7th Son listeners know that I love to experiment with my storytelling, marketing and darned-near everything else I do for my podcast and website. I'm wired to surprise my audience with things that are familiar ... but off-plumb enough to be delightful. I often concoct these experiments on the fly, unilaterally release them into the wild, and see what sticks. In the interest of connecting with the community (and knowing that many creative minds are usually better than one), I've pulled back the "curtain" a bit in recent weeks, and invited 7th Son fans to chime in on some creative decisions. I did that last night, and received some intriguing results.
Months ago, I crafted a new logo for the 7th Son experience. I wanted something different and dynamic -- something that implied danger, action and excitement (things the 7th Son trilogy is well-known for). I spent several days crafting it, and last night, finally posted it on the homepage here at JCH.net. I asked my Twitter followers if it was "hot or not."
About 75 percent of respondents liked it. The rest, vociferously, did not. I found myself in a fascinating conundrum.
7th Son is my novel. I wanted a new logo. My informal poll suggested that most folks dug the new design. But the minority was large (and vocal) enough for me to take pause and listen. An hour later, I pulled the plug. We're back to the status quo.
What have I learned from this? Three things. First: Community rocks. It's flattering and humbling to know that so many 7th Son listeners care enough to chime in on these ideas, offer their creative perspective, and make suggestions.
Second: If you open the floor for discussion, expect it, listen to it -- and prepare to make tough choices, should the community split on the issue, or vote against your personal point of view.
And third: Consider strongly what you open up for debate. If you're convinced in your heart that a certain creative course should be taken, take it. Run with your gut, and be willing to live with the consequences.
I'll never know if the resistance I encountered with the new logo was legitimate disdain, or the natural reluctance to embrace something new -- after all, living things crave stability, and change disrupts that. I'm not dedicating brain cycles to it; I asked for opinions, the people spoke, and it's done and done.
And so, I present to you the very short-lived "2.0" logo for the 7th Son trilogy. It was either a bad design, or ahead of its time. But it certainly taught me a great bit about community, the power of crowds, and the unabashed love 7th Son fans have for the podcast. As always, I'm amazed and humbled by that.