Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can We all Say, Duh?

It's Wednesday, my turn to post a blog @ RWBB  and my mind is blank. I'm going to repost a blog written for  Sex Scheming Geniuses, a new blog for authors talking about writing issues, techniques and foibles.

Hi! I’m Gem Sivad and I’d like to say I write whatever I want to write and don’t worry about defining my work. But the truth is, if I don’t give myself some kind of tag or identity, potential readers might never find me. If you are at the beginning of your writing career thinking in advance about how you want your writing to evolve, here are two things to consider.
  1. Do you want to write in one particular genre? 
  2. Do you have a heat level that you’ve decided you always want to write up or down to? 
Once you know that, how do you inform the book-buying public who you are?  Branding.

  •  Genre selection. The first layer and simplest form of branding is the identifying label you include with your manuscript when you submit it.  Once your book is contracted, the publisher tweaks the genre tag to fit the appropriate line guiding the title into an established pool of readers who read that genre. 
  • But do you want to write a second book in that genre? If you do, then you’ve effectively begun branding yourself as a (fill in the blank—historical, western, ménage, contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, urban fantasy, male/male, BDSM etc.) niche author. 
  • What if you switch genres in your second book? Then you’re meeting an entirely new pool of readers who follow the new genre. The plus aspect of this is the chance to widen your reader base, hoping that you will pull first book readers to the second book. The negative aspect is that it frequently doesn’t work for an unknown author and you’ve risked losing the first set of readers in your attempt to expand.
  • Hot or Not? There is a second type of branding that also affects readers.  The level of heat you include and the degree of sexual explicitness you write defines you as either an Erotic or PG author.
  •  Readers have individual comfort zones for reading sexuality. If you’ve published erotic material and developed a following, your fans have a reasonable expectation that they’ll find that same heat level in the next book of yours, regardless of genre. The reverse is also true. If you wrote a PG western in the first book and write an erotic western in the second book, prepare to lose some of your followers because you’ve shocked some of them speechless.
  • Can you hear me now? The third level and ultimately (imo) the most important part of branding is your author voice. When you’ve found that magic ingredient that makes your writing style unique, returning readers start looking for YOUR work not a particular genre, because they like the way you tell your stories.  J
Call Me Miz, my most recent title, is available now at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.  Genre? I’ve fondly labeled it PERR— Paranormal Erotic Rural Romance. What to expect? A drool-worthy shape-shifting hero, a kick-ass heroine who heals with her touch and my usual gritty story- telling style that includes the temperature turned up to High! J

Find Gem  @  FB  /  WEB  / TWITTER


Savanna Kougar said...

Branding... that's why so many authors change pen names when they write in different subgenres.

Good stuff, Gem.

I write in the paranormal realm which encompasses many subgenres. Currently, I am calling myself a Para-Fantasy Erotic Romance author.

Gem Sivad said...

I can barely keep up with the promo for one name. I don't think I could handle two.

"Para-Fantasy Erotic Romance" is a good description. I'm only sure that I love to write. What pops out of my mind isn't always easy to label but it all goes under the heading Gem Sivad. :)

Thanks for stopping by, Savanna!


Savanna Kougar said...

Gem, I know what you mean. I can't keep up with promo, anyway.

And like you say, the stories that pop out of my mind are difficult to categorize, so I look for new descriptions to give readers a clue. ~smiles~

I do wish I had time to release a novella and a novel I wrote long ago, but I want to use another pen name.

Kayelle Allen said...

There is a lot to consider with branding. I use my logo everywhere, rather than the cover of a new book. When you see that avatar with the eyes, you know it's me. Major brand names all have their logos and jingles and so on. It takes time to figure out who you are and capitalize on it, but once you do, go with it and don't slow down. ;)