Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Will Not Be Branded.

I've been told countless times..."brand yourself".

Now we've talked about target marketing and how I've thrown that out the window. Today I want to talk about the "branding" thing going around. 

If it works for you, great. If you want to write the same thing over and over and it doesn't bore you, fabulous. I'm happy for you, but me...

If I get a historical idea, I write it. If my muse says she's a shapeshifter, I write it. If suffragettes are screaming in my head, I write it. If I got this fun idea for a contemporary romance with humor, I write it.

Lots of authors say the key to selling is to BRAND themselves, write the same thing over and over. "I write only western romance. I write only regency." 

You get the picture. 

And while I'm not going to tell anyone they are wrong, here is why I disagree it's the right thing for me:

I'm a reader, have been one for a lot longer than I've been a writer. And I find books I want to read by visiting blogs. Let me take you through a timeline...

1. Blog I follow has awesome cover art posted...and a catchy title. Upon cover art catching my eye, I open the page to read the blurb or review.

2. Blurb/review may or may not interest me. If it sounds like 5,000 other books I've read, I shrug my shoulders and move on. If it sounds unique, it goes on my Amazon wishlist and Goodreads To Read.

3. Some time goes by. I have a lot of books already to read, but I will get my hands on that book and I will read it. I either like it or I don't.

4. Assuming I liked the story, upon finishing it, I promptly look to see what else the author has penned. He/she may have ten titles available. Again, I read the blurbs. Some will interest me, some will not. The ones that do, I put them on my to read and wishlist.

Where in all this do you see the step "I promptly looked for their brand"?

You didn't, 'cause I don't. As a reader, I could care less what an author's brand is. For me, it's all about blurbs. If the first book I read by an author is a strong woman in historical fiction book, whoo eee! If they have maybe two others like that 5 science fictions (not my forte) that doesn't stop me from reading the books that DO interest me.

So, from a reader's POV here, branding's not doing anything for me. It doesn't persuade me to read your books one way or the other.



  1. I think its good you have a little bit of everything for a reader. :)

  2. What I'm reading lately that makes sense is that you also brand yourself by design. As in, your name in a certain font and/or placement on a cover. Make your NAME the brand. Put it on every cover the same. And because this is how branding works (in movies as well as books) putting your name at the top in large letters is how you make YOU the brand. What it means to your readers is that when they see your name on the cover of a book, they think, Oh, that's that writer I love who never writes the same thing twice. I have to see what she's written this time!

    You DO have a brand. It's that you refuse to be pigeon-holed and your interests take you in all directions. By making your name consistent and easily recognizable to your readers, you are making the most of it. Does that make sense?

    1. I have seen articles about that too, planetbooks, but how is one supposed to do that cover art thing when they're with more than one publisher. Sadly, publishers won't make their art look like your other art. I actually tried. :(