With that behind me, I devoted the rest of January to designing my author website and starting a new blog.
I had used Go Daddy’s Website Builder software to create my editing site at Writing-partner.com, so decided to go the same route for my new author site at KathrynCraft.com. I favor clean design with plenty of white space to support my message, and the template I chose reflects that. I had to make compromises—templates are convenient yet not completely adaptable—but the expense of hiring a designer was not one I could take on just now, and I don’t know html. But I’m happy enough with the result, and believe it well represents my genre—women’s fiction, also known as book club fiction. What do you think?
Over the years I'd been writing my novel I was developing a memoir as well, so my first personal blog, Healing through Writing, has been a memoir blog. It focuses on the many ways I use writing as a way to heal from the wounds that life’s challenges inflict. I teach a popular workshop by the same name.
Now that my publishing career will be leading with a novel, though, I wanted a blog whose design and content focuses on the shared perspectives I so value when visiting with my friends, fellow book club members, or even strangers. So a few weeks ago I launched The Fine Art of Visiting. Again I wanted design to evoke genre, so I chose a stripped-down Wordpress template whose white space and typography suggest both a literary bent and time out from the constant onslaught of images we fend off these days. I wanted to suggest that this is a place where you can relax, think, chat. What do you think?
While I was working on refocusing my own image as author, the amazing design team at Sourcebooks designed my cover. I’ve been revealing it a bit at a time over the past month to drive my friends and family crazy. I also used the slow reveal to direct my readers to my Facebook Author Page (if you are on Facebook and are interested in updates about my writing, please click through and hit “Like,” as you should with any author you want to support).
Today, for the first time anywhere, I am thrilled to share with our Blood-Red Pencil readers the striking results of the design team’s efforts:
Interesting that it too is spare, directing the eye to what is important. Of course for me that was my name across the bottom. But the woman! That hair! The subtle yet incredible detail that only those who one day hold the book in their hand will truly appreciate. Click the photo to read more about the book!
Altogether these visuals are intended to create a marketing package, or brand, that suggests who I am and where I fit on the shelves—ironically, before anyone reads word one of the craft I spent so many years honing.
Have you yet given thought to your brand? How do you use images to support it?
If you would like to read more about Sourcebooks’ new Landmark imprint, and their marketing program that supports book clubs, click here.
Just catching up? Here are links to the other posts in this series:
Countdown to a Book 1: Joining Hands
Countdown to a Book 2: Pitching
Countdown to a Book 3: Getting My Agent
Countdown to a Book 4: Developmental Editing
You also might want to check out:
First Steps to Building Your Author Brand by Blythe Gifford
Kathryn Craft is a developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com, an independent manuscript evaluation and line editing service. Her women's fiction and memoir are represented by Katie Shea at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Her monthly series, "Countdown to a Book," details the traditional publication of her debut novel, The Art of Falling, by Sourcebooks in January 2014. Connect with Kathryn at her Facebook Author Page and Twitter.