Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Series and a Brand

When I became fascinated by local medieval history, I had no idea where it would lead. I wanted to know what Swansea Castle was like when it was in use. Why was it built? Who lived in it? What was it like?

I discovered the de Breos (or Braose) family, who were lords of Gower, and very interesting characters. I found out that, far from Gower being a backwater as I had supposed, the Lords of Gower were involved in every major event of British history for 300 years after the Norman Conquest. 

Alina e cover


I became particularly interested in the story of how a little rebellion which started in Swansea Castle eventually toppled Edward II from the English throne. The story was not told in any one history book I could find, I had to piece it together from dozens of sources. So I took on the challenge and wrote the story. 

Only then did it occur to me that if this story fascinated me, it would surely fascinate others, so I decided to publish. That's a long story (documented on this blog), but I learned how to publish and how to promote. All this time it has been about this one book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth.

Ann Thomas Lords of Gower_Front Cover

Then late last year I was looking at my research and found another great story that deserved wider exposure. Soon there will be a second book to publish and promote, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John. But amidst all this, something has happened. I now have a series. This opens up a whole new area of thinking.

When you have more than one book, you can use one to promote the other(s). I can broaden the appeal because those who are interested in the subject of one book, can be led to the other. The opportunities for promotion are wider.

I'm currently working through a great course called Blogging For Authors by Jonathan Gunson of Bestseller Labs. It's really helping me to think about what I'm doing and where I want to go with all this. One thing I have learned is that my books and my blog need a unique identity. I need a Brand.  That means I need a picture and a tagline.

So far, I'm toying with the tagline 'Stories of Medieval Gower' or 'Stories of the Lords of Gower', and pictures of Swansea Castle, as the capital of Gower. Any comments and suggestions would be great and watch out for changes to my blog, as I work through the course. You can help by answering two questions:

What do you think of this picture?

Swansea Castle
Swansea Castle
Which do you find more attractive:

  • Stories of Medieval Gower
  • Stories of the Lords of Gower

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Broken Reed Cover!

At last I have a cover for my new book.

Ann Thomas Lords of Gower_Front Cover

Since it is a companion to Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, which you can see in my sidebar on the right, I wanted a similar look. I used an illustration of Swansea Castle from Alina and my printer's design wizard put it together.

Now I can produce my promotional material and get ready for the launch. All I need now is my illustrations, and I'll be able to order the printing. It feels like a real book now.

What do you think?