I’ve been thinking lately about brands. Ask anyone with a brand how important it is to their business and they will tell you it’s gold. Whether it’s foods, drinks, franchises, celebrities or events, their colours, style and what they are known for is vital to their success. So, how do we brand ourselves as authors?
One of the advantages of self-publishing is authors are not tied to any style or genre. Come to think of it, what is a genre? Some styles and genres are easily defined and are accepted and understood by everyone. The basics are whether it’s fiction or non-fiction; for adult, teen or children; for men or women. Within those definitions are the non-fiction sub-themes of biography, sport, cooking, health and travel amongst others and within those definitions there are a myriad of niche topics designed to meet a select market.
What market are fiction writers targeting? It could be anything – westerns, ‘chick lit’, romance, thriller, adventure, crime, comedy and so much more; light hearted or deep and meaningful. We are free to choose. Whilst the current trend, especially within traditional publishing houses (and TV and films), seems to be based on the ‘yuck factor’ in my opinion, we do not have to be controlled by trends. These so-called entertainment modes are embodied by extreme gore and violence while trying to overcome the enemy, whether it is vampires, science fiction characters or evil monsters (including recent adaptations of childhood classics). I’m all for wild imagination but from a societal viewpoint this trend of ‘winning at all costs’ by destroying another is disturbing.
I am not interested in subjecting myself to such concepts. It’s not going to be my brand and that is the glory of self-publishing. I can choose my brand and market it to people ‘like me.’ I can choose my colours and style and if I consistently use them through logos on my business cards, on my give-away bookmarks, on my website, through social media networks, on my advertising material and on my emails, invoices, notepaper etc, maybe people who like my style will notice me and when they do, then I too have a brand.
My brand will be stories about family, ancestors and history because I think they are important. About finding the skeletons in the cupboard that can be both heartbreaking and heartwarming and everything in between. My colours will be reds and golds, glowing, warm colours bathed in antiquity that hopefully will brighten and enlighten my readers.
Without ancestors we are nothing; without us they are forgotten.
Do you have a brand?