Monday, January 20, 2014
Monday Mentionables: Working on Author Brand
One of my goals for 2014 is to sharpen, and perhaps recreate, my author brand.
Branding is a key component to any successful business. We all recognize McDonald's golden arches, or the Starbucks lady inside the green circle, or the silver Jaguar hood ornament. We know in an instant what we'll get for our money. Author branding does the same thing. It makes a promise to the reader about what kind of story you'll get if you pick up a title by any particular author. It's necessary for success - and it's also bloody challenging.
When I first started writing, I just wanted to write. I wanted to tell stories. I had a vague sense of what kinds of characters and settings drew me in: contemporary, male-female, PG-13 or maybe R rated. My first 3 "One Night" books had the added instant brand of being "24-hour romances" which was kind of unique at the time. But beyond that, I'm painfully aware that I do not have a precise brand associated with my name. That is one of my goals this year, to try and address that.
Branding requires you to take a close look at what you write, what you offer the reading public and how you want to be known. And in this world of online everything, your social media presence has to reinforce that brand as well. I'm still in the early stages of trying to figure this process out, but one thing I know that I love to write is small-town romance. With the exception of my "One Night" novels (and honestly, One Night in Napa would probably fall into this small-town genre as well), all my stories are set in small towns. This, of course, is no coincidence. I grew up in a small town. I currently live in a small town. I've lived in big cities, and I've traveled all over the world, but I always come back to the comfort and safety and sense of community that a small town offers. I love writing about those quirkish characters, the secrets a town can hold and the way the people there know you and your family almost better than you know yourself.
So I'm thinking that perhaps the idea of spicy small town romances might be my brand. If you've read my books, what do you think? I'm trying to come up with a tagline that will play into this idea. Here are a few I'm tossing around...please throw in your suggestions as well!
Where small town meets spice...
Soul mates...secrets...spice...welcome to Small Town, USA!
Explore the secrets of small town life...
Small towns...full of secrets and spice!
Where small towns are full of secrets and spice...