100 Word Challenge: apple, empire, yellow, enormous, liberty

It’s Friday which means it’s another 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups over at Julia’s Place.

Today, we have to write a flash fiction piece using the following five words:  apple, empire, yellow, enormous and liberty.

Here’s my shot at it.  I hope you like it.  Say…I have an idea.  Why don’t you all pop over and leave your 100 words?  It’ll be a lot of fun and a great challenge.  See you there.

I tipped the Yellow Cab driver and stood on the pavement, staring up at the enormous glass building.  Apple Press, the global publishing empire my father built, waited for me on the sixty-first floor.  I didn’t want to go in there.  I knew nothing of the publishing world.  I was quite content running my Bed and Breakfast in Grafton, Vermont, and I took the liberty of telling my father so.  But Papa didn’t listen and he passed away a month later, leaving me his dream.  I had no choice. I steeled myself and walked inside.      

Marketing 101: Introduction to Author Branding

I spent the majority of yesterday reading about “author branding”, what it is, and why it’s vital to an author’s career.  What I came away with were tons of notes and one resounding message:  be yourself.

Yes…be yourself.  Your future ‘fans’, your ‘public’, your readers, they don’t want to be inundated with sales pitches and ‘Hey, hey, look at me and my book’ messages.  I see this all the time on Twitter and it really turns me off.  I want people I can connect with.  People I can talk to.  People who are real and authentic and have a story to tell…a story I can relate to.  I like people who exude passion about what they write.  I love those individuals who enjoy interacting with their readers.

I took a look at some blog sites that I follow to see what it is that attracts me to those people.  You know what I love about them?  They’re genuine, honest and passionate, and they have a story to tell.  Without even knowing it, they’re creating their  ‘brand’.  They’re gathering their tribe.  It’s so simple it boggles the mind.  

Be yourself.

Several years ago an amazing boss told me there was no single method for achieving distinction.  It was something each of us had to find through a combination of knowing who we are as individuals, knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are, as well as identifying our limitations.  He said trying to please everyone will leave nothing behind but shoddy work and a reputation for being a suck-up.  My boss was a very wise man.  It is so true.  I would rather devote myself to doing one or two things great than trying to do a hundred and doing none of them well.  

These realizations are the first baby steps into ‘branding’ yourself as an author.  It may seem trivial, but by fully understanding who you are, the more confident you will become and the easier it will be to achieve what you want in life.

My daughter asked me last night who am I. 

I smiled, took my first baby steps, and said, “I’m an author, and boy do I have some stories to tell you.”  

What about you?  Are you ready to take your first baby steps?  Go on.  Tell me.  Who are you?