Eight Steps to Establishing Your Author Brand

What every author must know

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. I’m just getting back into the groove after a long overdue trip back to the homeland. No, not Italy, although that’s on my bucket list. We went back to Pennsylvania to celebrate my daughter’s high school graduation with the extended family. A great time was had by all. We extended our trip, which put me even further behind, but it is worth it to see loved ones, even if we ran ourselves ragged.


Who are you?My series on creating a media kit seemed to be helpful to writers, so I thought I’d discuss something that coordinates with the media kit—author branding. Having worked for several years as a corporate identity specialist in my “real” job, those principles are transferrable and I want to give you a quick checklist that might help you out.

So, without further ado, here are eight steps to author branding cohesion.

1. You Are…

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Requiem for the Status Quo, on #LisaBurton Radio

Something you don’t want to miss reading

Entertaining Stories

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Lisa Burton. What can we do for you today?”

“I don’t think I’ve met you, Lisa, this is Patrick Quinn, can you please put my daughter, Colleen, on the phone?”

“Sorry, Patrick I think you’ve got the wrong number. I’m actually a radio talk-show host, Lisa the robot girl.”

“Robot girl? What can I do for you?”

“Well, Patrick, you called me and I’m glad you did. Now that we’re on the air, what would you like to talk about?”

“If I had my druthers, I’d like to talk about and to Connie. She’s my wife. She died a few years ago. Let me tell you about her … did you say your name is Laura?”

“Close, it’s Lisa.”

“Let me tell you, Lisa, that wife of mine was a firecracker, she sure kept me on my toes but a few years ago…

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Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Trail Ride

Good one

Fiction Favorites

Trail Ride

The inspiration for this list was receiving a photo of a couple who had gone on a trail ride. My last ride was in Aspen Colorado, but I still remember the experience. We were riding at 8,000 feet in the Rockies, and the sights were hard to describe. Hope you enjoy the list knowing not many of your take trail rides routinely.

10 If you are on a trail ride, do not think beach wear is appropriate on a horse. If you do, at best the little chaffing will be soothed by lotion. At worst, a cactus ride by will yield a trip to the ER. (Those thorns certainly make a mess huh, Buford?)

9 If you are on a trail ride, do not let your horse bite the mount of Tiny the WWF champ who is on a horse for the first time. If you do, at best Tiny will…

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Facebook Told Me To Tell You Something

This is hysterical!!!

Tara Sparling writes

Facebook is very worried about me. It keeps sending me notifications.

“You haven’t updated your status in two weeks!” it screeched, with the plaintive moan of a very large behemoth working itself into a lather over a broken fingernail.

“People are INTERESTED in going to something that’s on somewhere relatively near you, if that notion of relatively near were to be very loosely applied!!” it bellowed, beseeching me for some, any, level of engagement.

“We’ve made a video for YOU, Tara!” it wheedled, finally. “Because you mean so much to us, some algorithm made a thing out of randomly selected stuff from your past you couldn’t care less about!”

I turned away, preoccupied with something resembling real life.

There was silence for a time. Tumbleweed rolled past my closed eyelids. My fingers ceased twitching in my sleep. I was known to go without checking my phone for entire afternoons.

And then it tried again, its voice…

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” And Our Flag was Still There

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, 
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we’d watch were so gallantly streaming

What was the lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key thinking as he watched the horror and wrote down what he saw in a poem? He was watching the birth of Freedom right before his eyes!

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, 
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 


He was watching the famous battle of Baltimore in the ‘Defending of Fort McHenry. ‘The British fleet with 19 ships pounded the fort for 72 hours with rockets and mortar shells.  British riflemen landed, firing on the fort, but were given orders to withdraw if there were 2000 or more men in the fort. On the morning of September 14th, a huge American flag made by local flag maker Mary Pickersgill and her 13-year old daughter was hoisted above Fort McHenry, which had only 1000 soldiers.   The British, uncertain of this, retreated. Perhaps it was the over-sized flag that dissuaded them? And freedom took root in America and grew strong.
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep 
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, 
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? 
This was the first time the glorious flag of Stripes and Stars would stand guard over the land in times of turmoil and war. The Civil War, decades later, would divide this land which was fought for so hard. Brother would slay brother, and the blood of soldiers once fighting together would darken this great land with their blood.

