This month, PHS editor Ali Williams talks about the importance of building a brand - especially when you interact with a community in a variety of ways.
Having submitted my PhD proposal, and with a gap in my calendar until the interview (which is actually the day of the September edition of PHS!), I started thinking about all the different projects that I've got going, or that I'm about to embark on.
I interact with romance in three main ways: as a writer, as an editor and as an academic.
The problem is that that's pretty hard to characterise - particularly online where I'm interacting with different people all the time. My Twitter timeline is a complete mishmash, with anything from classic romance rewrites to secret babies being discussed at any given moment. If you'd never met me before, aside from a love of romance, you'd be hard-pressed to say what it is I actually do.
So, I decided to create a brand new website to help me build my brand.
It's been a real eyeopener for me.
All of a sudden, all of my academic and romance community articles are collected in one place; it's easy for people to navigate, and it's a lifesaver when I'm trying to find something for a conversation or my research!
Also, it's been the perfect place to start talking about my newest editing projects - I've been working for a while doing line edits as a freelance editor, in addition to my editing work for PHS. I've also started to collate testimonials, as well as editions of the books and novellas I've worked on, in order to be able to pursue this some more.
But why does this even matter?
I love working with authors and writers to help hone a manuscript or develop an idea for an article. I love how the academic research I undertake argues the books I love are worthy of academic scrutiny. I love writing romance. And I love reading romance even more.
Each of these hats I put on has its own merits and challenges, but most importantly, each is a branch I wish to explore more and more, whether that's through starting my PhD, taking on more freelance editing projects, or sitting down and writing my heart out.
If I want to make it in any of these fields, then I need to be able to display my work professionally. Building a brand isn't just about self-promotion, it's about helping to identify what about your work really matters to you.
How have you gone about building your brand? And what do you think of Ali's new website? Share your thoughts in the comments or by using #AtTheCliffFace on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
For more information about Ali and her writing, editing and academic projects, check out her shiny new website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.