Thursday, August 3, 2017

Author Branding—Don’t Muddy the Waters (Part 2) by Connie Vines

Before we get to this week’s post, let me summarize last week’s assignment.

How to Design Your Author Brand

Okay, it’s scramble time.  Find a piece of paper and something to write with.  You can use the note app in your phone, but I think pen to paper works better in this case. (If you write under more than one pen name, just select one.)


Write down what your author brand is.  You have 10 seconds. Go!
Time’s up.

Were you able to write down your brand?  Did you use 6 words or less?
Good for you.  You probably have a good idea of what your brand is.

If you didn’t (you are with me) don’t worry.  We will go about fixing the problem.

Brands Need to Be Specific

If you failed, the above test the reasons are likely because:

1. You don’t really know what your brand is yet.
2. You are over-describing your brand and couldn’t write it all down fast/concisely enough.

Now is the time to sit and ponder.  Strip away the contradictions, muddiness, superfluous.

What does a brand do?  A brand is a signal to customers to know what to expect when they see it.
Once they have had experience with a brand, they (hopefully) know what to expect.  Ideally this is a favorable expectation that encourages them to purchase your product, talk to their friends, and take
chances on your next release.

How about a brand like this?

“Daring, Thrilling, Romantic, Action Packed.”

What if we change it to…

“Daring, Thrilling, Sexy, Action Packed”

A big difference isn’t it?

I selected very genre-esque words.  This was my intention because genres play a big role in branding. Brands are also about trust.

Remember genres and sub-genres are their own brands.

This is really important.    We already have a mind-set/ expectations when we select a genre to read.  If you select a “Historical” novel (unless it is a sub-genre) you do not expect or probably appreciate elements of Urban Fantasy in the story-line.  Riding in stage coach, you prim-and-so proper heroine isn’t going to mesh with a hidden magical world featuring Fae, Vampires, and Werewolves.    So, unless you plan on inventing your own sub-genre (SteamPunk/StoneagePunk) with a limited readership, consider what you are inheriting from your genre.

Following these guidelines, I will attempt to come up with a brand for my current Rodeo Romance Series (BLW, BooksWeLove, Ltd.).

Genre:  Contemporary Romance (Lynx), Romantic Suspense (Brede), Contemporary Romance/Humor (Rand), Romantic Suspense (TBT).

I’ll go with Romance as a genre.

Now to the dictionary and thesaurus.

<Suspenseful music plays now>

Will Connie discover her ‘brand’?  Will her readers like her ‘brand’?
<Music continues>

Spoiler Alert:  Connie has awakened the ‘inner series branding’ within her mind!

Author Branding, Part 2.

I know last week I said I’d continue my topic next month.  However, since we are entering the holiday season, I thought I’d provide a mini-update this week.

What series brand did I develop for my Rodeo Romance Series?

“Instant Action. Sizzling Attraction!”   Set amidst the excitement and danger of the rodeo world—Rodeo Romance Series by Connie Vines.

Each novel:
Book 1, What woman doesn’t love a cowboy? Lynx Maddox gallops into your heart in “Lynx”.
Book 2, A hard-edged rancher saves a mysterious woman’s life, placing himself and daughter in jeopardy.  “Brede”.

For my novella series:

“Sassy & Fun Fantasy Series”
Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow, novella 1.

So how did you do on your homework assignment?

Ideas?  Comments about my branding results?

Feel free to post comments or send me an email.


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