Saturday, 20 December 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I just want to thank you all for standing by me as I journey through the murky world of publishing.  I wish you all the happiest of holidays, and even better days for 2015!


Feel free to download and share this image with your loved ones.

Cheers!

Mili

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Presented at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (November 14, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.

In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Thursday, 18 December 2014

"Animals In My Hair" Original Painting Draw Winner!

Update January 15, 2015

And the winner is:

DORIS BROCKE!!!

Congratulations! Thank you all for participating and for purchasing "Animals In My Hair." Feel free to let me know what you think of the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Cheers!

M

----------------------

Hello everyone!

The votes have been cast and the winning painting will be "Pandas". :-)


Now, I will choose a winner:



If you do not see the embedded video in your browser, just click on the link above.  

AND THE WINNER IS
Ticket #059060!!!

If you have misplaced your ticket, no need to worry.  I do have a list of all the tickets attached to an e-mail account.  I will look up the list and will email the winner.  As soon as I get the winner's permission, I will post the winner's name here and will let everyone know who the winner is via AIMH Mailing List.

For now, congratulations to the ticket holder #059060!

I will send you the prize after the crazy Holiday Rush shipping, so sometime in mid-January.

Thank you all for supporting me and my work.

Happy Holidays!

Mili 

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Presented at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (November 14, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.

In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Thursday, 11 December 2014

"Animals In My Hair' ORIGINAL ART FINALISTS

This Sunday is my last event of the year at Wychwood Barns' Holiday Art Market:


This date is important, because it marks the end of the draw submission for the original painting from "Animals In My Hair".  I have requested you choose the final painting, and here are the finalists:

1. "Fox and Fan"



2. "Pandas"



3. "Ferrets"


Which of these do you like the best?  Let me know in the Comments below; 1, 2, or 3.  If I do not hear from you by the time I'm ready to pick the winner, I will make the choice myself.

I should be picking the winner early next week.  I would like to do it over Google Hangouts, if I can figure it out, then I'll post the video here.  

Wishing you all best of luck!

Mili

Saturday, 6 December 2014

"ANIMALS IN MY HAIR" KINDLE BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!

THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THE LAUNCH GREAT!

For a while, we were #1 in Zoo Books, but also #1 in:


also we were #4 in:


and #237:


ENTIRE KINDLE STORE!!!

Not bad for a first book.  :-)  So, thank you for being so AMAZING!!!

You can check out the comments to see who won the trivia Art Print prizes, but here is a video of me choosing the winner of the hardcover copy of the book:

video

CONGRATULATIONS GIGI FLOWER!!!

Thank you again! Those of you who have not had a chance to do so, please post a short honest review on Amazon, it would mean the world to me.

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Love,

Mili Fay


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TODAY IS THE DAY!


CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE KINDLE BOOK ON AMAZON!
(December 6, 2014, Pacific Time)



Welcome to the Kindle Book Launch Party!!!

I will be available from 8 am to 8 pm (EST) to answer any questions you may have. Just post your questions in the comments below.

If you would like to win a physical prize...

Today, I will be asking you a few questions of my own.  The first person to reply with the right answer WINS a Mili Fay Art Print of their choice (excluding "Horsing Around Limited Edition Print Series").  If you are a winner, feel free to explore the galleries and archive galleries on my Official Website and choose an image of your choice.  Or you can visit my online store and chose from the prints available for sale.

In addition, all the art print winners will be entered into a draw to win a hardcover copy of "Animals In My Hair"! 

Free shipping is included. :-D

(I will post a link to a YouTube video on Sunday, December 7th, 2014 of me choosing the winner.)

HINT: You may wish to download the book and watch the videos below to prepare for the questions. ;-)

Thank you so much for sharing this special day with me.  If you have a minutes, after you have read the book and have explored the free AIMH Membership included in every copy, I would love to hear what you think of my work.  It would mean a world to me if you could also post a short honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

If you wish to stay in touch, feel free to join the Mili Fay Art Fan Club.

NOW, LET'S HAVE SOME FUN!

:-) Mili
Mili Fay takes you through the special features that make "Animals In My Hair" different from most picture books on the market today. 

Mili Fay shows you the Kindle Edition of "Animals In My Hair".

Mili Fay shows you how to access and use the AIMH Membership.


STORE LINKS:

If you cannot use US or CA store to download you free copy, below are all the available store links from Amazon.

US 
CA
UK
AU
IN
JP
FR
DE
ES
IT
NL
BR
MX

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Presented at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (November 14, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.

