Get Branded!

No, it's not what you think! Got you!
Branding means people know what to expect when they see your name.

Audrey Shaffer has some interesting points here...

When you shop for books, do you look for new authors you've never heard of? Do you really want to give your hard-earned money to someone you know nothing about? I doubt it.
Don't feel guilty. They aren't interested in buying your book either. Why? Because they don't know you.

For writers, your brand is usually your name. Unless you write something like Harry Potter. Then the series becomes your main brand, and your name is secondary.

Your platform is what you are known for. It's what you stand on, what raises you above the crowd and makes you stand out. The thing that makes you different. For most writers, your books are the platform, and your name is the brand.
The stronger your platform is, the higher you (your brand) will rise above the crowd. Therefore, the biggest part of branding is creating, building, and strengthening your platform.

Building a platform takes time. But you can start immediately to build your brand. Then, when you get your platform together, you will already have something to put on it.

Stephen King, Ann Rice, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich, Danielle Steele, Barbara Cartland…all are writers with a strong brand and a clearly defined platform. Many of their fans will buy their new book without question. The brand is on it, it's a sale. They aren't afraid to spend their money, because they know they're going to get what they want.

If you are going to use a pen name, then that becomes your brand. And you will need to build a platform under that name. Sometimes, a brand can limit you. In that case, you usually have to create a second brand, andbuild a platform for it too. Stephen King – Richard Bachman. Nora Roberts – J. D. Robb. Once the second brand can stand on its own, then you can safely let it be let everyone know that both brands belong to you. But by keeping them separate, you make sure your readers get what they expect when they pick up your books. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your fans. That can end your career.

Who are you? That's your brand. What do you do? That's your platform.

So what is your brand and platform?



Helen Hardt said...

Wow, good question, Kaye, and one all writers should think about. In fact, let me think about it, and if I come up with my platform, I'll let you know!

It would probably have something to do with writing hot :).


Debs said...

Ummm, I shall have to go and think about this one.

Cari Quinn said...

This blog was so timely for me, Kaye. I came up with my brand when I designed my logo, but I've strayed from it lately. My tagline "because love-and sex-can be funny" really says what I hope to accomplish in the stories I write. I was just thinking about my brand last night, and how some of my recent writing difficulties probably stem from my not being true to my natural voice. Thinking about my brand actually helped me get back on track.

Great post! :)

Christina Phillips said...

This is a great post Kaye. I've struggled with this for SO long. I hope that finally I've found where I'm supposed to be, because I do love writing hot!

Kaye Manro said...

Hi girls, well I'm glad this post helped you. It looks like most have their brand and platform down or it's getting there!

Dianne said...

This is a good post, Kaye. I agree about the branding and platform. But sometimes it's hard to figure that out. It takes a bit of knowing, Doesn't it.

Linda Banche said...

Goes to show there's more to this author business than just writing the book.

Helen Hardt said...

Okay, I've got it. It's on my business card, and I totally forgot about it, LOL.

Here it is:

Helen Hardt: Heartwarming Stories with Heat

Gotta love the alliteration :).

Kaye Manro said...

Very good Helen! I like it.

Yes Linda, there is a lot more to this writing business other than writing!

red said...

Thinking about the brand question I wondered, for up and coming writers is there a danger of pigeon-holing your writing into a category you might not belong in?

Is it important to stick to one specific category when getting published before trying other venues?

Kaye Manro said...

Good point, Red. We should think about that too. Audrey says to use different names for different genres. But new writers? Maybe we need consider it. Or maybe our platforms could be very broad?

red said...

Do you mean like describing that we do romance but it could be any genre of romance?

Kaye Manro said...

Yes, I was basically thinking romance. But if you write in other non romance genres, maybe you'd need a pen name.