In my last post, I told you about the 4 day retreat I had been on in Paris with NCWR headed by Janet Wallace of Social Deviants and UTOPiA Con. It wasn't a retreat to write, but to explore the idea of visibility; a definite concern in a time where there is literally a tsunami of authors out there shouting to be heard.
|One of the early images from|
the original Knight Trilogy website.
The message was clear (if not
I've always fought viciously against labels, and types, and 'brands' - I am a passionate autocrat of my own identity, and yet... growing older (hopefully wiser) I have come to understand that pinning your colours (quite literally in this case) to the post isn't always a bad thing.
So, as an author of several series, and a writer of multiple genres, always putting the story before the market, I had resisted the urge to create a 'brand'.
When I first started, nearly 10 years ago, it was easy. I just had the Knight Trilogy, a contemporary Arthurian romance - the website design was easy; it was high gothic romance, deep purples, red roses, knights, and white horses. The fashion was for high paranormal, and so I threw myself into the rich and OTT design. It worked. The Knight Trilogy was a bestseller; there was a clear communication between me as author and the reader. When
a reader clicked onto the page, they knew exactly what they were getting.
BUT THEN... I finished the Knight Trilogy series and wrote something that didn't have knights and white horses and red roses; I became increasingly aware of marketing, and design and social media, and so I began to neutralise my site - something fresh, white, slick, minimal, classy, sophisticated ----- STERILE. Yes, that's what it was... STERILE, but I thought it was great. It was on point for current trends, it fulfilled everything I had been told about looking 'professional', but it wasn't working, and in that process, the communication between me and author began to fade.
It's funny how things come full circle in life - and it's also funny how we don't realise that things are actually coming full circle until it smacks you in the face.
|The previous author logo. designed to convey the fierce|
feminine, the shadowy figure, mystery. The use of Henny Penny
font, a youthful, playful outlook - and yet it communicates
nothing of the sense of poetry and strong links to the past.
|Things come full-circle. The colours and whimsy|
of the new Knight Trilogy banner hark back
to those early amateur days
|A snapshot behind the scenes shot|
from the photoshoot in Monmarte, Paris taken
on the NCWR retreat.
When asked who my fashion icons were, I gave Helena Bonham Carter, Dior, Kate Winslet, and Nicole Kidman.
And okay, so most days I wear jeans and a t-shirt on the school run, because it's practical, but that butterfly inside the caterpillar....
When I had my photographs done (the final versions will be with me in a month or so) the jarring realisation came that they were totally, utterly incongruous with my current website; there was no relationship at all.
Cat Espinoza (our fashion / image consultant) talked about the process of mood boarding (which she still does old-school) with an actual board and printed out images. It was something I used to do a lot when I wrote the Knight Trilogy, and yet it, like many things to my detriment was something I 'grew out of'.
|Using Pinterest, I gathered together images that sang to my soul; wings,|
champagne, sisterhood, nature, flowers, adventure, romance, whimsy
sexuality, sensuality, infinite possibility.
THE MOST POWERFUL THING YOU CAN DO TO REALIGN YOURSELF WITH YOUR AUTHOR SELF IS TO MOOD-BOARD EVERYTHING THAT SINGS TO YOUR CREATIVE SOUL.
|The very first|
The Forest of Adventures
cover. The cover that led
(unbelievably) to it becoming
a bestseller in 2010
of Adventures - harking back to the
core elements of the original.
Come over and visit the new look website and see the 'brand' in action. www.katiemjohn.com