NEWS BULLETIN: We have a local Amber Alert that has just been issued for a local girl. Please share on facebook, twitter, any social media you can:
Cassidy Geffert was abducted today from her home in our school district. Please pray and share!
And now back to normal Ruthy stuff!!!! And thank you for sharing!
What form of crazy is this? Ruthy posting on MONDAY?????
How can such a thing be????? And she's bribing folks to stop in and talk by offering a $20 Amazon Gift Card??? What a generous soul she is!!!!
And I'm going to let you guess how close I came to FORGETTING I traded with the Pamster... I love Yahoo reminders, LOL! (Wipes brow, says "phew!")
And mind you, we're not talkin' brandin' the rumps of cattle here, although that feeds directly into my love of my next release "Her Montana Cowboy" pictured below, set in Montana and... Oops, off-track, MY BAD!!!! So, we're not talking cattle-branding, we're not "blue box" mac-and-cheese, nor are we "Just Do It" Nike, but those brands do bring to mind a specific cow, food or company. We want that recognition, but maybe not as narrowly defined.
I was one of those annoying authors who laughed off the idea of a "brand" owning an author, (SHOCK ALERT, RUTHY WAS ANNOYING!!!!!) so allow me to quote the really cute Desi Arnaz: "Let me 'splain."
Keep your brand inclusive. Think of those "words" you see describing Amazon lists:
(From "Running on Empty", my second independent novel:)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Romance > Contemporary
- #12 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Romance > Contemporary
- #46 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Romance
- How sweet are those numbers? Not for nothin', this book has stayed in the top 10-15 for eight months... That's pretty solid stuff for a book that's finding its own audience via word of mouth and recommendation. And that's old-fashioned author-building right there!
Those categories help define your brand. Your work should be recognizable to your readers, and you don't want to surprise them, take advantage of them or betray their trust. Authors shouldn't do that, it's disrespectful, like trying to slip something in, just to test the waters when readers are expecting something else.
THAT'S NOT NICE!!!!!
But........... (There's always a but....)
Prolific writers like to test the waters, spread their wings, explore the shores, pick the over-used adage of your choice, so how can you do that and stay in your brand?
Keep your brand general enough to include multiple sub-genres. Here's my example:
"Hearth and home author Ruthy Logan Herne was born in poverty but after bribing, wheedling and cajoling numerous editors, she's established herself as an all-American author of feel-good books that make the reader love truth, justice and the American way. With coffee and chocolate, of course!"
I'm a "Hearth-and-home" author. And the reason I've chosen that phrase to describe my work is because it works across the board. It's perfect for my beloved Love Inspired series... It fits my independent novels beautifully... It works for my historical novellas, it embraces small towns, cowboys, quaint neighborhoods and farms and it has no regional connotation.
THAT'S HUGE!!!!! I like diversity, it helps to keep me fresh and on top of my game. Writing the occasional historical, spreading my wings geographically and changing the levels of humor and/or religious elements helps me reach more people and (hopefully!!!) disappoint no one! And exploring new avenues and publishers via novellas (I love writing novellas!!!!! And I love you, Naomi, even if you're not a novella-reader, you can still be my buddy!)
Branding does not have to be absolute. It is what you make it as you captain your ship. Last year I was invited to be part of the Big Sky Centennial continuity for Love Inspired. I was given a COWBOY RANCHER book with baseball twists and horses and dogs and family and fences and mountains and aging grandparents, scuffed tables in the diner, a library in a house and some suspicious things going on in the sweet stuck-in-time town of Jasper Gulch, Montana. Oh mylanta, what a mess of hot crazy fun that was to write, LOVE IT THIS MUCH!!!
(Oh, LOOK!!!! Ruthy gave you a LINK TO BUY THIS BOOK ON PRE-ORDER!!!! IMAGINE THAT, LOL!!!!)
I discovered I love writing Western, I'm a cowboy and horse freak, ranching is one of the most rugged and labor intensive jobs known to man, and I want to write MORE WESTERNS!!!!
We've all got to find our own niche. Because I like a fairly big niche, I've learned to broaden the horizons of my brand to fit the kind of book I like to write... the kind of book I love to read!
Hey, coffee's hot, fresh bagels from Brooklyn (yes, I drove down to the city, grabbed a tray of 48 bagels, assorted, of course, and cream cheese, lox, fish, fresh onions, prosciutto, and lacy Swiss cheese.... and the all-American flavored cream cheeses for the less adventurous among us! Stop in, leave a comment and hey... if you want to talk about how to identify your brand or improve your brand, all youse have to do is ask.
The Ruthster is IN!!!!
And here is the promised pic of the CHEESECAKE!!!!!!
Oh my stars, to die for, jump in and have some "Hearth and Home" Cheesecake!!!!!