Changes are never easy. Changing the name of a brand is not taken lightly, believe me. And still, here we are, me nervously typing this post up and you reading it, wondering maybe, what the hell this chick is doing. So I tell you what: I’m officially changing the name of my blog to Queen’s Book Asylum. There, I said it. Excuse me for a moment while I go and take some deep breaths. But wait, there is more! With a new name comes a new design as well. It really wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do this whole thing harder on myself all around.
So, probably the first thing that jumped to your mind is:
Well, that’s both a simple and not so simple question. Almost 3 years ago now, when I launched the blog I wanted a name that was both cool and representing what the blog was about: books and music. Obviously, the music side got pretty much neglected… I knew it was a mouthful but nevertheless, I was quite fond of RockStarlit BookAsylum. I still am, in fact. What I did not consider back then is how easy it will be for people to remember and how that will affect the brand I didn’t know I was building at the time. As time proved, no matter how much I love the name RockStarlit BookAsylum, it does not work well as a brand name.
I don’t even know where to start telling you how damn frustrating it is that basically almost no one ever gets it right. It might be a minor thing to some, and although I’m happy to see my blog name around used by authors and publishers on banners and on Amazon, but I also always die a little inside when I see it misspelled. I finally reached that breaking point in December when I decided that it has to be changed. This is nothing new, I’ve been playing with the idea on and off, but I never really considered it seriously. Until now.
Queen’s Book Asylum
Making a decision about a name change is one thing. It’s quite another actually pulling it off. There are many factors to be considered. I don’t expect the change will go down smoothly. And even though I decided to go through the process, I wanted it to be as seamless as possible. When picking a new name the first priority was to keep the continuity as much as I can – aside from being it easier to remember. As I’ve been building on the Asylum part of the name in the last few years, it was pretty clear to me that it has to stay. As well as the Book part. That left getting rid of RockStarlit – which also caused the most problems. I could have gone with Book Asylum, but it’s already taken and besides, it’s just too boring for me. I needed something else.
My first thought was to go with The Queen’s Book Asylum. If you’ve been following me then you know that these past years I’ve earned myself the Queen title in the community along with the name Terrible Timy. Eventually, I cast this idea aside, because I have two contributors I needed to think of, and I didn’t want to go and name the blog after myself – I’m vain enough as it is, and they definitely deserve better. So my second option was the Royal Book Asylum – which still had the indication of my “status”, but was more inclusive. After conversations with several people, including my awesome contributors, Jen and Arina, we settled for Queen’s Book Asylum.
Having a name was only the first step though. Decisions had to be made regarding the logo, the design, the social media handles, the email address, the domain. Some of these decisions were easy, some not so much. I forego the big logo and I’m only going to use the icon I’ve been using this far as my main logo. That’s one thing I definitely didn’t want to get rid of. I’m still considering getting that tattooed on myself at one point. Plus I already built some graphic elements around it I also wish to keep.
My social media handles will also change to better reflect the new name, which I’m sure will take some getting used to.
I considered changing the domain as well, but I ruled that out for several reasons: it took me a while to build it up, the SEO is finally starting to work, and it would be much harder for people to transit, plus it would cost money which I can’t spare right now. I might decide otherwise at a later date though, but for now, the domain and email address will remain the same. That left only one last thing:
Back at the beginning, I was trying to make my own feature images, which went about as well as you might expect… Instead, I hired a graphic designer who gave me incredible banners and feature images I loved. Then last year I attempted to create a new set of images, but I failed spectacularly. The graphic designer stepped in again, giving the blog another face lift. Which I also loved, though I think I’m still more in love with the very first set.
When I decided on the name I also knew that I had to do yet another change to the overall design. Due to money reasons and other circumstances, this time I really had to do it by myself, which made me all kinds of nervous. Previous attempts did not go well. After weeks of frustration, countless hours of sitting with Photoshop and the support of some close friends (I’m looking at you Justine Bergman and Bjorn Larssen), I achieved a set of images that if not quite up to the standard of a profession, are still something I can be proud of.
I first had the main banner – I found a pretty cool image of this huge window of an abandoned house which fits well with my Asylum theme. I have to say the result is pretty fucking awesome.
Then I found another image of a hall full of windows that provided the perfect background for the feature images AND fit well with the Asylum theme as well as the banner with the continued window element. Since I also changed the fonts, the blog itself will get a bit of facelift as well with a different header font and I also matched the header images and ratings to go with it all. And that’s about all the changes I’m doing at this time. I think this will do for a while. A few feature image examples:
I hope you will continue to love and support this blog, regardless of its name or design – though please don’t hate the design, I really did work hard on it and you don’t want to know how much pressure I put on myself because of it. Let’s just say I had some long nights recently.
Anyway, the only thing I have left to say is,