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Starting Something New

Happy Wednesday!

I've been thinking a lot about my writing lately and everything that goes along with that. My blog, my social media, and my newsletter all center around my writing and my author "brand." Brand is such a buzzword right now in the author community. I've heard it more and more throughout 2019 and going into this year. Everyone who wants to sell their books and become an author is all about making themselves a brand. I can't remember exactly who was talking about this, maybe it was Victoria Schwab and Dohnielle (I think that's how you spell her name?) on Victoria Schwab's No Write Way Instalive. But whether it was them or not, I listened to some author talk about how branding has evolved through the years. At first an author was known for the publishing house they published with. That was your brand. If you published with Disney Hyperion or HarperCollins, that was your brand. You were known as a HarperCollins author. And then there was a shift and suddenly an author's brand was their books, specifically the genre they wrote in. For a while publishing houses pigeon holed authors into only being able to write one genre because that genre defined them. If you write middle grade retellings, you could only write middle grade retellings. If you wrote YA sci-fi, you could only write YA sci-fi. And then there was another shift and suddenly the author themselves became their brand. I have to admit, I am glad for that shift. It gives a lot of wiggle room for authors. They can now branch out and dip their toes into different genres while still keeping their publishing house and their readers. It also gives self publishing authors a fighting chance to succeed just as much as traditionally published authors. All authors whether self published or traditionally now have to brand themselves. You are the brand.

I like that and am very thankful that I'm self publishing in the age of the author brand. But to have an author brand you also have to know yourself really well. You have to know what your readers will get from you all the time. Your social media, blog, newsletter, ads, books, they all have to be cohesive and flow together. It also means you have to be "on" all the time. You have to be the business and marketing side of things all the time. You have to be selling your books all the time. And honestly... it can be kind of exhausting.

I spent all last year figuring out my brand ever since I took Katie Phillip's seven day class on author branding. It was hard and a lot of work and I honestly still don't think I'm quite there yet, but I had gotten to a pretty good place. I was fairly confident in what I was putting out there and I thought I knew what I wanted from my writing. It's what I've always wanted from my writing. To be a published author that makes a decent amount of money every month. I wanted my books to sell. I wanted to be where Kirsten Oliphant is at with her sweet romance books.

Last year I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I knew what my future in writing and publishing would look like. I thought I had a decent grasp on my brand and what I wanted to be putting out and what audience I wanted to reach. I thought I knew my "why" behind my writing and publishing. But then... I wrote Golden Touch and I wrote Defiant (which, I know... the end of June and still not published!) and I fell in love with writing that speaks from the heart. Then a pandemic hit and the world turned upside down and I started to question everything. Because of the pandemic, I saw the world in a different way... There's a lot of fear and hate and sin in this world. Even more than I could have ever imagined. I questioned what my future would look like with all this fear and uncertainty. It made me reevaluate what I'm putting out on my social media and my blog and my newsletter and what I'm writing in my books.

In the last few months, I realized I'm not satisfied with what I'm doing, what I'm putting out into my tiny corner of the internet and world. I'm just... not satisfied with continuing on the way I have been for so long. It's not good enough. I want more and I want to do more and speak of more than just books and writing and the small, seemingly inconsequential stuff. No, talking about books and writing and fun, easy stuff is not inconsequential. It's important to talk about fun and easy stuff in the midst of so much unrest and fear. But I don't think that's what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't feel fulfilled in that. I don't feel fulfilled in writing books that pander to a market. I'm not fulfilled in mindlessly posting about books and writing tidbits every day on Instagram or getting on here and just talking about whatever. Is that what I want my brand to be? I asked myself. No... I don't want to be known for my easy to read, fast paced YA books or for my question a day posts on Instagram or my instructional blog posts on how to write or how to edit or whatever. I want to be putting out more, doing more, being more.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm writing this to let you guys who follow this blog know that I might be shaking things up a little bit on here. I'm still going to be writing about writing because writing is so important to me. Books and fangirl, geeky stuff is still absolutely going to be a part of this blog because books and fangirling over TV shows and characters are a part of who I am. But there's more to me than just that. I want to share hope and encouragement and God and life with you all. I don't want heartless, mindless interaction on here. I want real community and to do that, I have to get real on here.

After a lot of thinking and a lot of praying, my "brand" is going to change. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but I'm willing and ready to start figuring that out and pursuing a new way of doing things.

I hope you guys are willing to stick around and follow me as I figure it out. Thank you so much to all of you who have been following me and continue to, who comment and chat with me. I love getting to build community and meet new people - new friends - through this blog!

I couldn't resist. Every time I thought of the title of this post, this is what popped into my head lol! 

Comments

  1. *hugs* Whatever you want to do with your brand, we’ll be here. I think it’s really awesome that you’re shaking things up and trying to be more real online - it can be so hard, but you’ve got this. <3 <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement and support!! <3

      Delete
  2. I'm glad you're being flexible in your content. I'm excited to see what you'll post!

    ReplyDelete

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