An author and her brand

Hello, all: While listening to people talk about Author Vickie King, one of her readers said she was destined for Hallmark.  As someone who loves Hallmark and who loves Ms. King’s writing, I decided why not plant the seed.   Today I’m pleased to present the Hallmark-bound Vickie King, Author of Carly’s Rule. Vickie’s here to talk about author brands and to explain how she and her publisher decided on hers. Welcome, Vickie ~ DonnellVickie

Have you ever recognized an author’s book simply by its cover? If you have, it’s probably because the author has a brand. Branding distinguishes an author’s book from all the rest. It’s a marketing tool. Look at Sue Grafton’s books. She uses the alphabet in the titles of her mysteries featuring her character Kinsey Millhone. For example, A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, and so on. Janet Evanovich uses numbers in the titles for her Stephanie Plum books. Two examples are One for the Money and Two for the Dough. All the books for Dummies are bright yellow with a black section on the front for the title. Those books are immediately recognizable.

Carly'sRule200x300x72Some writers choose not to have an author brand, or maybe they have never thought of using one. They may have another crafty marketing tool they prefer using.

A brand might tell something about the author, but that isn’t a necessity. I knew I wanted a butterfly somewhere on my books, and I expressed this to my editor, Deborah Smith. I am fortunate to write for Bell Bridge Books, an imprint of BelleBooks. Not only do they make an author’s publishing journey a pleasure, but there are so many talented people working there. Debra Dixon designed the cover for my debut novel. She placed the butterfly at the end of my last name. To me, that is nothing less than genius. A butterfly will be on every book. There is a story behind my author brand, and it has an emotional connection to me. I would like to share the story of my butterfly with you.

I only saw my husband cry two or three times in our entire marriage, but the day our first grandchild was born, he couldn’t stop the tears. Seeing him cry tore at my heart. We planned a trip to see her the following month. I couldn’t wait to see the room her mother had decorated in butterflies. She even had clothes with butterflies on them. My youngest daughter dubbed the baby Princess Butterfly. Nine days after her birth, my husband had a heart attack and passed away. Although he had seen her picture, he never got to hold his first grandchild. With the passing of my husband, I will always believe that God gave me somewhere else to put my love. On my granddaughter’s first birthday, as she sat in her highchair under a white canopy, surrounded by friends and family, a single butterfly flew in circles around this child. My daughter-in-law took a photo of the butterfly. Later, we talked about it and realized when we saw the butterfly, we both had the exact same thought. That butterfly was a symbol for her grandfather, my husband.Butterfly 2

Author branding is a great marketing tool. I chose my author brand because of its special meaning to me. You could select something meaningful from your life, or perhaps you have another idea. Whatever you decide to use, readers should be able to distinguish your book from all the rest.

Vickie King is from a small town in West Virginia. She transplanted to Florida in 1994, and while she loves living in the sunshine state, now and then she misses watching the seasons go through their changes. If she closes her eyes, she can still imagine herself standing on the deck of their family home, staring out over the hills and valleys that will always be a part of her.
Vickie is previously published in short fiction with both romance and mystery for Woman’s World Magazine. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and is active in her local chapter, Ancient City Romance Authors (ACRA), where she serves on the board.   Presently, Vickie is working on a third contemporary romance in The Braddocks series. Book One, Carly’s Rule, was released in September 2013. Book Two, Dusty’s Fate, is scheduled for release February 2014.
On a personal note, Vickie has four grown children, five grandchildren, and a Chihuahua named Bentley. She has the best family and friends anyone could have.