On Habit #1 Proactive

As I’ve been looking at the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I realized that this year I’ve taken a very important proactive step. Inklings Publishing has hired a publicist to work with our authors. Mickey Mikkelson, of Creative Edge Publicity, will be working on retainer to help each of our authors increase their visibility.

Looking at these opportunities has also made me realize the importance of developing a cohesive brand for each author. As more people get to know them through these publicity events, they each need a strong online presence that will hold the interest of those that look them up. Hence, the time has come to develop training modules.

All companies conduct in-house training for their people as well as encourage them to engage in continuing education. Up to now, Inklings has done very little training in-house. We have encouraged our authors to increase their knowledge and create strong networking connections by attending various literary conferences. We’ve also worked to place our authors on panels at these to help cement their expertise in the industry.

Now, however, we will begin to put together modules of training for our authors. Creating an online platform and strong cohesive brand as an author takes time and skill. Hence we will be working to train our authors on a variety of areas that are needed to create their cohesive brand and establish a strong online presence.

Deciding on a look for their individual author personas, one which perhaps coordinates well with their book covers, and which speaks to the genre they write is step one. All of that begins in the construction of an author website. As you can see, my author website and my cover art all work together to present the potential reader and fan with the feel of a science fiction/fantasy novel. Here’s a picture of my book cover. You can look at my website at www.fernbrady.com.

For some authors, creating this look can be hard because they may not yet have a first book to use as a basis for the color palette or design work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t launch a website early to capture connections. The key to a brand new author is to create a look based on the genre of the works you want to write. Before I had a first book out, I created an author logo. The color palette of my first website came from this logo — white and purple. These colors remain integral to my brand, especially purple which is the color I dye my hair as part of my author persona.

There are key pieces to creating a strong website, and it is critical to integrate capturing visitors’s emails into a newsletter. Once you have these, a major part of maintaining engagement is keeping the connection open with these newsletters. What kind of things go into a newsletter? Author newsletters can contain excerpts of work in progress with an option for readers to opine on what they felt it lacked or what their favorite part was. They can also contain short stories that are unavailable any where else as a thank you to fans, or artwork that connects to your novels and the genre you write, among other things.

While we are doing these training for our authors, Inklings Publishing will be working with Abundantly Social to create these modules and to deliver the learning program through the Monday night authors training program “Through the Eyes of Authors.” If you are interested in getting into these training pieces, contact Aimee Ravichandran at  to be added to the mailing list so you can know when the trainings will be given and how to register. One of the things that matters the most to me is to offer all the help I can to not just my own authors in-house, but to all authors in our writing community.

I’ll share more on other modules we will be giving next time, but for now hope your author/life journey is full of happiness and success.

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