At our chapter meeting last night, two of our members gave a presentation on author branding. Marketing yourself with a particular "brand" is a delicate balance. I say this for two reasons.
1) The brand you give yourself (or your editor or agent or publisher helps you decide) will stick with you for quite some time. That means you better be ready to write within the parameters of that brand.
2) In so having such a brand, it can limit you as an artist.
For example, I write two kinds of books - inspirational and historical. One is sexier than the other, by far. When I finally do earn a publishing contract, which one will it be with? Right now, the odds are on the historicals. But that doesn't mean I don't want to write the inspirational. That means I have to perhaps market myself with TWO brands.
This strikes me as being rather dangerous, especially with these two particular types of romances. An inspirational romance is much different than a sexy historical romance. Will those readers of my inspirational, if they learn that I write historical which, why wouldn't they learn of it, stop reading my inspirationals since I write the sexier novels?
While this is all just talk at this point, it's something we need to think about as authors.
I've decided that I want to write both - but under different names. I cannot limit myself to one particular type of romance for the sake of branding.
Is it possible, then, to have the best of both worlds? To be able to write what you love, sell it, and have a large audience? And should this be done from the word "go" (i.e. when you get that book contract) or should you wait until you've established yourself in one field before branching off into the next?
It's not that this is a new concept. Far from it. Numerous authors have done it. But what will I do, I wonder?
Lots of questions. Difficult questions. But I have a feeling that I'll figure it out. :-)
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