Thursday, May 6, 2010

Honing Your Author Brand

Missy, here. I want to quickly give a shout out for Jennifer's new release! It's now available!! For more info, click here.

Now, on to my topic. Do you know your brand? I know many writers jump around trying different genres. And I think that's a good thing to do in the beginning. But at some point you'll probably want to narrow that search. And though this is certainly no rule, I might even go so far as to advise figuring out what you love to write and what you write best before you submit (and I'm talking first sales, here). Because once you sell, you'll want to build your readership. And if readers love your historicals (or romantic comedies or suspense novels or whatever...) then they'll be waiting with bated breath for more. So you'll want to give that to them! That way they'll add you to their automatic buy list.

I was working on a new proposal today. I had this great idea a while back for a fun opening scene. And I've been planning it in my head for a while. But today as I sat down to start writing out the proposal, I realized it wouldn't fit with my brand. It was a little too suspensy and dark. So... what do you do when you get a bit sidetracked? (And don't we love chasing those little bunny trails?) :)

Well, I can tell you what I did today. First, I called Lindi! LOL Then I hunkered down and figured out a way to change my hero's goal and motivation. So now instead of being on a mission for revenge, he's seeking redemption and a way to make up for past mistakes. It'll totally change the feel of the story. Yet I'm still using basically the same character. Of course, he's now changed careers. And the poor guy still doesn't have a name! But I'll hopefully figure that out tomorrow. :)

So, is the story you're currently working on something that fits the genre and the feel of stories you can see yourself writing for several books in a row? Are you having fun with it? Does it fit your voice?

I'd love to hear what genre is your favorite to write. And your favorite to read. I'll be interested to see how many of you say the two are the same. And also how many find the two are different.



  1. Missy,
    I've been itching to write a suspense, romance, general fiction, women's fiction type book all rolled into one. It doesn't fit the SH line and I'm not sure where it would go. I've gotta finish this current WIP before I can allow myself to start anything new.

    I love reading Historical Romance. I love reading Contemporary Romance. I want to write both someday... But I think of the two, I enjoy Historical more. I like being transported into another time. But, I find right now it is easier for me to write contemporary. I say easier because its less research involved... however, I have done a lot of research for this one... so maybe it's not so easy.

    Uh! Why am I so confused!!!

  2. Writing suspense has really evolved for me because I think in terms of plotlines before I think of the relationships. Plus, I love adding in the villain's POV because I like knowing what the villain is thinking.

    Reading??? I read just about any genre, but reading comedies I think is my favorite. Life includes so much sadness (just watch the news one evening) that when I read, I want to dive into something more lighthearted.

  3. Missy,
    You're a smart girl thinking along those lines. I really liked your original idea, but in terms of what readers expect when they pick up a Missy Tippens book, it was different. Now, you still have a great story, great hero--(and yes, name the poor guy!) and it's all in the vain of a world that you can create so well.

  4. Well, Christy, I'm so glad I confused you this morning! Goal accomplished! LOL (just kidding, of course)

    You know, maybe you should try your hand at an historical. :)

    Now, how's that for confusing you even more. ;)

  5. Dianna, maybe you can add bits of humor in your suspense stories! You know, just some witty dialogue or some comic relief after tense scenes. It could be totally character driven--a cute, witty personality of one of the characters up against a serious character. :) Would be fun!

  6. Lindi, thanks for your input yesterday! I'll have to update you sometime today. I think I'm ready to roll with it.

  7. I'm making the leap to inspirational fiction, following my heart and my editor's suggestion. It's not a huge departure from the books I've already put out, because the basic themes (small towns, slice of life) in my previous books are still there. I'm hoping my editor and the exec editor of SH agrees!

  8. Yay, Cynthia! I hope it works out! Our readers love small towns. :)

  9. Missy, Thanks for the plug for Highland Blessings! My brand, historical Christian fiction with a twist of romantic suspense.