Monday, January 3, 2011

Branding, we're not talking cows here

Branding? What is it? I wanted to know more about the term and its use since it apparently applies to us and our writing, not just large corporations.
Definition: Voice? Plot? Values? Reliability: that I will wind up the details of my twists and turns in the plot.

Ah-ha. Branding is me. My integrity combined with my interests and values create my brand, because who I am contributes to and is incorporated into what I write, whether it’s a travel essay, a blog or flash fiction.

But how does my brand apply to my three Champagne novels?

In the contemporary Mortal Coil, a widow with a ten-year old daughter tries to save her nursing home residents from the Ponytail Perp. The cop assigned to the case and she become allies friends, lovers, and more. Brand: sweet romance, family values, sense of responsibility and altruism. Trust the author to wrap up the details.

In Tangled Web, an innocent woman is seduced by what we would now call a player, but in 1935, was a user, a selfish rogue or a philanderer who takes no responsibility for their child. She rebuilds her life and moves from his influence to become a nationally known… Brand: Romance, grit, suspense and eventually sweet romance and the reliability that the author will not only wrap up the details but will not commit any anachronisms.

Coming in 2011: Kill Fee is so named because it involves an environmentally sensitive article that strays into a murder plot and cover-up. Editors want it pulled, thus requiring that they pay the author a kill fee—in more ways than one. No one is innocent. The all too possible story reflects back on the writer and her entire life. By her side is her attorney, with no agenda but to be her helpmate. Sweet romance, loyalty, family values, humor and whimsy wrapped up neatly and logically.

All my writing has commonalties. People have told me, "I found myself agreeing with your article before I saw your name at the end." Or, "I thought that might be yours."

Ellen Smith, our Champagne Books publisher pointed out to me that although the term Branding has been around for several years, newer writers are becoming more aware of it. This is why your Web site must reflect your brand, not just your latest or your favorite book. As Ellen said, "That way, when someone says (your name) they know exactly who they are talking about.
"Branding is especially important when building an author’s platform. It’s what brings your readers to you," she stated.

This makes perfect sense when you consider how we wait to experience the next book by Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Dean Koonz or Stephen King, to mention only a few. They are reliable brands in their own genres.

Build your reliable brand and display it on your Web site. You don’t own it; you are it.
Julie Eberhart Painter is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, in which she practices both medicine and law without licenses, and Tangled Web, a story close to her heart. See Julie’s Web site at The World, the Flesh and the Devil, American Castles and Tahitian Destiny are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her nonfiction e-book, From the Inside Out, a volunteer looks at staying motivated, is considered a best seller on the Net. Watch for Kill Fee, Coming in October 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that! Brand me SFR - Science Fiction Romance.