Brand your Books with Classic Tropes

Used in discussing market copy and branding in Discovering Your Author Brand by M.A. Lee

Covers for Tony Hillerman’s first novel featuring Jim Chee and Detective Leaphorn
Cadfael — the first book in the 20-book series, A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters
Amelia Peabody — the first book in the series by Elizabeth Peters
Head-boiled Detective Covers
Action Adventure with Louis L’Amour and Lester Dent
three covers for my favorite writer Mary Stewart ~ these are the covers that sold me.
Classic Mystery Pulp Writers of the 1930s to 1950s
Victoria Holt ~ vintage gothic
More vintage gothic

Celebrate *Discovering Your Author Brand*

Brands identify quality work with artistic effort. They serve as a stamp of approval for the customer.

It’s the anniversary of Discovering Your Author Brand, the guidebook for developing a writing brand for yourself as writer, for your book, and for your series.

cover by Deranged Doctor Design

Here’s something not sexy. A brand for writing is a contract with the reader.

Here’s two more.

  • Brands identify quality work with artistic effort.
  • They serve as a stamp of approval for the customer.

Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard that before.

Look around, and you’ll spot lots of flash-bang presentations on creating author brands. As more writers become self-published and traditional writers try to increase their marketing, the Author Brand is a hot topic.

Everyone talks about it. Few people can explain how to do it or give instructions to follow.

Well, gee, here’s another book, too. How is Discovering Your Author Brand different from the other books in the marketplace?

1st ~ It’s packed with examples based on highly successful writers.

Face it, in today’s marketplace, our competition is our peers and every other writer who has come before us. Agatha Christie is still selling. Ray Bradbury is selling. Arthur Conan Doyle sells. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot was made into a Will Smith movie over two decades after Asimov died.

These writers aren’t on the best-seller lists; only new books earn places on those lists. But Christie and Bradbury and Doyle and many, many more writers are competition for everyone else entering the marketplace. And they have the cachet of quality that new and recent writers struggle to achieve.

So, we’ll look at successful brands and analyze the secrets of their success.

2nd ~ Discovering Your Author Brand understands that the browsing readers will only give a few nanoseconds to our books.

So, we explain the three main glances that hook the readers before they swim down the river. We also look at the keys to unlock those glances. With the right keys, the brand is revealed, and the door to the reader opens.

To help with the keys and glances, we have worksheets (charts!) to help you discover the brand for book, series, and your author persona—because the first leads to the last.

3rd ~ We have something the other books don’t have, another way to catch the attention of that swimming reader. Video trailers!

Advertising claims that consumers have to see something seven times—7!—before they’ll buy. Static ads and promo posts are all well and good, but we writers need an extra oomph to get that seventh look. Enter the video trailer.

Have you ever wanted to set up a video trailer or a brief clip, currently big on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram? Have you hesitated because you don’t know where to start?

We have an easily adaptable script as well as guidance on settling the debate between music and narration. (We pick music!)

Discovering Your Author Brand is packed with explanations and examples. Book 7 in the Discovering set, the manual is designed for new writers on the journey to becoming totally professional.

Purchase at Amazon or purchase at other online distributors

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/uthI5gEWic8

. ~ . ~ . ~ . 

Writer M.A. Lee has been self-publishing fiction and non-fiction since 2015. She has over 50 books published under her three pen names.

 

Celebrate *Discovering Characters*!

Celebrate with Writers Ink! Discovering Characters is 3.

One of the hardest things to do in writing is to create characters that readers  will care about, that will make them have to read on. ~ Noah Luke

Discovering Characters is like investigating a house we want to buy.

No, I’m serious. Characters have an exterior façade that we comment upon as we drive past. Through the windows we catch glimpses of interior lives.

Even in cookie-cutter boxy cliques, characters have individual characteristics, just as the suburbia ranch houses have their garden plantings and the urban row houses have their painted doorways. These small touches create individual homes in neighborhoods.

Some characters enjoy the bright city lights. Some are loners, nestled against a national forest.  Characters, houses—each have individual personalities. Some are blingie, with the latest décor while others enjoy the comfort of yoga pants and old sneakers.

As writers, we capture these individual characters and save them from the cookie-cutter boxy stereotypes. We delve into interior rooms for glimpses of formative baggage. Finding their backstory is a search through attics and cellars, storage closets and garages. Characters hide their pain and fears, painting them over and adding distracting artwork.

Our job as writers is to find every detail of our characters then use snippets so our readers will see our characters as they drive through our books. We hint at the foundations while opening doors to their plans and purposes.

Discovering Characters is designed to help writers find the exteriors and interiors, public and private. We’ll dig around the foundations and climb to the roof. We’ll explore the open rooms and the storage closets. We’ll peek into rooms inhabited by such characters as diverse as Elizabeth and Darcy, the Iron Man, Aragorn and Frodo, Travis McGee, Medea, Macbeth, and Nanny McPhee.

Five areas comprise this guidebook. Just as characters—and houses—are individual, this info is individual. You won’t need every bit. Dip in and out, skim around. When you reach locked rooms, come back and explore to discover the keys to your characters.

