Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.
Last week, I wrote that I had something to say about first impressions and marketing but got sidetracked by it having been Friday the 13th. Let me show you what I was originally getting at:
That pic is of a label for a bottle of switchel. If you’ve never heard of switchel, that’s OK, most people haven’t. Delich, by the way. Anyway, after the first few sips, I spun the bottle around and read the back side. After seeing, “Shake bottle liberally (or conservatively, if you lean that way) before enjoying.” I became an instant fan. Why? Because whoever decided to put that on there, and more importantly whoever approved it remaining, could have gone with some generic blah-blah-blah label that I wouldn’t have cared about, but didn’t. They had fun with a little wordplay joke, and as someone who loves that stuff (and hates with a passion flat, safe, broad, say-nothing, no-personality marketing language), I appreciated that. That’s this week’s FYI:
It gets more and more difficult everyday to separate yourself from the pack. One of the ways for writers to do that is by sharpening their voice. Agents and publishers are always saying they’re looking for unique voices. I didn’t really know what that meant while writing my first book, but it’s finally clicked in my WIP. If you need a hint, it’s what you see on that label. Something different, maybe something fun. Whatever, as long as it doesn’t sound/read like everyone else. Sound easy? It’s not, but keeping this in mind will help:
You can’t have your own voice if you’re mimicking what someone (everyone) else is doing. Don’t be just another bottle on the shelf.
Thanks for reading,