Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12 comments
photo by jdurham, morguefile.com
My long-time readers might be a little disoriented, since the scenery has changed quite a bit around here. Laurel's Leaves now has a different color scheme, simplified post layout with click-through, and of course a cool slideshow. There are new tabs up top, separating my books from shorter magazine pieces, and offering other goodies like samples for blog readers. I expect to be adding other tabs in the next few months. The followers widget and search tools by date or tag have moved to the bottom, giving a cleaner look.

In addition to radically changing the blog design, I've also redesigned the cover for my debut novel. All this design tinkering is part of developing my author brand.

Brand is more than packaging. It's finding ways to marry content with form and presentation in a way that's winsome and emotionally meaningful.

Many of us, as we begin to move from single title to a body of work, have to stop and reassess our core strengths and messages. What do I want readers to think and feel about what I provide in terms of a reading experience? How do I build an overall aesthetic that communicates that?

Interestingly, one doesn't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to these sorts of design decisions. Rather, learn from other authors whose look would be equally fitting for your work. After scouring the virtual shelves, I found a very different aesthetic had grabbed me by the throat, one based on some genre cousins in YA literary fiction.

I'll be back Friday for relaunch festivities. Meanwhile, have a look around!

What do you think of the new look? Have you developed a brand? How did you do so?

12 comments:

  1. The blog looks great! And the cover for Never Gone is fantastic! There's something so evocative about that snow-swept field, the grasses poking through. I really love it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Leandra. The image is from the climax scene, and I even managed to get a photo shot in the UK (Well, technically Scotland, but County Durham is fairly close to the border).

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  2. Oh, wow! This is a change. But I must say, I love the purple. :) And that cover is awesome. The words against the snow is just stunning. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Danielle. I'm liking the feel of the purple also. It's associated with intuition, creativity, mystery and spirituality--things I'd like readers to associate with my work.

      I had fun tinkering with the typography to get the sort of glow-y effect. They type is also semi-transparent, so the bits of tall grass show through.

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  3. The blog looks great! I find it a little easier to read. And the cover for Never Gone is amazing.

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    1. Thanks, Jenn. The other template had CSS that applied a very rounded font to all the type. It had a certain flair, but was harder to read. Glad you like the cover. It does have a very different feel.

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  4. Wow, this is fantastic. I also love the cover for Never Gone. Good on you!

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    1. I must admit, the blog re-do was the tougher of the tasks. This template has some complex script and was designed for recipe blogging, so removing some of the food-centric elements was really hard. Thankfully, my hubby is pretty good at scanning 3,000 lines of code and finding the lines to change. And I learned heaps doing this.

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  5. This all looks great! Congrats. And I love the new cover for Never Gone.

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    1. Thanks, Connie. I made the move to a straight-up photographic look because that's the trend in YA literary. I wanted readers to be able to imagine the characters for themselves, so decided to go with a pivotal scene image. This is, as you know from reading, from the climax scene.

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  6. Your blog looks wonderful, Laurel! It's so clean and professional and easy to navigate.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Thanks, Laura! My hubby helped me make some modifications that were rather tricky to figure out. I just HAD to have this color scheme. :-)

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