  1. Starting Points ~ offering templates and character interviews
  2. Classifications ~ common and uncommon ways of discovering characters
  3. Relationships ~ couples, teams, allies, enemies, mentors, etc.
  4. Special Touches ~ progressions, transgressions, and transitions for character arcs
  5. Significant Lists ~ archetypal characters and much more

Discovering Characters, with 44,000-plus words, is the second book in the Discovering set, part of the Think like a Pro Writer series for writers new to the game as well as those wanting to up their game.

Click this link to take advantage of special summer savings.

Writer M.A. Lee has been indie-publishing fiction and non-fiction since 2015. She has over 25 books published under her pseudonyms. Visit www.writersinkbooks.com to discover more information.

Discovering Characters

One of the hardest things to do in writing

is to create characters that readers will care about,

that will make them have to read on.

Noah Luke

Discovering Characters is like investigating a house we want to buy.

No, I’m serious. Characters have an exterior façade that we comment upon as we drive past. Through the windows we catch glimpses of interior lives.

Even in cookie-cutter boxy cliques, characters have individual characteristics, just as the suburbia ranch houses have their garden plantings and the urban row houses have their painted doorways. These small touches create individual homes in neighborhoods.

Some characters enjoy the bright city lights. Some are loners, nestled against a national forest.  Characters, houses—each have individual personalities. Some are blingie, with the latest décor while others enjoy the comfort of yoga pants and old sneakers.

As writers, we capture these individual characters and save them from the cookie-cutter boxy stereotypes. We delve into interior rooms for glimpses of formative baggage. Finding their backstory is a search through attics and cellars, storage closets and garages. Characters hide their pain and fears, painting them over and adding distracting artwork.

Our job as writers is to find every detail of our characters then use snippets so our readers will see our characters as they drive through our books. We hint at the foundations while opening doors to their plans and purposes.

Discovering Characters is designed to help writers find the exteriors and interiors, public and private. We’ll dig around the foundations and climb to the roof. We’ll explore the open rooms and the storage closets. We’ll peek into rooms inhabited by such characters as diverse as Elizabeth and Darcy, the Iron Man, Aragorn and Frodo, Travis McGee, Medea, Macbeth, and Nanny McPhee.

Five areas comprise this guidebook. Just as characters—and houses—are individual, this info is individual. You won’t need every bit. Dip in and out, skim around. When you reach locked rooms, come back and explore to discover the keys to your characters.

  1. Starting Points ~ offering templates and character interviews
  2. Classifications ~ common and uncommon ways of discovering characters
  3. Relationships ~ couples, teams, allies, enemies, mentors, etc.
  4. Special Touches ~ progressions, transgressions, and transitions for character arcs
  5. Significant Lists ~ archetypal characters and much more

Discovering Characters, with 44,000-plus words, is the second book in the Discovering set, part of the Think like a Pro Writer series for writers new to the game as well as those wanting to up their game.

2*0*4 Lifestyle: A Planner for Living

“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” from Luke 10:27

We are not simple human beings. We are heart and soul, mind and body. We are circles of love and caring, spiritual endeavors, curious intellectuals, and physical movement.

The  2 * 0 * 4 planner is designed to transform your life by melding the four circles of our life.

  • Your heart will celebrate deepening relationships.
  • Your soul will be inspired to come closer to God.
  • Your mind will be sharper and clearer.
  • Your body will strive toward its own ideal weight.

How can a simple planner do all this?  The key is double-pronged:  following the two-page weekly spread and committing to the core of the 2*0*4 Lifestyle.

Scientific studies tell us that 21 days is necessary to break a habit, and 66 days are necessary to form a habit. Habits demand commitment. Commitments can be maintained through daily focus ~ the weekly planner.

2*0*4 will equip you with weekly reminders for diet, water intake, and movement. Here are sample pages.

At six-week and seasonal intervals are opportunities to commit to goals to strengthen your relationships, pursue quiet contemplation or peaceful prayers, build your mind, and develop your body.

Any transformation requires a time commitment, and challenges confront our devotion to change. Schedule your changes, plan for special events, take lists when shopping, and climb over the struggles that interfere with your devotion to transform. If you fall off track with any element, just climb back on with a re-commitment to change.

At the end of a committed year of the 2 * 0 * 4 Lifestyle, we guarantee that your life will have transformed for the better.

Open the planner and find ~

* The Raison d’Etre: explaining the purpose of the lifestyle and providing assistance with necessary diet changes–feast and fast, eating real food and avoiding bad fats and sugars.

* The Yearly Pre-Set, a goal-setting exercise for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Body. Accomplishments to Achieve creates lists in each area for you to consider throughout the year.

* Seasonal Pre-Set then Re-Sets, reviewing previous victories and challenges, specific goal setting, anticipated challenges, and obligations to come.

* The weekly spread, undated, with a panel for reflecting over the week, daily gratitude and meditation, upcoming goals, an inspirational quotation, and a place to note your weekly weigh-in.

* At the six-week mark is a new retrospection and prospectus, considering challenges and new ideas about your goals. After the first two six-week marks, you will encounter progress meters for these goals.

* Calendars of important dates from 2019 to 2023.

* Notes and Looking Ahead pages, Gifts and Wish List, and My Lists:  films, restaurants, books, tech, places, hikes, music, and vacation spots.

What other planner combines heart and soul, mind and body?  Make the decision to live a whole life with 2*0*4.