When the year 2014 started, I had major goals in mind for my books and writing path... but like many people, I was terrified at what seemed like a LONG road to reach them. But looking back over it all, I have to say... I didn't do too shabby.
- I wanted to submit manuscripts this year... and I did. But most importantly, I wanted to finish writing what I have considered my "baby" for WAY too long... and I did. The Unfading Lands is written.
- I wanted to switch publishing companies... and with nervousness and feelings of inadequacy... I did. (Best move thus far.)
- I wanted to set up a website... though I am not super tech savvy, I learned and I did it. Why not, right? (Help is always appreciated with this as well. ) :)
- I wanted to let go of my pride and let people catch a glimpse of what I am about... vulnerability was NOT part of the plan originally, but I wanted people to read my book before I published it so I would know if I was making the right decision. But along with that, came A LOT of vulnerability and feelings of... shyness... ME!? SHY?! But yes... yes, I was. I felt like I was bearing a side to me many people had not seen. What if they didn't like it? What if they didn't like my style of writing? But I did it. And now I no longer have those feelings. It is what it is, and people are either going to like or they won't.
- I wanted to reach 1000 LIkes on my Facebook Page by December, and with YOUR help, WE did it!!!
But most importantly this year, through all the uncertainties and new projects and all the learning... I've made sure I have had FUN. If it was not fun, I stopped what I was doing and took a different route. Writing is my outlet. I love it. I did not want anything to rob me of the joy I have in writing. Therefore, I didn't let that happen.
And I can truly say, that though I have had a few hurdles to jump over through this new process... everything has been a blast!
So when I think about my goals for 2015, I plan to not freak out, not get overwhelmed, and to allow myself to be vulnerable and let people inside my crazy head. Take time to enjoy the journey. Take notes along the way, because who knows, it all might end up in a book.
I plan to keep believing I CAN DO THIS, because no one is your worst critic than yourself...
So Happy New Year everyone! Set goals, work hard, believe in yourself, TRUST that God will lead you in the direction HE wants you to go in, and something tells me you can have an amazing 2015.
Thank you for being a part of my life, in whichever way you are!
(P.S. Sorry for the ridiculously long post)
One of the toughest and most valuable lessons I learned early on in the publishing world was never trust someone you do not know to handle your marketing. It may work out great for some people, but for me, on my first book, The Adventurous Life of Laura Bell, I was soooooooooo disappointed in the marketing tools my company provided for me. After all, they were part of my publishing package, they should have been awesome, right?! WRONG!
But I was new at the whole book writing thing, and had stars in my eyes, and a whole lot of trust. The marketing goods were okay, they just weren't great. But how could they be? I was asking a team of designers to make something for me, yet they don't know me or my tastes. They have standard designs they use and that is that. Well, I quickly learned that if you want something done right, you have to put in a little more effort. So I have not ordered a marketing package from them since and have found my own graphic designer. As luck would have it... that would be my sister. ;)
Who would know me better, right? Um..... no one. In fact, my sister and I pretty much share the same brain waves when it comes to designing layouts. I honestly have the easiest job ever. I tell her what I want, and I'm like, "Go for it. I'm sure I'll love it." And I pretty much do... every single time.
Her job, I'm sure is more complicated, especially when I send her something like this....
Yep, that is literally what I sent her. That, and the descriptions in my book of the Eastern Kingdom's coat of arms, and she just goes for it. I mean, look at THAT! I didn't even cross my 't' when I wrote 'white'.... the woman definitely has patience to take that kindergarten drawing and turn it into something as incredible as the picture right below it.
Pretty awesome, right?!
I can only imagine what some of our conversations on the phone sound like... our husbands probably think we are crazy... but that's okay. ;)
Kerry was also a PreReader... unintentionally. She convinced me she needed to read the book in order to create graphics for everything I wished to have... I can see now, why. But at the time I kind of just rolled my eyes and thought, "Yeah right... you just want a sneak peek..." haha. But I can easily see how she was able to use my descriptions and details from the book and create awesome graphics.