In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Mili Fay Presents: Animals In My Hair

Click Here to get your free copy of the book
on December 6th, 2014, Pacific Time.

Dear Reader,

In 2008 when I heard my mother tell my father that he should get a haircut, because his hair was like a forest (a very common Serbian expression), I began wondering what would it be like if our hair really was a forest.  Surely, there would be animals living in the hair.  But why?  I thought about it and eventually decided that it would be because those animals had nowhere else to live.

That is how the story of a little boy who goes for his first haircut only to discover that endangered animals where hiding within was born.  It took five years, and all of my skills as an animator, illustrator, writer, singer, and tutor to create a multilayered story that would appeal to all generations.

I am at an age when most of my friends are building families.  I have always thought books a perfect present for any age, but I found to my despair that so many of the books in stores were dedicated to one topic, a specific age group, and were so simple that one could absorb a book in a single sitting.  I wanted to gift my friends a book that they could open year after year, and always discover something new and remember how much I care for them.

With this in mind, I wrote the story in free verse so that the rhythm of the language would appeal to babies; I included 80% more illustrations than a typical picture book, so that even if the reader cannot read or speak English he/she would be able to follow the story; I developed a visual style that combined animated characters with realism, so that the reader could learn through observation; I have invented visual puzzles to be discovered throughout the book…

Layers upon layers.

The hardcover book has been published a little over a year, and thus far, from the response I have received at the fairs and art shows, I believe I have managed to create a rather unique book.  However, today I will let you be the judge.

Recently, I have created a Kindle Edition of the book.  The original hardcover has been reformatted, and now you can see all of the illustrations in true RGB glory, which is closer to the original watercolour scans than the CMYK reproduction of the printed book.

Today only, “Animals In My Hair” will be free to download from Amazon.

Please take a look at the three short educational videos below, download the book for free, join the Kindle Launch Party, join the free AIMH Membership, explore what the book has to offer, and let me know what you think.

Wishing you only the best!

Mili Fay






http://youtu.be/Gm47XKb64rc

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Presented at INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (November 14, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.

In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Thursday, 4 December 2014

"ANIMALS IN MY HAIR" KINDLE EDITION BOOK LAUNCH!

COUNTDOWN IS OVER!

Join the celebration HERE!
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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Friday, 21 November 2014

ANIMALS IN MY HAIR ORIGINAL PAINTING DRAW

As promised, everyone who buys "Animals In My Hair" (hardcover, from Mili Fay Art) until December 14th, 2014 will be entered into a draw to win an original, watercolour painting, from Mili Fay Art's first book, "Animals In My Hair".

However, I need help deciding which painting it will be.  Therefore, I have decided to put this decision to a vote.  Which painting would YOU like to win?

Medium: Watercolour and acrylic ink on Borden and Riley's #627 Rag Drawing Paper (BEST ILLUSTRATION PAPER EVER!)


1. "Fox With The Fan" (8.25" x 11")


2. "This is the story..." (11" x 7.5")



3. "All gone, madam?" (8" x 11")

4. "Eastern Cougar" (8.25" x 11")


5. "Single Whooping Crane" (5.5" x 6")


6. "6" (8" x 11")


7. "Two Ferrets Facing Off" (11.25" x 6")


8. "Pandas" (11" x 7")



If you have trouble choosing by letting me know which painting you would like in the comments, I will make the choice for you.  The draw will take place December 15th or 16th.  You will receive the details in your AIMH Membership e-mail.

Thank you for your support and: GOOD LUCK!

Mili

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

HORSING AROUND CHARACTER CONTEST!

UPDATE January 15 2015!

And the winner is:

ASHLEAY DOLLARD!!!

Her winning idea is: 


Thank you all for your fantastic entries!  I had a horribly difficult time choosing a winner, and in fact I have placed some other ideas aside.  If I create prints from those ideas, you will be a winner too.

Ashley's sweet idea captures the spirit of the "Horsing Around Limited Edition Print Series", but I also love that she gave me names and characters.  I can see them frolicking around in the lush fields of the ranch.  Can't you?  I will post the winning image on this blog, but it will be a while before I find time to work on this newest art print.

You can follow my progress on Facebook/Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future contest, feel free to contact me.

Wishing you only the best!

Mili

---------------------------------

It has been a while, since I had a contest, and with holidays coming up, who would not want to get a bunch of stuff for free?



Here’s what YOU need to do:

Create the best Horsing Around Character! 

