Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Does a Writer Need a Logo?

Really, does a writer need a logo?

Years ago a fellow writer told me that she had a logo for her writing. At the time, my first novel had just been published and I really couldn't see a need for a logo.

However, as the years have gone by I have changed my mind. The reason? Right now I have books published in two different genres: romantic suspense and YA time travel. I'm sure some readers are wondering if the Kathi Peterson who wrote Cold Justice is the same Kathi Peterson who wrote The Stone Traveler. I want my readers to know that, yes, I wrote them both.

As I sat down with my designer, we discussed what logo would represent my writing best. There were several things to consider: what kind of message did I want to convey, what was the purpose of my logo, and where would I use it?

The message . . . 
What is the message of a logo? It should represent what you write and a common theme in your work that identifies you as a writer. I wanted my readers to know that any book that has my logo will get a clean read that has a good dose of inspiration in the story. My designer and I kicked around the idea of a dove or angels, but those had all been done a lot and I wasn't comfortable with them. See I also wanted my logo to represent me, the writer. So it had to be personal. That's a tall order.

The purpose . . .
The purpose of a logo is to let the reader know that you are the writer behind the work. I can't tell you how many Kathi Petersons there are in the world, but there are a lot. I know of at least three. And one even spells it the exact same way as I do. However what the others don't have is my maiden name, Oram. So now you know why my novels have Kathi Oram Peterson on them. My designer and I decided my initials would work just fine for my logo.

Where to use a logo . . .
Okay, here's my problem, I already have six books published without my logo on them. If I would have listened to my friend years ago, this would not be a problem. Now I'm playing catch up. But that's okay. I'm hopeful my publisher won't mind putting my logo on reprints of my novels and on future books to be released. AND I can put my logo on my blog, website, Facebook, Twitter and etc. I can use it on my business cards, on bookmarks and well, just about anything.

Does a writer need a logo? If a writer only writes in one genre probably not. However, if a writer publishes in more than one genre I'd say yes. And I should have used one long ago.

So, as you can see I have two versions of my logo that I liked.

Which do you think I went with: the first one or the second one?
 



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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Four Ways to Promote a Novel



Promoting a novel that you have spent countless hours, months, or even years writing can be a bit overwhelming. Authors are fortunate today because we can blog, use Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and probably a gazillion other social network sites that can help get the word out about our novels. Back in the day before social networking authors promoted their books the hard way: mailing flyers, buying expensive ad space in newspapers and magazines, and even sending gifts to distributors. Some authors still do some of this. I'm on a mailing list for Debbie Macomber. Once a year I receive via snail mail a wonderful glossy newsletter, book mark, recipes and even stickers.

So what is the best solution? I have four ways that might help you promote your novel.

Social Networking . . . 
I have become a huge fan of Facebook and Twitter. I love to go there and see what's going on with friends, family, and other writers. I love to see when a writer shares a book trailer or the cover of their new book. I like to know when they are having a signing so I can plan to attend. What I don't like is if every post or tweet they write is only about promoting their books. That's annoying, boring, and so off-putting I can't tell you. It can be hard to find a good balance, but here's what I try to do. Whenever I post about one of my novels I try to post about a couple of other things as well. I love sharing clever sayings or pictures that I see on both Facebook and Twitter. I haven't signed up for Linked-In, mainly because I barely have time to write, blog, do Facebook and Twitter and have a family life. (The people I live with like to see me without my nose pressed against my iPad.) 


Promoting via snail mail . . .
When I sold my first book, I spent a ton of time and expense sending flyers to stores and books to reviewers. I have even been known to buy ad space in the newspaper promoting a signing. Would I recommend doing all of that today? It depends. Is it your first book? What is your publisher willing to do to help you? How much money can you spend because the sky's the limit? Times are tough for publishers and book stores. Many are cutting back. In fact the main stores that carry my books are cutting back on author signings. So with my new novel I'm going the extra mile and send out (via snail mail and to those who would like it via email) a newsletter. Those who would like the snail mail newsletter will also receive a book mark, which is a nice little perk for both the receiver and me.

As I said before, the sky is the limit when it comes to an author promoting a novel. But the best promotional tool is to write a darn good book. I'm hopeful that I've done that.

Another way to promote your novel is a giveaway . . . 
If your book is in Goodreads databank you can have a giveaway. It's fun and you'll be amazed by how many people will learn about your novel. Make sure you've signed up for Goodreads at goodreads.com. Giveaways are listed under "Explore".  Just click on that and on the next page you will see "List a Giveaway" in small print on the upper right side. Click on that and away you go filling in when you want to hold your giveaway, how many copies you're willing to part with, and a description of your novel. You'll need the isbn number, so have that handy.

I know I've reached many readers through a giveaway. Every time I have a new novel released I schedule a giveaway as soon as I can. I'm waiting for my publisher to list Wanted, and as soon as things are set I'll let everyone know when and where they may have a chance to win a free copy of my book.


