The truth is that I’m not very good at my job.
When I decided to publish my first book I had this grandiose idea that I would throw it out into the world and it would miraculously sell while I started work on the next one. You see, what I want to do is play in fictional worlds all day long. I want to crawl inside the pages of my latest manuscript and hide out there. But being an author is so much more than just writing. There are other aspects I hadn’t considered when I first took the plunge into this crazy business.
I’m a one-man show. Since I don’t have a publisher, I am in charge of every aspect of the writing and publishing process, which includes editing, revising, formatting, cover design, uploading and marketing. Lucky for me, I have a team of people who help me and they are truly invaluable – my PA, my editor, my cover designers, my beta readers – and up until a book is released things go pretty smoothly. It really is the release and beyond that I suck at. I mean, truly suck at. Can I be real with you? I’m horrible at marketing. My creativity seems to be limited to my characters and plot lines. I have absolutely no creativity when it comes to how to market and promote my work. Plus, I’m tired. As an author, I rarely sleep because my characters keep me up all night talking nonstop in my head. (Okay, I’ll move on so you don’t have me admitted to an insane asylum). And I work pretty much round the clock during the day. So by the time I sit down to brainstorm marketing ideas, my mind is blank.
Earlier this year, I discovered a band I love. They’re called The Neighbourhood, and you may have heard their song Sweater Weather before. What I found interesting about them was their unique branding. All of their videos and images are in black and white and have a very distinct feel. Their music all has a certain distinct mood and feel to it as well. Honestly I was impressed with this group of young men and how well they had branded and marketed themselves. It’s clear from listening to their music that they are creative like me, but unlike me they had come up with a game plan long before releasing their first album.
It sort of made me want to turn back the clock and start over. Before I released my first book I hadn’t thought about who I wanted to be as a writer or what my vision was. In all honesty, I’m not sure I knew at that time. But I do now. I have spent time thinking about who I am, what makes my books unique, and what my vision for the future is. About six months ago I came up with a branding campaign and my tagline was Addicted to Love. I thought it was cute and fun. Problem is that I don’t think it really describes what I’m about. See what I mean about sucking at this part? I can’t even figure out a tagline that works for me. 🙂
Knowing that this isn’t my strong suit, I turned to my fans and asked them what made me different as an author. I got responses like:
In your books I’ve learned to expect the unexpected
Love that heals
Twists I never saw coming
Clean reading experience
You always write good guys. Guys I want my daughter to date
And then I knew it was time to re-brand myself. All of these answers are true. My books are always clean, and the guys are always good, upstanding guys. I actually explained why this is in an earlier blog post called Bike Ride Musings. And I do always have unexpected plot twists in all of my books.
Even though I’d love to hide out with my characters and never have to deal with the business aspect of this job, I know that isn’t possible. It’s also not possible for me to turn back time and start over. So I have to change things up starting today. And today I’m launching a branding campaign. It kicks off with this blog post where I’m revealing my new logo and tagline. In the near future I will be revealing a series of videos for you to get to know me better and hear from my heart. I’ve already posted the first couple earlier this week to get the ball rolling, but check back in for the rest!
Without further ado, here is my new logo:
Thanks for indulging me. Now I’m off to my writer’s cave. My characters are calling!