Monday, May 9, 2011
To Brand or Not to Brand
As I’ve navigated through the publishing industry I’ve learned many things: voice, pacing, promoting and networking to name a few. But there is one aspect that I still question...branding. Although I understand the concept, which is to label yourself into a certain genre and style of writing, and the reason for doing so, to develop a following of readers who know what to expect from your writing, but it hasn’t been easy for me to do.
After a family trip to Mexico watching my teenagers interact with the teens there I was inspired to write a young adult story. Soon after I finished that book an author and friend informed me romance was the biggest selling genre which encouraged me to write a romantic suspense. They were both published so I was motivated to write still another.
I decided to try my hand at a historical, and loved doing the research. My next project was a women’s fiction, and I thought I’d found my niche until a speculative fiction idea came flowing into my mind that just poured out of me.
I felt like a rebellious teenager, not wanting to follow the rules of the literary industry, which brings me to the next genre which was non-fiction. My devotional was inspired by the difficulties my teen went through and was absolutely God given. I’d never planned on writing non-fiction but HE had different plans for me and my writing.
Are you dizzy yet? My agent was but she patiently waited for the right genre to grab me, and it finally did when my Amish series came to fruition. I feel right at home writing about these interesting people who I’ve come to know and admire.
After all that you ask, what exactly is a brand? Your brand should say something about you. A writer is expected to learn how to create and reflect the brand that they want readers to know about them as a writer. To know how to build, communicate and maintain a personal brand.
There is always something new to learn about the writing industry and branding has become a popular way to promote, one that a writer is supposed to settle into and find where they’re comfortable. I just hope it comes a little easier for others than it did for me:)
Question...how important do you think Branding is? Readers, does it help to know a writers platform? Authors do you feel it promotes our careers or does it confine them?
I hope the picture posted and isn't too blurry, but I HAD to get a Texas brand since I live in Texas, even though I'm from Colorado:)