Thursday, July 2, 2015

Headshot: branding and marketing to your genre

Dear readers,

Things have been a little crazy in the land of Hodge. I'm on vacation and the days have started to blend into one another. I honestly thought today was Wednesday and was shocked to realize that tomorrow will in fact be Friday and NOT Thursday. Even though I am on vacation I have also set aside time to work on projects, including a grant that is due next week that will hopefully support the food pantry that I love. On the writing side I am working on integrating beta reader content edit notes on book number two, writing book #3, and working on the marketing and branding transition I am making.

I want to talk to you today about the marketing and branding side of things in this post. As many of you know I am new to the business and am learning as I  have therefore made some rookie mistakes in building my author platform so that it aligns with my genre (suspense). There are a ton of articles out there that can guide a wayward author back onto the straight and narrow.

[The Creative Penn did a great post about book covers that touched on this. She also touched on how an author's headshot is a part of their brand.]

These are the two areas that I am currently working on.

Book Cover
I am currently in the homestretch of redoing the cover for the first book in my series, Seasons. While I love the cover it just doesn't fit in with all of the other books in my genre and subgenres. There are some thing where standing out for being different is definitely to your advantage, but book covers is not one of those. Book covers serve several purposes but the two most important are: attract the readers attention and give the reader an idea of what to expect to find on the inside. I have been working with TLC Graphics to come up with some covers that will meet both of these requirements.

My cover reveal of Seasons will be on August 5, 2015. If you are a blogger and would like to host the reveal or would like to retweet or share facebook post, please fill out the google form.

I love my first headshot for several reasons. First of all, my talented friend took it at my favorite coffee shop where I wrote some of the first novel. Secondly, I can see me in the photo. So what is the problem? Well, it doesn't match my genre, which is suspense. The photo has to portray a look that tells readers what kinds of things I actually write. The first photo was brilliant for such genre's as women's fiction or maybe cozy mysteries. No one would look at that and say, she writes dark stuff, which I kind of do.

Thankfully the coworking space I belong to, Orange Coworking, hosted a professional photographer that took pictures of the members. I took advantage of this great opportunity and got new headshots done. While they look great; I struggle with the fact that it doesn't look like me. See below the four photos of the two different photo shoots. Please comment below with the one you like best!

In closing...
Marketing and branding is hard! My advice to writers first starting out is to say that it is vital to do all the research you can on your genre and to ask advice from veteran writers. There are so many people out there who are more than willing to listen and offer constructive criticism and advice.

Choose Joy!

KM Hodge is the author of The Syndicate Series. Book #1, Seasons is available on Amazon. 


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