Yep... that's what I gave her to work with... and you can see how awesome she can make it. ;) Through trial and error, we change up a few things to create something super cool.
Kerry also made this....
Every graphic on my website, she has created. Minus the pics of my own personal drawings of course. So scroll around and check out her handy work throughout my website. :)
She even designed the cover of my book!!!!
So I have to say I am super pleased with how all my graphics and marketing have turned out so far for The Unfading Lands. Kerry has rocked it from the get go... and I can sometimes NOT be the easiest person to work with I think. ;) (Hard to believe, I know....) ;p
But I will say, that Kerry makes it all pretty easy. It's pretty handy to have a sister who is uber creative and completely understands what I am going for. Plus, we talk almost on a daily basis already, so we just add a little book talk into each convo and we tackle a lot of projects that way.
We still have several graphics to post... Every kingdom is receiving their own Coat of Arms. Character profiles will eventually be coming. And of course, SO MUCH MORE!!! So keep coming back and checking out all my sister's hard work. ;) I could not accomplish everything I am without help from other people and utilizing other peoples' talents. I was not blessed with the gift of graphic design, but thank the LAWD I know someone who is. :)
She makes me look good. :)
And she and her husband, Kert are also singers... so check out their tunes on iTunes. :) (semi-sisterly plug there) ;) Honestly, they are really good. ;)
Words from our PreReaders... In one word, how would you describe the Eastern Kingdom?
The Eastern Kingdom is the home of King Eamon and his two sons, Prince Ryle and Prince Clifton.
These three gentleman have strong connections with the Realm and will do ANYTHING to protect their kingdom and the rest of the Realm. Loyal to the Realm. Noble and honorable in character. The Eastern Kingdom will emerge as one of the focuses for The Unfading Lands. Just like the Northern Kingdom, the East will have their fair share of dealings with the Unfading Lands. ;)
But what makes them a target?
What sets them apart from the rest of the kingdoms?
And what happens to them?
Wellllllll.... you will have to read to find out. ;)
As in everything I post about the book, I don't want to give too much away. All I can say is that the Eastern Kingdom is one of my favorite kingdoms in the entire book! Yes, even I have favorites... And that makes them super fun to write about and develop. I hope you find a special place in your heart for the three gentlemen of the East as well when you learn more about them. They might just possibly make your heart sigh a couple of times, but also make you want to hit them upside the head a time or two... either way, they are interesting characters that play a major role throughout the book! :)
Well, the PreReaders have completed their work! And I thought I would share some of the feedback I received while they were reading. ;)
I love hearing what they have to say, especially when they reach certain parts of the book! So MUCH fun! I can't thank them enough for being a test audience either. They have all provided incredible feedback thus far, and their input only makes my work better. So what little changes I make based on their feedback, is very important. They are you guys, after all. My readers! :)
I will also be giving you more information from my prereaders as I go through their comments and explanations. These guys rocked it! :) I'm excited to say that every single one so far has provided much needed, honest feedback. Now I cannot wait for everyone to read it! :)
With a new book comes new marketing... with new marketing comes a new look. :) Yesterday I received my new business cards! Woo hoo! May not seem like much, but it is the first thing I have received with my new book cover on it and updated information! So this is quite an exciting step!
It also makes me super excited about all the other upcoming marketing that will be flowing out in the next few months. Posters, Flyers, Post cards, Author photos, Bookmarks, etc. There's a lot that goes into a marketing package... And if you have seen my old marketing, there's a lot more information added to the new.
I would say I have quite a bit more under my belt now since my first business cards from 2009. :)
More books published.
More retailers and vendors.
More formats of my books.
And a new transition to adult fiction.
Not a bad progression for 5 years of working it! :)
This week has been great in regards to the holiday. My first Instagram shout out happened this week as well! Pretty exciting! If you have Instagram, follow me: katharineh
I had my first holiday sales. :)
So if you are looking for great reads for the kids for Christmas. Visit my store on here and you will have the books by Christmas! :)
Until the next exciting news. :)
Howdy Everyone! And welcome to my website! My name is Katharine Hamilton and I am a writer and multi-genre author! Thank you for stopping by!