Breaking the Laws of the Universe
If you haven’t seen it yet, look up and to the left and check out our new logo! There are a few updates to the website too. We are extremely grateful and lucky to have the very talented Charmaine Wyland working on our branding. She is a digital designer extraordinaire currently residing in the UK. And even before our first skype meeting, we knew she was the one for us.
There was a time early on when Mark and I were first looking at self-publishing vs traditional publishing and asking ourselves, if we decided to go the independent author route, could we pull this off alone? Could we do everything that had to be done on our own?
The answer as it turns out is that we were asking the wrong question, because we definitely weren’t doing this alone.
THE MISNOMER OF SELF-PUBLISHING
Even though by its very name Self-publishing or being an Independent author seems to imply that you are on your own to do everything, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You need a team of people who are experts at what they do, who have as much passion for their craft as you do for yours, and who share the same vision for what you are now trying to create together.
Getting a book published requires some very important steps, only one of which actually involves writing. The rest, things like cover illustration, cover design, inner layouts, copy editing, and marketing all involve incredibly specialized skill sets. All things, that to be honest, are just not my thing. And even if I took the time to try and make them my thing, I know I still would not come close to making a product as good as I’d want it to be.
For those things, we need those specialized people who do their job well. In fact, more than just well.
The secret to building a good team isn’t filling it with members that are really good at everything. They’re built with members that are the best at just one thing. And finding those specialists has been the most challenging and yet most rewarding part of our passion project so far.
Or at least, when we woke up and saw that new logo, we definitely felt very rewarded!
As we trudge ever forward on this grand journey to self-publishing nirvana, I want to be sure to give a proper introduction and recommendation to those others of our team who making the magic happen.
So without further ado, say hi to the super talented Charmaine Wyland.
Charmaine is a freelance creative director and digital designer with over 15 years of experience in media. Check out some of the amazing work she’s done on her blog and website. One thing you’ll see in abundance is the humor and the personal touch that Charmaine approaches her work with, which creates a mix of personality and professionalism that we really love.
But what really excited us about her was that before she began to really to think about our logo and brand, she needed to know about us. And the questions she asked and the depths to which she went to understand us really floored us.
Like any good partner, they are not only there to support and help us, they are there to challenge us and make us better by forcing us to think deeper about ourselves and our work. And she did exactly that.
Charmaine used something called a creative brief, a short survey of questions designed to help her get to the very core of who Gelineau and King were. You know what, check it out yourself. Here are parts of that original creative brief.
THE CREATIVE BRIEF
So in terms of a creative brief to kick things off – as this is preliminary, I’ll give you the top level things I need now and send the more robust doc (if needed) after our call. I’m going off of the conversation we’ve had previously of mostly you are after branding (eg. logo/colour scheme/typefaces/design “tone”) at the moment. So to get that going:
1. What is your business/entity you need branding for? (This is the elevator pitch, as it were). Explain in 2-3 sentences what you are offering, any important background that has helped bring this business/entity into being.
G&K: Gelineau & King. Two friends getting to do what they’ve always dreamed of doing since they were little kids growing up together – writing and creating the kind of stories and worlds they have always loved. First product offering will be several fantasy novella serials, each following a different childhood friend that has since grown up and is involved in unique parts of our original fantasy setting. It is a fusion of the modern television storytelling model – quick stories that hit hard but conclude within each episode – and traditional fantasy world building.
2. Who is your main audience you are trying to cater to? Doesn’t need to be exact, but the more detailed the better. Include age range, gender balance (best guess), economic status (lower, middle or upper class?), any habits or interests that might be relevant to your business or give clues to their general lifestyle and/or cultural references.
G&K: First round of novellas is really geared towards fans of the fantasy genre. I’d say our work is for teenagers and up. But we’re hoping to really strike a chord equally among males and females. We’re also hoping to capitalize a little on the growing number of non-fantasy readers who have become fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones. We don’t have nearly the sex or violence, but we think we can still tell thoughtful stories with some serious stakes and a whole lot of heart.
3. How do you want this brand to be perceived? Give me 5 words you would hope people would think when looking at your brand.
G&K: Satisfying, Rich, Well-crafted, Addicting, and Fun
4. What are YOUR influences that would relevant for the brand?
G&K: Similar writers and creators that have shaped our storytelling. Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Matthew Vaughn, and JJ Abrams
5. Do you have any preconceived thoughts about anything around the visual execution of the brand? (If you don’t already, this is not asking you to start thinking about it, just let me know if you have any pre-thought-of must-haves).
G&K: Haha No
BREAKING THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE
You’re taught from an early age that 1+1=2. That’s a fact. No seriously, two genius logicians spent 300 pages proving it!
I’ll be honest I haven’t read through the entirety of it because a) I don’t have the time and b) I’m not freaking INSANE, but through most of my life as a student and engineer and business owner I have taken this simple fact as an immutable unassailable truth.
The moment my life changed is when I realized it wasn’t.
Sometime after writing our first novella, A Little Southern Hospitality, I realized 1+1=3. That somehow what we wrote together was better than the sum of us as individuals. That we could create things together that were bigger and more meaningful than we could ever do on our own.
And that was it for me. I was hooked. I was all in. I knew what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. And who with.
Now two years later as we move ever forward on bringing our vision to life, our team has gotten one member bigger, and I feel like we’re breaking laws of the universe again.
And more than any other morning, today feels like it’s just the beginning for Gelineau and King.
Thank you, Charmaine.
And thank you to everyone who’s been here with us these past three months supporting us and encouraging us.
As you know Mark and I have been working very hard to get our initial run of stories done, and hopefully, soon, very soon, we can finally share them with you all.
And then we can all break the laws of the universe. Together.
Stay tuned. Stay frosty.