It's my pleasure to have New York Times bestselling novelist, Thomas Greanias, as my guest. As a former journalist he uses his knowledge of politics, national security, and real life conspiracies to write tightly woven thrillers of international intrigue and mystery.
Tom's topic is one that many are chatting about these days, pro and con, branding as an author.
A lot of writers are worried about their "brands" these days. Even Brand Name authors.
One fellow New York Times bestselling author, who has sold millions more books than I have, confided to me just how hard it is to "break through the clutter" in the paradoxical world of fewer print sales for authors and more titles for readers than ever before. "You don't get it, Tom. You have your Atlantis series, and you're the No. 1 name in eBook adventure. You were the first to break through big-time in the digital space. I can't claim that leadership position. Now the digital space is where publishing is going."
The answer, this author decided, was to launch a new series, which has done well, and on top of that add a young adult series. The workload is so heavy that this Brand Name author is close to the next predictable stage: taking on co-authors like James Patterson did.
I think there's a better way to build your brand, a better brand for you to aspire to, and that brand is you.
The reality is that your name IS your brand. And the most powerful way you define your brand is through the novels you write. Each new title adds an association to your name, associations that hopefully strike a positive chord with readers. Positive emotions usually come from writing a damn good novel that delivers on its promise. If you're writing a suspense novel, for example, you need to deliver suspense to your readers. A romance novel should deliver romance. A thriller should deliver thrills. Your voice in how you tell your story fills out your brand.
So you build your brand by writing your books. You solidify your brand by contributing something new or fresh to the conversation of your genre or theme.
For example, I contributed to the conversation about Atlantis to advance it to the 21st century. Everywhere I looked in fiction and Hollywood, it was the same old underwater fantasy that had little to do with Plato’s 4th century BC account. For starters, I went back to the source and asked, “What if it were literally true?" That led to Raising Atlantis, my novel about rogue archaeologist Conrad Yeats, beautiful Vatican linguist Serena Serghetti, and a secret U.S. military expedition that discovers ancient ruins two miles under the ice of Antarctica. Sequels such as The Atlantis Prophecy and The Atlantis Revelation then established that Atlantis is more than a lost continent. It’s a centuries-old global conspiracy playing out before our eyes even now. The Atlanteans, in short, are among us.
You, too, can rise above your genre or subject matter by adding something new to the conversations that you’re passionate about. You get your brand, and we all benefit.
- Question for readers: Do you prefer the familiarity of the same character in a series of books (Harry Potter, for example), or the same type of character (poor rookie lawyer from South) in different one-offs (John Grisham's legals thrillers).
Tom is offering two chances to win either a copy of his special edition Atlantis Legacy (first two books combined) or a hardcover of The Atlantis Revelation. If you're interested in being considered, please either leave me a way to contact you in your comment or send me an email: siamckye at gmail.com
Back Cover Blurb:
Deep beneath the ancient city of Jerusalem lies a secret that knows no bounds, devastating enough to reach across time. History’s greatest spy story begins here.
For a millennium, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount has been at the center of war and death. There’s never been a time when blood wasn’t spilled upon this ancient, sacred site. Flash forward to present-day Jerusalem, where 35-year-old Israeli counterterrorism agent Sam Deker has just thwarted the most recent act of violence—an attempt by radical Palestinians to blow up the Dome of the Rock mosque and pin the blame on right-wing Orthodox Jews. The threat, however, is a diversion. Deker himself is the real target. He is captured and taken to neighboring Jordan, where he is tortured because of his deep knowledge of Israel’s most closely guarded state secret.
Deker escapes with his comrade Uri Elezar, making it all the way to the border, only to be taken down at the banks of the Jordan River. This time, however, Deker wakes up in the middle of the ancient Israelite army on the eve of its historic siege of Jericho. Deker doesn’t know if he is dead, in some torture-induced psychosis, or really back in time. But General Bin-Nun has declared a colossal holy war, and he’s sending Deker and Elezar on a dangerous mission to spy on the Promised Land in advance of the invasion.
For Deker, it’s his only hope to escape this genocidal hell. Then he finds himself in the arms of a beautiful enemy named Rahab, caught in a web of deadly betrayal, as he struggles to unlock the truth, secure Israel’s future and his own, and save the twenty-first century from The Promised War. EXCERPT
Hardcover and digital
New York Times bestselling novelist Thomas Greanias is one of the world's leading authors of adventure, No. 1 in eBooks, Audiobooks and the World Wide Web. His tightly woven thrillers of international intrigue and mystery first exploded online before thrilling readers in print in dozens of languages and countries around the globe.A former journalist, Greanias has reported on issues of national security as an on-air correspondent in Washington, D.C. for NBC affiliates, and he has advised the White House, Congress, and Fortune 500 corporations on the future of digital media. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and his top-ranking sources in governments, intelligence agencies and supernational organizations continue to inform and inspire his plots. Thomas Greania on Twitter On Facebook