Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Author Paul Coughlin wrote a book for men a couple of years ago entitled No More Christian Nice Guy. It was a success, with sales of more than 50,000. Many men read and enjoyed that book and were empowered in their faith because of it. So, where’s the book for women? It’s on the way! Paul probably could write a book for women–he is married after all–but to gain credibility with an all-women audience, Paul went the route of writing with a co-author. Dr. Jennifer Deglar has joined Paul in writing No More Christian Nice Girl, and her expertise is helping Paul to expand his brand to women. (The book is scheduled for a 2010 release.)
Other authors before Paul have taken a successful idea and expanded the brand to build their audience. A few books that come to mind are Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages (he has editions for couples, singles, men, children, teens); Shaunti Feldhahn’s For Men Only series (Shaunti has editions for young men, women, young women, parents and couples). Like Paul Coughlin, Shaunti has used different co-authors to help to build credibility with her many audiences. The popular Chicken Soup series and Hugs series have used their brands to appeal to just about every audience. Here’s the proof: I saw a Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul DOG FOOD the other day. Don’t believe me? Check it out: They’re selling it on amazon here.
I know many of you are still focused on writing that first breakthrough book, but it’s okay to dream! Can you envision your idea reaching a bigger audience? How would you brand your book? Could pet food be part of your market? 🙂
And to close: Do you believe that a brand can become over-extended? When does this happen?
I love this topic!
The book I’m working on happened naturally, but already I’m realizing that the concept can be expanded into other areas of my life. I hadn’t actually thought of using co-authors in the future – and now I realize it opens things up even more.
And yes, I think a brand can become overextended when it stops being relevant and starts being “Michael Jordan is selling underwear, because clearly he is an expert on underwear” – in book form.
I think “chicken soup for the vegan soul” might take branding a step too far.
HA! Rich, I love it!
Miss Britt, I agree with you. Michael Jordan can sell basketball shoes, but underwear is too much.
I dream all the time about my book. I never thought about branding though. Shelved for now is a book of short stories centered around coffee shops and I used to dream about branding it in coffee shops–coffee cups with the name of the book, coffee, etc etc. The book would contain artsy photography to add a little urban feel to it.
Using dog food to sell books is taking it a bit far. Disney movies also tend to over-market – it gets tiring seeing their characters on nearly everything. Including toothbrushes for kids. ??? Too much “stuff!”
The best example of over marketing I can think of is Kiss. That band (well, Gene Simmons) is out of control with the dolls and video games. Oh, and now they’re in an M&M’s ad! Too far. I don’t want to think about that icky tongue of Gene’s while I enjoy my candy goodness.