Monday, November 12, 2012

Creating the Kayelle Allen Logo

People often comment on my logo. It's a face -- well -- a head, really -- made up of words and eyes. The font is Isadora Caps, in case you've ever wondered. The color is what I refer to as Kayelle Pink. ;) It's cc3399 on the hex scale. I love it. It's also used on my website.

Why use a logo instead of a picture of myself? The logo provides a visual representation of me that doesn't change, and establishes a recognizable image for people to identify with my brand. It's simple, and easy to reproduce. And I like it.

I came across the eye image many years ago. It was clip art in MS PowerPoint, and available royalty-free for reuse. The iris is square, and resembles a computer screen. I spend so much time online that's probably how my eyes really look.

I made the logo myself in Photoshop (sincere thanks to my son for teaching me the basics). I copied the eye, flipped it horizontally (making a mirror image) and then set it a good distance away from the other one. It took some playing to get it to look right and to balance it with the other images. I darkened the lashes slightly to make them show up better.

The URL of my website was formed into an arc using the text warp tool. (Click arc to take a quick tour on how to do that.) I fiddled with the shapes for quite some time before they looked right to me. My website focuses on four major things (Art, SciFi, Romance, and Erotica), so those words became the "bangs" of the hair, and helped provide an outline for the head's shape.

Kayelle Allen Avatar
Beneath that, I placed my name, and the phrase that I felt most displayed my writing -- Romance Lives Forever -- beneath that. I have since changed my brand to Unstoppable Heroes, Uncompromising Love, and Unforgettable Passion, but Romance Lives Forever is still a huge part of my writing. After all, if you write about immortals and romance, that sums up the concept! I then added the same four words, and my website.

I've simplified it and made it smaller for Twitter and avatar use, but the basic design is the same. It omits my website and the words at the bottom, but does contain my name. It's a simple design, easy to see, distinct, and easily recognizable. I've used it for over eight years. To establish this image as part of my brand, I consistently use it as my avatar on all online sites and profiles. I don't change it when a new book comes out. No matter where I go or what I do, if I use this logo, people know it's me. 

In September, I was a DragonCon in Atlanta Georgia, and was the moderator for a panel on marketing. As I entered and made my way to the front, Sascha Illyvich, who'd planned the panel, stopped me and introduced me to an author in the audience. He told her she should talk to me about marketing. In the noisy environment, it was hard to hear names, so I pulled out my business card to give her. It had my logo on it, and the moment she glimpsed it she said, "Oh! You're Kayelle Allen!" She was already in my marketing group online and knew who I was. Once I heard her name, I recognized her as well. But it was interesting that it wasn't my face that she recognized. It was my logo.

You know what that means? This little graphic is doing its job. Now you know how and why I created my logo. What do you think? Do you have one of your own? Feel free to share a link and tell us how you created it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Autographs for Your eBooks @evanjacobs #amreading

Many people have autographed books. An author's signature can increase the monetary value of a book (especially for first editions and certain authors), and it can add a great memory as well. With the advent of ebooks, that went away. After all, what would you do? Get the author to use a permanent marker on your ereader? That dilemma caused devoted reader Evan Jacobs to rethink that entire thing.

Evan was attending a reading and when it came time to sign books, he had a Kindle in his hand and no way to get an autograph -- so he decided to make one. Originally, he called it Kindlegraph (Evan worked for Amazon) and it was based on the sales information available publicly through the company. I interviewed him earlier this year on Romance Lives Forever. He has since opened the platform to encompass Nook, Kobo, and all other forms of ereaders.

How's it work?

Readers create an account by using their email or Twitter, search for their favorite authors, and click a button to request an authorgraph. If they are in the system, it sends the request right away. If they are not, when the author signs on, the request will be waiting for them. Then, they create a special signature / autograph unique to that book or reader, and send it via the Authorgraph system. The reader who requested it receives a notice that a file is available for them to download, they accept the file, and appears on their ereader. Ta da! That's it.

Can authors sign up?

Sure thing. All you do is go to and click on "Authors - Sign Up" and then follow the prompts. It's a matter of adding your books. Once you get a request, you can create a "live" signature by drawing your name with your mouse or tablet, or you can pick one of several hand-written fonts. You can also grab a button to put on your website, or make your own. I created the one above. (If you're not handy and want something personalized, I make them via The Author's Secret. Just order a custom button.)
Evan Jacobs and an Authorgraph

Is it free?

It is free to create an account (for readers and authors), and it's free to request or make one. If your ISP charges a delivery fee for your Kindle, there might be a fee for the authorgraph. Check before downloading.

Can I get one from _______?

You can get one from any author who cares to sign up. Just go request it. Your favorite author might already be listed. If they are not, they can easily join.

All this was born from the fact that one reader was disappointed at not being able to get an autograph. That's amazing. Instead of letting the disappointment get him down, he figured out a way to fix the problem. Now, no one else has to be disappointed either, and with Christmas coming, there's no excuse not to get yourself that cool new ereader you've been wanting. So what are you waiting for? Go grab those authorgraphs!

You can get mine here: