Karl Beckstrand

  • International Book Award winner and Utah Humanities Council “Author on Main Street”
  • Experienced in high tech, public policy, film, radio, and TV broadcasting
  • A seventeen-time published author and publisher with more than 40 ebook titles

Travels from Salt Lake City, Utah

Contact Forte Speakers for keynote fee

International Book Award winner and Utah Humanities Council “Author on Main Street” Karl Beckstrand is a seventeen-time published author and publisher with more than 40 ebook titles. Mr. Beckstrand presents to large organizations and small groups on Writing, Publishing & Marketing Your Story for Broadest Impact; Experience, Education & Earning Money – A Place for your Gifts; The Arts & Education, Entrepreneurship, Media, Family, Organization, Diversity, and America.

An engaging speaker, consultant, and workshop facilitator, Beckstrand has experience in high tech, public policy, film, radio, and TV broadcasting—including screenplays, speeches, and Web content. He teaches media at a state college and contrasts traditional with digital/self-publishing. He has worked with people from all continents (except Antarctica) and lives to exchange ideas with individuals, organizations, families, and educators. He is passionate about literacy and using the arts to give people of all backgrounds a vision of their worth and potential.

Karl has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Two publishers produced his early multicultural children’s books. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing & Gozo Books—producing captivating stories, ads, and scripts.

He has lived in South America (Chile), been a Spanish-English interpreter, and is learning German. He has visited Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Spain, Canada, Bulgaria, Mexico, France, Peru, and the Czech Republic. His ancestors hail from South Africa, Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, England, and Ireland.

Mr. Beckstrand’s Y.A. fiction, ebook mysteries, nonfiction/biographies, Spanish & bilingual books for kids (with ESL/ELL pronunciation guide), short stories, wordless books, and picture book app feature diverse characters of color and have been lauded by the Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and ForeWord Reviews Magazine (see Premiobooks.com/press).

His racially balanced work has appeared in numerous media programs as well as The Children’s Miracle Network, The Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives, Papercrafts Magazine, LDS Film Festival, various broadcasts, and PremioPublishing.com.

Mr. Beckstrand has lived abroad and has been a guest instructor/trainer for SUECON (education conference), Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, California’s Capital Book Festival, Utah Educational Library Media Association, Salt Lake City Book Festival, PCI Webinars, Called to Learn conference, Utah Humanities Council, Murray City Writer’s Workshop, Utah Housing Coalition, Midvale City Reading Program, Utah Office of Education, professional groups, and schools. He facilitates panels, workshops, and labs (in Spanish or English) and does short Skype appearances at no charge.

He can present in both Spanish and English.


Links to video clips:





Keynote and Workshop Topics (50 – 110 Minutes each)

Creating, Publishing & Marketing Your Book /E-book for Broadest Impact

How do you write and publish a book/ebook–and have it read? How to get your story into decision-makers/readers’ hands? In the digital age, plot, character and setting are still essential; what has changed is distribution. Ebooks often outsell physical books. Award-winning publisher Karl Beckstrand presents the pros and cons of traditional, self-, and e-publishing (including Print on Demand). He shares how to market to a global audience using traditional and new media. He tells how to find an illustrator, agent, and editor. He can take questions and recommend options based on participant needs (in English or Spanish). Participants will learn how to research, organize, write, publish, and market their stories (including Internet options, fiction, and non-fiction). Throughout the presentation, Beckstrand asks the audience to provide examples of successful stories and discuss why they succeed.


Entrepreneurship & Your Life’s Gifts

Finding your life’s work and making a happy difference in the world

Examining one’s life for gifts and passions can empower a person to know his/her strengths and purpose. Beckstrand shares how to discover and craft one’s unique life’s work, and how to contribute to the larger community. Now THAT’S fulfillment! He speaks on assembling a team to maximize reach. He guides people on business or organization set-up–and on sharing one’s vision with the world. Participants will be able to evaluate whether their passion is something one can live on–or something to give in spare moments (includes Q&A and information on business start-up & resources, marketing, and networking.


