The author as brand

When I worked at Kaiser Permanente in marketing and PR, I remember many earnest conversations about branding. And KP's Thrive campaign is one of the best branding campaigns I've seen.

As authors, we are often brands too. Stephen King does not write chick lit. Sophie Kinsella does not write horror.

I write mysteries and thrillers for adults and teens. I'm not sure I could get away from that brand now, unless I used a pseudonym.

The New York Times had an article on author branding, which has been going on long before marketing people started throwing the term around. Even Hemingway posed for beer ads.

When Teen was very definitely Kid (third grade, I think), I got Shooting Monarchs from the library, after she really liked PredicKtions. I just thought they would be the same kind of book - quirky and funny.

Only Shooting Monarchs is meant for grades 9 and up. "Abused and neglected as a child, Macy grows up to be a high-school dropout, then a thief, a kidnapper, and a serial murderer while still in his teens."

It wasn't until Kid commented about the book after she had finished that I realized what I had done.

I almost wonder if one of the books should have been put out under a different name. Because they are good books, but they don't have the same brand image. At all.



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I guess it would be unwise of me to confess the first image that hit my mind when I saw the phrase, "author branding."