The PAN portion of the RWA 2016 Conference in San Diego, offered me a helpful session on BRANDING, pushing me to evaluate where I’ve moved as a writer…from what to what? I needed the nudge.
When I started publishing my books in 2011, I had to name my genre, romantic suspense. But I soon learned the spectrum of plot-rich, suspenseful romances was wide and wooly. (And don’t even get me started on the mystery/thriller aspects. I’ll talk about those nuances in another blog.) Now that I’m preparing to launch novels seven and eight, I should be able to explain my niche. Point is, if I can’t describe the nature of my work to readers, who can?
Enter Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan, two delightful presenters who know a thing or two about branding. Visit them on http://www.your-a-game.com
I’ve used three words to define me: Suspense Spiked with Romance. After eight novels and significant changes in my writing, do those words still describe my stories? My website designer suggested my novels were unique because of their exotic settings. I hadn’t thought about that motif until she brought it up. Note to self: ask my readers to describe commonalities in my novels!
Heidi and Damon led me through some exercises to help me define myself. They helped me pick seed words which described what made my work stand out; they asked me to use the five senses to describe my brand. (Prosciutto and cantaloupe pairing, anyone?) I’ve learned I enjoy solving mysteries in my books; romance (though still vital to the story), lately takes a back seat to action and plot twists.
My websites, covers, blog entries, swag, postcards and business cards need to trot out my brand. I must convey my passion with a strategy, say Damon and Heidi. I’m working to implement their ideas. I think they could help you, too.
My blog entry today is the first on my new website. Does my website promote my brand and my passion? Comments Yay or Nay are welcome. But most important is for me to ask you the question: What’s the status of your brand (s)?