Branding an Author who Writes in Multiple Genres

Just under a year ago, the Blogging Bistro team designed and developed a custom, one-page website for Thomas Locke (read about it here).

Locke, an established novelist who is building a new brand under a pen name, wanted separate websites for his brands.

His Davis Bunn brand features novels written for a faith-based audience, while his Thomas Locke brand focuses on fantasy and techno-thrillers for a mainstream audience.

When we created his one-page website, Locke had only one book, Emissary (an epic fantasy). We knew that the author had two multi-book contracts for a fantasy series and a techno-thriller series, so we built the one-page site with the intent of expanding it into a full-featured website.

If you read fantasy, science fiction, or thrillers, you know that these genres are substantially different – in readership, book cover design, and content.

Case in point. The Legends of the Realm fantasy series required that we design elements of darkness and light; calm-before-the-storm and electric:

Emissary, by Thomas Locke | Book 1 in Legends of the Realm epic fantasy seriesThe Fault Lines techno-thriller/near-time sci-fi series required a bold, stark look intended to throw the reader off-balance:

Trial Run by Thomas Locke, Book 1 in the Fault Lines techno-thriller series

The challenge our team faced in expanding the site was how to capture both genres in one inviting, easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly website.

To create the sense of mystery and exploration that’s prevalent in all Thomas Locke’s books, we developed a simple, modular-style navigation. When the user mouses over each color block on the Home page, the text label to that section displays. Home page rollovers. The text displays when the user hovers over the module.The site’s header (the large graphic across the top of the Home page) melds the blue and gold flames that characterize his fantasy series, overlaid with a digitized graphic that conveys his techno-thriller series.

Custom headers for the Legends of the Realm and Fault Lines sections are consistent with the color scheme for each genre. header for Legends of the Realm epic fantasy books Header for Fault Lines techno-thriller seriesThe site also includes:

The “Books” section of the site will continue to expand as new books in each series are published.

As with all sites the Blogging Bistro team develops, Thomas Locke’s website is responsive, meaning that it works perfectly on all devices.

Book Launch Campaign

We’re also managing a book launch campaign for Trial Run, book 1 in Thomas Locke’s Fault Lines techno-thriller series. For months, we’ve been developing “Team Trial Run,” a robust group of reader-reviewers who have been posting reviews of Trial Run all over the Internet.

We’ve interviewed the author and developed an extensive Q&A series, which is being published on his blog and other online outlets.

Sample quote graphic from Thomas Locke's Trial Run book launch campaignOur graphic designer created fantastic custom graphics, including:

  • Graphics that feature key quotes from the book
  • Graphics to promote the sweepstakes (more on that in a minute)
  • Graphics to promote four one-day book giveaway contests (more on that below)
  • Graphics for an advertising campaign

All the design elements are carefully coordinated to enhance brand continuity.


Since August 4, the date of Trial Run’s release, we’ve been running a sweepstakes on Thomas’s Facebook page.

An iPad mini is the Grand Prize. Two First Prize winners will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite tech store, plus a portable battery charger for electronic devices.

U.S. residents can enter at

Trial Run SweepstakesYou can enter once per email address through August 28, 2015. You get bonus entries when your friends and followers on social media enter, plus you get additional bonus entries when you like the Facebook pages of Thomas Locke’s partners.

If you are not a Facebook user and want to enter, visit the Official Rules page and follow the instructions under the heading, “Alternate Entry Method for Non-Facebook Users.”

One-Day Giveaways

We’re also doing a series of one-day book giveaways on Thomas’s Facebook page. Our next contest is Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

To enter, visit his Facebook page August 26 after 5 a.m. EDT.

Comment on this post at Thomas Locke's Facebook page for a chance to win a copy of "Trial Run."You’ll see a “Comment to Win” graphic with a prompt. Leave a comment and you’re entered. That’s it! The winners will be announced at around 9 p.m. EDT on his Facebook page.

Timeline for branding or re-branding

As you can see, developing a brand is a time-intensive process. During the past 1.5 years, at least 10 people from the Blogging Bistro team and the publisher’s marketing department have worked closely together to plan, implement, and manage various components of the branding process.

My recommendations, should you be thinking of revamping your brand or starting something entirely new:

  1. Begin putting the pieces in place at least a year before your product launch.
  2. Design your logo and launch your website at least six months before your product launch, so you have time to build your mailing list and to contact your list of key “influencers.”
  3. Have your marketing collateral (business cards, ads, postcards, etc.) printed at least two months prior to your product launch.
  4. If you’re planning a launch party or an online event such as a sweepstakes or giveaway contests, get the prizes, promotional messages, graphics, official rules, and other components ready at least 3-4 weeks in advance.

Need help launching your book?

The Blogging Bistro team works with a limited number of authors each year to create and manage book launch campaigns. We schedule book launch campaigns a year in advance. If you have a book coming out in a year or two, contact us now to discuss your options.

Need a website?

We specialize in creating custom responsive WordPress websites. Our website services are in high demand; to give each client the attention they deserve, we take on a limited number of website projects each month.

Check out our Portfolio to see some websites we’ve created.

We typically schedule website projects 3-6 months in advance. If you need a website in six months to a year, contact Blogging Bistro today to set up a free, no-obligation needs assessment.