Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Your Brand?

The buzz I’ve been hearing lately makes me tingle inside. This is a wonderful time to be an aspiring author. Really? Do tell. Our options are endless compared to years ago when the only way to get your book read was to land a contract with a traditional publisher or spend tons of your own money and go the self-publishing route and pray.

With the internet and now the ease and availability of marketing your own e-books, the cost of publishing your own baby and getting it out to the public has opened up a flood gate of opportunities. For published authors it means having a bit more control, or say so, if you will about their book. Published authors can no say no to what the big publishers want and going it on their own via e-books. And it’s paying off. Take J.A. Konrath for example. Great blog post here. . Let me tell you, it’s got me wondering why I’m chasing that contract from a big publisher. Now I don’t have a readership like he does, so it would take a lot of work on my part. That’s why a brand is so important.

A BRAND is not something you come up with only after you sell. It’s also not something you do differently for every book. It’s your identity. The one you want readers to recognize and associate with you and your books. You need to make your Brand original and keep it the same so when they see your name, they immediately know who you are and what you write. With a name like mine, I don’t think readers will get me confused with someone else. But just in case they don’t know what they are in for when they open the pages of my books, my tagline says it all. “Where Love and Danger Collide.” Lots of running, mystery, danger, suspense and it all comes crashing down on my hero and heroine leaving them no choice but to fall in love and survive.

Now if you write in several different genres, (raising hand) a different brand for each one might be what you need. Writing for children or Young Adult might not mesh so good with your Hot and Steamy Romance novels. For example, I write suspense. So even though I’ve written middle grade, young adult, and Romantic suspense novels the theme remains the same. Someone is in trouble and needs to be rescued. My Brand should probably mesh in some sort of way over all these genres. Still thinking on how to pull this off. LOL

So, stop and think over where you want your career to be in the coming years. What do you want readers to remember about you, about your books? Write down a list of words that come to you off the top of your head when you think about your books. Is there a common factor? Will it last? How can you market it?
From what I”ve heard, your name is the best bet for a brand. It’s yours. Lots of people already know you. Use it and use it wisely.  This will be your platform to build on and generate those mega sales.