What Makes You, You?

Author reality check moment. I’m growing and learning as an author, and let me tell you, my lovelies, it is daunting. I definitely thought I would make some cool covers, write some epic stories, put them out there, and you would love them. What a na├»ve fool I was two months ago.

So here is what goes on behind the curtain to get the books to you.

  1. I write the book.
  2. I edit the book.
  3. I read the book and re-write things that…lack.
  4. I edit the book again.
  5. I pay someone else to edit it.
  6. I read what they changed and edit again.
  7. I make the cover.
  8. I write the back of book blurb, re-write the blurb, make Ben write the blurb, then throw that out, and tweak the original to something I like.
  9. I put it all up for my sanity check.
  10. If it all looks good, I create the interior formatting (chapter titles/page numbers/section dividers).
  11. Submit all the items to KDP and order a proof to make sure it looks good.
  12. If it all looks good, hit the GO button.

That’s it, right?

Wrong. Now I get to go and pimp the book to try and entice you, my lovelies, into giving me money to read my stories. I make the TikTok videos. I cultivate a Facebook page. There is a discord server to socialize with you. I have a Patreon to give bonus goodies to people to. Instagram is the new Facebook so there is that. And God help me, I try to keep up with Twitter.

Okay, so, that’s it?

Because of the hours it takes to create ads, and hopefully make something people will click on, knowing full well I had, at one point used a blocker to prevent even seeing ads. Amazon Ads is just as daunting, and far more cryptic on success/failure of the ads.

Don’t forget to throw in workshops on how to do all these things, As well as cultivating relationships with other authors, publishers, and print houses.

This is what I have learned so far.

Here’s the kicker of this post that you are hopefully still reading.

Today, the concept of branding myself was mentioned. I don’t even know how to brand me, and it’s my stuff. I mean, I know I want the dark gray, with the pale yellow, and coral color. Probably a green too for good measure, but this is like asking a small child to pick ONE toy from the toy store. I want to be all the things, and that makes it hard to brand.

While this post is full of sass, it’s important. Branding is what everyone thinks when your name is given. Like Jim Butcher is immediately associated with a duster and massive hat. Diana Gabaldon has smoking hot Scotsman down. It’s the red soda can for Coca-Cola. The mouse ears for Disney. It’s what makes you, you in the world you are trying to stand out in.

The truth is, I’m stuck. I don’t know how to brand me. I write romance novels. This includes paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and fantasy romance. I’m also writing a fantasy adventure novel that is not romance. I have paranormal modern fiction that’s not horror, but not romance either. I have another high fantasy that is romance, action & adventure, and other things.

So, my lovelies, what is the first thing you associate with me when it comes to writing? Right now, I have a chaos swirl in the colors I want but I feel like maybe that is a C for effort on branding.