And yet another promotional tool . . .
Have a book signing.  Signings can be a lot of work for the author and the store, but they can also be a lot of fun. Do your best to promote the signing. The most successful signings that I've experienced were when I sent out invitations via snail mail and email. I've also used Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Send invitations to everyone you know and then some. For your first signing you will be surprised by how many people show up. They love to see a friend reach the goal of publication.

Wanted will be my sixth book. The stores that carry my novel have cut back on doing book signings, so there is only one signing scheduled for this novel. Here's the when, time and where.
Saturday, May 11th (the day before Mother's Day)
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m
Deseret Book Store in Fort Union (1110 Fort Union Blvd., Murray, Utah)

If you're in the area please stop by. I'd love to see you. 


If you'd like a copy of my newsletter, please email me (kathiorampeterson(at)yahoo(dot)com) your address and I'll send it to you, plus a book mark, and my business card.

Happy promoting! 



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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund - Book Review


I’ve never had this happen to me. Let me explain. As I finished reading Jody Hedlund’s new novel, A Noble Groom, I wanted to start over and read it again. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many books that I’ve loved and after a year or so I might pick one up and read it again, but NEVER have I wanted to read a book again right after I finished it. Never.

And here’s the deal, as I started A Noble Groom I thought this is good, but as I continued to read I fell in love with the characters. I fell in love with the plot. And I fell in love Hedlund’s style of writing.


The characters . . .
Right from the start empathy builds for Annalisa Werner. She’s a woman who has been trapped in a loveless marriage and finds that her creep of a husband stole the meager savings she’d put away. The only good thing in her life is her little girl, Gretchen. Things rapidly grow from back to worse when Annalisa finds her husband dead on the ground. She now has no money and no man, which in those days was a scary proposition.

 The only person in a worse situation than Annalisa is Gottfried Charles von Reichart the Third, who is half-a-world away in Essen, Germany. He’s about to be executed for a bomb that exploded and killed a servant and injured others. Because materials from his lab had been used to make the bomb, it had been assumed that he had done it. Not even his father, the Baron, can save him. Yet, a faithful manservant comes to his aid and helps him narrowly escape.

Right from the start empathy builds for both characters. That empathy grows into hope and love as you become even more involved in their lives. I only gave you a tiny peek of what they go through.

The plot . . .
I like to pride myself in being able to figure out how a story will end. My children hate to go to the movies with me because I’m always spoiling the ending by telling them what might happen. I'm wrong sometimes, but what can I say? I’m a writer and I’m watching for certain earmarks in the plot. Everything has a purpose and reason for being there. As I read A Noble Groom, I marveled how the plot grew and grew and how just when I thought it would go one way it would turn in a completely different direction. I LOVE THAT!

Some may think the plot is episodic in nature because one crisis after another happens, however, the main thrust of the story carries you through each incident. I also trust the author, and I knew that the events in the novel were probably based on occurrences that really happen. And guess what? In the back of the book Jody explains that the events really did happen.

The writing style . . . 
 Some authors write very dense prose, some write very thin. For me, Hedlund’s style is just right. She is able to capture imagery with words and present it in a way that is very reader friendly. She never gets bogged down with descriptions or back story. She places you in the scene. There were times I could smell the maple syrup, feel the heat of the drought, and nearly taste Annalisa’s apple pie. But what I’m very jealous of is her ability to write very emotional love scenes that appeal to your heart and not go into graphic detail. You can trust her. Jody’s inspirational historical romance is just that . . . inspiring on many levels.

As you may have noticed, I don’t do a lot of book reviews any more. I don’t have time, but I made time for this one, and I’m glad I did.

You can learn more about Jody Hedlund  and her other novels on her website.


I was given a copy of the book from the publisher, but I reviewed it because I liked it.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Big Reveal--Book Trailer for Wanted




Caution! 

Book promotion ahead! 

Here's the big reveal for the book trailer of Wanted. It has been in the works for several weeks and is finally ready to show to you!

 Please check it out and let me know what you think.







Other big news . . . 

I'm attending the LDStorymakers Conference Friday May 10th and will be there for their big mass book signing that night.

AND . . .

I'll be signing copies of Wanted on Saturday May 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.at the Deseret Book Store in Fort Union (1110 Fort Union BLVD, Midvale Utah). I hope you'll stop by and see me.

Next Tuesday I'll review Jody Hedlund's new novel, A Noble Groom. Have a great weekend!!!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Speaking at North Sevier High!


Every once in a while an author gives a lecture and comes away wondering if they've helped anyone or if the experience was worth the time and trouble sacrificed to do it. I know there have been many times when I've gone to an event and afterward thought my time would have been better spent writing.

 And then something totally unexpected happens.

