When my new children’s book was accepted by a publisher, printing was complete, and a firm release date was established, I knew I would need an outstanding, mobile-friendly, and above all, a kid-friendly website to keep my readers engaged. That is an overwhelming task for most writers, but lucky for me, I have a secret weapon!
I’ve been blessed to be a member of the Sundog Media Team for nearly as long as I have been working on the book – which is seven years now. It seems like a really long time for just a single book, but time has flown by as a team member with a talented, smart, and genuinely nice group of people. So, when I needed a great website and a lot of help, I knew where to turn first.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been in the client role, seeing things from the other side of the street. It’s a great view – less work for me in some ways, and a LOT more in other ways. Joe’s design and sense of color and space – I could never come up with that in a thousand years. Kym and Rob’s programming and content presentation – way beyond my abilities.They asked what I liked and didn’t like, and then making everything even better than I imagined it could be.
However, it turns out someone has to write the content for every page. That was me. Someone has to make a site map to start things off – me again. Someone has to upload hight quality images – that I gave to my illustrator (delegate as much as possible – me!). I’m not going to lie – it can be daunting to take care of the content. Remembering that changes are easily made after launch took a lot of pressure off of me. It isn’t going to be perfect right away, and that’s okay. Sundog Media has an editor in house to check your content for you (actually, that’s also me, but I’m happy to help clients!) to make sure spelling, grammar, and content flow are right. But the rest of the team did all of the heavy lifting to make the site come to life.
I had a very special request and challenge for my team: make the site as accessible for visually impaired folks as you can. I’ve recorded a full image description read along for Little Mouse Finds a Friend, to make it one of the few accessible children’s picture books available. Braille copies are available – a read along recording to help folks who can see but need a little reading help. Nothing can compare to the look on my friend’s face as she ran her app for accessing websites and EVERYTHING worked great. She has all the information everyone else has at the site – down to a description of the images. That is amazing, don’t you think? And it made the effort absolutely worth it.