This month's Romance Writers Report has a fantastic article by Theresa Meyers called " of Author Branding" and I think it should be required reading for every author. (Theresa's website is www.theresameyers.com .)
This is right on, and it's why I keep telling authors they must choose their subgenre and build from there. Once you're established in a subgenre, and are building readership there, you can branch out into other subgenres, or you can build more than one simultaneously but the key word here is "build"--you can't jump around.
Naturally, I want to qualify what I just said. I meet authors all the time at conferences who've written a contemporary, a historical and are now starting on a romantic suspense (for example). That's FINE as you begin your career--it's a great idea to write in different subgenres and see which one really expresses your unique voice, where you have the strongest hooks, where the worlds are that you want to spend time in yourself as an author.
So do that, and THEN pitch, because I am always going to ask for an author to have a career arc--it's getting more and more difficult to publish just one book--there has to be a build, and it can easily take 4 books to build readership.
Casablanca authors are doing a great job with this--so many of them are building readership and are now writing their third, fourth, fifth, sixth books for us. Some of them were established in another subgenre when they joined us (Mary Wine, for example, in erotic romance) or are now beginning to build in a new subgenre (Marie Force writes contemporaries for us and has just sold her first romantic suspense to another house and is going to build both those brands at the same time!).
As an editor, there is nothing better than seeing authors grow with every manuscript, and readership grow with every book. So now, as if you didn't have enough to think about, in addition to the hook for EVERY BOOK, I'm going to be looking at your author brand (I call it author career arc) and we at Casablanca are going to help you build your brand.
1) get hold of and read Theresa's article--she's offering a class on creating your author brand that you might also want to consider
I'm looking for:
- a heroine the reader can relate to
- a hero she can fall in love with
- a world gets created
- a hook I can sell with in 2-3 sentences
- author career arc (OR, AUTHOR BRAND potential!!!!!!! Thank you Theresa!)
P.S. Please check out all the GREAT AWARDS our Casa and Landmark authors have received just since January! Click on the word "Awards" at the top of the blog sidebar to view the list.
WTG all you great authors!