Last Friday I was the guest speaker at North Sevier High.  
What a wonderful experience!!!

Sadly the picture above only shows half of the students who attended. And I neglected to get a picture of Carol Lee Johnson, who coordinated my visit there. She was a pleasure to work with and very organized. She had the white board and Blu-Ray player all ready when I arrived. She'll never know how very much I appreciated it.

In the picture above, I'm in the middle and standing next to Kaili, who is a budding writer with several stories under her belt. We have exchanged emails several times. I was very impressed by all the students. They knew the basics of storytelling. We discussed plot, characterization, and even watched the opening scene of The Hunger Games (which does a great job of showing the set up of a story.)

We talked, we ate pizza, drank soda pop, and munched on awesome desserts.

And then they presented me with this . . .



See that amazing card. It says: "She believed she could . . . so she did." And they all signed it. I was so very touched.

What was inside that amazing package . . .


A Tupperware bowl w/lid; ball point pens (black, blue and red); a cute pad for Post-it notes (soooo adorable it has a permanent spot on my kitchen counter); a cute, cute, cute notepad with an old fashioned typewriter drawn on it (handmade and one-of-a-kind); a very elegant necklace with a daisy (I'm so wearing this everywhere); pretzels (a writer's go-to snack); Twizzlers (fresh and so yummie); and a Tupperware water bottle (sweet!!!). As I unwrapped the present and saw what thoughtful, tender care went into making this present for me, I became tear-eyed. This was an extremely, wonderful experience, one I shall always cherish.

Thank you Carol Lee and Kaili for inviting me.



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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Help a Fellow Author



Years ago I had the good fortune to have a book signing with David Wolverton aka David Farland. We had a great time that day.

I learned that over the last week his son, Ben, was in a serious long-boarding accident. He is only 16 and suffers from sever brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drum, road rash, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.

Here's where we can help. Wednesday there will be a book bomb on behalf of Ben to help his family. They have a Facebook page And there is also a website Help Ben Wolverton. Please go to the website and participate in the book bomb. It's for a very worthy cause to help a fellow author. Anything purchased through Amazon links for Nightingale and Million Dollar Outlines will help. Dave receives a small percentage of anything purchased through those links.

This will be my last post for this week. In case you're interested I'll be at South Sevier High School Friday talking to their reading club about books and writing. I'm looking very forward to meeting the students there. 
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Reset: Cold Justice Book Trailer



I've had a very interesting few days. Last week I found out that the trailer for Cold Justice had been marked "private" by the person who made it for me. As soon as he learned what had happened he brought me the trailer and had me upload it to youtube.

So now all the views for the book trailer have been reset. I'm so sad, but hopeful that by posting it again on my blog more people will view it again. :)

And then . . . last week I had some unexpected dental surgery. So I've been a little under the weather. It doesn't help that most of the weekend and all Monday it's rained. I'm grateful for the rain. It is April. But I'd love to see the sun.

I'm looking for some sunshine Tuesday . . . or Wednesday . . . or sometime during the week.

How about you? Have you had sunshine in your life lately? Or has it been raining?
 
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Who Is Branson Faulkner?

By Las Vegas Motor Speedway . . .  via Wikimedia Commons

I told you Tuesday that today I would answer one of the questions I posted about a main character in my new book, Wanted.

So let me answer the first one: Who is Branson Faulkner?

To know a character you have to do more than describe how they look. You need to put into words how they are inside and out.

Branson Faulkner loved his parents. His father was a famous race car driver. His mother was devoted to her husband and to her son. When Branson was still a child his father tragically died. But the legend of his father's driving abilities lived on in his son. Branson loved racing cars. He loved the smell of gasoline and grease, loved the sound of squealing tires fishtailing around a bend, and loved the thrill of sitting behind the wheel of a car as it careened down the race track.

How did he end up in Swan Valley, Idaho where the book takes place?

Years after Branson's father passed away, his mother met a rancher from Idaho, fell in love, and got married. Because Branson was only a teenager by the time she met this guy, he had to go with her. Little did Branson know that it would be there that he'd find the woman of his dreams, but also the man of his nightmares.

So what did Branson Faulkner do to end up in prison?

I'll share a little more with you next Tuesday. :)


 
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What's With This Picture?



You're probably asking, "Why does Kathi have a picture of prison bars on her blog?"

Of course, it has to do with my new book. On the opening page of Wanted the reader learns the main character, Branson Faulkner, has just escaped prison, that he has been shot, and that he's desperate to find the only person who can help him.

Questions that might come to  mind are:
  • Who is Branson Faulkner?
  • What was he convicted of doing?
  • Where is he going?
  • When did the alleged crime happen?
  • Why was he arrested?
  • How is he going to survive?

All of these questions and more are answered in the book, so I'm not going to answer them here, but I will answer one question on Thursday's post.

Sorry, but you have to wait. :)


 
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