So I've been thinking about this notion of "author brand," specifically why I resisted the very notion of branding, because oh, sweet fancy Moses, I did! Until, like, this week.
I'm a person, not a brand.
I feared that by branding my writing, I'd be forever locking myself into a set of parameters.
And frankly, the whole exercise seemed like a lot of work for...what, exactly? I wasn't sure.
Then branding was described to me as a way to tell readers what sort of thing they can expect if they've never read one of my books. If, say, they're just wandering around the interwebs and see my name and venture over to my website.
So okay, thinks I, that's a reason I can understand, so let's give this branding thing a shot.
And as I suspected, it wasn't easy.
See, I spend lots of time and effort trying to find ways to make my characters and stories unique; I'm not used to looking for the common elements.
I've written over 40 books and novellas in several different time periods, so it's not like I can pick just one setting for my brand description. Or one sort of character or story.
Finally, after coming up with something that sounded so generic as to be useless (or so I thought), I decided to take a look at the review quotes I've gathered over the years about my books, looking for common elements.
One thing stood out very clearly: my characters are "wonderful," "fantastic," "superbly drawn," "credible", "believable", etc. It's my people who make my work special. (And yeah, because I work really hard to make them credible, believable, etc.)
Apparently I'm also pretty good with intrigue.
And of course, I write romance, so there's going to be passion.
So, via research (how appropriate!), I've come up with three elements I can use to describe my author brand.
Now I'll have something else to add to my revised welcome page on my website.