Sunday, January 30, 2011

I need your advice...

One of my goals for the years is to find a way to make money off of my website. There are many ways that one can do this but none that appealed to me. I don't want to charge for the toys. I want to keep them free. This was really important to me.

I thought about having ads or sponsors, but who wants to see another car insurance ad cluttering up the place? I didn't want to be paid to blog about something or sell other people's products.

Then I found out that Barnes and Noble has an affiliate program that pays a percentage for every book that people buy from links on your website. And I get to pick the books! This seemed like an acceptable solution to me. I can sell my books, as well as feature books that I care about.

Here's a page that I set up.

What do you think?
"Neato, Marilyn. I love it! Books are awesome!"or
"Euuuh, yuck! You money-grubbing wanker. I'm never talking to you ever again!" or
"What books? I don't care as long as you keep the toys coming!'

And while you are talking to me, what are some books that you think other like minded creative folks should know about?

Thanks so much!



"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."
~  Jorge Luis Borges


  1. I think it's a great idea :)

  2. Thanks! I think we can have fun with it!

  3. While you're looking into this sort of thing Amazon (and assuredly others) also has a program like this.

    I don't think it's a bad thing - tons of blogs and websites do this already without being upfront about it and we go about our lives clicking links to books and never knowing the difference, that you're asking us is extra nice ('cause you are).

  4. Marilyn,
    The sincerity of your site is, and always has been a breath of fresh air! Thanks for keeping the toys free and for offering you won nice books for sale. And while it does change things up a little, I have to say that this added feature of book sales doesn't seems to be obtrusive at all to me.

    I am kinda wondering if people would be interested in purchasing cardstock, exacto knives, colored pencils... things like that, or maybe even toy otters or puppies, chocolate for the chocolate wagons... fairy toys... things to go with some of the themes that you have created.

    Here is one of my all time favorite books for kids who like to play... not just with toys but with words, it is called Pun and Games by Richard Leaderer and you can view it at:

  5. Seems very reasonable to me. Love your site.

  6. Dear Joymaker
    Thanks for being you. great idea, my personal choice would be to go with Amazon (more choices)and your placement of the paypal option is good too

  7. Thanks for keeping your toys free! I'm happy to support whatever you decide - though I also like Amazon the best.

  8. Dear Maz, "money-grubbing" would be the last thing ever to describe you! Do what you have to do, girl, and we'll support you.

    I do think offering customised stationary might be a way to make some income from the site? Maybe wedding stationary or party stationary? People pay a fortune for those, but they don't need to if they have your gorgeous designs and some pretty stock and a printer!

    Celia x

  9. As Lisa said, the added links are not intrusive at all. As for books, I'd strongly recommend anything written and/or illustrated by Steven Kellogg (especially The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash and Ralph's Secret Weapon). Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel are also wonderful (or as they were known in our house: Foad and Trog stories). I think this is a great idea, frankly.

  10. Dear Marilyn, I love this site and have long appreciated your creativity and generosity. It would be wonderful to have another way to support you, in addition to purchasing your books, of course! Surely any book of interest to you would be of interest to those of us who love your work. If your favorite art and craft supplies could be included in such a program, they would be a welcome addition, too...

  11. I like it Marilyn. Everything you do is classy! I love Richarch Scary and Go, Dogs, Go! The kids in the neighborhood love the "Skippy Jon Jones" books.

    A.B. from Denver

  12. I think it is a great idea. I love your site and that it is free. You make amazing and beautiful toys, cards, & such. I am happy to use your links to buy things I would be buying anyway. I also like book suggestions from you because I think you would only suggest wonderful ones. I like amazon a little better because I have free shipping as a prime member. But it looks like you have added some links for amazon too. Thank you for your site. It is such a wonderful gift.

  13. I love the idea that you're with Barnes & Noble. My Membership card practically melts 'cause I use it so often. I don't have small children but I buy books for the children I know. I bought several copies of our president's book from B&N and gave them as gifts. I even bought yet another copy of Where The Wild Things Are! Have forgotten how many I've bought over the years. I know you're about creating but I know only one mom who makes things with her children. Even so, I am more than willing to contribute in any way to help you.

    I love this place! It brings out the kid in me.

  14. Do it! I love that your toys are free and recommend your site to lots of people. You know, "Make paper toys, people!"

  15. Love the idea. See if you can find any Ed Emberely Books. Fantastic art ideas for children.

  16. I like the book idea, also the supplies idea - i.e. selling the items you use/recommend. Have you considered doing custom work using the characters you have already created? personalized items and such that people can purchase directly from you? or printed materials - like note pads and stationary...