Branding? What’s that have to do with me?
By Kimberly Shursen - Author of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Hush
If you’re familiar with branding, most of us relate this to logos or a clichés such as “Have it your way,” or Coke’s “It’s the real thing,” or State Farm’s “Like a good neighbor.” So, what does that have to do with writing? In my opinion it has a lot to do with retaining and capturing the right reader base.
Now I’ve heard from time to time that authors should write several genres. I’m not a believer. I’m sure it has been done and done successfully, but most of us focus on one genre. Why? Because we know it’s where we will achieve our best writing.
If you take a look at my covers, you will notice that this is where I begin the branding process. I hope that one day readers will look at my covers, and without noticing my name, will say “That’s a Shursen book.” Now this may never happen, or may happen after I’m six feet under, but this is my hope. I use the same somewhat dark colors, and eerie fonts that are always in a blood red.. So, this is the beginning of branding my products. Okay, I don’t like to use the name “product” to describe my writing, but we’re working with the “other” side of the brain when we talk business here.
Now we move to the content of the book. Ya gotta have a style. Find it; implement it; and hang onto it. Don’t let editors tell that you have to use a complete sentence. How often do we greet someone with “Hello. How are you? I haven’t seen you in a very long time.” Really? Real, live people say, “Hey. How’s it goin’?” Characters need to be real. After a character murders someone would we say; “He ran down the street and through an alley. His heart was beating so fast, he thought he was going to pass out.” My words would be; “Racing between houses … through back yards … into a dark alley … his heart beating out of control, Caleb could taste the bile that rushed into his throat.”
There are three things readers will get to know about me; 1) no flowery, continual, ongoing verbiage about centerpieces, hairdos, or designer clothing, and 2) each chapter will be a cliff hanger, and lastly 3) there will be an unpredictable ending. There will always be those who claim they already knew the ending, but it would be highly unusual. Most readers say they read my novels in either one or two sittings, in spite of the fact they range anywhere from an 80,000 to a 92,000 word count. It makes me tingle all over when I know someone couldn’t put my novels down.
Many of the “greats” write in different genres, with book covers that don’t use the same font or types of images. For me, I don’t feel I would do well writing other genres as I need the constant tension that writing thrillers offers. I leave that up to my peers, and enjoy reading their romance, cozy mysteries, historical, literary fiction, or biographies.
We all have a unique niche, and it’s up each of us to find it. With branding, you won’t lose readers; you’ll find readers who are interested in your style and genre who will become fans.
Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.
Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.
Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.
And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.
Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.
*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.
EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today."
Katie French author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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