Friday, August 26, 2016

Author Brand

Being an author means you need to create a brand for yourself. No, not DOUBLE R-BAR, or LAZY W, but the idea is exactly the same. Your author brand is your name or pen name. It is used primarily to promote sales of your books once your brand has become familiar among readers.

Take a well-known product; how about Dodge Ram? We all know certain things about it when we hear the name. For instance, we know it's a truck. We know it has a ram's head as its logo. We know that logo appears on the front of every Dodge Ram truck. We figure it must be a pretty good truck because they do a lot advertising, enough in fact, that its name has become common. That's the same thing you want to achieve as an author. People, in general, feel that exposure equals quality. So if you can accomplish exposing your name--your brand--in enough places, you'ill most likely be considered an author whose books are worth purchasing.

As an example, let's consider author Mark Twain--that's his brand. His real name was Samuel Clemens; Mark Twain was his pen name, and that was the name that gave him his brand. People became familiar with his brand and began to trust that it indicated something good (or something bad if it had happened to obtain a bad reputation. Don't let that happen). In the case of Mark Twain, familiarity with the name meant purchasers could depend on having a good read when they chose to buy his books. That's exactly what you want to happen.

 If your name is John Smith (a perfectly good name, by the way, but rather common) you might want to consider a pen name so it will grab people's attention. PLEASE don't skate on the name of another famous writer, however. In other words, if your name is John Steinbeck, don't promote yourself by that name; choose a pen name. It will actually do you more harm than good to try and make readers think you are the famous author instead of yourself just to sell books. After all, you have your own style, and that needs to shine through. And who might actually become a more prosperous author than he was!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 13 "Dreams"

Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 13: Dreams

This week Don and I invite you to dream with us, to dream about the places you'd love to experience from the nose of your kayak. But be forewarned...once you start dreaming, it's hard to stop! 

The sky's the limit when it comes to adventure. Now days, Don and I prefer kayaking the smooth calm waters rather than white water. In our younger years we did a bit of white water rafting and thoroughly enjoyed it. If we would have taken up kayaking in our 20's we would probably have been Eskimo rolling our way down big white water, sailing through class 5+ rapids, going over falls, and spending our days in wet suits while camping and feasting on s'mores.

But just because we are approaching retirement age, and like to take life a bit easier these days, that doesn't mean we don't like to dream. Below is a selection of some of our favorite kayaking videos we enjoy watching and dreaming about the places we would love to kayak.

Some of our dreams are to kayak with the whales, navigate through the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin, kayak around the entire perimeter of Lake Superior (in the summer...on calm days only...with no may never happen! LOL!), discover New Zealand's and Ireland's shores, and the biggest dream that could ever come true for us both would be to see and photograph a guessed it...From the Nose of Our Kayak. What are your kayaking dreams? 


Kayak Tip of the Week: Dare to your level of adventure...and introduce someone you know to the wonderful world of kayaking.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Excerpt Extravaganza! Today's Excerpt Is From "Boelik"

Welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where an eclectic team of creative geniuses share their fantastical imaginations. 

On Mondays we are featuring an excerpt from one of our creative authors. And what makes this feature so fun is that we publish a wide range of genres. You'll never know what to expect for the excerpt.

To read all of our excerpts thus far, we invite you to visit our blog archives and look for our first Excerpt Extravaganza! that began on August 1, 2016.


All previous excerpts are available in our archives. We began this Monday series on August 1, 2016. 

Today's excerpt is from author Amy Lehigh's YA fantasy novella Boelik. Amy is an accomplished writing enthusiast from the Advanced Journey to Publication Writing Program Curriculum, and now serves as an apprentice editor for JLB Creatives Publishing.

As dawn’s light began its sweep through the forest, Boelik stretched out of bed. “What does the morning bring me,” he yawned. “Little birds again today, or shall I find some large game by chance?” Boelik walked out of his home, finally able to stretch his arms all of the way without the low roof. He made himself a breakfast of meat and berries near a small fire. When finished, he put his fire out once more and began to head for the heart of the forest, opposite the traveler’s path to the village. But no further than a few steps from his grove, Boelik heard a young woman’s scream come from the path.

Whipping around, his cloak fluttering absentmindedly behind him, he wondered if he truly heard what he thought he did. But while he hesitated, another scream assaulted his ears. Boelik dashed for the path, speed beyond any human’s causing him to be no more than a blur in the forest. He stopped just short of the path to crouch in the bushes and assess the situation.

The young woman who had bumped into Boelik in town the previous day screamed again, eyes wide with terror. In front of her lithe frame, sprawled back on the ground and gaping in fear, was a large brown-black wolf. The beast snapped at her, and she beat its muzzle back with what seemed to be the only thing on her: a basket of apples. The fruits rolled across the ground as the wolf stumbled back for an instant, toward Boelik’s hiding place. He took the chance to leap onto the wolf’s back, hooking his arm around its neck and locking his long legs around its waist. It snarled in reply and was quick to retaliate.

Air whooshed out of Boelik’s lungs as the wolf used its weight to crush him and make him release its throat. The maiden stared in fear as the two then stood and glared at one another. As Boelik glanced over to check on her, the wolf charged, eyes glinting with hunger as it bit into his human arm. Screaming as teeth dug into his flesh, Boelik twisted so that the woman would not see his furred arm flash out from beneath the cloak to punch the wolf between the eyes. When he was not released, he cried out and put his claws in the soft part between its chin and throat. The wolf made a gurgling growl as it stared at him with wild eyes, their light fading.

At last the beast let go, dropping to the ground, its crimson blood mixing with the red apples. Boelik cast a quick glance at the woman before running off, much closer to a proper human speed, toward his creek. He had no desire to let her see any more of him lest she run and tell the villagers of the monster in the woods. Images of fire and swords and screaming horses swept through his mind; he shoved them away and kept running.


To discover more about this Journey to Publication author and download her free ebook visit Amy Lehigh's author page on JLB Creatives Publsihing.

JLB Creatives

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)