Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About Author Branding

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.


  1. Write what you love, right?

  2. My goodness, I think my Google acct. worked for once!

    1. Great to have you back not as "Anonymous" ;)

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  4. (Gah, deleted comment with spelling mistakes.)

    While I scoff at the idea of "author branding" I've read that you should love the genre of your first book. If it's successful, you'll be expected to write more like it.

    I've written on someone else's blog that "branding" is for cattle and "platform" is something for high diving or a type of shoe to make you look taller. :-)

  5. Interesting post. Maybe that's one of the reasons why so many people, even traditionally published authors, are trying self-publishing.

  6. I wonder which book earned more money for L. Frank.


  7. I like your view of this, Mirka. And what a great example of someone who wrote different topics!

  8. Author branding is why I have a pen name. I can't be locked into one genre.

  9. I can't be locked into one genre, too. I believe as long as you write the genres you love, that enthusiasm will shine through and your writing style will be your author brand.

  10. I love Kate DiCamillo's books, but I feel like they're all quite different. Have to admit I rarely remember an author's name, but I do remember hers and look for her new books.