Tag Archives: writing

WOW – Writers Words of Wisdom

This is a new weekly column that I’ve joined with the others authors over at Writers Words of Wisdom to produce.

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Take a look at the other authors topics at these locations.

Paloma Beck: http://romancebeckons.blogspot.com/search/label/WoW

Lacey Wolfe: http://laceywolfe.com/blog.html

BRANDING YOURSELF

This sounds terribly painful in the day to day world. However, it is one of the relatively new words in marketing. Brand yourself with a presence that makes a statement about what you are about.

I had the opportunity to visit the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild this past week and attend a session by Allie Pleiter, an Inspirational Romance Novelist from the Chicago Area. She has some interesting things to say about writing, marketing and conducting business as an author. I wish to share my take on what she had to say and how it impacts me as an author. I had been ‘poking’ at the branding concept for some time. I had business cards made at Vista Print and chose one of their canned logos with a skull and flowers around it. I constructed the phrase, “Leave Your Safe World Behind” as a tag line. I have a few t-shirts with the logo on it and my name “Eden Glenn Erotic Romance Author” I have the tag line and my website on the back. It’s very attractive. Yet I wasn’t sure the logo was doing it for me.  As my critique partner said, skulls say gothe or pirates. Not so much either one.

Okay, on to what I learned from Allie Pleiter.

“Because marketing matters for everyone now” She said. I’ve accepted this as part of my life. The door that opened to allow me into the epub world also let in a host of others all wanting to find readers. It is a tough world out there to find readers and get their attention.

The process Allie went through was a self analysis to target yourself. Authors more than ever diversify their writing so finding a common thread and branding you as an author has become more important than ever. Follow me as I employed her three part process to find my “Brand”.

Part 1

“Analyze the reviews of three writers you want to be like. Why do people like J.R. Ward etc…. Analyze their reviews. What are the attributes they are drawn to. If you want to be like them, shoot for their attributes.”

What are reviewers saying about their work and why do the reviewers say they like about those authors. Where is a common thread there for me?

Okay, so I adore: J.R. Ward, Joey Hill, and Angela Knight

I looked up J.R. Ward’s first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Dark Lover. First overwhelming moment is realizing that book has 778 customer reviews. Jeash.

Ravenous Reader says “If you’re looking for a book that’s well written, has interesting, flawed characters you want to root for, heroes and heroines that have amazing chemistry, compelling relationships, and great love scenes, AND a plot that keeps you turning the pages, this is the book (and series) for you!”

Gingersnap said “I laughed, I gasped and sweated reading every last page of this book. As another reviewer said, “The Black Dagger Brotherhood owns me…”. Dark, magical, full of lust, love and action, this book will posess you. Well, well JR Ward… dont mind if I do.”

Kalea said “I have without a doubt The Black Dagger Brotherhood will have a cult following. It’s dark, dramatic, and the characters are likable. They all have their own little kinks.”

I was also surprised at the number of horrible reviews. I mean really horrible. That is something for me to hold on through the future years as a writer. Not everyone is going to like everything. Your value is not controlled by the reviews you get.

Next, I looked at Joey Hill “Something About Witches” book that I am loving. I was sucked in from the first line.

L Finder said “If you want a book that will have you laughing, have you crying, and have you thrilled to be in the company of strong, smart sexy characters, buy this book.”

Linda Crooks said “Something About Witches is vivid and smart, and Joey W. Hill is a breathtakingly sensual writer. Complex, gut-wrenchingly emotional, and jam-packed with action and angst, you won’t want to put this one down. This is one intense read; it will grab your heart, shake it around a bit, and not let go until the very last page.”

Then, Angela Knight – The Time Hunters

So many books said “Angela Knight uses words to craft a believable world and compelling characters. She does it right, she does it well. I can see, smell, feel,touch and taste her stories. When I read her books I feel as if I’m there.”

M. Nix: “Warrior is action-packed with danger and a flaming hot love story.”

L. Curtis: “The characters are three dimensional, the plot’s realistic and intriguing, and setting draws you into her world.”

Okay, So what am I seeing here as a common thread that I relate to in my work. Dark, edgy, compelling, three dimensional characters, emotional, Takes you into their world. Action, Danger, Erotic, sensual

My tag line works. “Leave Your Safe World Behind” I take readers into my world. I want them to have an emotional experience reading my books. I want three dimensional characters with flaws. Believable, compelling, Dark and Dramatic.

The next thing in developing a brand that she said was to

Part 2.

Descriptions of Media Characters who capture your affection / attention.

