I've been thinking about branding and promo lately. Probably because of the RWA National conference. Writers are urged to get a brand, to associate something about the types of stories they write with their name. Start the association early and get the idea planted in the minds of your fellow writers at least. Once you sell, the brand is there, ready to branch out for readers.
I don't disagree with this. And yet, my brand is undergoing an evolution and I'm uncertain how to proceed. I branded myself as a military romantic suspense writer. I still hope to do this.
But now I have international tycoons to add into the mix. And I love them. Oh, I am so happy writing and rewriting my story for Presents right now! I realize how much I fit there, how much I love those stories — even if it's taking me a bit of work to get into the proper groove with my own story.
But how to combine these two things? Many writers start out with one kind of story, one place where they know they fit. Some write a bit of everything. In that case, I think brand is contained in tone and voice. It's about sexy or flirty or dangerous or whatever the underlying core of a writer's voice is rather than a specific genre like suspense or paranormal.
I realized in San Francisco that my own brand of suspense is dangerous and sexy, not gritty or dark or terrifying. And, in many ways, this describes my heroes — whether they are military warriors or wealthy tycoons. I love dangerous and sexy men.
In my stories, not in real life. Thankfully the hubby's most dangerous habit is abandoning me to play on the computer when I'd prefer he help me unload the dishwasher. This is dangerous to my temper and his well-being, but that's about it. 🙂
But dangerous conjures up danger, so maybe it doesn't work for tycoons. Which brings me back to my dilemma. How to brand myself with something generic enough to work for more than one subgenre without being so generic it's forgettable. Or should I even worry about this? I haven't sold anything yet after all.
What are some of your favorite author brands? Is there any tagline that stands out to you? Do you have a brand?