My Author Brand Progress Report – Part 1

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 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.'”

Question 5

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.”

Question 6

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.

Question 7

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!”

Question 8

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.

Question 9

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.

If you feel led to Tweet about my blog, Pin one of my posts on Pinterest (yes, I know, most of them don’t have a photo to Pin), or comment about it on other forms of social media, I thank you for helping me get the word out about my writing. You’ll find social media icons below.

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.


More Thoughts about Author’s Brand

Since my last blog post, What is an Author’s Brand… and How Do I Get One? I have done more reading on the subject and I’ve taken my first steps in figuring out/designing my brand. If you’re also an aspiring novelist, perhaps my blog posts on this topic will help you. Disclaimer: I am learning as I go. I am no expert.

“The Basics of Author Branding,” by Theresa Meyers

In her article, “The Basics of Author Branding,” Theresa Meyers, the president of Blue Moon Communications ( stresses the importance of mapping out your branding plan. Since I love maps, this concept appeals to me.

How an Author Brand Works

Theresa Meyers gives three steps to explain how an author brand works.

  1. When readers love your stories, they will “believe that they have formed a relationship” with you. (She calls this “emotional Velcro.”);
  2. Garnering accolades within the writing community and publishing industry will create a public perception of you; and
  3. Your author’s voice will set you apart. You have a unique way of writing.

Summary of Theresa Meyers’s Article

What I came away with is that the following things must be done in order to form your author’s brand, and they must be done in the following order:

  1. Produce good quality product;
  2. Decide on your message points;
  3. Be consistent;
  4. Get your name/brand out there; and
  5. “Find a word or phrase . . . to define what you do or your unique aspect and own it.”

That last part got my attention. I haven’t seen anyone else give that tip. It has me thinking. I write historical fiction, but what sets my historical fiction apart?

The second item on the list also got my attention. I’m not sure I know what my message points are.’s “Brand Story Worksheet”

In addition to studying what Theresa Meyers wrote about author branding, I have put some serious thought into answering the first four of the 12 questions on the “Brand Story Worksheet found at

Right off the bat, the first question forced me to put in writing my beliefs and worldview and analyze how that influences my writing. That was a sobering exercise. It made me seriously consider and discover why I write the historical fiction I write and aspire to write.

The second question forced me to write down my personality strengths and weaknesses. Maybe I did this exercise on a bad day, but I was stunned when I came up with 11 weaknesses and just three strengths! It seems I have some rough edges that need to be smoothed out a little bit.

The third question made me put in writing what motivates me to write. I already knew the answer(s), but it was helpful to write it down. It helped me focus.

The fourth question was harder to answer than I anticipated when I first read it. I not only had to try to identify the types of readers that will value my writing but also say why they will value it.

Until my next blog post, I will continue 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.” It’s too bad I can’t just write and have the reading public magically clamoring for my work. I’d rather be writing than spending my time jumping through these author branding “hoops,” but that would be too easy. This is a journey. It will not be accomplished overnight.

A Call to Action

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Until my next post, I wish you a good book to read and, if you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time. And if you’re an American, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday.