Tuesday, August 14, 2018

BRANDING PANEL RECAP

I've just returned from Once Upon a Book Convention in Frankenmuth, MI, where I participated in the Building Your Brand panel. We had such a good time discussing the ins and outs of branding and how it applies in different situations.

I was asked to share a recap of my input, so below you will find the questions and my answers to each.

(Please note, these are my own personal opinions and experiences and can apply differently for each reader and the other panel participants.)


Building Your Brand Panel
Questions & Answers

What is branding? Why is it important?
The definition of Branding is: The marketing practice of creating a theme or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

And that right there, is exactly why it’s important. Having an effective brand gives you an edge in the market place, because it makes you and your products (books in our case) stand out or be instantly recognizable as your own work.

How exactly do you identify your unique brand?
Try naming three things that you want your brand to be recognized for. Three things that describe what you’re trying to convey, then work your brand around those things.

For me personally, it simply developed from the type of books that I write, but also, very much from who I am as a person, which is how I would recommend finding your own.

Because I mostly write paranormal romance, as well as myself being known for my ‘witchy’ ways, those magical elements are what I based my brand on, because it’s what people already recognized about me and my books.

How do you build your brand when you write in different genres?
I think it depends on what those different genres are. For me, because I write in genres that are similar enough to each other (PNR, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Dystopian) I’m able to use the same brand across the board. Also, because I consider myself as part of my brand, and not one individual book, I prefer to keep it consistent. That’s not to say that each series doesn’t have its own theme, or consistent design, but my overall brand remains the same across those themes.

How do you protect your brand?
Trademarking is typical … if done correctly. :) Also, my logo is copyrighted artwork, and thankfully, because I’m the only Tish Thawer in the world (according to Google), that really helps to keep it distinguishable from anything else that may be similar.

When hiring someone to help build your brand—such as a PR company—what questions should you be asking?

1. Are they aware of what you write/sell?

2. If so, what is the first thought that popped into their head about you and your work? (This isn’t meant to critique, but can certainly help identify how you’re already being ‘seen’ and give you a base for what your brand should be or what you might need to change.)

3. And obviously, ask for examples of their previous work, because if you’re looking to build a full ‘brand’ (website, promotional platform, ads, etc.) and all they show you are a bunch of logos, they may not have the extended services or ideas that you’re looking for.

What is a logo and how is it different from a brand? Do authors need both?
Yes. You need both, because your logo is just one small piece of your overall brand. It’s the design or mark that helps identify your brand.

Your brand includes every single touch-point your customers or readers have with you. That means your website, your promo images, your ads, your video trailers, your swag products, even your packaging. Every single point is part of your overall brand, and will most likely contain your logo as the identifier.

In my case, you’ll find my logo on every promo image I create, on my website, my reader boxes, etc. and all have some level of a witchy/magical feel, which makes up my overall brand.

Below is an example of how a logo works as the identifier for your brand and why it's important.

(All images from Gomedia.com) 

Above: Most companies think this is how a logo works: You see their logo, have a positive reaction, then spend your money.
Unfortunately, that's not how it happens.


Above: In reality, you see a logo, which then reminds you of EVERY interaction you've had with that company, which will then hopefully illicit a positive reaction, and then you spend your money.


Above: Problems can arise from an improper logo, which doesn't create any recognition of your brand, which then leads to a negative reaction, which equals lost sales.


What competitive edge can a strong brand image give you?
From my personal experience, it’s been a huge edge. A few examples are that I’ve had bigger publishers (Hachette Group and Orbit - one of their imprints) and author’s who’ve reached out to me to blurb their new ‘witchy’ books, because that’s what I’m known for. Or readers sharing things with me and saying, “These are completely witchy and reminded me of you.” So, in the overall scheme of things, that means my brand is working. When they see something in that theme… I’m what pops into their mind, though I'm sure not all the time, and not exclusively, but in enough instances that means I’m on the right track with my branding.

What’s the importance of showcasing a “personality” in your brand?
I think it lets people feel closer to you. If your genuine personality filters over into your work and brand, and that’s something they see, it creates more of a realistic interaction which hopefully leaves them feeling positive about you and your product, which is exactly what you want.

But on the flip-side, it can also pose a pitfall if you're not careful. If you yourself are a big part of your brand and you have one bad interaction with a person, you risk that having a negative affect on your overall brand. So again … just keep it positive.

Tell us how you make your own brand unique.
I had a custom logo created that features a sigil, which is a magical symbol with a stylized version of my name that I use on every piece of promo that I create. Then, I just try to be consistent with the layout of all my promo pieces, ads, website, etc. so that those things are easily identifiable as coming from me! And again, since I’m genuinely connected to my brand by the person I am, I just try to keep things and all my interactions as ‘real’ as possible.

If an author feels their current brand is lacking or needs an update, how do they fix that and what tips would you have for the unveiling of a fresh rebrand?
I would first start by asking yourself those same two initial questions.
1.   Are others aware of what you write?
2.  And how are you currently being ‘seen’ or thought about?
And again, this isn’t meant to critique or a time to get down on yourself, but to identify problem areas in your brand.

If the answer to the first question is … “Not a lot of people know I write Fantasy and Contemporary Romance – then you may need to rethink your branding, whether across the board or separate for each genre if you feel they’re too diverse.

Similarly, if the answer to question two is … “My readers don’t really know that I feature wings (or magic, or whatever), in every one of my books, that’s something you can change with your branding. Feature that element in your logo, then post about it with images, and other ‘themed’ swag on a consistent basis, until it becomes something they affiliate with you through your brand.