Adam Lambert; Jason Mamoa ( Khal Drogo in the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones), and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider fame)

Adam Lambert, professional singer, Talented, smart, erotic, edgy but personable. Takes you on an emotional journey through music

Khal Drogo, Conan were roles played by Jason Mamoa. Powerful, erotic, mysterious, edgy

Lara Croft – Strong, secretive, sexy, Smart.

What do these three media personalities have in common. They are all sexy, smart, fierce, edgy. They are like the characters I want to create in my writing. And again, I’m in luck my “Leave Your Safe World Behind” tag line continues to work. The concept is the writers you respect and the media characters or personalities that you like will reveal that core about yourself that you need to define and tie to your writing. This information isn’t your brand but it helps you focus you toward your brand. My tag line was already created but this exercise could have helped me refocus to a truer tag line. Fortunately, I think my tag line is a pretty accurate reflection.

Part 3

Choose a metaphor

Hers was a disco ball. It reflects light. Permission to be a little stupid. Chance to lighten up a little bit.

I’m not sure what my metaphor would be.  I am thinking a door, doorway, and archway?

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I’m not sure how that would work in terms of a logo? What are your thoughts?file8661296144575

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file5051286995088She said if you are not excited by the results of your investigation you are not there yet. Ask yourself: What are the themes in your writing. What do you value. What do you want to be. Why do you write. That is close to your brand.

Her brand ended up being Adventure. Her parenting books were an Adventure in Parenting. The knitting blog and Adventure in Yarn, her fiction, Adventures in Historical Fiction, Adventures in Contemporary Fiction. Adventure was the hub. Her logo became a compass. The adventure isn’t out there. You hold the compass. The adventure starts right where you are, became her tag line. So you see the pattern.

Her closing comment on this segment was about promoting. It is often hard for authors to promote themselves. Yet when they find their core values and passion they find it easy to promote those values.

So, lets discuss your discoveries. What are your tag lines and logos? What do you think my logo should be?

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Fantasy Man Monday

Happy Halloween ya’ll.

Samhain! ohhh, puts me in mind of all kinds of luscious hero types.

What would you like for Halloween?

Sexy Soldier?

A fireman, perhaps?

Cowboys are always popular.

I personally always wanted to be on the side of the Indians.

Fantasy Man Monday

Today’s Fantasy Man fodder search (Say that three times fast) took me searching for sexy men and their pets. On initial query I found pictures of bad dudes with scorpions. That really wasn’t the tone I was looking for today. However, I dug deeper and found these pictures that perhaps will make you say “Awww, Oooo!”

What is it about men and dogs? Guys take a note, instant conversation starter with girls. Cute dog goes along way as a character reference.

I passed a guy with his boxer dog on an outing at the farmers market, last week. The dog was a model of obedience. As a former animal trainer that spoke volumes to me about the kind of man I would find on the other end of the leash.

This guy might not have made Fantasy Man Monday on his own assets. But in this photo he is just the kind of guy you want to hug and squeeze. Isn’t he? I can see he would be fun and great to share some laughs with. Another big plus in the selection department. Fantasy Men come in all shapes and sizes. My Fantasy Man may or may not make your top ten list. My Fantasy Man tastes change in an array of qualities, not unlike a kaleidoscope. Mood, timing, thoughts and phases of the moon may alter what I find sexy and attractive. Today it was men with dogs that are self disciplined, fun and not hard at all to look at!

Sometimes, the Fantasy Man will surprise you.

Happy Monday everyone.

Fantasy Man Monday

The heart wrenching memories of 9/11/01 can not be denied. So much senseless loss. Yet like the battered 9/11 tree we continue on, scared at times, but not defeated. And new life, new beauty, new resolve to live life out loud.

Think of our Fantasy Men in Uniform.

I couldn’t resist.

Okay I would drop and give you 20 but this hunkilicious (yeah, new word, add it to your dictionary. lol) gentleman does it so much better.

Whoo Whee, I need someone to put out this fire.

What is not to love about an earthy man, in uniform…pieces of uniform… Ah, well at least a man with a big….gun.

Brings out the huntress in all of use, doesn’t it?

Joyful Monday

Promotion Joy and Woe

You write a wonderful story, great action, sizzling sex and wow the day comes where an a. agent, b. editor, c indy publisher actually wants to buy the book and follow your baby through to publication.

You jump on the exciting merry go round of emotions. You have arrived, semi arrived. Okay at least you have gotten further along the path to your goals. It is a fantastic time in your career. You are beginning to feel like a “real” author.

