Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Realizations: Good & Bad

Last night and tonight were filled with lots of issues.

I'm going to start with the GOOD. After some deep thought last night, while I started to pack up my office, I figured out why my current story wasn't working. It took a few hours but I was able to revamp the chapter points and decide how to fix it. So good by original first chapter and hello new beginning!

Another GOOD I chatted with some great authors tonight at Coffee Time Romance. Check out @LauraLeeLenhoff and @AndreaRCooper on Twitter and Facebook. We talked about branding and books.

Now for the BAD. I had to spend almost an hour fixing the links on the book list on my website. All my Pink Petal (Jupiter Gardens) titles weren't working.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Break from Branding to Swap Rooms

I'm taking time this week to prep for swapping rooms with my daughter this weekend. I'll still be writing and every, but most of my focus will be on getting everything ready.

So what do I need before we actually switch.

Large area rug for under my desk and chair to protect wood floor. Done!
Small area rug for under huge file cabinet. Done!
Curtains. Done!

Now I have to pack. Man I have so much stuff.

Sad part of the swap is my daughter is going to paint over my sexy pink walls. Still I'm looking forward to the move.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Branding: A Deeper Look At Me

Here I am?
Do you know me?
If not we it's nice to meet you.

For this post I looked at me and asked those who know me a few questions.

I'm going to start with my tagline. But first I'm going to admit something. Back in 2009 when I first found out I was getting published I wasn't ready. I thought I'm going to write first and figure out the rest when I need to. WRONG! I wish I had at least dipped my toes into the promotion and business end of things.

Okay back to taglines. Here's a few I like, and links to some great authors websites:
Brandy Walker Passionate, Breathtaking Romance.

Tilly Greene Scorching romances full of twists, turns and ties.

Nina S. Gooden Love That Breaks Bonds!

Lissa Matthews Where the men are NAUGHTY

Shannon Stacey fun contemporary romances and more

Jaci Burton Passion On The Edge

Okay, now here's mine:

Rita Sawyer Giving You It All. Romance. Passion. Laughter.

Now we're going to go over those questions I talked about.
First, does my tagline encompass all my books?
The consensus here was yes, which is a relief. I hope all my books have romance and passion, but the laughter is key. If you're not having fun doing whatever you're doing why do it? That's not to say I don't enjoy tugging at people's heart strings. I just like my stories to have a good balance of ups and downs.

Okay next up is the logo I use on my self-pubbed books.
I know what you're thinking. What's the difference? Nothing in the text, but that was my point. In this case I wanted to say the same thing, but hopefully in a more eye catching way.

Since this goes in the back of my books I still had to ask myself How is this going to help me with promotion? After some friendly discussion with a little help I came up something I could put on my promo items.

I know it's the same thing. BUT different. This I could use. And boy did I. Book 3 in my Heiresses In Aprons Series is Martinis, Manicure & Mud Pies. My promotion guru and favorite daughter (she's my only daughter) designed these mini business cards,

 and we put the logo on the back. Then we punched a hole in the bottom and attached them to these mini-martini glasses filled with candy covered chocolates and a gumball olive, or candy fruit slice.

I think they came out great. I like to try and do something original and little special for events. I'm always on the look out.

What does any of this have to do with my brand? That's what I'm trying to figure out. I think I'm getting closer.

I would love to really go with the humor angle a little more. I've even sat on a few humor panels at, Authors After Dark, a romance readers conference I go to every year. The problem here is I don't set out to be funny. It's kind of something that just happens. Honestly it was one of my publishers who first decided my novella A Damsel Without A Dress was a romantic comedy, not a straight contemporary romance.

It was readers who told me my Heiresses series has a chick lit feel. I was totally thrilled with that. Book 1 Shit Kickers & Stilettos hit the chick lit bestseller list at ARe

That's enough thinking for now. I'm going to shut off the business side of my brain and write.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Branding: How Much Do I Suck!

I'm not sure, but I'm going to figure it out starting now. Since I decided to be completely, 100% honest with this blog I'm going to just say whatever comes to mind. Starting with this topic.

Branding is an issue for a lot of people. Companies, artist, and ordinary people all want to be recognized for what they stand for. As an author for me it's how get someone to look at my books as a cohesive group. I want people who read any of my books to say yup that was on of Rita's books.

So what are the questions I need to answer myself to see if I can do this?

What do all my books have in common?
Well hopefully they're fun. I like to laugh. So even though there are some serious moments I don't think the books are too heavy. So I try to give my readers it all. Romance, Passion, and Laughter.

Do people even know who the hell I am?
This comes down to discoverability and promo. I'm working on this topics as well, but again I have to get my ass in gear and figure this shit out!

How the hell do I make readers take notice?
That's the million dollar question. I'm not one of those authors who start shit. Meaning if I don't have something nice to say I try not to say anything. I often hear about authors behaving badly and I never want to be one of those. On the other hand I need to step up and shout hey here I am.

I know there's so many more things that affect me and my writing and sales. For now I'm going to have to focus on these three and decide where to go.