Friday, February 10, 2012

A Tangled Web to Weave

I am in "business" mode this week. What does that mean? I am thinking about marketing and web design and "brand" and head shots and more.

Why? I think it is important to have the bones of my marketing world in place before I get "the call." And here's why. I know it will happen one day and when it does, I don't want to get bogged down in all of this heavy thinking when I need to concentrate on what is important: THE WRITING. I have a bit of time now. I have some wiggle room to work in all of these other elements. And it's okay if my brain isn't fully focused on the development of my stories 100% of the time.

When I get "the call" I won't have that luxury. And believe me this time and wiggle room is a luxury. I've been slowly building my base, not in a crass way, but in my usual way: be friendly and kind and the world will return the favor. I don't push hard for followers or facebook friends or twitter peeps. I think I just  need to be myself and eventually my base will grow as a result.

I don't want to be that hamster on a wheel running and running and running in circles singing "look at me and look at what I can do!" when I get "the call." I believe my books will speak for themselves and my readers will love them. I want to have time to connect with them in an authentic and real way. That's why I am "branding" myself now. That's why I am building my network and my web pages now.

Yesterday I spent about two hours talking with a wonderful person who runs THINK FLOW DESIGN. Florina Craven knows how to design pages. She knows how to connect all these marketing dots. This is what she breathes for air. Me? Uh, not so much. But I don't have to know everything. I just have to know enough to get her started and she'll run with my brand and my ideas and my story themes and build me a beautiful and spicy website with 4 pages to start.

And for a fee I can have her design a logo which I can use for all my future marketing needs. Wow. Really? That's awesome. That beats me taking the time to do it because if I spend all my time trying to make something half way pretty for a design guess what I won't be doing? Right. The writing.

I love to write stories. I love to get to know my characters and build their worlds. I love cutting out pictures from magazines and storyboarding. I love revising and reshaping my stories. I love the craft of writing. I love learning about it and talking about it. It energizes me.

Talking about passwords and overlaying codes and widgets is something I have to do now so I won't have to do it much later. And I am so glad I found Florina and her company. It helps that she knows me and we have connected at conferences on a personal level. She understands me and knows my personality. In fact she knows my personality so well that when she suggested the colors for my website I was floored. They're all over my house!!

I am embarking on a journey. One that will be fun and a bit scary for me. But I am not embarking on this journey alone. I have a professional with me. One who has my best interests at heart. One who understands writers. One who will bring my worlds to the web far better than I could possibly imagine.

As I embark on this journey I want to know what kind of questions or experiences you have had in marketing. Do you have web pages? Are you intimidated by trying to "brand" yourself? Do you know where to start looking for designers, photographers, marketing tools?

Post your questions here. I plan to interview Florina and would love to incorporate your ideas and questions.

And for one lucky commentator, I have a fun prize. A book called WE ARE NOT ALONE by Kristen Lamb. If you haven't got this book and you're dedicated to building a writing career, this is the book for you. It gives you a great place to start building your career one step at a time!


Robin Bielman said...

Branding and all that goes with it is so overwhelming to me! I'm so not tech or design savvy. So far I've taken your approach, be myself and hopefully over time, I'll get a following. I'm in awe of writers who can do it all, who seem to make it look so easy. I'm shy, but I'm trying to put myself out there more and more. I often wish I could clone myself - the me I'm most comfortable with could hide away in her office writing, and another more outgoing me could do all the promo stuff.

I hope you'll keep us posted on this and best of luck!

Christine said...

Hi Robin: The most important thing to focus on is the book you write. All of the books. You'll do great when the time is right to promote because you are a genuinely nice person who cares about people. That will draw readers to you and that's what matters.

I'm focusing on my books this week, but with an eye on prepping myself for the days ahead when I am published.