My brand is hope

Yesterday, I attended a personal branding workshop with fellow #romanceclass authors called You On Your Own Terms, facilitated by Maloy Luakian.

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I initially thought it was going to be heavily focused on the technical aspects of how we should market ourselves as authors so that we could reach out to a bigger audience with our books, but I was…pleasantly surprised at the direction we took. More than it being a lecture where only the facilitator was speaking 95% of a time, the workshop allowed us moments of introspection and learning more about our peers through sharing what we thought were our strengths and failures. A bunch of us joked around that we felt like we were on a recollection or retreat, and they weren’t completely wrong. I have been spending a lot of time with some of these women—online and offline—and some of their stories I’d only heard for the first time yesterday! It was an amazing experience, and certainly something I do not regret attending, even if it made me feel more vulnerable than usual.

What is my brand?

Coming into the workshop, I thought that my brand would be romance author working towards women empowerment. Not that that isn’t true because it is one of my goals as I continue writing and publishing romance, but I realized through a quick author bio writing exercise that my brand is hope.

Here’s what I wrote:

Tara has never really fallen in love, so while she’s waiting for that to happen, she works hard for the money and pours her heart out on pages, hoping that anyone who reads them would believe in everyday triumphs and happy endings, regardless of whether or not it happens for them.

When Maloy pointed out the word hope to me, I was surprised, but I also went back and thought of all the books I’ve written and published so far…and I found that she was right. Hope has been sort of a running theme in my works and my characters’ lives. Hope to continue living. Hope to be loved by the person they love. Hope to be successful in their chosen field. Hope to get over a failed relationship and move on with life.

It’s *clap* been there *clap* all this time *clap* and I didn’t *clap* even catch it!

So…yeah. Wow. Hope. Who knew? Sure, I’ll still be writing about theatre people, KPop idols, and badass women finding soft bois to love, but I guess it brings me comfort to know that the things I’ve written so far carry hope as an overarching theme, because god knows how much of it we need these days.

What’s next?

Actual footage of my one working brain cell last night after the workshop (and post-workshop Netflixing):

Why? Because there is a lot of work to be done!

First of all, content. Yeap. Obviously, I haven’t had the best track record in updating this blog regularly and letting people know what I’m working on. I mostly do that through Twitter and Instagram, but apparently, that’s not enough! ACK! So…now I’m trying to recalibrate my brain so I could come up with a (reasonable) content calendar of sorts, just so this little space here doesn’t appear dead when I’m in the middle of writing a book.

Secondly, Maloy gave us a couple of offline marketing ideas I’d really like to consider and work on. That’d require extra (and maybe literal) legwork, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple of months. It would be interesting where I could take that advice come December, or early 2020, when I plan to release my next book.

So yeah! Expect more posts (book-related or otherwise) in the coming months, both here and on my social media accounts. Wish me luck! <3


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So you wanna write YA? Here’s your chance!

#romanceclass is looking for new YA (young adult) authors–could you be one of them? If you’ve been wanting to write a #romanceclass book but don’t know where to start, this is your chance to be mentored by two amazing Filipino authors, Agay Llanera and Ines Bautista-Yao!

Click on the link below to view the signup page, read the rules carefully, and register for the class when you’re ready. But don’t wait too long, because the form closes on August 25!

YES! I want to join the #romanceclass YA workshop today!

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