The next logical step is Promotion of your ‘baby’ and it’s not a magical formula. I have attended a few writer’s workshops on promotion.

The general consensus is NO ONE really knows what will work. It can get pretty expensive throwing “mud” at the wall to see what sticks.

I came across a great blog giving reference to any number of cites that promote the lower priced e-books.

There is a lot of good information here. However, the obstacle continues to remain. HOW DO YOU GET THIS INFO in the hands of READERS???

Any ideas? I would love to hear your comments. Yeah, totally selfish. I am a contributing author to an Anthology coming out mid October. I might have told you about that.LOL.I am keenly interested in how to promote this release to readers.

Fantasy Man Monday

We have neglected a very significant hot man component in our Fantasy Man Monday Blog — The Villain.

The hot baddies are in their own right the hero’s of their story.

Who can forget this handsome bad guy from Die Hard movie fame.

Often we find many redeemable qualities in these characters.

The villain can be the ultimate bad boy, a tortured soul.

These actors might not have been cast as the villain of a movie but they are hot devils. Not all villains have to be ugly and evil. Go against the stero type — make your next villain handsome as sin

Once Upon A Twisted Tale

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Fantasy Man Monday

I’ve been subtly celebrating my contract with Rebel Ink Press. I have days when I feel like a “real” author. Then I am humbled by some dumb thing I do and realize I’m still little old me, guppy Dorie.

My current WIP for Rebel Ink’s “Once Upon A Twisted Tale” due out October, 2011 in time for Halloween is a male/male romance. That’s all I can say about it officially at the moment. Once cover blurb is approved and I finish all the revisions I’ll be able to promote more. I wanted to give you a few images that inspired my hero characters. Nathaniel Hawkins and Ike Sandhill in “The Galloping Ghoul of Hockomock Swamp”.

Cast as Ike Sandhill

Isn’t he a darling hero to rescue?

Cast as Nathaniel Hawkins

Nathaniel has that brooding maturity with a spark of joy behind his eyes. Can’t you see how much he needs Ike?

The thing I love about romance. Love is Love no matter what packaging it arrives in.

Revisions Love them or Leave them?

I received my very first revision letter. Well, if you don’t count the real first letter that basically said. “Oops, the idea you’ve had is basically fan fiction of a 100 year old story that is still under copyright. So, a tidy do over would be in order.” Completely understandable and I was completely hyperventilating at that juncture.

Yes, I did have a moment of panic. I gave myself a full fledged half hour of freaked out OMG what am I GOING TO DO? Then my girlfriend R.M. Kinore sat me down and basically said, get a grip, you are a professional and you CAN do this. In order to not have a total melt down, she helped me break down the changes I would need step by step.

All that aside, LOL. I manged to pull off the changes. I made the necessary re-writes and while it’s not exactly where I thought I would go– I ended up with a story that I’m pleased with.

Back on task. I received my revision letter. I know it is the “first” revision letter because my editor titled it “first revision”. Did I mention I adore my editor. I think perhaps we are kindred sisters of separate mothers. I don’t often encounter people that really understand me and ‘get’ my voice. My critique partner and a couple of people in my Ink Plots Critique group do. It is an unsettling discomfort when someone reads my work and doesn’t understand me. So, I have a lot of thankful relief that my editor does understand me so well. I read through her revisions and had several “head/desk….head/desk” moments. I realize one of my flaws is I write without capitalizing on the contractions as I need to.

I will admit I have heard many many groans over revison letters. I will go on record to say that I found my revisions educational and yes, a bit humbling. I mumbled through quite a few “I should have known that” over her edits. LOL. She said in essence. I am telling you this now…newbie… so I don’t expect to have to tell you this again. And, she said it in the kindest, most objective way anyone could possibly have.

One more first in this exciting journey toward publication. Take a look at this you tube video for a laugh about revision.

Rebel Ink One Year Anniversary

This Thursday Rebel Ink celebrates it’s one year Anniversary.

REBEL INK PRESS has a lot of fun activities planned over the next few weeks to celebrate their anniversary and showcase their authors. I suggest you drop by and check it out. Did I mention there would be swag? Lots and Lots of glorious Swag to entice you!

Visit their Facebook Event page to get the run down on Rebel Ink Press Anniversary Celebration

The Celebration includes a Chat this Thursday with Rebel Ink Press Authors and readers on a yahoo group called Joyfully Reviewed from 7:00 – 9:00p.m. EST Come on over and join the fun!

This invitation is hot so click it to see where to go. You need to be a member of Joyfully Reviewed to participate in the Chat.