January Meeting Roundup + Good News

RWA San Diego started the year off with a bang, thanks to Damon Suede and Your A Game, his set of strategies for defining and promoting your author brand.

In the morning, we discussed ways to define your A game – meaning ways to figure out who you are as an author, and what your author brand should look like. Damon defined an author brand as "a promise of emotional experience and extraordinary value,” something that resonates with an audience and draws them to your work. Some of the most important things to consider when defining your brand are authenticity, specificity, and individuality. You’re the only one of you that’s out there, so tap into the things that make you unique – and that connect you to other people. Damon had us run through several exercises to determine what makes us remarkable, and to identify our target audience.

The afternoon session taught us how to take our author brands and make them visible and consumable to the public. Like it or not, promotion is part of our job as authors, so we have to find ways to make our promo fun, or else we won’t do it. The goal of promo, Damon said, is to make people care, and the best way to do that is to keep it positive. Support others, be enthusiastic, and “let your work be a lighthouse.” In everything you do – from posting on social media to showing up to a book signing – your actions must reinforce what people expect from your brand. By identifying your core traits and preparing your talking points, you can formulate a central message that signals to readers who you are and what you represent.

All in all, it was one of our most successful workshops yet, full of vibrant discussion, useful tidbits, and a laugh a minute. If you’d like to find out more about what we learned during the meeting, you can visit Damon’s website, your-a-game.com.

As always, we handed out our monthly awards. Member of the Month went to VP of Programs, Christy Jeffries, for pulling together a fantabulous roster of special speakers for 2017.

Christy Jeffries and Rick Ochocki
Member of the Month Christy Jeffries (l.) with RWASD President-Elect Rick Ochocki

Our Attagirl went to Tameri Etherton, who faced a whole slew of unfortunate events over the past year, but still showed up to every meeting with an encouraging smile – and still got her words down on the page every day, even going so far as to starting our 30 Minutes for 30 Days Challenge, which is still going strong in our RWASD Sprinters Facebook group.

Tameri Etherton and Rick Ochocki
Attagirl Tameri Etherton (l.) with RWASD President-Elect Rick Ochocki

Plus, our authors had lots of Good News to share!

  • Lisa Kessler released Legend of Love on December 5th, and her Lure of Obsession ranked in the Top 10 Best Romances of 2016 in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.
  • Marie Andreas released Sapphire Manticore, and entered Warrior Wench in the Prisms, GDRWA, and San Diego Book Awards.
  • Rick Ochocki entered two romantic suspense manuscripts in both the Golden Hearts and the Great Expectations contests.
  • Cynthia Diamond entered Dryad’s Vine in the Golden Quill.
  • HelenKay Dimon sold 3 books to Avon and 2 to Loveswept. Her newest release was also named Best Romance of the Month by Amazon and the Washington Post.
  • Jackie Leigh Allen will be releasing A Hunger for Love in late January.
  • Susan Burns has two books hitting the shelves in her Ages of Invention time-travel romance series. Entangled came out December 6th, and Fly Like an Eagle will be out on February 28th.
  • Judy Duarte has been invited to take part in the 2018 Fortunes of Texas series from Harlequin.

We’ve got more in store in February, when bestselling author James Scott Bell will present a craft workshop on how to write your novel from the middle. Hope to see you there!