The world of commerce pushes brands. Now, I hear, we must even brand ourselves if we want to make it in any arena.
If you haven’t heard of author branding— don’t believe me. Just internet-search these two words. We are no longer artistic vehicles for good literature; we must write and continue to write the same kind of stories. Or, put another way, we can write what we want, but being successful depends on writing the same sort of material.
We’ve heard of actors lamenting they are offered the same sort of role over and over. Some famous authors say they are deemed capable of one genre only, and we chuckle at these poor successful souls who have what many desire: success in an impossibly competitive field. But at the same time, we shudder at the rigid educational tracking of a child, or the stereotyping of a person by race, or the judging of an individual by nationality. Now that is just awful. Right?
Fact: In 1900, L. Frank Baum published two books: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors. Yup, the very same L. Frank Baum. Good thing he didn’t know about branding.