Book Publishing

Luce Launch Book Party at Denver Deep Dish Pizza

10389967_10100294746847076_7815068059528618322_nAttending a party thrown in your honor is a little awkward. I remember my high school graduation party—lots of great cake, punch, and friends and family congratulating me. On the one hand, I felt a lot of pride at my accomplishments. On the other, a “why is everyone looking at me?” discomfort. That’s a bit how I felt during the launch of Luce as well! I’m lucky to have Tami Milbrandt, a friend and expert marketer, helping me with the marketing for my books. She planned every detail of the party, from the surprise champagne toast to the arrangement of the book-signing table and much, much more. IMG_1287She arranged for the party to be held at Denver Deep Dish, a new, hip deep-dish pizza establishment in the super-cool Highlands neighborhood of Denver. Many attendees commented to me that they hadn’t heard of Denver Deep Dish, but would certainly be coming again soon!

Luce MenuFirst of all, let me say that the food was amazing. Tami orchestrated a Dynam-and-Luce themed menu that really hit the spot. The pepperoni pizza is quite literally award-winning, and you can tell! “The Calista,” my drink of choice for the evening was also a favorite with cucumber vodka, a champagne float, and you guessed it—a little Saint Germaine.

One of the most surreal moments of the night was when someone came up to the book signing table and earnestly asked, "Why did you change from 'Samantha Peterson' to 'S. M. Peterson'? Is that what the fans wanted?" I laughed. Fans? Do I have fans? No... I just know some really cool people who happen to spend some of their precious time reading my books. Those aren't fans... Are they?

I was so incredibly touched at the number of people who came by—members of my book club , friends from hours away, and fans I hadn’t met yet. A few notable guests were my aunt, uncle and cousin, who surprised me by driving all the way from Iowa to join us. What an amazing family I have! I also had the chance to catch up with my cover designer, Christopher Cover, who traveled from New Hampshire to attend and explore Denver. Thank you to everyone for helping me celebrate!luce ladies

If you didn’t make it to the event, you missed a great party! You can check out all the photos from the event on the Dynam Facebook Page.

If you haven't purchased your copies of Dynam and Luce, now is your chance! Grab them on Amazon today:

Thank you for your incredible support!


S. M. Peterson

Denver Novel Launch Party for Dynam

Hey Everyone! As you know, I hosted the official Dynam novel launch party on Friday, December 13th 2013 at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew. The launch was a great success! I was lucky to have a large number of friends, family, and strangers in attendance. Here are some details and photos about this Denver novel launch party!

The Venue

In case you haven't been there, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is an amazing micro-brew on 28th and Larimer Streets. They opened one year ago, and have contributed to the rapidly expanding neighborhood atmosphere in Five Points. I am lucky enough to know a few of the employees at OMF, which is why my party was hosted there. (They are also mentioned in the book! Can you remember what page?)

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Logo

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Colorado

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Colorado

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Colorado

The Set-Up

I made a giant book cover because it seemed like a fun thing to do. No other real reason. I have two amazing friends who brought flowers (awww!) so those dressed up the table nicely. In the lower right picture, you can see Jaime Palmucci, who is the cover model!

Samantha Peterson & Brittany Conrad  Dynam Novel Launch Party at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Colorado

Denver Author Samantha Peterson Dynam Launch Party Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew Denver Colorado

Jaime Palmucci & Samantha Peterson at Dynam Novel Launch, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Denver Colorado

The People

A large number of people showed up, but unfortunately I neglected to get a final count. Maybe next time!

Rick Peterson, Justin Peterson, Chris Depew at Dynam Novel Launch Party at Our Mutual Friend in Denver Colorado

Me and my big brother!

Justin Peterson & Samantha Peterson Dynam Novel Party Denver Colorado

This big crowd of people is from my hometown of Arnold, Nebraska!

Dynam Novel Launch Party Denver CO

Dynam Novel Launch Party Denver CO

These are my parents, Rick and Barb Peterson, and my brother, Justin Peterson.

Barb Peterson, Rick Peterson, Justin Peterson at Dynam Novel Launch Party Denver Colorado

Rick Peterson, Justin Peterson, Joelle Carlson at Dynam Novel Launch Party Denver

Samantha Peterson Denver Author, Brittany Conrad, Glenn Pelster

Thanks everyone for the support and love! I was truly touched at the number of people who came out, and the book sales weren't too shabby either!



Tattered Cover will Stock Dynam


It's frigid in Denver this week, but I got some good news last night that warmed me up nicely!Dynam Quote Tattered Cover will stock Dynam in their selection of local authors!

For those of you not familiar with Denver, Tattered Cover is a community gathering place, a literary landmark, and a true destination. The store started as a 950-square foot retail space in 1971. Since that time, it has grown to three massive locations in Denver. A new location will open soon at Denver International Airport.

Tattered Cover boasts an enormous collection of literary works. One of the best parts of the company is their strong, community-centric culture. They offer children's outreach, business services, book club outreach and support local authors like me!

I visited Tattered Cover today to grab a copy of Gillian Flynn's Dark Placeswhich is next on my list to read. (If any of you have read Gone Girl, you know why I had to dig into another Gillian Flynn book! Gal knows what she is doing for sure!) The atmosphere in Tattered Cover is pretty remarkable. Hidden corners and cozy armchairs allow readers to quietly peruse books. The friendly and attentive staff stands readily available to answer any questions. Local art and literature event flyers color the community boards. In short, Tattered Cover feels like a big, warm home.