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 


The Civil war ended and the flag of the south was now a memorial of a horrendous altercation. One flag once again waved over the United States and the people said, ‘never again.’
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, 
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion 
A home and a Country should leave us no more
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
The land was growing healthy and strong, taking their freedom for granted as their   flag waved as a symbol of unity and pride. Then two world wars turned the world into a battlefield. Countries divided this time and the United States took it’s men and flag and fought and died. Ten million women, men and children were gassed by Germany’s Hitler and Japanese families annihilated by the first Atomic Bomb. The Galliant flag was raised up by American Marines on Iwojima and the war ended–but not in glory. Surely this would be the last war.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Yet history would repeat itself in the Korean War; a police action, they said. We lost more young lives fighting, supposedly for freedom among people who did not ask for freedom. Our flag meant nothing to them, then or now. Still not learning, America stepped in again in Vietnam, after France gave up, and tried to stop a war between the North and South. Again, a useless waste of lives which finally came to a standstill but never a real end.
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand 
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation! 
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land 
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!  
The Gulf Wars were next, another waste of time and lives trying to teach freedom to tribal nomads who would accept our help then turn to fight again. We lost so many then to gain little or nothing but graves wept over by sobbing parents and friends.
And now we fight the most heinous war since the Holocaust–The War on Terrorism. On 911, along with over 3000 innocent people, our flag was besmirched and destroyed with a hatred never yet seen—yet pieces of it survived and it’s freedom
preserved.  But for how long– as it’s warmongers kill their own as well as ours. They seem to lack a soul.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And this be our motto – “In God is our trust”! Francis Scott Key

This fourth of July as firecrackers burst in the air, and people gather together celebrating a holiday they’ve long since forgotten why, look up, look high and take note of the flag that waves over you; wanting nothing more than to keep us together as one united nation. The best way to lose this freedom is to fight among ourselves, letting enemies unknown overtake us in our desire to destroy ourselves. Gaze at the flag intently. Are these droplets of tears rolling down it’s magnificent stripes, or did it just begin to rain?
As Pogo in the comic strip once said :”We have met the enemy and he is us.”  


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 Writers and Readers! We had an amazing time last year. There will be so much to see and do and learn.

 These are the sessions’ various topics to be presented…

 Avoiding Plagiarism

Book Marketing 2.0 (beyond Social Media)

Book Marketing via Social Media

Crafting Believable Scenes

Grammarly and Why You Need It

How To Keep Your Blog Buzzing & Busy!

How to Show and Not Tell

Media Kit Creation

Most Effective Writing Tools for Authors

No Time to Write? What You Should Be Doing Until Your Next Big Release to Stay Relevant

Taking Your Author Platform to the Next Level

And much much more!

  It will be a virtual reality of information you won’t want to miss.

 So click on the links below for more…

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Historical Biography of Love Against all Odds

Flowers and Stones

By Jan Sikes

Jan Sike’s debut historical romance is based on the true story of a turbulent year of her life in the early 70’s. The author’s talent in making a memoir read like a fiction novel is phenomenal. Author Sike’s has an innate talent as a storyteller, bringing the reader into her story and making one feel her emotions.

Nineteen year old Darlina Flowers leaves home to work in a factory in Texas by day and a go go dancer in a bar at night. This is where she meets the up and coming country western singer, Luke Stone, who is thirty-six. Her naivety and his cavalier worldly ways crackle like lightning in a fast moving summer storm. Luke comes with a lot of baggage; Darlina dreams of romance. Yet they are drawn to each other in a love that surpasses good sense and serious obstacles. Their love is made magical by their differences, like a modern day ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

While the story is action-packed and paces fast, it is also redundant at times, which could be avoided by using a bigger variety of adjectives and dialogue. Darlina and Luke live in a time of booze, pot, drugs and ménage a’ trios sex, which makes Luke seem jaded next to the more innocent and pristine Darlina. Love is the one constant throughout the book, withstanding all 

obstacles including jail time for Luke. In order to avoid spoilers, it is sufficient to note that this book is highly recommended and won’t disappoint. Those caught up in this amazing love story will want to read the next book in the series, ‘The Convict and the Rose,’ followed by ‘Home at last.’


Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang