Category Archives: branding

Part six of The Whiteboard

You can find part five of The Whiteboard here http://wp.me/p3VxaG-1QS

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So, here is the sixth part or installment of our strange tale. The Whiteboard is about a woman whose dry erase board at her job suddenly starts issuing someone’s opinion and becomes the object of their interest with her as the recipient.  Today we find out what happens next.

©The Whiteboard Part Six by Kim Smith

The writer didn’t put out new whiteboard writing at all on Thursday. By the time Anne got ready to leave work, she had convinced herself it was just a silly office game someone was playing with her and best left ignored. She wanted no part in it.

But when she prepared to leave for the day, she couldn’t locate her keys.

She was fastidious to a fault and to misplace anything was not her norm. She checked her sweater hanging on the back of the door, took every item out of her purse. turned it upside down and patted it to make anything inside fall out.

Nothing did.

And she had an immense set of keys. They were impossible to miss when they were lying on the desk or in the bottom of her purse. She checked her desk, every nook and cranny, even looking all around on the floor.

The keys were officially missing.

She gazed up at the whiteboard. Nothing there to give her a hint.

Or was there?

In very tiny writing, using the yellow marker this time, was one single line that she had completely missed.

“I like your car.”

Now, a cold drip of fear sucked through her belly. Did the writer take her keys?

She had to go to her car.

Of course, the writer had taken the keys.  Why else were they missing? The writer was taunting her. Anger made her breath come out in a whoosh as she strode from her office headed straight for the elevator.

If this lunatic had done anything to her car…she’d kill him. Or her. She didn’t care. When she got her hands on them, they’d be a believer.

When she walked outside, she blinked at the brilliance of the sun as it shone on her face. She would love to be able to just sit on the concrete steps and enjoy it. But instead, she thought about how unfair life was. She couldn’t even enjoy the seasonal beauty because someone had gotten focused on her and now had her heart filled with hate.

When she arrived at the car, her keys were lying just underneath the car’s door. Did she accidentally drop them? Had she been all keyed up over the writer’s activities and been at fault all along?

She scooped them up and walked around her car, suspiciously. She had had to have them in her hands to lock the vehicle’s door’s with the clicker. It was obviously locked. Besides, hadn’t the writer said in the latest writing that they liked the car?

Frustrated, she rushed inside the building to go straight to her boss’s office. Enough was enough. When she walked into her supervisor’s office, it was like it wasn’t even her moving her legs. She was a robot performing some weird pre-designed action.

“What’s up?” Mr. Stanton asked.

“I…I have a problem,” she replied, looking at the various items on his desk, formulating her thoughts.

“Like?”

He was being kind.

She was approaching this all wrong. She dove in anyway.

“Y-yes,” she stammered. “I’ve been having a visitor at night in my office.”

She glanced at him.

He steepled his fingers together and sat back.

“A visitor?”

__________

Well, there you have it, my friends. What do you think will happen next?

 

 

 

Interesting facts about Memphis, TN

I have been a lifelong Memphian. I always jokingly say, Memphis born, Memphis bred, when I die I’ll be Memphis dead, but sometimes I do not want that fate. I would like to be Florida dead. When I am able to retire I hope it is in the sunnier south.
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But for now, I live here. My book series is set here in a fictional town just south of the stateline, called South Lake, Mississippi. In South Lake, they say they are the sunnier side of Memphis. Yeah.

So, since most of you are not lifers from here, I thought maybe you might be interested in a few Memphis facts:
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About the demographics:
The city was founded in 1819 and incorporated in 1826. The airport sits 331 feet above sea level and the Mississippi River (which borders us on the west) sits at 188 feet above sea level. Guess it’s all uphill from the river eastward. The city has 324 square miles, 315 of which is land and the rest is water. Which is to say, we don’t have a lot of lakes. The official city tree is the dogwood, and the official city flower is the crape myrtle. And I don’t understand that because I thought the crape myrtle WAS a tree? January’s average temperature is 41.2 degrees, and July’s average is 81.2 -but hey, since I have lived here, the temps have been below zero in the winter and above 100 in the summer.(Record High: 108 on July 13, 1980 Record Low: -13 on Dec. 24, 1963 )

Annnnnd… the average rainfall in Memphis is over 48 inches. This brings me to my knees when I think about it. That’s a lot of rain. Shelton, Washington, gets 66 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Why the heck do we get so much?

Memphis Facts come courtesy of the Memphis Shelby County Public Library, Wikipedia & City-Data.com.

Well, that is about all I have for you today. I am still sick, and I am still busting my butt to get formatting finished on the third Shannon Wallace book so I can start rewriting it. This one has to be rewritten (said with clenched teeth). It’s not going to be pretty what I will do to it. But that might have to be another blog post.

My interview with JD Rhoades goes live on Writer Groupie tomorrow so if you like hard-boiled PI stories be sure to heck that out.

