Novel Marketing – Why I Write What I Write

I’ve definitely mentioned my fabulous writers group before, the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association, and that’s because it’s made up of a hell of a lot of smart women (and the token male or two). As an ARWA member, I had the absolute pleasure to take part in a workshop by Kate Larking, an ARWA member who recently published her non-fiction book, Novel Marketing, aimed at helping authors first figure out what their author brand is, then it helps them to execute it.

Novel Marketing by Kate Larking

Novel Marketing by Kate Larking

I’m a marketing grad, so I understand the nuances of social media, different types of promotion, etc. I’ve also been exposed to branding, how to develop a brand, and then how to carry it out tactically. So, you’d think it would be a walk in the park for me to figure out my own author brand, right? Wrong.

Marketing a novel is so dramatically different to marketing a product or a service. I am the brand. Me. What??? Scary…

To help figure out our author brands, Kate posed some questions. I’m going to work through mine with you:

What do you write? What is it about, the theme? Do your novels have a similar theme throughout? Why?  

So, I write romantic comedies. Call them chick lit, humorous women’s fiction or humorous romance… it’s all the same to me. My novels focus on women succeeding in both work and in love. My protagonists often discover or enhance their professional passion in life, they overcome personal challenges and… yeah, they find love.

Every novel that I have envisioned takes place in a foreign (to me) locale, so I love to incorporate travel. Travel is also a huge passion in my own life, so it naturally weaves into my stories. I believe that the more we explore the world around us, the more we learn about ourselves, and my characters experience this too.

What motivates you to write on that particular theme? 

Why am I motivated to write what I do? Because I believe strongly that women don’t have to sacrifice work for love or vice versa. I believe that we get to have both. I also believe that not everything is a fairytale, which is where the humour comes into my books. We fall, we say the wrong thing, we use double sided tape on dresses to keep our modesty… which bite us in the butt during romantic moments. It’s life, it happens, and I love it.

How do you explore these themes differently than other authors you are aware of in your genre? 

How do I explore these themes differently to other authors? Now, that I don’t know. Obviously I haven’t read enough to know that what I’ve written, story-wise, isn’t out in the world in some form or another. After all, the proverbial ‘they’ say that there aren’t any new stories in the world. But, what I think is unique to me is my voice. I can’t describe it further than that. This was definitely a tricky question for many in the group. I looked over to my friend and fellow writer, Jillian, and she had the same deer in headlights look that was surely on my face, so at least we’re not alone in this.

So, that’s part one. Why I write what I write. It may look simple on the screen, but it took a little work to dig deep, so thanks, Kate! Soon we’ll delve into how to find your target audience. 

And, if you haven’t heard of Kate’s book, or just haven’t had the chance to pick it up, I really encourage you to. It’s well written, honest and you will learn something new.

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4 Responses to Novel Marketing – Why I Write What I Write

  1. dianacranstoun September 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    ….we use double sided tape on dresses to keep our modesty… which bite us in the butt during romantic moments. It’s life, it happens, and I love it. LOL. Love it!!!

    Great post. And I agree, it was a great workshop.

  2. vscot848 September 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Lol, glad you like my sense of humour. I sometimes feel bad for putting my heroines through embarrassing moments… other times I think, screw it!

  3. Mahrie G. Reid October 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Your voice comes through – and it is unique. Thanks for sharing your journey through this thorny questions.


  1. A Recep of my Identifying your Author Brand Workshop - Kate Larking - September 29, 2014

    […] Victoria Smith, a fabulous writer and ARWA member, posted a recap of the author branding section of my workshop on her blog at Girl Tries Life. Take a … […]

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