In my last blog post, “More Thoughts about Author’s Brand,” on November 22, 2016, I ended the post with comments about the first four questions on the 12-question “Brand Story Worksheet” written by Theresa Meyers and found on http://YourWriterPlatform.com and the promise to “work my way through the remaining eight questions on the worksheet, I’ll start drawing my author brand ‘map,’ and I’ll do some research on ‘message points.'”
The fifth question on the worksheet prompted me to consider how what I have to offer in my writing is different from what anyone else can offer, and how I will make an emotional connection with readers. That’s what I was supposed to do but after evaluating my lifelong love for the history of the geographical area in which my historical mystery manuscript (The Spanish Coin) is set (the northern piedmont of South Carolina and the southern piedmont of North Carolina) I forgot to address the emotional connection with my readers. Nevertheless, this exercise has helped me know that this is where my writing needs to be geographically. I guess it boils down to the old saying, “Write what you know.”
Perception as a writer is addressed in the sixth question. To answer it, I had to imagine how my ideal reader would perceive my writing and how she or he would describe my work. I have concluded that I want my ideal reader to describe my work as “spot-on” historically and beautifully-written. I want my ideal reader to say my work my books are “real page turners” with memorable characters that they remember years after reading my books. I want to be perceived as an honest writer.
The seventh question asked what people are saying about my writing. I was encouraged when I remembered how people raved about the local history column I wrote for six years for the weekly Harrisburg Horizons newspaper. Also, I received compliments on my short story, “Slip-Sliding Away!”
Emboldened by my reflections on question #7, I jumped into the next question; however, it was not so easy to answer. It was about signals my brand sends. This is going to require more thought, since I’m still trying to determine what my brand is and how to project it.
The ninth question also addressed things that I don’t have yet since I am still figuring out my brand. I have a website, business cards, and a head shot, but I didn’t know until last week that my website and business cards should match or at least blend. The head shot I had made to appear on the back cover of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, is not on my website. The purpose of the ninth question is to prompt me to make sure everything I do is a positive reflection of my brand.
What’s left to do
That leaves three more questions to be addressed, as well as the writing of my brand story and strategy, my brand story map, and my message points. I’ll see how much progress I can make on those items before my next blog post in a few days.
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Until that next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read and, if you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time. Thank you for coming along on my journey as an aspiring novelist.