In a guest post on BookBuzzr.com, Laurel Marshfield (Blue Horizons Communications) describes authors’ brands as messages they put out about themselves. Marshfield says “Your brand is your author story … you need to consciously make use of the intersection between your personal life story and the story your books tell. And then, you need to use that intersection to dialogue with interested readers.” She cites author Jodi Picoult’s webside as an example of effective branding.
This may not be the ultimate definition of “branding,” but it’s one I think I understand. So I ask myself, do I have a brand? Maybe so. My two novels-in-progress share some characteristics, and they do reflect who I am, what I love, and what I believe. (Also the kind of books I like to read). Here’s a partial list.
1. Appreciation for ordinary people in a distinct cultural setting–in my case, wilderness, rural, and small-town. In my reading, this shows up in preference for books set in other cultures: A Fine Balance (Mistry), Brick Street (Ali), Cutting for Stone (Verghese), State of Wonder (Patchett).
My two WIPs, The Girl on the Mountain and Ridgetop are set 100 years apart in the same Appalachian region.
2. Fascination with the mountain wilderness, maybe because much of West Virginnia’s terrain and flora present challenges and difficulties to overcome as well as spectacular views. I never tire of the view from my windows.
3. Love of history, especially the history of industry and everyday implements used by our great-grandparents. I love old things.
4. Respect for people, because all creation is precious. I think this means I will never have a villain who isn’t partly sympathetic.
Enough about me. How about you? What’s the connection between you and your stories? What’s your brand?
See Laura Marshfield’s full post:
What’s an Author Brand?
4 thoughts on “Author branding: I am, I love, I believe (and I write)”
My stories tend to be about cruel, selfish people involved in dark and nefarious doings. There's no relation to my own life (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).moodMoody Writing@mooderino
Mood: Now we know.
I love digging around in the dark and soul-crushing places. What does it take to make it through? What kind of person will you be at the end of it? Still socially functional or… not quite right?And I remember exactly what I read to start this trend, too. Battle Royale by Takayumi. A lot like The Hunger Games, a class of students thrown on an island told to kill each other or die.I've always been fascinated by the psychological starting point, process, and end point of someone going through the most extreme of experiences. The human mind can find a way to work with much more stress than people realize. I found Saw (1) riveting. the others were… less impressive.But I'm really not this horrific outside my books, I promise! I like puppies and painting and Renaissance faire!
Tami said, "digging around in the dark and soul-crushing places." There's a grabber. The author connection (brand) seems to be not identification with those places but interest and maybe expertise on those subjects.Tami, I'm going to track down your work!