If you missed the last meeting, you missed an invigorating discussion with Judy about branding and platform building. The two go hand in hand, because when you brand yourself, "you're trying to interact only with your readers, not the whole world." She reminds us not to try to "do it all" pertaining to social media: "God didn't call you to be overworked, flustered, and short-tempered," which is a natural result of trying to keep up on all the social sites, plus blogging, plus writing.
"Write your best book," she says. "Readers don't care who published a book as long as it's good." The cover is a contract with the reader; it should rightfully reflect our genre. Brand is established by both the author's name and genre. Whenever you think "horror," Stephen King comes to mind--and when you think "Stephen King," horror is the first thing that comes to mind.
Judy presented a graph for us:
To the left is the circle "The Author and his/her books," in which she wrote the reminder to be authentic--"be the real, true you." Also, write your best book: great idea, well-written, edited and revised.
To the right is the circle "Your Potential Readers," complete with the reminder that not everyone in the world is your reader, and you should identify and target only those who would appreciate your genre.
The intersection between the circles is your brand, "where books, authors, and readers meet." Our goal is to grow our readership by remaining true to our brands and creating relationships with our readers online through social media, in our communities through churches, clubs, workshops, book signings, etc.
Loved learning from Judy, such a gracious lady.
Reminder: We're meeting a week early next month on November 14. Our guest speaker is the author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and Divine Appointment, Anita Onarecker Wood. Hope to see everyone there!