Monday, January 13, 2014

LIE CATCHERS & RITE IN THE RAIN, MY BRANDING ADVENTURE by Rolynn Anderson


I love my small press publisher, top-rated by Predators and Editors.  But, alas, my contract with them stipulates that I must not use brand names in my novels.  I explain what that means in Joanne Stewart’s blog: http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com/2014/01/Rolynn-Anderson.html

I am not a person who easily takes ‘no’ for an answer, yet I want to honor my contract and not cause problems for my publisher.  So here’s the story of my entirely legal branding adventure.

A key aspect of my double murder mystery in LIE CATCHERS is a waterproof notebook found in the back pocket of a dead man.  He washes up to the shores of Puget Sound, with ID showing he comes from Petersburg, Alaska.  What’s written indelibly in that waterproof notebook brings a Treasury agent to the fishing town.

Rite in the Rain produces waterproof paper and notebook.  I thought:  Why not contact Rite in the Rain to see if they would give me permission to use their brand name in my book?  I did this on a lark and because I love the product.  Think about it: you write in the book with pencil and the marks never disappear.  Heck, you can even write on the paper when it’s raining!

I wrote to the folks at Rite in the Rain on e-mail.  No answer for weeks.  Oh, well, I tried.  Then, I get a phone call from the president of the company!  I’m on my boat heading into the resort town of Roche Harbor in Washington State when I get this call, so I’m shouting over the sound of our engine and as we’re searching out a place to dock.  I can’t believe how excited he is about the concept.  Then he tells me: Rite in the Rain notebooks are in the hands of Iditarod mushers and Bering Sea crabbers.  Stories abound about fishermen and naturalists who depend on the waterproof notebooks to keep information intact.
I say:  “But you haven’t read my novel, and don’t forget, the notebook is found in the back pocket of a not very nice dead man!”  He says: “Cool!”

Amazingly, Rite in the Rain agreed to make mini-notebooks for me (with my LIE CATCHERS cover on the front and information about my books inside the cover).  The price they gave me per book was amazing, a fraction of the normal $2.85.  WE WERE PARTNERS!

But now I had to talk my publisher in allowing me to use the brand name in my book.  After some time and some negotiation, we worked out a way to do it and the rest is history.

Here’s one way I’m using the mini-books:
A waterproof Rite in the Rain notebook, found in the back pocket of a dead man sets off turmoil in an Alaska fishing town.  A Treasury agent from Fresno and a free-lance writer from Petersburg have their careers on the line if they can’t figure out the meaning of what’s in the notebook. Read LIE CATCHERS and if you enjoy it and write a review of it, contact me on my website http://rolynnanderson.com/
and I’ll send you a Rite in the Rain mini-notebook! http://www.riteintherain.com/ Find the book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00HJDS1LG

Whew!  I did it!  I followed the rules, yet created something unique for Lie Catchers.  More fun, I have a partnership with the generous folks of Rite in the Rain

So, this is LIE CATCHERS, set in Petersburg, Alaska, where a 1932 crime and a 2013 crime MUST be solved.  Here’s the shortened Amazon address (it's on Kindle exclusively for until April...I'll let you know when print and other versions come out).  http://amzn.com/B00HJDS1LG

Summary:
Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.
Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.
Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.
Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?

17 comments:

LKF said...

How cool. I love how you were able to incorporate your book with a company wiling to endorse you. Loved your post, and your story. Thanks for sharing.
Lynda

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Rolynn, this is just too cool!!! I must have one of those notebooks. LOL I think that's the most awesome thing. Yay you!!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks Lynda and Vonnie. I can't tell you how fun it is to work with a company that loves an adventure. They've gotten me excited about this release!

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Love this branding story! So cool that the president of the company was so excited about it!

Calisa Rhose said...

Isn't it exciting to get the attention of a company when dealing with your books? How cool for you. Save me one of those mini notebooks;I'll be in touch. ;) I just told hubby over the weekend that I need a waterproof notepad, had even Googled them to show him. lol

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Katie and Calisa...I so appreciate your enthusiasm. I had never heard of waterproof notebooks/paper, until I got a sample notepad from a boating friend. This company is ecco-minded as well...all from recycled material!

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

What a great opportunity and kudos for taking the initiative.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Linda. Turned out to be a risk worth taking!

Ana Morgan said...

Fantastic what can happen if you simply ask!

Terry Spear said...

Haha, that's so much fun! :) Love it!

Darcy said...

That is one of the greatest stories I've ever heard. Yay to you, Rolynn, for being so talented and inventive, and yay to Rite in the Rain for being so open to new ideas and ventures. The book sounds wonderful. I'm definitely putting it in my TBR pile.

Alana Lorens said...

What a great idea! I know the editors are pretty touchy about this--coming at them through the Marketing department is genius!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for enjoying the concept with me, Terry. Darcy and Alana, I appreciate your compliments about my adventure. Rite in the Rain was so upbeat and generous...I couldn't help but take their offer to the top and negotiate. I can't wait to go to Petersburg and sell my book in Sing Lee Alley bookstore...Sing Lee's murder is the cold case I solve in the book! Fun, huh?

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for enjoying the concept with me, Terry. Darcy and Alana, I appreciate your compliments about my adventure. Rite in the Rain was so upbeat and generous...I couldn't help but take their offer to the top and negotiate. I can't wait to go to Petersburg and sell my book in Sing Lee Alley bookstore...Sing Lee's murder is the cold case I solve in the book! Fun, huh?

Kathryn Daugherty said...

Rolynn
Thank you for sharing your experience. My experience with “what the heck won’t hurt to ask” came about because of wanting to use a poem in my novel. The poem explains the reference to a penny in the story. I contacted the author, and he was more than pleased to let me use it. He promoted my novel on his website and even wrote a new poem using my story as inspiration. The poem “Pennies from Heaven” by Charles Mashburn is published on the front page of “ A Case of Hearts”. Goes to show it never hurts to ask and unexpected results can happen. I love the idea of waterproof paper, some of my best ideas come to me in the shower.

Lilly Gayle said...

What a clever way to get a brand name in your book and create a new marketing idea. Color me impressed!

LisaRayns said...

That's Awesome!