Diving Into the Depths — What’s My “Brand”? ~ Outside the Margins with CJane Elliott

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Encourage. Inspire. Connect.

Psychotherapist. Journey. Depths.

Wise. Warm. Juicy.

Purple. Ocean waves. Cypress scent. Nourishing broth.

What the heck do those words mean, you ask? I attended a fantastic workshop yesterday led by the author Damon Suede. He helped us develop our “brand” as an author. The words above came from an exercise where we wrote verbs, nouns, and modifiers that evoke our writing. And also the look, the sound, the smell, and the taste!

More about “brand” from Damon’s handout: A brand expresses what is remarkable about you, distilling your career and voice into a singular engaging message. A brand is a promise of emotional experience and extraordinary value.

Distinguishing what’s unique about my writing and what value it provides was surprisingly difficult to do. Damon said your readers tell you and it may not be what you think. I went back and looked at a couple of messages I’ve received from readers – the kind that encouraged me.

There’s so much goodness and wisdom and positive energy like an underground current in your writing. Reading it is soothing and uplifting, and points me in the direction of my dreams. Thank you so much!!

Your books have comforted me and encouraged me when life here wanted to bring me down. Thanks for writing a wonderful series.

I saw the words soothe, uplift, comfort, and encourage. I also liked “underground current” because as a psychotherapist I’m all about my characters having to dive under the surface and figure themselves out.

Damon asked “If your brand was a movie poster, what would it look like?”

Here are my notes for that part: scuba diver who dives for treasure under the sea. Current. Underground. Exploring the depths. Purple and blue with gold elements. Waves. Wise and warm.

Visuals are not my strength, so I have no idea how that hodgepodge of words would translate into an image!

Then he had us do a kind of Mad Libs exercise about “the singular emotional experience you provide in your work,” including who our audience is. Here’s a sentence from that. The all caps words are what I filled in:

I write for INTELLIGENT SEEKERS who admire and acquire books that show WISDOM AND DEPTH and offer them UPLIFTING HOPE.

The last thing he coached us on was coming up with a tagline—a short phrase that encapsulates my writing. I’ve been using the tagline THE COURAGE TO LOVE. What I came up with yesterday was: DIVE INTO THE DEPTHS. That doesn’t completely capture what I write, but I like it.

Anyone have a suggestion for what my tagline could be? Also, if you’re an author and have a tagline, please share it in the comments. I’d love to see what others have come up with.

~CJane Elliott


Title: Wild And Precious Audiobook
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 02/04/2016
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary


Wild and Precious: Book One

Aspiring writer Brent Granger has good friends and a great job at an arts magazine in DC, but he’s batting zero in the arena of love. Brent begins to get a clue why things aren’t working with women from his strong attraction to his gorgeous, gay, and already attached boss, Graham Stoneford. When he sees a personal ad from a man that quotes his favorite poet, Brent decides to do something wild and answer.

Enter Cody Bellstrom, easygoing bisexual musician, who is happy to initiate Brent in the ways of gay sex. Brent now has a new problem: he realizes he’s gay and no one in his life knows it. Cody tires of hiding their relationship, but Brent finds it challenging to come out to family, friends, and especially to Graham. In the end, Brent must confront the truth of where—and with whom—his heart lies.

Cover Artist AngstyG
Narrator K.C. Kelly
Length 2 hours and 34 minutes


Wild And Precious Audiobook on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About CJane Elliott

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
E-mail: cjaneelliott@gmail.com
Website: http://www.cjaneelliott.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CJaneElliott
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjane.elliott

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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9 thoughts on “Diving Into the Depths — What’s My “Brand”? ~ Outside the Margins with CJane Elliott

  1. What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing what you learned. Branding your writing is never an easy thing to do. I really like your “Dive Into the Depths”. It’s thought provoking. The tag line I came up with for myself is: “Men in uniform…and out” because 99% of my books are about cops, firemen and soldiers, and then I get them out of those uniforms. 🙂 So I think it sums up well what I write.

  2. Nice. Like you, I found going back and reading what others have said about my writing was much more telling than what I was able to come up with on my own. Glad you had a great time and learned a lot. 🙂

  3. Oh, that sounds like a really interesting exercise! I’ve often wondered what my brand really was because I like so many different genres and seem to bounce from one to the next.

    I like the idea of looking at what other people have said about your writing, as well as imagining what your brand would look like as a movie poster–I’m going to have to do some thinking about these!

    My tagline is “Hot Men in Hot Water” because I like placing my characters in tough situations to see what they’re made of. I jokingly say I put them in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier. 😉

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