That’s it.

You can: draw the character, write a poem or a short 1-page story about your character, or you could do all three. This is what we animators call “creating concept art”. However which way you do it, create the best Horsing Around Character, and you will win:
  • All the Horsing Around Limited Edition Art Prints created to date, plus a Mystery Gift (total retail value $300)! 
  • I will create your character and he (or she) will live at the Horsing Around Ranch forever! You of course will receive the Limited Edition Art Print, and $5 from every sold will be given to a local children’s hospital—how great is that?
Even if you do not win, your entries will be displayed in the Horsing Around Folder at my booth during INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair at Metro Toronto Convention Center (November 13-16th 2014).

By entering the contest, you give me the rights to create a derivative work from you entry, and to share your entry with the world.


DEADLINE: Wednesday, December 31, 2014. (23:59 EST)


You can create as many entries as you like! Send your entries to contest@artofmili.ca. Images should be JPEG (.jpg) and no larger than 2 MB. Send one image entry at a time. The optimal resolution for printing is at least 300 ppi, anything less may result in a pixelated image. DO NOT ATTACH TEXT FILES. Make your writing part of the email. Do not forget to sign your image, to include your name, and contact information. If you wish me to display your contact information at the fair, please let me know, otherwise only your first name will be displayed.

I will pick the winning entry by November 9th, then I will contact the winner at the contact information provided.

MAY THE BEST CREATOR WIN!

TIP: Feel free to share the contest details with your friends, then if one of you wins you can divide the prize. ;-)

If you are wondering why I’m giving away so much of my work for free, it is because YOU are helping me spread the word about Mili Fay Art, and your support gives me courage to create something great every day.

Thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me.

Best of luck!

Mili Fay



P.S. You can find more about Horsing Around here.
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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Kindle In 30 Days Challenge: Day 01—Orientation, Mindmaping, Writing, and Publishing

This Saturday, October 4, 2014 Mili Fay Art will be at Wychwood Barns’ Art Market.  This means that, as always, I'm tweaking the last minute details when it comes to special offerings.  A few minutes ago, I was cutting up new “Warriors Of Virtue” mock post-cards we will be giving away.

I am writing this to explain, that though I am very excited about the challenge, the challenge has to fit the time frame of my busy schedule.  This means that the practical portion of the challenge will have to wait for a later date.  Today, I have been going over the materials Kristen Eckstein has provided.

The bonus materials Kristen Eckstein has offered are amazing!  I was wondering how I'm going to create a Kindle book without using a programmer (since I want to learn how to program my own books), and it looks like she is providing the answer with her Self-Publishing On Kindle Course.  While printing and cutting, I have been listening to her welcome video, Bob The Teacher’s “Mindmap My Kindle Book” webinar, as well as the Freshman Level 101 Training Videos.

Level 101 Training is for beginners.  The first video on writing talks about dumping all of your ideas out in 10 minutes, then seeing if you can group and organize them into books, then deciding which book you should be writing by evaluating in a ranking system which is the easiest to write and which one you are most passionate about writing.  As I have already written my books, this video only held mild interest for me, but I do think Eckstein’s technique is a good way for would be authors to organize themselves.

The second video is about publishing.  Eckstein talks about what you need to get to be a professional publisher and if you should create a brand under your company name for publishing.  In the earlier posts, as you follow my journey, you can pick up on what you need to get to self-publish in Canada (you can also check out the “Resources” section of this blog).  However, I highly recommend you get Anderson’s Book if you are publishing in Canada and seek out similar books for your country if you are not.

Most of the second video is about what goes into making a good book cover—individually and then as a series.   Apparently, I should not have used “By” next to my name, because it is the sign of an amateur.  However, when I was designing “Animals In My Hair”, I felt adding Mili Fay alone would be too cut off.  Instead of saying “Animals In My Hair… Mili Fay”, I wanted my readers to say “Animals In My Hair by Mili Fay”.  I felt it flows better.  Also, “Mili Fay’s Horsing Around” sounds better to me than “Horsing Around… Mili Fay”.  (Doesn't that read a bit kinky?)  For “Warriors of Virtue”, I will have Mili Fay separate, because I want the title to stand apart from me as an artist, since this will be a book with illustrations rather than an illustrated book.  Does that make sense?

Do you think adding “By” next to your name is amateurish?  I’m curious to know.

