The Plan

I have a tribe – a grouping of friends who share aspects of my eclectic nature, offer spot on advice, teach me things, and talk me off ledges. It’s not a formal tribe by any means, most of them don’t know the others exist but that’s not necessary in order for this to work. I would imagine for most of them I am a member of their tribes as well but I don’t know the others and it all still works out for the betterment of us all.

That’s not what this post is about but I did feel like giving a bit of back story. You see, it’s one of my tribal companions who opened my eyes to a major component that’s missing from my writer’s life and that’s Branding.

Definition:The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products .

Definition from Entrepreneur online magazine

My other life as the bass ackwards, dragon loving, aging party animal is branded by just those things. You know that if it’s a “Dana Ellington production”, it will follow no discernible logic (bass ackwards), have a dragon in it somewhere (I wear them with everything) or at the very least refer to the time of dragons, swords, and sorcery. There will also most likely be a lame attempt at turning whatever it is into a party of some sort. Dancing optional.

You see, that part of my existence is well and truly ‘branded’.  But my real life? When you read the stories, you can tell it’s a Dana Ellington / Nowata Press story by the story arc my lead lives through. But if you were to judge my books by their covers? Without reading the blurb on the back or paying any attention to the author’s name there at the bottom, you’d have no idea that in the case with my books, that the same person wrote them or as it is when I publish some one else, that they were all published by the same publishing house.


Enter the wise member of the tribe who pointed out that this is a key element missing from our work. And as usual, when a member of my tribe speaks on something, I listen.

She and I are going to get together so I may learn from her about branding. We’re going to brainstorm our strategies and develop our plans. I have some ideas in mind that I want to run by her. If they check out then ultimately here’s what’s going to happen:

  • Mass editing of some key elements in the books I’ve written so far (fortunately, I’m writing my NaNo’s this year with the branding idea already in place so minor tweaking should be needed with those).
  • New covers for all of my books (changing them so that they’re a touch more conventional (sigh, necessary I guess) but still representative of my need to color outside the lines).

My friends Cassidy and John are both masters at world building and I’ve learned a thing or two from them. I’m going to take that knowledge and start building a more cohesive view of the world my characters live in. I tend to connect them in some way while I’m writing, but I think, especially if I’m wanting to brand my writing, I need to make the connections more concrete. Which means, laying them out so I can refer back to them as I go.

So, that’s the plan. I am so excited.

And in Other News:

  • Have you purchased your limited edition Little Brown Skin Girl / Nowata Press T-Shirt yet?  Our 2 Legit So We Can Quit (our day jobs) Booster sale is in full swing! For more information and to get your limited edition T-Shirt, click here.  Be the person to purchase the 15th shirt and you’ll receive a coupon for $20 off your next purchase with Little Brown Skin Girl or Nowata Press Publishing & Consulting.  Other incentives coming through out the campaign so be sure to check back often.  Only 16 days left! Get your shirt TODAY 🙂
  • How to Write and Self-Publish a Book in 6 Months or Less – writer’s workshop at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, Denver, CO. April 27th, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Seating is limited. Click here for Tickets. It’s FREE!
  • Little Brown Skin Girls Scrap Paper Art, First Annual Art Exhibition – hand made by Lia Nelson-James – Art show and sale during the month of June at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library.  Opening Reception, June 4, 2016.  Stay tuned for more information.

NOW Available
E-books: Amazon or Smashwords
Paperbacks: Square Marketplace

• Satin Sheet Memoirs, Vol. 1 – erotica for the discerning reader
• Let There Be Life – funny take on one woman’s life after divorce
• Hello Diva – “Oh what a tangled wig we weave, when first we practice to deceive”
• Breaking Point – a woman can only take so much drama
• Aphrodite’s Twin – Love as you’d least expect it.

For any additional information, feel free to drop me a line:

9 thoughts on “The Plan

  1. How interesting to learn your voice should be heard in a similar way in every book. I had thought about how mine sound like me. My prose are way out there and wondered if I could write something more literary. Maybe. Good luck with your rebrand! I expect to see dragons everywhere soon!

    1. I think an author can use any aspect of writing (theme, voice, type of character, settings, etc.) to establish a ‘brand’ or commonality that marks the work as their own. For me, it’s lead character (always female) and theme (self love, acceptance). Regardless of the genre, those two elements will show up in the majority of my writing that I publish for sale.

      Hadn’t thought if bringing the dragons into my writing life but your statement has sparked an idea. Thanks!

  2. How very interesting! I guess if I think about it, many authors do have something about them that makes them recognizable in all of their work. What a gift to have this tribe of people who offer you advice and support! 🙂

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