Adventurous, empowering, high-concept, kick-ass, human

eaglePerhaps I should add fun…

What in Hades am I talking about?

I stumbled upon this post from Author Learning Centre called ‘Brand Development for Authors: Discovering Your Visual Identity‘. It encouraged you to list five words that sum up your book or series in order to help develop a visual image to firm up your ‘brand’.

So what is a brand?

–  A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or manufacturer
–  A product line so identified
–  A distinctive category; a particular kind
–  The act of giving a product a distinctive identity by means of characteristic design, packaging, etc
–  Placing a product indelibly in the memory

I think the keywords here are distinctive, identity and memory.

How to find yours

Jot down the five words that come to your mind immediately when you think of the books you’ve written. Ask members of your writing group, ask your readers, your fans and followers. Once the five most frequent words have floated to the top, close your eyes and let an image comes to mind when you think about the meaning of those words. Try not to overthink it, but go with the first image that comes to mind.

Make a note or scribble a quick sketch of the images. Next, can you put those images together into one idea/concept? Here you have to be a bit arty and left your mind go. Leave it for a few hours or even overnight.

When something occurs, make another note or drawing. Sometimes it comes in a flash, sometimes, it drifts into being. Once you have settled on an image, go back to your original five words. Do they plus your visual image work as a message with impact? If they do, you have your brand and essential elements for your message to market your books.

My five words are in the title; my visual image is the Roma Novan eagle.

What are yours?


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

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2 comments to Adventurous, empowering, high-concept, kick-ass, human

  • clareweiner

    You’ve certainly got a clear message on your covers Alison. Thinking about my books, I’ve identified possibly too closely with my publishing side – Hodge the cat – I wonder if the cat symbol (relating to Dr Johnson’s cat) sends strange, un-related messages about what is between the covers of my books? It’s a cat on a capital H, so it doesn’t look like erotica or relating to witches, but it may just be weird, and confusing?

    • Alison

      Thanks, Clare. I found the five words exercise really useful and was relieved that it worked with the eagle image!

      Now, a cat… Mysterious, playful, independent, fierce, enticing. These are only my personal associations with the feline, but doe they align with your books?