I will also be sending out the spring newsletter soon, and there will be FREE DOWNLOAD info in it. Be sure to sign up for it on the sidebar.

Leave your comments below on your home town…what’s the rainfall like there?

Everything old is new again

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New is the new old?

New efforts on the behalf of old work is a tricky situation.

Some people believe that you should never revise previously published work, once it is out there, it’s a done deal. If you try to make it better or change it, well, that’s akin to fooling readers. I mean some poor soul actually slogged through that bad book, didn’t they? But in 2016, self-publishers are going through the roof with changing their previously pubbed works. They change covers, do new edits, add chapters, develop weak characters etc.

And of course, there is the age-old accepted rule that you can do anything you want with your work if you are trying to re-brand.

In a nutshell, re-branding means promoting a new aura around your work, your name, and your — well, brand.

Why would we even do that?

In my case, changing things up in the brand dept. is necessary as I am trying to MAKE a brand. I never really did that before. I have written so much under my name, nothing UNIFORM, that a reader must wonder, WHO is this writer?

When my publishers all fell away and went out of business, I got all the rights back to all of my work, and began reproducing them. Well, I had been doing something of a bit of romance, and YA fantasy. But my main thrust, my MOST desperate desire, was mystery.

The first three books in the Shannon Wallace series is back in my hands. They are edited, but need more. They have to have new covers. And seriously, they need to be updated. This series started out in 2008. Things have changed in the world since then, n’est pas? The great thing is, I have three full-length novels, and two short stories to publish between the books. I just want you all to know that they will basically be the same books, but they will be newer more “today” worthy. And they will be better. Omg. SOOOO much better. I am not the same timid beginning writer that I was back then. I actually understand how to write now! *smile*

So, the re-branding has begun.

In today’s world of self-publishing, authors are expected to be busy and put out work on a regular schedule. I hope to be able to do that for you. Just as soon as they get revised. This is why you should sign up for my newsletter. You will be the first to know when the next book is on its way!

And I do NOT plan on rewriting the entire series from top to bottom. So, getting them back out there will be quicker.

Why aren’t you creating new content?

Oh, I am. Believe me I am! Book FOUR is about 1/4 of the way written. The Shannon Wallace series goes on! *Strains of the Titanic’s theme song”

But what about you? What do you think of revising previously published work? If you were presented with the opportunity, would you do it?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Everyone is talking about the author brand and how to do it and why to do it and what the heck is it. Today, I think I have a few ideas. In fact, so many of them that this may turn into a sort of series of posts. Call it my Monday musing as a writer.

So, first of all…

About branding yourself…what is it?

A brand is a person, place, or thing that is easily identified with a potential customer.

Okay, here we go with the fun stuff. If I say, pizza, who do you think of? Why did you think of them? That’s because they spent big bucks on their identity. OR maybe its because they are around the corner from your house and have awesome pizza, but either way, you identify with them when I say pizza. That is their brand.

If I say sports footwear– what symbol comes to mind? Yeah, same thing. It is a “thing” that has been touted so much that they no longer need a word to go with it. The brand is the symbol.

If I say Zuckerberg, well…he’s a person…but immediately you think of his company, Facebook. Why is that? Because his company is so closely identified with him that they are like one word. Zuckerbook. haha. Okay, that was my silliness for this Monday.

Branding Yourself: How do I become one?

Here are my thoughts:

 

  • You likely are not going to be another Dominoes pizza, or Nike. But you could achieve greatness in your part of the writing world by being genuine. So thought number one: be genuine. Don’t set out to put out a quick-fly-by book and expect it to do well in the highly oversaturated market of today. Write real stuff. Real stories, real books, real stuff.
  • Consider who you want to be. What do you enjoy writing about? It’s okay to say well, I just like to write stories. We all do that. But if you want to stand out, you have to think a little more laser-focused.
  • Think about the books you read. If you are an avid fantasy reader and you have a ton of fantasy books on your keeper shelf, and you find yourself writing fantasy-well, you may just want to nudge along a little fantasy brand. Ditto for any other genre. It goes without saying that if you are a marathon runner and know a lot about them and have penned a few articles or books about them, you have a brand that goes with that.

 

Branding Yourself: Why would anyone care about me?

This is the most common question. Nobody knows you. Nobody knows what you write. Nobody listens when you go to social media. You only have 150 fans and followers and they only liked you to get a free download.

Don’t ignore them-FEED THEM.

Take to your social media, or like me, your blog, and TALK ABOUT YOURSELF. You are your brand. They are in the seat as fan and follower because of one thing… YOU. Your uniqueness is your brand as much as what you do or what you write.

Tell them how you got started as a writer and let them find out who you are as a writer and hopefully they will find something in you that is in them too. We are all human with the same basic human interests and needs. Give them something to come close to and identify with. And that folks, is your number one job in branding. Make yourself the most interesting and approachable person out there writing what you write, being who you are, and your audience will love you.branding