Saturday, 12 May 2012

What is your brand? How to work it out.

What is your brand?  Ie what do you write?  IMO there are two different lenghts to say this.  There is the one line for signatures eg (for me) Author of magical realism with gentle warm humour.  Nell Dixon writes warm hearted books with a touch of humour and a hinit of suspense.  These are the lines that describe the type of books you write. And then there is the paragrah, which includes description of your characters as well as your book.  Eg DD Scott is a writer of romcom with sexy, sassy smart women with men who complete them.  So how do you work out what sort of characters you write about?  I found an answer in DD's 'Muse Therapy' ebook, which I really loved and found v useful, esp to work out my brand and its characters.  The answer is to write down what sort of TV programmes you love watching.  So here is my list: Corrie, Home and Away, Embarrassing Bodies, Supersize V Superskinny, You Deserve this house, Jamie Oliver, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, Junior Apprentice.  Those are just some of what I watch.  From this list, I tried to work out a common factor and realised what it was.  Apart from the first two, I thought the common factor in the rest of the programmes was that the people in them all have something to prove.  Bodies: the people want to find out what is troubling their bodies; Supersize: the candidates want to either lose weight or gain weight; You Deserve this house: the person gets their house made over because they have done good for their community; Jamie: he tries to prove that he can get people esp children to eat healthily; The Biggest Loseer: all want to lose weight and lose the most and have to prove they can with rigorous exercises and the Apprentice programmes: both the adults and children want to prove to Lord Sugar that they can be good business people and worth the investment of his money.  So that is: characters who want to prove themselves. 

In my first children's book Rosie and the Sick School (not a good title I now realise, so will change it when I come to rewrite it), Rosie wanted to prove that she could help her fellow pupils to eat and live a healthier lifestyle, with a touch of magic and gentle warm humour.  In my forthcoming adult romance series, Geraldine, who has died and gone to Heaven, has to prove that she is a worthy candidate of Heaven by getting her ex lover to be a nicer and happier man, and in doing so realises that she wants to be a nicer person herself.  She sets out to help her relatives prove that they don't have to live like they do and there is romance out there.  And in my current wip about a little boy who wears strange socks that make him clever, Billy, the boy, wants to prove that he can be as good or better in lessons than his older brother. (Having fun writing this book!)

So, here is my brand.  Julie Day is a writer of magical realism with warm gentle humour, and characters who have something to prove about themselves. 

Now all I need to do is work out my brand for non-fiction.  Maybe next post.


Talli Roland said...

I was impressed with your tag line when I heard it yesterday. Well done, Julie!

Julie Day said...

Thanks, Talli. It was what I came to realise I do, after reading DD's Muse Therapy. It is now my tag line for fiction.