No one has remarked anything of the sort to me this past year while I was selling my book.  The usual reaction upon someone seeing my book is eyes widening and the person saying: “This is self-published?”  So… I guess I did do a good job.  Though, to be honest, a year later there are some things I wish I could change.

November is the important month for me this year, and by November I would dearly love to have “Animals In My Hair” and the first part of the “Warriors of Virtue” series up on Kindle.  I love “Warriors of Virtue”.  It is my Harry Potter.  The idea took a hold of me when I was reading “The Lord of the Rings” at 14 and I still feel the same passion I did then.  Out of all of the books bouncing around in my head, it is the one that is the truest reflection of my soul.  I really hope people like it, because unlike “Animals In My Hair” and “Horsing Around”, “Warriors of Virtue” is very personal. 
If you would like to be Beta readers of the series, let me know and I will add you to the list so you can maybe receive a free preview copy.  Or you can join Mili Fay Art's Review Crew at the bottom of this post. ;-)

Now, before I go back to studying Eckstein’s video on Marketing 101 (the topic I really need help with), I’m just going to leave you with the 5 post-card images I will be giving away this Saturday.

Wishing you only the best!

Mili

Warriors of Virtue--Part 01 Inside Illustrations (5/8)
(Feel free to share these images as long as you do not remove the copyright, or modify them in any way.)








Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club and/or Review Crew:

* indicates required
Mili Fay Art
Email Format

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”





Saturday, 27 September 2014

Mili Fay: Publishing On Kindle

I have just signed up for Kristen Eckstein's Kindle Challenge Boot Camp.  If you wish to join me, or to find out more about this challenge, you may do so here.

There is a $250 discount if you apply before October 2nd.  Just type: ninja250.

I will try to keep a diary of my activities here.  I will not be able to share copyrighted information, but I will share my personal experience.  I'm three illustrations and one cover design away from completing my first eBook.  It will be an illustrated fantasy series.  I have never done anything like it, but I have lived with the story for 16 years, and I feel it is time to share it with the world.

If you wish to see some of my early sketches, you can find Warriors Of Virtue on Mili Fay Art's Pinterest, Facebook, etc.

Monday, 4 August 2014

What Writers Need To Know About Illustration?

Connie Dunn, an author, speaker, and book writing coach has decided to interview me regarding the business of illustration.  In this interview, "Illustration 101 For Self-Published Writers", I talk about what it takes to create an illustration, what are some of the greatest mistakes writers make when trying to hire an illustrator, and how to get professional illustrations if you do not have a budget to speak of.

To listen to the interview, click here.

To find out more about Connie Dunn, click on the link below:

Connie Dunn
If you have any questions after the interview, please do not hesitate to ask.

All the best!

Mili

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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Monday, 28 July 2014

Part 07: Mili Fay Wonders--GMail or EMail Service?

During May 2014 I attended a wonderful Book Marketing Challenge, and I have come up with ideas to make Mili Fay Art better, and to have it run smoother.  As promised, in this blog I will share the ideas I'm implementing.

According to experts who guided us in the challenge, the best way to make an impact online is by growing our e-mail list.  Social Media is great, but only a true fan will hand over their e-mail address so they can be sure they do not miss any of your work or news.  These are the people who may actually purchase something from you, and may help your business stay afloat by clicking those Likes and Sharing the information with their friends.

Reading this, I nodded in agreement.  I have a small loyal following on my e-mail list.  I appreciate them, and they appreciate my e-mails.  So, I figured I could check this item off my colossal to-do list. However, just as I was reaching for my pen, I got hit with information that I should have an e-mali service account, such as MailChimp or AWeber.

E-Mail service account?  Why can't I use my beloved GMail as I have done in the past?

The experts went on to explain that an e-mail service lets you create those beautiful HTML e-mails top professionals send out clogging your Junk Mail folder.

Well, GMail can add pictures, links, and formatting, why should I not use GMail to create my e-mail?

Because GMail is not obsessed with keeping track of who opens your e-mails, reads them, and actually clicks on the links you so carefully created to guide the people on your list to services, gifts, and other things they should not miss.

After listening to the pros and cons of e-mail marketing, I added signing up for an e-mail service on my to-do list. 

There are many people who were more than willing to help me take initial steps in the Facebook Gold Member Group.  Sandra Beckwith had a blog article where she listed several emailing services.  After collecting suggestions from members and from Beckwith's blog, I went through each service carefully.  I have already heard of MailChimp, so I decided to leave that one for last, hoping that other services would provide more service for my buck. 

Of course, in the end I signed up with MailChimp.  