Diversity Enriches Everyone

How diversity makes communities and individuals better

Bestselling author Karl Beckstrand is passionate about literacy and using the arts to give people of all backgrounds a vision of their potential. His multicultural biographies, fiction, ebook mysteries, activity and language books (Spanish-English with pronunciation guide) feature ethnically diverse characters and have been lauded by the Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and ForeWord Reviews Magazine. Mr. Beckstrand shares his stories with wit and compassion–emphasizing that every person is valuable and has gifts that contribute to the broader community. He has worked with people from all parts of the world–especially Latin America (he lived in Chile for two years).


Artistic Education

10 fun ways to engage learners via the arts (and food)

Where do stories come from? How does a story become a book/e-book/film/play? Can you paint? How did your family end up where you live? Can you eat that? Karl Beckstrand lives to share ideas with educators, parents, and groups–in English or Spanish–on how to engage learners in story creation/performance, healthy lifestyles, family history, and family fun time. His learning activities include themes of courage, faith, sharing, and friendship. Activities convey important skills and human values while entertaining all ages. Participants will be able to implement activities in one-on-one or classroom settings for hands-on learning and engagement.


Finding & Sharing Family Stories

Simple steps to documenting and publishing stories for posterity & the world (including writing your autobiography)

“I grew up hearing the stories of my ancestors, which include pilgrims, Mormon pioneers and possibly Native Americans. I love to share their lessons. I’m researching the third in a series on ancestors who immigrated to America as children.” Where is your family from? How does a family or personal story become a book/e-book? Participants will learn how to research family histories and biographies, interview family members, create and document stories, and publish them for family or the world—using genealogy sites, traditional publishing and e-publishing, and traditional and social media (includes e-books and biographies. Can be a panel or workshop).

Writing for Mass Media

How to write news, screenplays, Web, and ad content to win viewers and media attention

Beckstrand gives a crash course on script writing, Associated Press style, and/or writing for the Web. He’ll show how to get your work into decision-makers’ hands, the difference between benefits and features (how to avoid hype), and headlines that will grab media professionals. He’ll tell how to land an interview or a spot on a show. He can also answer questions regarding inverted pyramid story structure, formatting, treatments, summaries, metadata, links, press releases, and other details that can get a story noticed.


“Karl has proven to be a wealth of information and knowledge regarding written and verbal communications on a broad basis. He has always performed well and on target with each of the assignments I’ve given him over the last seven years. I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone with the need for his valuable expertise.”  Wayne Brandolino, Orion Music Festival

“Thank you for making the story times so much for fun for the kids and being so reliable and great! … thank you for all of your support and willingness to travel.” –Susannah S., Outreach Coordinator, Utah Housing Coalition

“Karl has an incredible way of using his gifts and skills to connect. … Karl easily reaches audiences and keeps them! Karl is also a fantastic resource, networked to many media outlets, publishing contacts, speakers, and authors. Karl is personable and honest — two assets sought after highly in today’s business world!”  Tiffany Coughran, charity founder

“Karl has a way of activating your imagination! His creative flow never stops and his outstanding published works are the result. Not only is Karl creative and humorous but he also brings home a solid lesson to his [audience]. Pure enjoyment.”  Greg Pace, AGP Companies

 “Karl, I had Parent Teacher Conferences last night and a parent told me that the one thing that has had the biggest impact on her son this year was having you come to speak. He is very shy and has speech problems that keep him from expressing himself very well verbally. He came home from school that day so excited that he was going to be an author when he grows up. She said he has made several books since then and is excited to practice his writing.”  Joanna Young, Altara Elementary

 “In the decade-plus I’ve known Karl he has consistently exhibited creativity–and a focus and enthusiasm for life that I am quite proud to witness as his success in bringing his [works] to market. … I strive to help others live with the ease of joy Karl naturally possesses. This quality positively infects his books and enriches his [audience’s] experiences.” Simone da Rosa, Wellness Coach

“I truly enjoyed To Swallow the Earth, and would highly recommend it to anyone who fancies something a little different! It certainly is a page turner, and incredibly visual. Beautiful!” from interview on Chanatkins