I’ve been looking long and hard at author branding the past year. Sometimes it seems very easy – go forth and tweet. Get a like me page on FB. Oh, and if you have time get Linked In, Triberr yourself and don’t forget Google Plus. And sometimes, it’s very difficult.
Three years ago, I decided to become a writer. Literally out of the blue. I bought books, I took classes, I wrote horrifying drivel. In general, I did everything wrong. So what? you say, haven’t we all?
But, the one thing I always KNEW was right, was the day I came up with smartassromance.com. I giggled and danced and well, made an ass out of myself. When I found the domain name wasn’t taken, I ran for it. Zoom! How could no one else have thought of such a thing?
I found the world’s cutest icon to go with it and even a fun font…
I decorated the ass for Christmas, Easter, Spring and other holidays. I collected pictures of various donkeys, mules and assorted asses and even bought a stuffed donkey so I could have my authorial picture taken with him.
There were a few rumblings when I took a branding class or two, but I stuck to my guns – mostly. I changed my name on twitter from my beloved smartassromance to carriecspencer. I changed my blog URL to carriecspencer.com. I was being forced to “grow up!” No fair!
I’ve already been through puberty – I didn’t want to do it again! But I did, kicking and screaming, pouting and sprouting a zit. Okay, I lied about the zit.
And you’re probably still thinking – so what?
Well, this past week I was told the name was offensive. I generally get “oh, that’s cute” or “that suits you to a T!” but it’s my first “I won’t buy any of your books – even if you manage to get one published – because no one likes a smartass.”
Well. That certainly told me.
I set the email aside, and waited for another day to deal with it, as this past two weeks I’ve had plenty to deal with. But it’s sitting there, waiting like a canker sore. I need to either acknowledge it’s there and address the contents, or throw it in the trash bin.
I’m not here to garner your sympathy and storm down the castle of People Who Don’t Like Smartasses like the mob chasing Frankenstein. Or was it Dracula? Definitely Young Frankenstein. Abby- Abby Normal. *snort* I’m just pointing out that sometimes marketing yourself in a way that people will like you is hard. Branding is hard. Answering all the tweets in my twitter stream is hard. =) Unless we’re discussing hotties and brownies. Then it’s a breeze.
Growing up is definitely hard. Growing as a writer – well, so far it’s been three years and I’m still working on it. Plotting is getting minimally easier, GMC – well, okay, we won’t discuss GMC. So yes, as a writing I’m growing. I’m tossing around the idea of changing my brand – and dealing with the growing pains that must accompany it, although I admit it’s still going to be another week or two before I really take a hard look at it. =)
So my big question is – not should I change my name, my brand, my ass – but how necessary do you feel the marketing of yourself depends on getting that tag line juuuust right? Is there leeway? Have you had to change yours?
Just thinking out loud….