Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Image is Everything

Breaking Delia's Rules
W. Lynn Chantale

My latest attempt at a book launch fizzled. I had no idea what I was doing and my publisher at the time knew even less. So I stopped and regrouped. When I decided to become serious about writing I figured e-books were the way to go. After all I wouldn’t have to do traditional book signings or TV interviews--I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of crowds, the telephone, or even leaving the house for long periods of time. But I still needed to get my name out there. Thank goodness for the Internet.

After much searching I found several articles on Branding and attended a meeting at my local chapter of RWA on the same topic. So what is Branding? What does this term mean? It’s a good or service that consumers connect with a name, slogan, or logo.

Have it Your Way - Burger King
The Golden Arches - McDonald’s
It’s in there - Prego Spaghetti sauce

Or how about these: Worlds of Adventure...Souls of Desire...
Unstoppable Heroes, Uncompromising Love, Unforgettable Passion
Where words mean so much more...
She’ll keep you up all night

Recognize any of those? They are all tag lines from various romance authors’ blogs or websites. The first is Emma Lai, second is Kayelle Allen, third is Em Petrova and last is Jackie Collins. I know what’s she doing in the midst of all these steamy writers? Just to show that even a NYTimes bestselling author has branded herself.

But then there are some authors or products which need no slogans, like Stephen King, Nora Roberts or Kleenex or Kodak. Automatically one thinks of horror, romance, tissue, and cameras. None of that recognition would have been achieved if branding hadn’t been accomplished.
So, how does one accomplish branding? I thought this would be something difficult, but turns out, it’s fairly easy. First get your name out there! Make it easy for readers to find you. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Myspace readers should be able to find you by name. Not a nickname or something cutesy, but by your name or slogan. And those aren’t the only places you can brand yourself. Use your email signature line, GoodReads, Blogs, Online Communities, (Eharlequin, ARe Cafe, Savvy Authors, The Romance Review, etc.) articles, blogs you visit, email address, websites. Note: a word on websites--even if you don’t have one now, buy the domain name. You don’t want to put in all this hard work building your image, cultivating your brand just to have someone else take all the credit. People need to know who you are and what you’re about.
I will confess when I first set up my Twitter account I used a nickname, as soon as I heard that tidbit from an avid reader and blogger I came home and changed my name. After all, everything else says W. Lynn Chantale, why not Twitter?
Keeping this in mind what image do you want to convey to readers? Do you write dark, sensual love stories? Then your site needs to reflect that. Sci-fi/fantasy or historical romance? Something relevant should be in the header, like a group of sexy men (great site Kayelle). Or if you’re a closet romantic and want to convey that image; well a pink background, red roses, and maybe a picture of a bubble bath is the way to go. *grins* However you decide to build your name, your image, your brand—this is how readers will find and remember you. So make it count, get your name out there, and have some fun while doing it.
Until next time, indulge your inner romantic.

Seducing His Wife
W. Lynn Chantale
About the Author

W. Lynn Chantale resides in southeastern Michigan. Married to her high school sweetheart, they’ve been together for the last twenty years. They have three children. She writes African-American and Interracial sensual erotic and erotic romance. She has a mad affinity for milk chocolate, preferably Dove chocolate truffles or the caramel-filled squares (Godiva and Ghiradelli are acceptable), and plays the bass guitar when the Muse begs for a bit of distraction.

Contact Info


  1. In one of my books, a character says "Sincerity is everything. Once you can fake that, you've got it made." ;) But truly, in marketing and branding, it's image. You are absolutely right. Tickled to see my own brand right there in the middle of the list. Thank you, Lynn!

  2. You're very welcome. I had fun checking out your site, as well as some of the others. We have a very talented group here.

  3. Brewing up some passion baby....
    I'm all about the branding (for myself AND my beer company)

  4. Great, great post Lynn! I agree, branding for an author is definitely key to promotion. Thanks so much for the great tips. I'll be sure to keep them in mind moving forward.

    And Kayelle, the MFRW blogsite looks FABU! (I'm a lurker). Job well done!

  5. Howdy Lynn! I was surprised to see my tagline in the midst of the post. Happy me. :) (Though I am in the midst of re-branding, but that's a whole other can of worms.)

  6. Hi Liz, I love that line. Brewing up passion conjures all sorts of images to mind.

    Hi Aj. I hope they help. I'm sure there are other ways to brand and get your name out there.

    Hi Emma.When I was writing this, your tag line was one of the first to pop into my head. Good luck with re-branding.

  7. Lynn, enjoyed your post. I've bookmarked the new MFRW blogs so will try to stop in often. And,, I love chocolate especially rich smooth truffles.

  8. Great post, Lynn. Branding ourselves is important. My initial brand was "I write stories of the heart." As my writing turns more sensual, I wonder if that's going to be strong enough. Others' brands are so well thought out and much more gripping, I think.

  9. Great post. This is something I really need to work on. I tend to write what I feel like writing, with little thought to my brand. I should probably knock that off, eh?

  10. Branding is so vital today. It's worth spending time to develop, because once you have it... you have it. Why not share what you've come up with once you create your special brand? We could do a special "brand day" on the blog for this or something along those lines. It would be fun!

  11. I hereby brand myself as Ms Gorgeous, talented, super sexy - darn it - liar. More like - a can't sepll, where's my muse, gorgeous on a very good day and I haven't had it yet, and - the super sexy - well my husband laughed - the devil is still laughing. Swine....

    On a serious note - branding is everything. The stamp on my butt says it all.

  12. Hallelujah I can post comments!
    Great blog post!!

  13. Thanks Jeanne! :) Glad to finally get you over here and able to post.

  14. Great post, Lynn. I own an ad/pr agency so branding R Us! LOL While brand is something that lives in the mind of the reader and all we can do is try to shape it, consistency and frequency are the best ways to do that! I see it time after time. : ) Tara Lain
    Read the Beautiful Boys of Romance : )