Thursday, 29 December 2011

Happy New Year - Will it be your dream year?.

I know this is a cheating double up re-post but 3 comments! Sheesh... Believe it, you need a brand image even if you're with a publisher!!! Colour co-ordination on blogs will help in creating image and your author persona as well. Blue implies cold, red hot, pastel shades can appear bland to the eye unless a theme i.e., romantic, historical, other. Chick-Lit on the other hand needs to be sparky, perhaps even with ly tagged on, whereas fantasy and Sci-Fi is best when reflecting other-worldly influences.

BTW: don't forget I have a contemporary novel coming out with a publisher in July 2012. No idea what I'll get as cover image, but they have produced some gorgeous covers for other authors. So it's a wait and see. But hey, in the meantime my self-pubbed novels are still jumping onto peoples Kindles.

Two little words "Brand Image" and some people go to pieces just thinking about branding themselves, by that I mean selling their image as a writer even when they're lucky enough to be contracted to a publisher. Let's be honest a stomping three-book-deal and vast advance are few and far between. Small advances and tentative three-book-deals are far more common. Authors are only really in-house once their second book has sold as well if not better than their first, presupposing the first one flew off the shelves due to invested advertising by their publisher. But let's not forget author input on self-advertising, which comes naturally to those of a bent or flair for seeking attention. Of course, by their third book it is expected they will have gained a huge following. Now this doesn't always happen, in fact doesn't happen in big chunks, because remaindered book depots are testament to unsold books. If the latter happens a publisher has the choice of dropping any author once a contract is at end. Some do, hence we see books by specific authors under differing publisher names. That said, some get head-hunted, too, and are sometimes paid vast sums of money to switch publishers. This happy conclusion usually only happens to best-selling authors who regularly churn out best-selling titles. But, it's been happening to Indie (self-pubbed) authors as well. I think we all know who they are by now, and I dare say there will be other million-sellers on Amazon in the future.  


Love it or hate it we're all familiar with the little brown pot above. It hasn't changed! Why should it. If you love it you can't miss seeing it in a super-market because you know what you're looking for. 

Take this same principal but equate it to Hollywood and the movies! We knew exactly what we were going to get from this man when he was dressed like this. 

And in some respects he became the brand image for "Spaghetti Westerns", but that's not to say he wasn't good in the Dirty Harry movies and other memorable movies! Though as teenager I can remember drooling over him as Rowdy Yates in the TV series Rawhide. 

So, how are you going to brand you and your wares if you're thinking of going Indie? Have you thought about book designs etc?  To be honest I hadn't really given a specific image much thought. But I have now, and I'm going black chic. At least I'm hoping that's the effect I'm portraying for my latest attempts at book design for the Kindle e-market. How else can a familiar and recognisable brand be achieved?

Hence my book covers will be thus... see my image factory!


Angeline said...

It's true that a lot of writers freak out when they think about this; it's hard to equate brand image to yourself. Luckily, I'm fully trained in marketing and my brother's a graphic designer. But once upon a time, I wouldn't have had a clue!

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi! Good post Francine. I like the black chic look. Translates well to covers.

Merry Christmas (again)


Anne Gallagher said...

I did think a lot about my brand before I did my covers and luckily I think I pulled them off. They're not the same "prom girl/bodice ripper" designs that have been coming out of NY for the last 30 years. They don't have sex in them so I didn't want to promote that. I am happy with the way they look, and I think I also achieved that same look on my web-site.

I think people will know what they're getting from me just by seeing my covers. At least I hope so.

All the joy to you during the holidays!

Siv Maria said...

Great post! Happy New Year!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Ladies,

Oh so lucky, Angeline, to have that kind of background!

Denise: I figured black implies dark aspects despite love and romance the main aspect of content.

Anne: yes, I love your innocent Austenesque girlie... And your covers rightly depict strict moral code, though hint of temptation!

Hi Siv, thank you for stopping by. Happy New Year, and I trust the family ties grow ever stronger! ;)


Theresa Milstein said...

Good luck with your upcoming traditional publication and finding a cover for your self-pub book.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for stopping by. With conventionally published books one's book fate lies in the lap of the gods that be...

Re self-pubbed book: Hee hee, the image depicted is the cover! ;)


Kiru Taye said...

I certainly agree about the branding and colours. I like your new look blog too.

Happy New Year. Wishing you loads of success for the year ahead.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Kiru,

Happy New Year to you, too.


Elin Gregory said...

I have NO idea about branding - well not the marketing kind anyway. I did quite a bit of background reading on the other kind when I thought once that I might write a Western.

As for promoting myself I wouldn't know where to begin. I just flounder around trying to be useful. I'm hoping my publisher might give me some useful ideas.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Elin,

Thanks for stopping by.

I think it all depends on one's publisher and whether they do/know the biz or just leave the majority of the hard work to the author. Unfortunately, more and more publishers (on-line digital print and small presses) leave it to the author to do the leg work on promotion not only of self but of the publisher, too.

It seems as though Internet networking still works well alongside the more traditional aspect of sending out books for review!


DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Back again. I'm waiting for this July publication. Let's hope the cover is sublime.


Avadonja said...

I learned a lot about Adobe Photoshop in a short period of time. Yes, it was stressful. Everything I did just seemed so amateurish. It was important that my cover be something that would catch my interest were I shopping... and I think it would.
I did buy and image from Ghetty images, then elf-ified it, changed some coloring, put it through a filter, blah blah blah... finished cover. I do want them all to have a similar look, ethereal -- which will be interesting since my next novel has a slight bdsm flavor.
I've babbled too much.
Thanks for sharing your approach to branding.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Ava,

Thanks for stopping by!