Book Marketing, Author Branding and the Long Game

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is reviews: do they really do any good?


Serendipitously enough, this topic dovetails with something I’d already noted on my list of Things to Discuss, which is author branding and the long game. I’d been thinking about it since I was interviewed last week on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast. Since it aired, I’ve received a lot of great feedback and appreciation for my “down-to-earth” marketing strategy and advice.


I found that description kind of amusing – because I don’t think of myself as “down to earth” in general – but I also get why they say that. I think it’s partly because a lot of my marketing strategy is grounded in author branding and the long game.


I’m also thinking, as one does days later with these things, that I didn’t say exactly that in the interview and I wish I had. So I said it here. 



The Power of Heels!

shiny shoesI don’t think I ever showed you all the shoes I bought while I was in Florida with Megan Mulry. She took me consignment shopping in Boynton Beach and I found these totally awesome shoes. This is the correct terminology because they do harken back to the 80s. And they absolutely match the dress I plan to wear to the RT Awards Ceremony. Just wait – this is going to be an amazing outfit.

If I do say so.

While I don’t deduct this sort of thing, I consider purchases like this part of my marketing. As an author, my image is part of my brand – particularly for me, with the hats and whatnot – and fancy heels fit right into that. I like high heels. Pretty much always have, as does my mother. She even taught me to walk in them, which I’ve discovered not that many mothers do. (How can this be??) It works out for me because this brand image is very organic to who I am, which I believe is how brands should be. Otherwise they’re too difficult to sustain.

At any rate, that’s how it’s evolved for me – I love high heels, I wear them, people associate me with high heels, I buy and wear more of them. I would call it a vicious cycle, but it’s a joyful one. Why don’t we have a term for a positive feedback loop like this?


(Actually, the one small drawback is the shock and consternation when I *don’t* wear heels. Recently I screwed up my knee. Not the one I had surgery on twenty years ago – the GOOD knee! Jackson the Ornery Cat escaped out the back and was headed over the secret garden wall. This is bad because we can’t let him run or the coyotes will get him and he LOVES the game of having people chase him. We can easily burn an hour trying to recapture him. Great fun for Jackson, aggravating as hell for the humans who WORK. So, I chase him, he does a switchback. I manage to grab his tail, misstep and fall with all my weight onto one knee. On a freaking rock. Peoples – it hurt so bad! It’s finally healing up, but it will be two weeks tomorrow. Can’t run. No treadmill desk. No high heels. Last Saturday at my LERA meeting, people kept looking *down* at me in shock and consternation, suddenly discovering I’m actually a rather short 5’4″, instead of my usual graceful 5’8″. *sigh*)

So, anyway, I always figured it’s a me-thing, wearing high heels. They make me feel sexy and powerful. (And tall.) Well, guess what?

Turns out, it’s a REAL THING.

One of David’s patients brought him this article to give to me. (Which, if you think about it, is terribly amusing right there – that my husband’s patients know me for my high heels!) The upshot is that these researchers in France (OF COURSE) conducted a study of how high heels affected the behavior of other people. They found that the higher the heel, the more likely a woman was to receive what she requested. Power, people!

Turns out my mom knew what she was doing. 🙂