I’ve been blogging for exactly six weeks. That makes me a relative newbie, so I’m hardly the person to speak with authority on blogging.
Of course, being unqualified to speak with authority doesn’t mean I won’t do it – I just thought I should establish my ignorance up front in case you’ve mistaken me for someone who knows something.
My agent prodded me for months to join the social media circus, but I was leery about donning my clown costume until I’d done some research. Though I tend to prefer research that allows me to poke dead bodies or simulate awkward copulation with my husband on the bathroom counter, this required a different sort of research.
I’ve worked in marketing and corporate communications for over a decade, so I knew I needed to use social media to build my brand. I read books like Shel Isreal’s TWITTERVILLE and Joel Comm’s TWITTER POWER. I pored over hundreds of blogs, making notes about what worked and what didn’t. I vowed to have a clear link between my website, my blog, and my and Twitter presence, and not to start blogging until I had a list of at least 50 potential topics.
I also vowed not to use that list more than once a week. I wanted it to be a crutch for occasional brain-dead mornings, rather than an excuse to avoid coming up with fresh, off-the-cuff ideas.
If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may be scratching your head right now. “You mean there’s a point to this blog? A strategy? A reason you’ve been blogging about eyebrow waxing, dog doo, scrotums, lost tampons, and recipes from Playboy?”
Believe it or not, there is.
Because if you’re the sort of person who chuckled at any of those blog posts, there’s a good chance you’ll like my books.
If your sense of humor is a bit more – well, normal, then you probably won’t become president of my nonexistent fan club. And how great is it that we can all figure that out now, rather than 17 months from now when you’re reading my debut novel and muttering, “I don’t get it, why would she use a pair of thong panties as an eye patch for a pirate costume?”
(Answer: because it’s kind of funny. And sexy, in an offbeat way).
Six years ago when Harlequin/Silhouette introduced the Bombshell line of women’s action/adventure novels, the books were wildly different from anything else they’d been publishing. There were explosions and kick-ass women who killed people, and endings that often had no commitment beyond the hero and heroine agreeing not to kill each other.
These were not traditional category romance novels – but someone forgot to tell the readers.
The line was canceled in less than two years (a month before my scheduled publication date, not that I’m bitter). Was it because the books were bad? I don’t think so. But I do think Harlequin did a crappy job with branding. They failed to let readers know what to expect.
The Bombshell books looked like traditional category romance novels. They were marketed like traditional category romance novels, and they sat on the shelves next to all the other Harlequin/Silhouette titles. Can we really blame readers for expecting traditional category romance, and being disappointed when that wasn’t what they got?
Though I had no control over the Bombshell situation, I do have some control now. I have 17 months before Sourcebooks, Inc. releases my first romantic comedy, so I’m doing my damndest to make sure readers know what to expect from me.
This blog is my voice – it’s my brand. I like quirky humor, risqué love scenes, and stories in which normal is nice, but weird is wonderful.
If that’s not your cup of tea, no sweat.
But if you like what you see here, then I’m hoping you’ll like my books. And in the meantime, I’m hoping you’ll keep coming to my blog for more.
(Heh-heh – I said coming. Snort!)