Rivkah LaFille. She is also the founder of Kids Comics Unite, an online community for kids and YA graphic novel professionals. 

She started her career at Scholastic, where she co-founded the Graphix imprint. Later, she was the director of the Kids Group for Diamond Book Distributors, and launched and ran the NYC Department of Education’s “NYC Reads 365” literacy initiative.

July 12th – August 17th

WEBSITE (RE)LAUNCH BOOTCAMP with Janna Morishima

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FAQ

Yes, there is a discount for Studio members! Information about the discount will be posted inside the Studio program, and emailed to Studio members. Email hello@kidscomicsunite.com if you have questions about it.

The course begins on Wednesday July 12th and ends on Thursday, August 17th. The first lesson is on July 12th, at 12:30 pm EST. After that, there will be five more weekly lessons on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm EST.

There will also be three Friday co-working sessions at 10:30 am EST, and three Monday office hours at 11:00 am EST.

We will have a “Demo Day” celebration on Thursday, August 17th, at 7 pm EST.

The lessons are all recorded and replays will be available within 48 hours.

Live lessons, co-working sessions, and office hours are held via Zoom. The lesson replays are video recordings hosted privately on YouTube.

Class discussion will also happen asynchronously in the Mighty Network course activity feed.

Handouts, checklists, and templates will be in pdf format and hosted in the Mighty Network course space.

As long as the KCU Mighty Networks exists, you will have access to the course content! Hopefully this means “lifetime access”! 🙂

If you are not happy with the course or decide it’s not right for you for any reason, let us know within the first three weeks of the course and we’ll give you a full refund.

Yes, you can definitely take it at your own pace. I’ve designed the course to be very hands-on, and the goal is to get you to the finish line with a brand-new public website by the end of the 6 weeks.

But if you need more time, that’s perfectly fine! You will still have access to all the lessons and can complete everything at whatever rate works best for you.

I absolutely recommend that you should have a website, for several reasons:

First, there is a psychological benefit to investing in yourself and presenting your writing or artwork to the world in a professional way. It’s a way of taking yourself seriously and internalizing that you are committed to your work.

Second, by starting a website now, and keeping it fresh with a blog or a periodically updated portfolio, you are creating the foundation that will allow you to launch a stronger marketing campaign, once your books are on track for publication.

Third, having a website gives you much greater control over your online presence. One of the first things that an agent or editor does when they are reviewing your pitch is google you. Ideally, your website is one of the first things they see, and allows you to make a good impression.

No, please don’t rely on social media as your sole online presence! First of all, you don’t own your social media account. The social media platform owns it, and can revoke your account at any time. They could go out of business. They could change their algorithm and make your content almost impossible to find.

If you buy your own domain and create your own website, you own it 100%. You have total control and can more easily curate it to reflect exactly what you want the world to know about you and your work. Websites are also much more flexible and can grow as your career grows. For example, at some point you may want to add an online store, or a course, or digital downloads, etc., and this is easy to do with your own website.

This course is great for you! The goal is to buckle down and create a completely new website, or at least make major revisions to your current site.

This course will help you find a website platform that is easy to use. And the course is not just about learning, but also doing. So you’ll be building your website during the course, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask for help if you get stuck at any point.

Not necessarily! Some platforms (like Wix) have “free” versions that cost nothing.

In this course, though, I will show you why I think it’s worth it to pay for at least the minimum “paid” version. (If you’re curious, this article explains a lot of the reasons!) Both Wix and Squarespace have basic plans that cost $16 per month. Wordpress is free, but you’ll have to pay for hosting and other upgrades like security plug-ins, so it ends up being similar in cost.

This course will help you figure out the costs and decide on what’s best for you.

Yes, you’ll have to pay yearly hosting and domain charges. Unless you use Google Sites, in which case you only have to pay the annual domain charge, which could be as low as $12 a year. (Yes, it is possible to build a simple, secure, functional author/illustrator website for as little as that!)

If you already have a website with one platform (for example Wordpress), but you don't like it and want to switch, you can definitely build a new website and then switch your domain so it points to your new website. You may need to contact your platform’s helpdesk for assistance in making this switch, but it usually isn’t too difficult.

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