Building your brand Part 3

Part 1 was the decision to go whole hog and then develop your tagline as a writer that kind of sets the mood for your journey.

Part 3 isn’t so easy. Writing better, more complex stories. While writing well is always the goal, committing to learning to write better isn’t.  It’s tough. I already have a toughened ego from years of being edited and rejected. Now, I have to learn to open myself up further to accept instruction, take it to heart and use it to write better. 

I’ve purchased probably 50 writing books and have kept about 10 close to my heart ad writing area. After I got my first three published, I went back and looked for the deeper meaning or things that didn’t apply to me then but now had special meaning for me.

When I found out my editor used a writing program to catch the more mundane problems, I bought the program. One is AutoCrit, another is ProWriting Aid and a third is Grammerly. They all have a free option where you can’t put in as many words as the pay version but you can certainly slog your way through them to see if they might help. (They will.)

Mine catches such things as vague or abstract words, over used words, sticky sentences, too many pronouns, etc. Things I don’t want to think about as I write the first draft. 

Do you stand out in a crowd? I think it’s always the writing and the story and the characters but once you get close, branding is the edge to set you up for success. 

Part 4 Stoicism in the face of Criticism


Part 2 Your tagline

I read about this as I was working on a tagline for my upcoming release, working title, “The Christmas List.”  A tagline for a novel is a 10-15 word phrase that gives an emotional snapshot of your novel. An Author Tagline is different. It encompasses the type of novels you create so readers can quickly see what you’re about. Here’s one of the places I looked at for research:

It’s all about sticking in someone’s brain long enough for them to click the “BUY” button.

How to find your tagline as an author? Pick 2-5 words that you want readers to associate with your message. I write clean romance that’s light-hearted, occasionally all out funny. 

“Sweet romance that makes you smile”.  

I’ll try that for a while. It will go on my new cards, my new website (soon, master, soon) and wherever else I can stick that puppy.  I showed you mine, now you show me your tagline.

Brand Building Part 1

Okay, so the first part of building a brand is the why. Prism, my publisher, was acquired  by Pelican. I have my first title okayed for the new publisher and thought this was a great opportunity to go pro.  The working title is The Christmas List but who knows what it will end up being. 

It’s a cute story about a woman who lives by list making, much like moi.  Of course she meets a carefree spirit artist who doesn’t have a thing in common with her List of Husband Qualities. But, he’s a keeper.

Itiem number one: get rid of existing business cards. I have my old ones but once I get the new cover, I’ll get them redone. In the meantime, hand out as many as possible!

Cost $10.00

Building Your Brand as a Writer

I made a decision today. I’m sitting at the racetrack watching my adult son circle Road America at dizzying speeds on his motorcycle during a track day. A track day is where riders practice on a track.  Below is a picture of him goofing around.

So, back to my decision. I’m going to get serious about my platform.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m serious about my writing but I have always viewed my platform as a necessary evil. Now, I’m going to try and view it as an ally to get my message out. Follow along in the next week as I stumble step by step building a platform that will work for me as a partner. 

The Deadliest Game

I remember when they banned dodgeball in my school. As an inept nerd, I was overjoyed. As I cheered, the white tape holding my glasses together cut into my soft nose. Was it possible that I would keep a pair of glasses without incident throughout an entire school year? It looked promising unless I had them on while reading and fell asleep.  

Cut to rings of disappointed boys playing tag instead of pummeling nerds at warp velocity. Now they had to be content with shoving tag. 

Cut to decades later, I am a science teacher.

Imagine my horrified surprise upon finding the reinstatement of the Deadliest sport. The reincarnation uses soft-ish small diameter balls that whistle when whipped through the heavy air of the gym with a whine of impending doom.

I stand outside, lest a misdirected ball find its way to my designer rims and custom ground glass lenses.  Pity the children within who are forced to participate. I’m holding a roll of white of white medical tape for them. 

Never can say goodbye….

Ah, the Jackson 5 song says it all.  I’m done with my newest novel, tentatively titled, “This Worthy Heart,” and I can’t let it go. Just cannot, cannot cannot send it to my editor. One more read through, one more edit. And now that I’m re-reading Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, I have a million things I’d like to change, must change, so it sparkles. Never Can Say Goodbye

Picture from Awesome daily: me sitting on my novella….

Maas the Man

Reading or re-reading Writing the Breakout Novel is so enlightening after hitting my third published novel. I know I read this a ton of years ago, but I’m seeing new things even in the introduction. For example, in the foreward, for goodnss sake, Donald Maas says he took an informal survey of how readers chose the books they read. Unlike teachers, who try to keep up with professional texts AND what our students are reading and reading for pleasure, his survey showed people picked books by word of mouth or they liked a previous author. KABLOUIE! 

Stop angsting about your blog like I do (not writing but angsting) or spending your precious seat time tweeting politics. WRITE and write the best novel you possibly can.