Ninie Hammon’s Blog for Writers

Welcome to my NEW WEBSITE!

Posted: September 14, 2014, 10:38AM

         

 Book signings are fun if readers actually show up to have their books signed. Truth is, they usually don't. Who wants an autographed ebook?                  

   

 WELCOME TO MY NEW DIGS!         

         I have a new website. But you knew that—if you’re reading these words, then I’m telling a fish, “Hey, dude, look around. You’re in water.

         To those of you who are first-time visitors to 9e’s blog, imagine a bow and a sweeping “come-on-in” gesture. I’m glad you’re here.

         To those of you who come back week after week to read my stumbling attempts to pass on what I have learned over a lifetime of professional writing, I say: I think you’ll like my new address.

         And to you, Loyal Readers, who’ve climbed through the pages into my imaginary worlds, adopted my characters into your families and changed a little with them as you lived out my stories together, I say: Thank you! You hear the sound of my tree falling in the forest.

         To all of you, individually and collectively, I say: Kick your shoes off, put your feet up on the coffee table and make yourselves at home.

         This new website has been a year in the making—six months of dreaming and another six in construction. Since my former website wasn’t exactly a run-down shack, I’m sure you’re wondering why I moved out. There’s a one-word reason: branding.

         You writers know what I mean by that. Every writer from Bangor to Bangladesh has heard the mantra: You must have a brand! You must have a brand!  But if you’re just starting out, you are likely mildly confused and a little anxious and uncomfortable with that chant. Oh, you intuitively know what a brand is. Duh. Stephen King writes horror fiction—that’s his brand. And his tagline, “King of Horror,” makes it clear his stories will leave you breathless with terror. Jackie Collins writes steamy romance novels. Her tagline “She’ll keep you up all night” captures that brand.

         Brands are a promise to you, Loyal Reader, that when you pick up a Stephen King book, you can expect to find a goose-bump-feast of horror, and you cheerfully plunk down serious change for his newest release because of the brand promise that it will be as terrifying as the last.

         That’s why writers need a brand. And why your career will choke and sputter like grampa’s old John Deere tractor without one. Consider: if Mary-Betty Snodmotz LOVED your first novel, Curse of the Low Lands--a zombie apocalypse dystopian YA murder mystery featuring ninja werewolves and Amish vampires--she’ll likely rush right out to buy your second book. But if she discovers that Curse of the Highlands is set in 17th century Scotland with dudes in skirts seducing raven-haired damsels, Ms. Snodmotz isn’t likely to purchase your third book, no matter what it’s about.

         But you knew that part, too. The problem with branding isn’t that beginning writers don’t understand what it is. The problem is that beginners don’t know what their brand is.

         This may be painful to hear, but branding isn’t something you’re likely to figure out by making a list of 100 possibilities and selecting the one that’ll look good on a business card. Often branding isn’t a decision; it’s a discovery. If you’ve been true to your inner voice, then your writing has something unique to offer Loyal Reader. And often you discover what is unique about it by looking back over a body of work.

         If you’ve written only one book, your brand may not yet be apparent. Mine became clear to me after my fourth book. I sat down then and wrote a Brand Statement and what I called my Promise to Loyal Reader. I believe every writer needs both.

        

         My Brand Statement: Ninie Hammon tells suspenseful stories about ordinary people thrust into life-and-death danger and often into an encounter with the unexplainable.

         Promise to Loyal Reader. In every Ninie Hammon novel you’ll find believable characters—with festering secrets—forced to fight for their lives in dangerous situations full of twists, turns and surprises. You’ll find spiritual themes, inspiration, humor, sadness and hope in a distinctive voice you’ll recognize. You’ll encounter the unexplainable, too, the supernatural smack in the middle of a real-life, ordinary world—and it’s always the game-changer.

        

         Which brings us back to my new digs. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but the website I built after my first book--with its soft pastel colors and ethereal cloudy background--just flat out didn’t articulate what I’m really about as a writer. I write suspense—every flavor except pistachio. Psychological suspense. Historical suspense. Inspirational suspense. Paranormal suspense. Suspense thrillers.

         I needed a website that reflected that brand.

         In the same way that Kentucky Fried Chicken’s finger lickin’ good fried chicken describes a taste experience, the “burning pages” theme of this new website articulates a reading experience. A smoldering tale that catches fire through the telling until normal people living average lives find themselves in a desperate battle just to keep breathing. Killer tornadoes. Catastrophic floods. Deadly coal mine explosions. Secrets from the past, regrets, anger, guilt, revenge and fear. Suspense that cranks up the heat higher and higher.

         To capture in a the word picture KFC’s taste experience, the company’s marketing department came up with the tagline: “Nobody does chicken like KFC.” To capture in a word picture the reading experience of a Ninie Hammon novel, my website designers came up with the tagline: “She sets pages on fire.”

         When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t set out to tell “burning-pages stories.” I didn’t pick that off a list of 100 possible book brands. I just watched the movies in my head and wrote down what I saw. But looking back over nine novels, you can’t miss the rising smoke. This new website, and the re-designed covers on my books and book collections, are an effort to articulate that brand, to tack words onto what I’m about as a writer.

         “She sets pages on fire” is the brand promise I make to Loyal Reader with every book I write.

         I hope you’ll spend some time here on my new site, poking your head into cupboards, nosing around in the attic, maybe standing in front of the open refrigerator, staring blankly at the contents. I want all of you to feel comfortable here—because this is my virtual HOME. It’s where I sit down and chat with honored guests like you.

        

          






Comments

Judith Blevins September 20, 2014, 12:32AM

Ninie,
Love the new website. I believe you really hit the mark you were aiming for right between the eyes. Of course, you always do. I loved the old site, but think I will enjoy this one more. It feels more immediate, if you understand what I'm saying. It makes me want to get everything you offer right now. You already know that I own all your books except (When Butterflies Cry). By the way... When can I get it? Congratulations on a beautiful site. I just subscribed to both your new blogs.
Your faithful reader,
Judy B.   Reply

Replies (1)

emmy June 28, 2015, 8:27PM

Ninie,
I love your books. what a great job you do with your novels. God bless you.    Reply

Replies (1)

Jackie Jones July 22, 2016, 10:30AM

Drat. I lost the entire thing I wrote because I didn't notice the verification number on the bottom. Sorry. Can't remember what I said, but it was high praise. I do remember saying I loved your books, that they grab you like a pit bull with a bone and don't let go. Bits of them surface, off and on, for days. Thank you for inviting me into your web site and into your mind.   Reply

Replies (1)


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"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author
NINIE HAMMON

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.