I'm incredibly honored and excited to be a part of the local authors on display at Tattered Cover. I'm not sure of the exact date my novel will be available in-store, but I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, here's an inspiring quote from the novel.

Happy trails!


Dynam Denver Book Launch Party at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew!


It's all ready to go! Dynam is officially for sale! I've spent the last year:

  • Writing
  • Re-writing
  • Editing
  • Realizing it wasn't good enough, and editing again
  • Hiring an amazing copy-editor, Susan from Adirondack Editing to clean up my messes
  • Fixing all of my mistakes
  • Discovering that formatting a book is WAY more challenging than one could ever guess!
  • Accepting the help of amazing friends for cover art, website help, and design suggestions
  • Drowning in marketing options

And it's finally ready!

The official Denver book launch party will take place in Denver, Colorado on December 13th at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew. I am lucky enough to be friends to a few of the people who own and work at this fantastic Denver landmark. They brew some tasty beer, and the atmosphere is perfect for the Dynam launch party. They are also mentioned in the book. Can you guess what page?

The party is "Buy a Book, Get a Free Beer!" so make sure to bring your confirmation code from and you'll get a free one, on me! Click the banner below for more details.

Friday the 13th could be good or bad! What's your vote? Are you superstitious?

Dynam Denver Book Launch Party



To begin, Dynam will be available on Amazon as a paperback, and on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo as an ebook version. Are there other versions you would like me to add?



Bawling My Face Off While Reviewing My Novel's Proof Copy


Dynam NovelAfter reading your own work for the seventh or eighth time it gets pretty boring. It's not that you no longer love the characters, or that you don't enjoy the twists and turns of the plot. It's like hearing "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen for the 100th time. It just gets a little stale. Okay that's a huge lie. I still listen to that song on repeat.

I guess my point is that after reading your own work so much, you lose sight of the whole and begin to focus on the details. You start considering adjective choice, whether or not you need more white space on the page (usually the answer is "yes" in my case, right Susan?), or how wide the margins should be. You review whether your characters are lovable or if the plot is engaging.

When I got the first proof copy in the mail, I was surprised at how much it impacted me. My lovely future sister-in-law jumped up and down and squealed at me to open it. I was about to walk out the door on a date, so I quickly ripped open the cardboard to reveal the book that lay inside it.

My book.

But even though I was thrilled to have a "real" book in my hand, I immediately picked out six or seven things that would need changed.

It wasn't until I received this copy in the mail today that I actually cried. When you mull over the hours of yourself you dump into a project, the self-doubt, the late nights, and then finally see all of it culminate into something real, the feeling is indescribable.

So I bawled. :)


Book Formatting Disasters in InDesign


When learning how to self-publish, I read article after article about all of the little things that a self-published author needs to keep in mind when using a POD (print-on-demand) publishing service. Alignment, "em" indentation, and running headers were not things I ever noticed or considered while reading on my own. But, of course, if you design the interior of a book correctly, the point is that you don't notice the interior design. The only time a reader really notices design is if it is poorly executed. Or, if you've tried doing it yourself!

Nearly every article stressed how challenging it is to format your book. I didn't believe it...

...and I should have. So far I've spent about a week trying to make my book pretty on the inside. I'm getting closer, but InDesign has caused me way too many headaches as I deal with the book formatting. A few tips for anyone else out there trying to do this:

Do as much as you can with styles in Word before moving your book over to InDesign. It will save you lots of time. If you wrote your book using styles, you're already far ahead of the game.

book formatting indesign

  • Take a look at books that you've read and note the size of the pages BEFORE you place your text in InDesign. Don't forget to look at margins!  I assumed that it would be simple to change my book size in InDesign after editing my paragraph styles. It isn't.
  • Review the interior of  some professionally published books and check out what your preferences are as far as running headers, page numbers, and white space. Keep notes!
  • Leading should be 50% larger than typeface. (In other words, use the 1.5 spacing option.)
  • Turn ON optical margins.
  • The first paragraph indent for each new style should be flush left. The other paragraphs shouldn't be 1/2 inch, the way it's set up in Word automatically. It should be em indented instead.
  • Use an established font like Garamond, Minion, Janson, Electra, Caslon or Bembo. Your print book font should be 10 point. EBooks should be 12 point.

The good thing about self-publishing is examples of professional publishing formats abound on your bookshelf. Anytime I felt stuck, I opened books at random on my shelf and figured out what I liked and didn't like about various set-ups. Copy the masters!

Food for thought!



Cover Art Photo Shoot for Dynam Novel

Thank goodness for talented friends! A few weeks ago some close buddies of mine helped me out with the cover art photo shoot for my novel, Dynam. Julianne Brasher is a fashion and wedding photographer in the Denver metro area. Her use of light and shadowing has always impressed me, and since she's also one of the most creative people I know it was easy to decide who I wanted photographing my cover art. Julianne's wedding photography business has blown up in the past year, and has rapidly become one of the most desirable photographers in the Denver-metro area. She has also recently expanded her business to the west coast, particularly in the Los Angeles area.

Another friend, Jaime Palmucci, is one of those girls that you can easily see could make it big in the modeling industry. She is also the founder of an extremely popular blog , proving she's got more than enough brains behind that pretty face of hers. She is an extremely talented digital marketer and communications expert.

With talented friends like these, it's no wonder my cover art came out looking amazing!  Here's a picture I took...of Julianne taking a picture. :)


Julianne Brasher of Julianne Brasher Photography, taking a picture of Jaime Palmucci, founder of



Love, Samantha Peterson