Monday, May 4, 2015

The Power of a Writer's Message--What's Mine?

What message do I want to send with the books I write or with the website I set up? What word or words should be associated with my author name? What is my author brand? These are all questions I am thinking about, thanks to a helpful video message about messages, presented by Yen Ooi.

First of all, an author's message has to be more than wanting everyone to like her book just because she thinks it's fabulous. Yen Ooi says, "A good message will build a bond between the book and the reader." That message is often found first in a book blurb, review heading, or website focal point. Ooi identifies three characteristics of an impactful message:
1. Easily identifiable.
2. Memorable.
3. Relevance (to the reader).

A book's message will include different things than a brand or website message. It's more specific and tells more. In either application, Ooi suggests that you brainstorm messages, creating a bank of them. Use them, experiment, and narrow down/pick one. Then you can consider who is the best target for this message, what medium best reaches this audience, develop it further and set it free. Repeat with another message that you liked. Once you have seen what people like and what is successful, you might be prepared to invest into paid advertising. Don't invest before its test.

In my writing journey thus far, I have worked on a scripture-based fictional story, it's sequel, and two inspirational narrative non-fiction stories. I can generalize them all into the "Inspirational" genre for the LDS audience. Too boring if you are looking for a spunky female character in a clean romance. After brainstorming for a brand slogan, "Feel-good inspiration that you can use today in your life" translated into "Light for Life". Identifiable, memorable, and relevant? I hope so. First message chosen. Check.

Now its on to considering my target audience and the best medium to reach them? Until I figure that out, an easy place to start is with this blog post and a Facebook post. As usual, your suggestions are always welcome! Happy message-writing.

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