Branding: Day 1

Why Bother?

It’s time to take this seriousness to the next level, or any level if we’re being real about it. As my social media handle suggests (@MPotentialite) I have my hand in a few jars. Naturally, this leads to a bit of a focus problem and everything I’ve been trying to do over the last couple of years is still on-going…

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Whittling down the things that are more hobby-ish versus those things I’d truly like to excel at, I’ve decided to highlight the latter.

But, where do I start?

My first step was to google my name + author showing me that there’s already a ‘Cindy Martens’ who is a published author. Not the same genre as me, but I’d like to stay as far removed from confusion as I can control.

A few searches later, and I have my new identity. Luckily, I didn’t have to step too far away from myself for this 🙂 (No, I’m not telling yet 😉 ).

Where Do I Start?

Secondly, I googled “How to Brand Yourself as an Author.” That was literally the title of this article: How To Brand Yourself As A Writer – Wait! No! As An “Author” so I figured this must be the best place to start. Chuck Wendig seems like great fun and his article reaffirmed a few points I’d already been following. Yay affirmation.

Genre problems

Mr. Wendig’s article led me to points three & four: what genre would this “new” me be embedded to (yes, that’s 1 thing but I feel the answer tackles the 2 first points made in the article 😉 )

Until I read this article: 5 Elements All Urban Fantasy Novels Must Have, I had been considering myself an Urban Fantasy author. There were too many points I wasn’t even close to that I can’t even pretend to fake. Now I don’t know what I am!!

*deep breath*

So, I search ‘modern fantasy genres’… Wiki was there in the clutch, telling me that modern fantasy is a genre:

Contemporary fantasy, also known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy, is a subgenre of fantasy, set in the present day or, more accurately, the time period of the maker. It is perhaps most popular for its subgenre, urban fantasy.

And who knew urban fantasy was a sub-cat of this? I didn’t. Honestly, I never paid much attention to semantics such as this, though now I find myself forced to be. I can’t believe the amount of genres and sub-genres out there! (For a list of Wiki’s literature and entertainment genres go here).

Now, I’m a Contemporary Fantasy Author 🙂 But, should I find a smaller niche? That’s a thing now, right?

More Branding Advice

Leaving this genre problem to be more formally handled at a later time, I went to How To Build Your Author Brand From Scratch (And Why You Need To). Much less sarcastic, though not as fun to read, I was more comfortable taking this advice to heart and not worried I was being pulled into some ironic inside-joke. Many lists and a mountain of notes were made. I feel like I’m in the creek with a paddle in sight…

I also re-integrated EverNote into my life after following the rabbit hole of posts I found when asking Google what the best social media platforms for authors were. So many examples of great apps and add-ons to help us organize our chaos (though that often leads to another problem for me. A short post about that is coming.).

Concluding Day One

Typically, when I start something like this, I need to get it all done yesterday. I’m not doing that this time. I’ve found some great resources, made some great lists, and have a game plan for the first things I need to work on. Tomorrow is another day when these things will start happening. Today, I have other things on my to-do list that don’t have to get side-tracked for tasks that will only come out better if I stay relaxed and take my time.

I’d love to hear about your branding experiences. Where did you start? How far have you evolved, if at all, from your original concepts?

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