My saved MailChimp Template.
I'm very visual, and I found MailChimp's interface appealed to me more than any of the other services I looked into.  Also, I love that they allow you to have a free e-mail account until you grow your list to over 2000 people, and that you can send upto 12000/month absolutely FREE for life!  It is a wonderful plan for someone who has just started a business and does not have lots of cash to throw around.  Of course, there are services such as Auto-Responders that are only available to paying accounts, but if you are just looking to send e-mails to your list MailChimp is great (besides you can add a link to your sign-up auto responder)!
If you are a programmer (which I'm not, though I was forced to learn a bit of HTML), you can program your own e-mail templates.

Otherwise, you can choose from a selection of templates available to you.  If you can copy and paste, you can make a beautiful HTML e-mail using your own photographs and art.  For those people on your list who do not like (or do not have room) to receive HTML e-mails, there is an option for just a basic text e-mail (the one that looks like a MS Notepad document with no links).  I wish MailChimp had an option to turn your HTML e-mail into plain text e-mail, but they do not.  You have to recreate your HTML e-mail into a plain text e-mail, or as MailChimp likes to call them "Campaigns".  (That word makes me feel like a sleazy politician, but what can one do.)

After you are done creating your "Campaign" you can save the look of the e-mail as a template and use it in the future, so that you would not have to worry about formatting ever again, I also love the check list option that walks you through the process so that you know you are doing everything right.

So far, these features are more or less matched by GMail; where an e-mail service superiority shows is with regards to what happens AFTER you mail your "Campaign".

MailChimp tracks e-mails that bounce and eventually automatically deletes the people who are not receiving or opening your e-mails!

If you do not want MailChimp to delete those e-mails, you will have to go in there and tell it not to, but if the people are not receiving them, what is the point of having them clog up your e-mail list?  If you have other ways of contacting them, you can check to see if they may have cancelled their account, but I only request an e-mail and a name (doesn't even have to be real) for my e-mail lists. 

MailChimp also tells you who reads your e-mails and who clicks on the links in your e-mails.  If people do not open your e-mail, eventually they too are deleted and you do not have to worry about keeping track of them either.  What's great about this is that MailChimp ensures that only the people who are your true fans stay on your e-mail list.

MailChimp also has a simple Unsubscribe Link at the bottom of every e-mail.  With GMail a person would have to send me an e-mail for me to delete them from my list.  Here, they click on the link and I get notified that I have lost a subscriber; a sad thing for every business, but if I do not provide the service/information they need, why should they have my e-mails clog up their mail box?

Sign-up form!  

Sign-up form found on this blog.
This is my favourite feature of MailChimp (and other e-mail services).  With GMail I had to collect every e-mail by pen and paper and add them to my account.  Now, if people like my work all they need to do is fill out a simple form: name, e-mail, choose if they want to receive an HTML or PlainText e-mail, and if they want to be a member of my Fan Club and/or Review Club.  Their e-mails are added to my account, and their preferences are sorted in something MailChimp calls Groups.  So many times I was not able to read someone's handwriting and those people never got to hear from me or to receive their welcome gift.  Now if they find me though social media, they can just add themselves if they so wished.  (I gift my fans once a month FYI.)

Using MailChimp Groups, you can also create Segments, which allow you to send e-mails only to people who are interested in a particular service rather than the whole list.

So there you have it.  The reason why you should get yourself an e-mail service over your GMail, Outlook, etc. personal account.  I'm still keeping my GMail for personal use, but for sharing the news about my business, events, and services, it will be MailChimp from now on.

If you have any questions, you know what to do! ;-D

If your list numbers less than 2000, why not give MailChimp a try.  It really is easy to use, and it is FREEEEEEE!

P.S.  In June a new anti-Spam law was passed in Canada.  If you are going to send an e-mail to a stranger, just make sure you have their written permission. :-)
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Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools.  In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.  Recently chosen for the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair’s Programming (November 13th – 16th, 2014) out of 700+ submissions, Animals In My Hair, is the world’s first ever Artwork Book; a new type of picture book that seamlessly combines the best features of fine art, picture books, activity books, and educational books.  In accordance with Mili Fay Art’s vision, 30% of all profits from Animals In My Hair book and merchandise will be donated to wildlife conservation.

To find out more about Animals In My Hair, and/or to purchase the few remaining FIRST EDITION copies of the initial print run, visit: http://bit.ly/AnimalsInMyHair


Mili Fay Art: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”