As for the unveiling – I always think it’s best to be honest, and personally, I’m pretty conversational in most of my posts so I may say something like “Hey guys, after taking a hard look at my branding and previous marketing efforts, I’m thrill to unveil my new logo and brand….” Then I’d go on to explain they ‘why’ behind it, like the magic or feather in every book, but be sure to keep it positive. After that, it’s all about consistency and saturation. No one like to be spammed, but out the gate, you’ll want to post a little more often to stay in their line-of-site, and be sure your using eye-catching graphics that include that new logo!


I hope this recap was helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me! ~ Tish

Monday, July 23, 2018

NEW RELEASE

***NEW RELEASE***
The #mutantnation is back! 💚
TS901:DOMINION is now Live!


Risen from their literal hole in the ground, Thia, Lance, and her ‘Maly’ brethren have escaped The Hive and now face a full-on war. Welcoming the distraction from her abysmal love life, Thia throws herself into training the troops and claiming Nary bases. 

Grateful to be of service again, Evan focuses on maneuvering their forces while fighting to break the icy bonds of betrayal still clutching Thia’s heart. 

After a startling vision by his mother, Lance learns that Gigi is alive and trapped within The Hill. Now, he will stop and nothing to save his favorite icy blonde. 

Stuck deep in enemy territory, Giselle DuBeau isn’t waiting for anyone to rescue her. Following her growing abilities, she becomes a force far beyond what her friends knew her to be. Yet, when a threat greater than anything the team has faced arises, Gigi is left to wonder exactly who has Command Control.

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LqM01W
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2mvH9ia
B&N: https://bit.ly/2JBrUgH
iBooks: https://apple.co/2uBbEHN

Monday, June 25, 2018

COVER REVEAL & PREORDER


Yaaas ... it's finally here!


***COVER REVEAL & PREORDER***

TS901:DOMINION 
(Book #2 in the TS901 Chronicles)
Coming July 23 


Preorder Link: https://amzn.to/2traVbt



Risen from their literal hole in the ground, Thia, Lance, and her ‘Maly’ brethren have escaped The Hive and now face a full-on war. Welcoming the distraction from her abysmal love life, Thia throws herself into training the troops and claiming Nary bases.

Grateful to be of service again, Evan focuses on maneuvering their forces while fighting to break the icy bonds of betrayal still clutching Thia’s heart.

After a startling vision by his mother, Lance learns that Gigi is alive and trapped within The Hill. Now, he will stop and nothing to save his favorite icy blonde.

Stuck deep in enemy territory, Giselle DuBeau isn’t waiting for anyone to rescue her. Following her growing abilities, she becomes a force far beyond what her friends knew her to be. Yet, when a threat greater than anything the team has faced arises, Gigi is left to wonder exactly who has Command Control.



Monday, June 4, 2018

New Release ~ LOST IN TIME



***Available Now*** 

LOST IN TIME
By Tish Thawer
Series: Legends of Havenwood Falls
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Cover Design: Regina Wamba, MaeIDesign.com

Every town has stories of its past, and Havenwood Falls is no different. And when the town’s residents include a variety of supernatural creatures, those historical tales often become Legends. This is but one . . . 


Three sister witches escape the Salem witch trials when the eldest casts a spell that sends their souls forward in time. Separated by unknown forces, their soul journeys place them into new lives, causing them to continually try to find one another each time.

After their second soul journey, two of the three Howe sisters end up in an unforgiving mountain range in the early 1700s, but before they can begin to search for their sister, they come face-to-face with a native tribe living in a secluded box canyon. Forced to shift their focus from their lost sibling, the girls quickly realize they’ve been trapped in a time loop and now must face the tribe whose end goal remains to be seen.

When they discover that magic is being misused, the sisters put a plan into motion that will change the canyon forever, hopefully keeping others from falling into the same trap. But as their deaths loom and their next soul journey awaits, they must decide who will protect this special land and the magic of the falls once they're gone. 


(Lost in Time follows the Howe sisters from my Witches of BlackBrook series to 1703 where they've been pulled out of time and now face an unknown threat.) 

What early readers are saying about LOST IN TIME:
"I finished my ARC last night. Oh my goddess, Lost in Time is amazing!! Congratulations!!" ~ ARC review

"This was such a magical exciting tale of how the very first protections were put in place at the falls. The author's imagination knows no bounds when she writes of witches, reincarnation, American Indians, shamen, shifters and angelic spirits. This book had it all. There were bittersweet moments and happy moments and although it was only a novella the author managed to fit so much into it that you aren't left feeling as the story could have been expanded upon.
This was the first LEGENDS of Havenwood Falls book that I have read and I can't wait to read the next one." ~ Goodreads Review

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HGiIeB
B&N: https://bit.ly/2GM1eZ4
iBooks: https://apple.co/2kkFoTC
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2KSrcg7

To stay up-to-date with all the Legends and the rest of the Havenwood Falls gang, join us in the Book Club today! https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Surprise Release



*** SURPRISE ***

I have a new release for you, and it's unlike anything I've done before.


This MAGICAL BULLET JOURNAL & PLANNER is a non-fiction reference/activity book with a spiritual twist.


Illustrated by Crystal Smalls Ord, all the artwork is original and inspired.


Magical Bullet Journal & Planner by Tish Thawer
Illustrated by Crystal Smalls Ord
Cover design by Inkstain Designs
Released May 10, 2018
Link: https://amzn.to/2wvnrL8

Embrace the energy all around you as you utilize the pages within to create a personal brand of magic all your own. With correspondence pages including The Wheel of the Year, The Zodiac, The Moon Phases, and more, you can let your imagination fly as you fill in the blank pages to plan out your magical year.

Inspired by my Witches of BlackBrook series, it also contains information directly from my personal Book of Shadows.

Here's a peek ...










Be sure to enter the giveaway below, for a chance to snag your copy today.


a Rafflecopter giveaway