To an author, changing your ‘look’ is like buying a new dress …

… so many options and no guarantees you’ll get it right first time! I’m talking about author branding – of course!

Guest author, Linn B. Halton talks about updating your media image:

Authors don’t simply write books, most maintain their own blogs and websites. I have two publishers, as well as self-published novels and somehow I have to bring all those very diverse styles together.

With two new releases (one self-pubbed and one traditionally published) coming up in less than a month, it’s a reminder that even when the ebook/paperback is ready to go, there’s still a lot of work to be done! The website begins a tranformation:

Romantic Fiction header

The addition of two new covers, even when you already have a line-up of eight books out there, is very significant for two reasons. First of all, as a writer you grow and your most recent writing will reflect the things you have learnt (including, hopefully, getting the cover right); secondly it makes you stop and think about where you are heading – what you want to tell your readers. I write about the search for the perfect other: sometimes with a psychic twist, but the romance is always at the heart of the story. I write about real relationships and enjoy writing it from multiple points of view. You get to read what she thinks and feels, then you get to see his side of the story. It’s a reminder that often two people will see and hear the exact same thing, but go away with their recollection of what happened coloured by their own life experiences. You end up with two, often very different, impressions. That’s human nature.

In the run up to a book launch an author will add the cover, blurb, excerpt etc. to their website and I, for one, get that urge to ‘seek out a new look’. I want my readers to know I’m growing and changing with each book I write, so they get a real flavour for what they will find inside the covers of that latest release.

I think, more than anything, good (and interesting) graphics PLUS the ability for readers to sample a chapter before they buy, areย the best ways of ensuring readers won’t be disappointed if they choose to read one of my books. So that’s what my website offers. However, the graphics have to reflect the content of the book – Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series is a romance with heavy psychic overtones:

Rom Fict collage

Whereas Sweet Occasions is a heart-warming and uplifting tale of life, relationships and love. I hope I’ve achieved that with some of the graphics I’ve designed:

Sweet Occasions

I play around with a lot of apps and have become very good at taking random photos. You never know when you will need a shot of the beach, that leafy tree, or even the love heart that hangs on the wall. Graphics are easier to pull together on the iPAD, simply because the apps you can download are so flexible. You can re-touch and modify the photos, overlay them with text, or create fun collages. It’s fun and, I hope, really helps to give a flavour of the content of my novels …

So, writers have a play and readers, feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Website
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: Author Linn B Halton
Amazon author page

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8 thoughts on “To an author, changing your ‘look’ is like buying a new dress …

  1. Sorry I’m late – just back from the Festival of Romance in the UK … a non-stop weekend of fun – em, work … ha! ha! I love appearing here, Anneli, there’s always something interesting going on.

    Anyone who runs their own blog or website should consider having a go at doing their own graphics. If you are IT literate enough to maintain a blog, then you will probably find it easier than you think. I’m always game to try something new and experiment – but then the techie side of things is where my interests lie. I’m not so good at coming up with smart things to say on Twitter, I’m afraid.

    Waves from the UK and hope the weather isn’t too bad!

    Like

  2. And from me! And I agree, Linn, the ‘brand’ can be just as fluid as our personal and professional growth!
    I always get an urge to redesign the blog and website just before a launch, too, even if it’s just in subtle ways.
    We’ll be having a complete overhaul (moving to a new website host) before our next short story ebook comes out, and I’m so excited to make a start on that. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I think your covers look fantastic, and accurately portray the type of story a reader can expect between the covers. Well done! ๐Ÿ™‚

    *waves hi to Anneli*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanna and thanks for dropping by! I think you and I are on the same page when it comes to getting exciting about the redesigning bit – its such fun. I’ll look out for that new look of yours.

      Covers are hard to get right and I know I have a lot to learn, but each one I design teaches me something new. If only I’d studied graphic design … but I did A level art ha! ha! The problem now is that I simply don’t have enough time to ‘take time out’ to attend courses and if I did, I’d have a long list … that’s the trouble with the writing bug, once you start you can’t stop.

      Good luck with designing your ‘new look’ – can’t wait to see it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Time and energy – shame they have limits lol.

        Thanks, it’ll be a while before we unveil, but I’m sure it’ll be an improvement on the website we have at Yola!

        We tend to design the short story ebook covers ourselves (Ron LOVES design, so the kid in sweet shop analogy is accurate!) but leave the covers of the novels to the graphic / concept artist in the family! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

    • Top tip … take the ipad to bed and when the love of your life is snoring, download some Apps. Hours spent between midnight and six am don’t count as work hours, so you don’t have to feel guilty – but you are VERY tired the next day! I’m an expert on one thing – how to burn the candle at both ends and what NOT to do ha! ha! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

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