I added a brace of long-barrelled Peacemakers to the top of this post because it's part of my "world." No, I'm not an antique gun freak, although I wouldn't mind it, if I could afford to indulge. The pistols are part of my writing world and I'm adding atmosphere to reflect my genre. Maybe I'd better explain.
Pat Rice recently returned from the Novelists Inc. conference with several tips about branding. Only they're saying now, forget about branding yourself. Now, you should have your "signature" on all the places that represent you as a writer. Here's what Pat says on her blog : The marketing expert said to develop an author's name, they need to invite the reader into the worlds the author has created, presumably on their website and Myspace page and blog and so forth.
Well, I think most of us are already trying to do that. Although, I do still see an occasional author page that's so generic, they might write anything. Unless their name is super recognizable, it's anyone's guess. You'd have to look at their titles to be certain.
Even a color scheme can reflect the era or general atmosphere of what you write. The Old West just begs for rich, earthy colors, and usually some neutral tone to go with them. I have clicked onto author sites that made me say, "Whoa, what was she thinking!" The colors are a decorators nightmare and don't even complement each other. Not that I'm a decorator or anything close, but I can tell (I hope) when colors clash horribly. I've noticed that most people who are color coordinate impaired seem to choose shades of yellow or puce, and all too often try to put them together. Sorry, but just the word "puce" makes me nauseous.
My web site screams Western Historical. I tried to do the same thing with the blog, although I couldn't change the background, I added a few western touches. The problem I have with my web site is that while it screams western, it doesn't necessarily scream romance. And that's a problem that's left me scratching my head. What's a person to do? Put one of those steamy graphics top and center, or in the background, like some people have on their MySpace profile? I think not. I'll just leave that to the erotica authors.
I've piddled endlessly with my web site, trying to change it up, make it better. But I'm with one of the web hosting places because I don't know squat about building a web site. Their pre-set templates do all the work. All I do is fill in the blanks and go around inserting pictures and hyperlinks. It's fun and easy, but there are only so many templates and most of them have a very contemporary look. So I keep settling on the one I have because it works best, has more of an organized look, and the text is easier to read.
Anyway. If anyone runs across a sexy cowboy picture that wouldn't infringe on any copyrights, let me know, will ya. Just so it isn't one of those half naked guys with the zipper on his jeans pulled down. Tacky. Tacky.
So, what kinds of images and things do you use, or would like to include but still don't have, on your web site or blog, etc. that would invite a reader into your "world?"